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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,597 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Dodge Ram 1500 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jun 012016

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • miles


2003 Dodge Ram 1500. Consumer writes in regards to passenger airbag recall replacement parts still on back order. Vehicle has multiple recalls that relates to steering, lighting, visibility, electrical, engine issues and requests loaner vehicle. The consumer stated the additional recalls, would probably explain, why he had to replace the thermostat, vehicle speed control and the radiator three times.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #20

Jan 102014

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 135,700 miles
When I was pulling on the highway from entry I was depending on my cars engine when I was trying to accelerate car first jump then shut of completely and as a busy highway route 80 I was almost got run over by a trailer good thing I'm experience driver car stall out and didn't start for easy 1 minuet at this time I was on side of the road after that day car randomly stalls out I try to understand what's the problem it doesn't give me any related code also cruise control is when U set a speed and you slow down with the button but sometimes car will take off faster engine has multiple design errors that makes the engine fail out of nowhere.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #19

Nov 282013

Ram 1500

  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle lost power as the engine throttle warning light illuminated. The contact mentioned that the failure recurred twice. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 127,000 and the current mileage was 133,000.

- Aztec, NM, USA

problem #18

Oct 172012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Vehicle cut off while making a right turn, no power steering, no engine response.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #17

Jun 092013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 77,642 miles
While reverse parking at approximately 10 mph; the accelerator stuck to bottom of vehicle floor (sending vehicle to speed exceeding 70 mph) and it accelerated out of control. In an attempt to stop and avoid hitting pedestrians and building behind me; I hit the brakes, but the brakes would not stop the vehicle. I was forced to place the vehicle in park shift position while hitting brake, in order to stop vehicle. At first the shift control stopped in 'd' and the vehicle shot forward, but I kept hitting the brakes. And eventually; I managed to get it in the park position and it stopped the vehicle.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #16

Apr 122012

Ram 1500

  • 95,396 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle accelerated independently. The failure recurred numerous times and intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the throttle position sensor would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 95,396.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 162013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 99,893 miles


I purchased a used 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 last week. While driving to work yesterday I accelerated and the truck would not stop. It continued to accelerate at speeds above 70 mph and I stomped on the brake, but it didn't slow the truck down at all. The gas pedal was on the floor, so I stomped on it as hard as I could and then it seemed to release and raise back up to normal position. Luckily it was 0445 in the morning and there was nobody else on the road.

- Great Falls, MT, USA

problem #14

Jun 302012

Ram 1500

  • 168,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph and attempting to brake, the vehicle hesitated to come to a full stop. The contact released the brake pedal and the vehicle accelerated independently. The electronic throttle control warning light was also illuminated. The vehicle was inspected by a mechanic who advised that the failure was related to the electronic control throttle. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue however no further assistance was provided. The VIN was unavailable. The current and the failure mileage was 168,000.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #13

Jul 242011

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated while driving down hill at approximately 30 to 35 mph, the vehicle lost power and the engine throttle light illuminated. The contact turned the vehicle off for a moment and the vehicle returned to normal function. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to be diagnosed or repaired. The failure and current mileage was 70,000. Updated 08/15/11 the consumer stated the problem didn't occur only when driving downhill. The consumer stated he was coming down from 8,000 elevation, mostly coasting, applying the brakes and throttle occasionally as needed per road requirements. Upon reaching flatland, he applied the throttle as normal. Within 10 minutes, the engine began to lose power. The throttle was non-responsive and the throttle control light illuminated. The consumer re-started the vehicle and there has been no problems since. Updated 08/24/11

- Glendale , AZ, USA

problem #12

Sep 152010

Ram 1500

  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact was attempting to reverse from a residential driveway traveling 2 mph when the vehicle abnormally accelerated causing the contact to crash into a nearby vehicle. There were no injuries. The vehicle was diagnosed or repaired for the failure. The current and failure mileage was 67,000.

- Elander, TX, USA

problem #11

Jan 092005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that at times when the vehicle was started, the RPM's increased excessively. The contact had to shut off the engine and restart the vehicle in order for it to idle normally. The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle was functioning properly. The dealer also stated that the RPM's would not increase while the vehicle was in gear. While in a parking lot the RPM's increased to 3500 which made the back tire move without applying the accelerator pedal. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to have the computer reprogrammed. Since having the vehicle repaired, the rpms have increased twice. The dealer advised the contact that there was nothing that they could do. The failure mileage was 18,000. Updated 4/7/2010 updated 06/04/10.

- Temple, TX, USA

problem #10

Apr 152008

Ram 1500

  • 0 miles
- the contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that while idling he would experience a spontaneous surge forward. As a consequence of the non-warranted acceleration he considered that the risk of serious injury and crash are increased. He took the vehicle to the dealer and a technician speculated that the gas cap was the cause of the failure, but no repairs were made. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 175,000.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #9

Mar 042009

Ram 1500

  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. While the vehicle was at a complete stop, the accelerator pedal extended to the floor without being depressed. The vehicle spontaneously accelerated. The engine warning indicator was illuminated at the time of the failure. The contact had to remove the key from the ignition to stop the vehicle. He is in the process of notifying the dealer to determine the cause of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 116,000.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #8

May 162007

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
1. unintended (sudden) acceleration; 2 feet on the brakes* brakes worked, have pictures-1/2 inches into pavement. Filed report with police. 2. air bag did not deploy- hit hydro pole, 55 km/hr, speed limit is 60 km/hr.

- Lasalle, 00, USA

problem #7

Apr 272005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
While driving and approaching an intersection the truck sped up on its on. Managed to get truck back home without incident. Drove the truck for a few days without anything happening. Went to pull into the garage and hit the side of the garage. While driving in a shopping center truck sped up again and went into a wooden fence and into a person's yard. Took vehicle to dealer and had problem fixed. Dealer found iac motor out of range. But the same thing recurred.

- Richmond , VA, USA

problem #6

May 022005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
While stopped at a red light the throttle stuck open. The consumer was unable to stop the vehicle but did not have an accident. The consumer had to turn the vehicle off the truck to get the vehicle to stop. This was the only time anything like this had happened. The vehicle was taken tot he dealer and driven for 10 miles. After the test drive the dealer indicated that eh problem could not be duplicated and no repairs were made.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 262002

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,147 miles
10/25/02-bought new 2003 Dodge 1500 extended cab. 11/26/02, ABS light and brake light on. Dealership said "connection at cab had water in it, and dried off and sealed." 12/19/02, 3685 miles, took back because of ABS and brake light on. Short in brake switch and replaced the brake switch. 12/20/02 returned with ABS light and brake light on. Brake switch and rear ABS sensor shorted. Replaced both sensors and found water in the wiring connector. Disconnected, cleaned, dried and sealed. Returned to me on 12/24. 12/30/02, 4339 miles, ABS/brake lights on/RPM spiked. 8-way plug had water in it. "contacted star and was told to cut out plug and solder wires." Truck returned to me on 01/02/03. 01/24/03, 5864 miles, ABS and brake lights on/speedometer spiking at idle. Dealership checked codes, checked wiring, rear ABS sensor, connector, ABS controller connector, cleaned, sealed connector. Truck returned to me on 01/28/03. 08/20/03, 19775 milest, transmission wouldn't kick out of passing gear until 80 mph and when it did, made loud popping noise. Dealership said "transmission not upshifting, flash program transmission control." 10/11/03, 23180 miles, I was driving, power steering pump came out and caused me to lose control/run into ditch. Damage to bumpers and tailpipe. I had also noticed that day before the wreck that the transmission was kicking into passing gear at 40 mph. Had towed to nearest dealership on 10/13/03. Would not give me a rental-I had bought the truck from a different dealership. Dodge sat on this truck for five months leaving me without a vehicle, saying that they were sending an inspector out to look at it, inspector would be there any day. Dodge would not replace bumpers and did not fix/return to me until 03/09/04. Truck was still not right/acted like it was going to quit running when started. 09/09/04, ABS and brake lights on again/speedometer spiking. Over 36,000 miles, have extended warranty, going back to dealership tomorrow.

- Tunnelton, WV, USA

problem #4

Oct 172003

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Unintentional acceleration with ineffective braking resulting in a crash into guard rail and fence at a fast speed. Left 30 feet of skid marks trying to stop the truck. The guard rail wrapped around the truck but the chain link fence finally stopped the truck.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #3

Dec 152003

(reported on)

Ram 1500

  • miles
After stopping at a red light vehicle began to go out of control, the dash lights were blinking, and engine began to race like it was going to take off. Dealer has been contacted.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 042003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,750 miles
Purchased a Dodge Ram 1500 w/hemi engine on 5-29-03. On July 4, 2003 at approximately 2030 hrs the throttle on the veh became stuck at aprroximately 1750 miles. The veh could not accelerate or decelerate and the electronic throttle control indicator was flashing. Veh was travelling approximately 15 mhp at 1500 RPM and it would not slow down or accelerate. On 7-5-03 at approximately 0830 hrs, veh's throttle got stuck again, this time it got stuck at a much higer speed, approximately 30 mhp.

- Brea, CA, USA

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