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8.7

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,216.00
Average Mileage:
80,156 miles
Total Complaints:
70 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. should recall (30 reports)
  2. recall-new paint job (17 reports)
  3. should have new boxsides installed by dodge (13 reports)
  4. not sure (10 reports)
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #70

Feb 012011

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

click to see larger images

rust and corrosion

I am a car enthusiast. I keep my vehicles immaculate inside and out. It's very frustrating to spend hours keeping your vehicle maintained only to have pieces fail. I've owned this vehicle from new. When it was about 8 years old, I noticed some bubbling under the paint around the rear wheel wells. Over time, this spread until the metal just started falling off. I see many 2003 Rams with the same problem. It's like we're all in the same club. Also, to add insult to injury, I was going to trade it in for a new one (I ultimately re-considered) and the dealer subtracted money from my trade-in due to the condition of the fenders (as well as the cracked dash) which both I had no control over.

I hope that Ram steps up to the plate and replace these fenders due to an obvious design flaw. It's embarrassing driving down the road looking like this.

- , Blackstone, MA, USA

problem #69

Jul 012011

Ram 1500 SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

I have a 2003 dodge ram 1500 that's rust through on one side and bubbling on the other side of the wheel wells,

This truck only had about 74,000 miles on it when this started. Chrysler should recall this and fix this problem. I paid way to much for this truck to look the way it does and every truck I see like mine have rust in the same places, this is bullshit and I will never buy another dodge again they don't care about the quality of the sh*t they sell because if they did they would fix this problem for all the people who spent so much money on these trucks that now look like crap from rusting out. I have seen cars and trucks that are 40 years old that don't have rust on them like mine does. I am very dissatisfied with Chrysler for not standing by their own product.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #68

Sep 202012

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Guess what? A few years after the driver's bed side rusted out the passenger side let go. This time it was out of warranty. I had the bed side fixed at my own expense when the truck was getting some other work done from being hit in the rear end by a driver that could not pay attention to the roadway. Local body shop helped me out when they were repairing some other damage and had the bed off the truck anyway.

- , Hutsonville, Illinois, USA

problem #67

Oct 012009

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

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

Had the driver's side bed side rust out above the wheel, took the vehicle to local Dodge Dealer who contacted Dodge about the repair..... Dodge "lost the report" and by time it was reported again the warranty period was over and Dodge said they have no proof of when the rusting took place. The local Dodge Dealer stood behind the repair and replaced the bed side at their cost. Will stick with the dealer, just maybe not Dodge.

- , Hutsonville, Illinois, USA

problem #66

Apr 012014

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Have large amount of frame rust going on.... LOTS OF HEAVY RUST. I drive my truck in roadway, no mudding or off road use, other than driving in my yard to dump some dirt for yard work and picking up brush. I live in southern Illinois and do not think my truck should be showing this much rust. My father just traded his 1989 Chevy in and compared to my 2003 his truck has almost no rust. We live less then 10 miles away from each other and drive them on the same roadways. In fact he drives on more gravel and dirt roads then I do.

I know Toyota recalled several trucks for frame rust issues and think Dodge needs to think really hard about doing something like that.... My next truck might be a Ford the way I am feeling. Will be looking in about a year to a year and half for a new truck.

- , Hutsonville, Illinois, USA

problem #65

Oct 012013

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,600 miles

click to see larger images

rust and corrosion

Rust is bad, you need to recall it. I need help, can you help me?

- , Howell, Mich, USA

problem #64

May 142014

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

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

The rust is bubbling under the paint on one rear fenders and on the other it has come through and is just annoying to see everyday.

- , Ft Riley, KS, USA

problem #63

May 082009

Ram 1500 Laramie 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

click to see larger images

rust and corrosion rust and corrosion rust and corrosion rust and corrosion

I have a Dodge Ram Laramie 1500, bought brand new in 2003. I babied this truck. Washed it weekly, gave it oil changes every 3000-3500 miles and would take it in to Dodge for the bigger maintenance up keeps.

I noticed in May of 2009, along the rear fenders/wheel wells, on both sides of the truck, the paint was bubbling. Since I worked a lot, didn't have much money and I wasn't a body man, I just let it go. After just 1 year, since I noticed the bubbling, rust starting coming through my fenders. So I took a closer look at the underside of my truck, and to my amazement, I noticed 4-5 machined holes on the inside of the rear wheel wells. These were machined holes that came from Chrysler Dodge. WHY? Why are there machined holes on the inside of the rear fender wheel wells? To catch water? That's why every Dodge truck, that has rust on the fenders, has machined holes on the inside. Almost every Dodge pickup that I drive by has rust on their fenders. It reminds me of the same problem that Toyota trucks had in the '80's.

Chrysler Dodge, this is your problem. This is a major error on your part, that needs to be rectified by a recall. If these complaints go unnoticed, I will never buy my family or myself another Chrysler product again. And I will be sure to tell everyone I know what type of shoddy work you sell to customers.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #62

Apr 302009

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Ram Rust. What happened to Ram Tuff, rust has overtaken my rear fender wells. It started on driver's side & progressed to passenger side, looks terrible. I tried to locate a used bed, no luck in locating a rust free one. You would think Dodge would stand up to the plate like Toyota and start replacing the beds on these trucks . Toyota replaced thousands of frames on Tundra trucks, which cost millions. They stepped up, satisfied their customers, and regained their loyalty not only with their truck owners but with new potential customers. Back in the 60"s I owned a Ram with the same problem. It was 5 yrs old, they replaced it with a new one, with no problem. It costed Toyota thousands to replace frames on all those trucks. That's great.

I just wounder how many truck beds it would take to replace compared to replacing one Tundra truck frame. Yes both have corrosion problems. Ram, no brainer, Keep Ram Tuff , repair or replace beds, keep customer locality, a satisfied customer is a happy customer and will keep coming back. Many of my friends drive Rams, same problem, not happy. Think about it? It's your call. Quality & Satisfaction is your Best Advertisement, I hope you keep it.

- , Washington, PA, USA

problem #61

Jul 012010

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,500 miles

click to see larger images

rust and corrosion

Here is another fine example of a 2003 Dodge Ram, I only have 44,000 on it now this started just after 36,000 miles. The exhaust completely rusted out and the frame looks really bad. I did a complaint with Chrysler and was told this is normal wear and tear for a Minnesota Vehicle. Yea right. I just turned 40 this year, my first car was a Dodge and this will be my last. I just purchased a used Honda with 70,000 miles on it. I use it to go back and forth to work everyday. It is also a 2003 and a Minnesota car and guess what no rust. It is to bad that the people at Dodge don't realize that they are not just losing the customer who purchased the pickups but every person that we know who sees them everyday. I have had so many people comment that wow it only has how many miles on it, WOW I guess I will not be getting one of those. At this point I don't feel I will ever spend my hard earned money on another Dodge/Chrysler product. I will be looking at Honda and mostly Ford (at least they did not take out tax money).

- , Minnesota City, MN, USA

problem #60

Apr 042008

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

changing oil on my 03 dodge ram 1500, noticed that oil pan rusted pretty bad then started looking around at rest of underside of truck, frame has rusted terrible, and this truck has never been off road, dodge needs to buy back all of these trucks with frame and body rust just like Toyota did. this is a major safety issue and needs to be addressed asap.

- , Vicco, KY, USA

problem #59

May 182012

Ram 1500 4dr Quad Cab 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

The paint on this truck has bubbled all over the place and began to rust mainly around bumper and the fender wells in the rear. The worse how ever is the hood recently just bubbled and peeled spontaneously. like a 1 by 1 1/3 foot square section of bare metal and has caused veins all over the hood , and they fill with moisture accelerating the rust.This is obviously and expensive fix, when no one has the money for such unexpected things these days. This should not happen to a 9 yr old vehicle. Very disappointed with Dodge about this. Will add pictures and video soon.

Also had tail light issues, i work at an autopart store and encountered many customers with issues withe the left tail light. I replaced the circuit board recently I hope this fixes it.

- , Springfield, MA, USA

problem #58

Aug 172012

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Rust bubble under paint started drivers side rear wheel well. Then started to leak rusty fluid within a few months. Now it's spread pretty bad in several places. Today I noticed a 1/4 inch small bubble on the passenger side. It's obvious this is a defect from Dodge. I have had surface rust on a vehicle before but never seen it move this fast. Dodge should fix this.

- , Shepherdsville, KY, USA

problem #57

Jun 262013

Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,224 miles

2003 Dodge ram 1500 Laramie, Same issue as most 2003 Ram owners, both rear wheel wells rusting out , Started with drivers side rear bubbles, now totally rusted out. passenger side is bubbled up significantly now. will not be too long before its totally rusted out also. Paid 46K for this truck and thought it would last a lot longer, very disappointed in Dodge . If Dodge doesn't fix this Manufactures defect for me , Next truck will be a Toyota. Maybe even leave it parked for all to see, and write LEMON all over it.

- , Sudbury, Ontario, canada

problem #56

Mar 142013

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

About 3 years ago bubbles started on both rear wheel wells. Paint flaking off now.

2 years ago, I had 3 brake lines replaced because they rotted out. Last week another brake line went.

Oh wait it gets worse!!!

When the garage put the truck on the lift, the lift broke through the rusted frame. NO NOT KIDDING! It looks like the frame rusted from the inside out. Soft spots all over the place.

I have not contacted Dodge yet but my mechanic basically told me not to waste my time.

This is a serious safety issue. If the frame were to break under a load, a serious crash could take place. Are you listen Dodge? SAFETY ISSUE! Brake lines rotting, frames breaking. . .

- , Clinton, CT, USA

problem #55

Mar 262012

Ram 1500 Larmie Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Frame rusted from the inside out would not pass inspection, it never should happen. Dodge said tuff sh*t! I'll never buy another one -- they lost my busness.

- , Hatfield, PA, USA

problem #54

Apr 012009

Ram 1500 LXT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

ALMOST 4 YRS AGO I TALKED TO THE SERVICE REP AT THE LOCAL DEALER ABOUT RUST BUBBLES STARTING TO APPEAR & SHOWED HIM. BUT HE SAID THERE WAS NOTHING HE COULD DO. HE SAID HE WAS AWARE OF THE PROBLEM ON OTHERS TOO. NOW ITS CANCER AT ITS WORSE ON BOTH REAR QUARTERS OVER THE FINDER WELL.

- , Morral, OH, USA

problem #53

Feb 022009

Ram 1500 ST 4.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Rust is bad on both sides of the truck bed but is the worst on the drivers side. I spoke with the dealer body shop (Deskins in Pikeville KY) about getting it fixed under warranty but they said that Dodge wouldn't. I believe that Chrysler should man up and fix the problem. I would be delighted with my truck if they would fix the corrosion problem.

- , Eastern, KY, USA

problem #52

May 212008

Ram 1500 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

EVERYONE THAT I KNOW WHO HAS THIS SAME VEHICLE HAS EXTENSIVE RUST ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BED DIRECTLY ABOVE REAR WHEELS. MY TRUCK HAS RUST ,WORSE ON DRIVERS SIDE VERSES PASSENGER SIDE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT I HAVE WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND TO PROVIDE EXCELLENT MAINTENANCE. IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PURCHASE A USED BED OFF OF AN OWNER THAT IS RUST FREE REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE TRUCK IS FROM (warmer climate with year around decent weather verses an area where the seasons change and harsh weather can be an issue-salt sand etc.. for snow/ice road conditions.) THIS ISSUE SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR RECALL!!!!!!

- , Barton, MD, USA

problem #51

Apr 012010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

I know why the Dodge Ram is rusting out in the wheel wells. It is visible on my Dodge now that the rust has eaten away much of the metal. When the wells were constructed there was a calking used to seal the metals together. Essentially, a liquid nails for sheet metal. The idea is great. You put this material between the metals and press them together and essentially lock out any moisture from the seam.

The problem is poor workmanship during construction and or poor design programming on the machine (if done by machine) {a big thank you to the union people who had to see this and let it go]. What was done is the caulking was put on but rather than a smooth bead around the wheel well it was put in like little waves like your six year old might draw water waves on paper. The result is little pockets where dirt and water collect and sit against the wheel well and the outer fender panel until the water and road salt of winter in Michigan eat thru the paint and any rust protection and goes to work on the metal.

I could provide pictures as proof but I am certain Dodge will not honor the warranty. I had dealings with them before. If your vehicle is newer you might see if you can get a photo of the space between the well and fender. You could make a good case if your willing to fight in court. It really looks like it was done on purpose. Maybe they knew it would fail after warranty expiration and get you to fork money for new rear fenders.

- , Howell, MI, USA

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