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9.3

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,854.00
Average Mileage:
92,194 miles
Total Complaints:
36 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (26 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. clean the siphon tube (1 reports)
  4. replace head gasket, grind heads (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

May 082011

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 197,402 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I sure wish I had found this site about 4 years ago when my truck had 70K on it. I would have traded it in when the economy was better and I was making money. Now, when sales are at an all time low and the truck was paid off 8 months ago, my frickin motor goes.

And like the others, all my problems started happening just after 100K miles when my extended warranty runs out. It overheats, I blow a radiator hose, and warped a head. Fluid leaking at head gasket. Pull the head, have it mulled, replace the gasket, everything's fine. Then two months later my heater coil acts all weird blowing heat on one side of vehicle only. 2 months later, my water pumps goes.

Had oil pressure drops off and on for a year or two and the engine idle got really weird a year ago and local mechanic thought it was a fuel pump issue. Replace that and no change. Kept driving it while having to treat the automatic like a standard for months before one day, it just start idling right again.

Sunday however, was the strangest day of all. Drove it to and from a town 50 miles away and the truck ran great up and back. Stop into my house to let dog out and get back in my truck and try and start it. Took me 10 minutes but flooded the motor and it starts. It is skipping, sputtering and running really rough. Limp it to my mechanic Monday and up pops 7 misfire codes. We replace plugs and plug wires and then fuel injector on number 2 only to find out, no compression in number 2. Engine is barely running now some $250 later and now I know why...engine is gone. Loved that truck and faithfully changed oil every 3k miles and always saw sludge build-up when I did. I am thoroughly disappointed to learn that Dodge knew about this and knew my engine would fail someday. What a bunch of low-life scum!! Never own a Dodge again.

- , Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #35

Jan 142011

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,176 miles

There is a definite trend of major problems with this engine. This is NOT the hemi. Apparently it is an engineering design flaw of motor oil circulation. After 70-100K, a head gasket blows, resulting in loss of coolant, water in oil, and warping of one or both heads, with loss of compression in one or more cylinders. There are reports of owners who have changed their oil every 3K miles with Mobil 1 synthetic, and the problem still happens. Ancillary repairs are reported, such as water pump replacement, etc. but the core of the problem is oil sludging, lack of circulation of oil, overheating, and damage. Chrysler is obviously aware of the problem, since many owners initially service at their dealer. My dealer quoted $5,000. Private mechanic repaired mine for $3,250. I would hope there will be a class action lawsuit against Chrysler for this problem. Apparently they have corrected the design flaw in subsequent year models. Their motto and claim to fame in the early 2000's was engine and drive train reliability with the best in class warranty with 7yr/100K. The rest of the story is what happens immediately after the warranty for so many owners. Chrysler needs to admit the design flaw and offer retribution for owners who have suffered the loss (with receipts).

- , Athens, GA, USA

problem #34

Jan 152011

Ram 1500 Magnum 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,500 miles

my brother just bought a 2002 dodge Ram 1500 4.7L magnum, back in December, an a month later it started putting out low oil pressure... He brought it to Chrysler an they told him that his motor was blown... Is there anyway too clean the sludge out of the motor to fix this problem?

- , Hooksett, NH, USA

problem #33

Dec 102010

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER DODGE AGAIN. My problems started with a overheating issue. It overheated and we took it to our local dodge dealer. They said we needed a new thermostat. We replaced that and it overheated again. We had to replace yet again another thermostat cause the first one was not the right one. It was fine for about a week then it overheated again. This time was told it needed a new radiator. We replaced the radiator and the hoses. It ran for about 3 hrs. then overheated again. Our local dodge dealer had no idea what was wrong with it. They called dodge main headquarters wherever the hell that is and they said they put the wrong color antifreeze in it. It requires red and they put green. So they flushed and changed that out. It was fine again for a week or so then the engine light came on. Dodge ran a diagnostic and said it was fine it didn't have a cracked head or anything so just drive it. I took it to O'riellys and ran a check myself. It said that it needed new spark plugs i had a misfire. I took it to have the spark plugs changed and on the drive home it started shaking. The next day the engine light comes on yet again. I take it O'riellys to run the test it says misfire in certain cylinders. I took it to the mechanic it need new coil ignition packs so, we replaced those and started it up and guess what that light came on again. Now its says we still have a misfire, the engine is making a ticking noise and it shudders and vibrates when you drive it. Then I found out I need a new heater core and the idle has been fluctuating. I am sick of having to make payments on a truck that is parked in my driveway and I can't drive. It pisses me off that I'm paying $475 a month on a P.O.S. truck and dodge doesn't even care or acknowledge the problem. And now i have to deal with oil sludge in the engine. I understand that they're broke but so are we for having to pay to have this truck fixed all the time. Dodge is supposed to be American made and be great in quality but I see no one attempting to help out all the people that have had this problem with their American made piece of sh*t.

- , Exeter, MO, USA

problem #32

May 012010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

This is my third dodge pu in 25 years and by far the worst truck I have owned.The engine blew up without warning due to engine sludge.That's funny because I change the oil on time,every time, which I'm told is bad for this motor,(BULL S---T).Had to get a rebuild(work Truck).Also needed a new Oil Pan that was rusted thru but The dealer had them on back order with no date of delivery.Blend Door broke,(800 to fix)The Fuse Box (power distribution center)went out(900 to fix)and on and on.I have 147000 miles on my truck and had nearly 9000 in repairs in 3 years.Obviously I should have dumped this truck a long time ago.Dodge should be ashamed to have produced such crap.Ford will be my next truck.

- , Midlothian, IL, USA

problem #31

May 052010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

OWNED MY TRUCK FOR 4YRS. NOW AND AFTER BREAKING THE 100,000 MILE MARK THE ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON AND AFTER GOING TO TE SHOP I WAS INFORMED THAT THE # 4 CYLINDER WAS MISFIRING AD GOT IT REPLACED AN F'ING WEEK LATER IT LEFT ME STRANDED ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER MOMENTS AFTER THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON AGAIN, AND IT OVERHEATED. GOT IT CHECKED OUT AND FOUND THAT SLUDGE BUILD UP CAUSED THE RADIATOR TO BURST DUE TO BACK PRESSURE. NOW MIND YOU I CHANGE THE OIL RELIGOUSLY BEFORE THE 3000 MILE MARK AND BABIED THIS TRUCK, 1ST ONE I EVER OWNED.

WENT ONLINE AND THE AVERAGE PRICE IS AROUND THE $4000.00 MARK. IN THESE TOUGH TIMES I CAN'T JUST FORK OUT 4G,S OUT MY ASS!!. WENT ONLINE AND FOUND THIS PAGE. QUESTION IS, IS THERE A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT PENDING AGAINST DODGE IF SO CAN SOMEONE SEND ME TH INFO. I PAID FULL PRICE FOR A ADDITION TO MY FRONT DRIVE WAY LANDSCAPE!!!! I'LL NEVER BUY ANOTHER DODGE AND WILL STICK WITH CHEVY.

- , Atco, New Jersey, USA

problem #30

Nov 092009

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

i just want my ram fixed. i had it worked on about 3 years ago 4 the same problem. it cost me 350.00 then. i had it worked on last year it cost me about 475.00. when i got my truck back 2 days later it blew the motor up. i like dodges. i need a new motor dodge dealers. im sure im not the only one with this problem. dodge do the right thing here.

- , Opelika, AL, USA

problem #29

Jul 142010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Same problem/experience as everyone else. Starts with drop in oil pressure, progresses to missfire in various cylinders, rocker arms thrown, ect. I just got back from my local Dodge dealership, Ken's Dodge in Lebanon Virginia. When I was called by their service dept. to tell me that the rocker arms were loose, and replacing them would fix the problem, they never mentioned seeing any buildup or possible complications. I agreed to pay to have them fixed, since I was assured that this would fix the problem. I didn't even get home (less than 15 miles) before the same problem occured. This time the number 8 cylinder. I imediately took the truck back, and was told that the first time they replaced rocker arms they found sludge build up and they didn't think fixing number 8 was worth it. They recommended dropping in a new motor at a cost of $5,600. Why couldn't they tell me about the sludge build up and potential for this problem the first time? $600.00 dollars later my truck is in the same shape.

Thank you Dodge, and Ken's Dodge for making my decision easy. You guys are criminals, plane and simple, CRIMINALS, and I'll never associate with any of you, ever again. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. If anyone hears of a class action law suite, please email me with the details at sreynolds88@comcast.net. Thanks guys.

- , Abingdon, VA, USA

problem #28

Jun 102010

Ram 1500 Lamarie 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Hi, I just bought a used dodge with the 4.7 v8. All Ready some of the things on this site has me a bit worried. Is there anyhting I could do to help prevent the oil sludge problem? Being that I dont have the simptoms yet nor do I want them. If anyone had some suggestions for me that would be great, being that I deffenitly can not afford to bye a new engine anytime soon. Thank you

- , Prince Rupert, B.C, Canada

problem #27

Feb 252009

Ram 1500 XLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,677 miles

I am in the military (USAR) I was called to active duty and of course all this came up when I was preparing to drive across country. Bottom line the missing and loss of power would not let me make it across country. I had the engine replaced with same year and size motor with 66,000 miles on it. I have never lost power, oil pressure or run hot before having the problem in february 2009, or since I replaced the engine. I now see the sludge on the oil cap again over 1 year later on new engine.

The truck is paid for and has been a good truck up to the 2009 problem. I would like to find a solution to fix it other than a new truck. I like my dodge. It did fine driving to and from Wisconsin from/to Virginia (1200 miles oneway). PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

- , Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #26

Jan 272010

Ram 1500 Sport 4x2 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Same situation here - Basically driving along highway when the check gauges light comes on and the oil pressure is on the floor. Pull over and check oil, looks fine. I start the truck back up and idle's perfect. Start driving, two blocks again oil pressure drops. I pull over let it settle. Then decide to drive it to a Tire Kingdom 2 miles away going slow. By the time I arrived at Tire kingdom. I had the knocking in the engine. The techs heard it and still could not find anything wrong with the truck. They recommended I take it to the dealer. I called AAA to tow it and after 5 business days @ the dealer. They called me as if nothing to tell me that I need a new engine. When I got home that day I searched the internet and found this site and many others complaining about this issue. TSB that have been issued. Called them to ask them to check the oil pan, but they honestly said it would not be worth the expense on the 4.7. The engine is horrible. They recommended Jasper Engines as a replacement. I went with the following company that mentions they fixed the issues from the factory - Powertrain Products dot NET website that offers 4 year warranty on the engine. Hopefully this will help anyone else on the web.

- , Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #25

Nov 042009

Ram 1500 XLT 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

bought 2002 dodge ram 1500 xlt after 90000 miles like everone else. started ticking sludge in motor just a piece of sh*t i,m a handicap vietnam vet and cant get it fixed on my income. i will Never Bye another dodge looking for cheap ford or gmc. THEY CAN RAM UP their A**

- , Keyser, W.VA, USA

problem #24

Apr 152008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

My Dodge (supposed to be the dependable vehicle to transport my children in) started loosing oil pressure, overheating, and knocking in the engine last summer. We put it in the shop and spend $3000.00 + to get the engine taken apart, cleaned, various parts replaced and put back together in hopes that the problem would be fixed. We didn't replace the engine at that time because all the engines our mechanic could find had a many more miles on them than the original engine. After the mechanic (who I have known all my life) fussed at me for not changing my oil (which I do every 3000 miles. with royal purple oil) He called me back to apologize because he had 2 more dodges in his shop doing the exact same thing. The only difference in the three trucks were the color, same make, model, and engine, why the hell hasn't dodge bucked up & done a recall on this motor?? This is three trucks in a town of 20, 000 I can only imagine how many are out there sitting like mine. I was able to drive my truck for about a month when the problems started up again. This time not only the engine, but my evaporator coil. So the truck sits in the driveway. We were saving the money to have the engine replaced when my husband got laid off. So fortunately for me, my aunt has let me use her vehicle so that I will have something to carry my children around in. I am a stay at home mom because my youngest child is not in school...my husband is still unemployed...I feel like Dodge is a crooked company & I will never buy another & I tell everyone in the market for a new vehicle not to buy a Chrysler product, specifically a Dodge!!!! I think that any automaker that is having this much difficulty with their product should have to make it right for the people who have invested their money into it. As I said my Dodge is a fixture in my driveway until Dodge decides to do a recall or my husband goes back to work & we can save our money to buy a new motor...If I have to replace the motor myself I will have a sticker made for my truck letting people know not to waste their money of a freakin' dodge!!

- , Vidor, TX, USA

problem #23

May 052009

Ram 1500 4WD 4.7L Magnum

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

All the negativity makes it hard to find an answer here-anyways, my oil pressure did just like everyone else's-rapidly fluctuating, but correcting with revving the engine, or restarting it. I took it to a mechanic, they said "It has to be a problem with the gauge", but replaced the oil sending unit and changed the oil as a precaution. After checking into it, I found it is a problem with the siphon tube screen in the oil pan. left unchecked, it will ruin the oil pump, and eventually the engine. All (as if it isn't enough) you have to do to fix it is remove the oil pan, and spray cleaner in the tube. When I did, a ton of junk came out. It has been 500 miles since, and no hint of a problem. I did pout synthetic oil back in, and plan to do more frequent oil changes to remove the sludge from the rest of the engine. I figure at 40 bucks an oil change, I can do it about 150 times before it costs more than a new engine, and if I can have a car that lasts that long-I am not complaining!

- , Cimarron, NM, USA

problem #22

May 012008

Ram 1500 Sport 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

bought truck brand new and of course after i paid for it the problems happened. It started running hot so i had the thermostat replaced and it work all of 2 days never knew what was wrong because it never happened before and after about a week threw a rod.

I love my truck but wondering if its worth getting it fixed if i am going to have this problem again later on.....truck looks brand spanking new with no motor if i can find one at a good price i might get it fixed.....am really pissed at dodge and will never buy another Chrysler product ever again.

- , Taylor, MI, USA

problem #21

Apr 032009

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

Thank you all for sharing your problems. This dodge 1500 has been the biggest piece of crap that i have ever owned. I bought this truck brand new in early 2003 and i have had a ton of problems. Now that i read all these other complaints, it is all starting to make sense now. I have had problems with oxygen sensors going out (4) so far. My truck just over heated a few months ago but i never got to the bottom of it since i dont drive my truck that often. I changed the thermostat and the radiator cap because i couldnt figure out why it was over heating and The Dodge Dealer was no help.

- , Richland, WA, USA

problem #20

Dec 012008

Ram 1500 Sport 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Well, like all Dodge owners of the 4.7L I had the same problems, overheating, knocking, check engine light , cylinder 4 and 2 misfire. I replaced the thermostat, new spark plugs, oil flush, oil pressure drop. I was religious about maintenance schedules and always used Pennzoil. I love my truck, but all these problems are a big downer. What I recommend is to find a used motor and replace your fuel pump while you have the engine out at a junk yard get it installed and run the new engine on synthetic castrol and look to make it last.

- , El Paso, TX, USA

problem #19

Apr 112009

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

AMERICAN RIP OFF, LIKE ALL UTILITY COMPANIES, INS, COMP, CREDIT CARD COMP,ALL THESE COMPANIES, AUTO DEALERS, GOVERNMENT POLITICIANS, CHEATING US ALL AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT, IT SO SAD AND NOT SURPRISING TO ME. IF YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH YOU WILL BE A VICTIM OF THE GREAT AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS ..... IT MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH. I WILL DOG DODGE FOR REST OF MY LIFE THEY COULDN'T PAY ME ENOUGH FOR MY AGGRAVATION.

- , Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #18

Dec 092006

Ram 1500 1500 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

My 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab with a 5.2 L V8 had an oil pressure problem. I took the truck to a local dealer but they could not find a problem. Then a week later while driving on the interstate the oil pressure dropped and the engine got hot. I had it towed to a Chrysler dealership in a different town and they said the engine had to be replaced due to sludge build up - it was my fault. The truck had 67,000 miles on it - even had extended Chrysler warranty to 100,000 miles, yet my problem was not covered. I kept the engine and had it examined by local mechanics. Oil sludge was caused by poor engine design was the conclusion - small circulation ports that did not allow for adequate oil flow. The intake from the filter was too small for this size of an engine also. Yet another point I discovered was that the dealership had swapped out the thermostat to a lower temp setting several years earlier - they did this because Chrysler sent out a tech advisory. Guess they knew there was a problem with the engine overheating, thus creating the oil sludge. This thermostat change actually resulted in a drop of MPG by over 2 MPG. The 5.2 L engine was designed to run at a higher temperature to create better combustion and increasing MPG.

So Chrysler knew they had a problem and failed to inform the public!! And I am out over $5,000 for engine replacement, hotel expenses, rental car expenses, $500 to keep the old engine and time off from work. Let's get together and sue - like the Intrepid 2.7L engine problem!

- , Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #17

Dec 032008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,600 miles

Well I'm glad I found this sight. 2 1/2 years ago I bought a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab and have had good luck until now. As I started my truck after work I noticed a ticking sound accompanied by a misfire noise. After about 15 -20 seconds it went away and the truck ran fine. Later on that evening the same thing. Once again in the morning once I started the same thing but this time it did not go away letting it idle (warm up) for 15 minutes. I got a code pn0304 which is #4 cylinder misfiring. I tried to drive it but a few blocks turned around and returned home. Being I just changed the plugs about 1 1/2 months ago thinking it could be a faulty plug. Purchased a new plug (same kind) and a coil cap thinking that may be the problem due to the problem going away yesterday. Well I'm still sinking in the same boat. No luck. Then I found this sight. Yup eveything sounds the same except that I did not get any oil pressure drop at all or at least that I noticed. After I told all this crap happening to my piece of junk 4.7 junk magnum crap bad engineered sh*t to my mechanic friend he told me that yes these 4.7 286 engines do have this problem with sludge due to being a small displacement engine trying to push around this giant truck which causes it to run hotter than normal creating the infamous sludge. The people that have noticed their oil gauge dropping down to 0 and back to normal is that when the engine starts running higher rpms or getting warmer the oil pump sucks up the sludge which drops the pressure and once you slow down back to normal. So anyway I am looking for a used engine cause I am not paying no 3 grand for a new one. My next truck will be a Silverado 2500 crew cab or a gmc crew. Dodge should definitely stand up to their mistake with this one because this is a screw up on their part . Maybe Santa will push off a new engine off a mopar delivery truck at my house but I'm not holding my breath.

Update from Oct 26, 2009: Just wanted to update. found out I hade a rocker arm pop off cylinder #4. It cost 600 bucks at a shop. 2 weeks later cylinder poped off. A friend showed me how to fix it. Pop valve cover and pop rocker back under cam. 1 hour or less to fix. This happened a total of 7 times. cylinder 4,2,7,5,2,5,7. Nobody has answers why this keeps happeng. Truck got totaled one night now I am bying a chevy. Good luck all...........

- , Albany, NY, USA

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