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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,856 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 2500 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Jul 062006

Ram 2500

  • 100,000 miles


Death wobble due to pitman arm; occurs at speeds over 65mph or when vehicle hits a bump at any speed. Vehicle becomes hard to maintain control over. Began occurring when vehicle reached approximately 100,000 miles.

- Carriere, MS, USA

problem #24

Jan 102009

Ram 2500

  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500. While driving less than 60 mph, the RPM's idled very highly. The vehicle would not shift into third and fourth gears and the automatic transmission failed. The dealer stated that there was a large amount of sludge and build-up inside the transmission. The contact was advised to have the transmission rebuilt, instead of replaced. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were less than 48,000.

- Capac , MI, USA

problem #23

Oct 182008

Ram 2500

  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500. The contact heard a squeaking noise when the vehicle was started. After shifting into drive, the vehicle began vibrating. The vehicle was driven to the dealer for a routine oil change and the contact notified them of the failures. The mechanic stated that the upper and lower ball joints were defective. The vehicle was not repaired. Immediately after leaving the dealer, the driveshaft fell out of the vehicle and was replaced by a local mechanic. The upper and lower ball joints have not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The current mileage was 55,000 and failure mileage was 49,000.

- Gaston, IN, USA

problem #22

Jul 012008

Ram 2500

  • miles


Dodge Ram 2500 - E17 safety recall this warranty item was installed on my truck and now the horn honks often when I go from reverse to park... or park to reverse the dealership is refusing to undo this recall. This is an unsatisfactory solution to the initial problem and many customers are complaining about this "fix". the current fix causes almost 100% false alerts. From a safety standpoint, there is no value here as the driver just becomes accustom to ignoring the alarm... thus leaving the original danger in place. Please, if possible, pressure Dodge to either redo the recall and actually fix the mechanical problem with false-park issues or at least have them make the current "fix" more accurate.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #21

Sep 072007

Ram 2500 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram. The contact parked the vehicle in her driveway. She exited the vehicle and left the driver side door open. She then heard a loud pop and noticed that the vehicle was moving. She was unable to enter and stop the vehicle. The contact was struck several times by the driver side door. She was pinned between a metal post and the door of the vehicle. The contact was able to free herself and sustained injuries to her midriff, back, and head. The powertrain, speed, and failure mileage were unknown. The current mileage was 46,900. Updated 01/17/08 the dealer stated the right brake lamp is inoperable. The consumer has provided all medical documentation and repair invoices pertaining to the incident. Updated 01/17/08

- Purdy, MO, USA

problem #20

Sep 122007

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge 2500. The contact stated that the vehicle shifted out of park and into reverse on its own. As a result, the vehicle drove in reverse downhill at 15 mph. NHTSA campaign id number 05V462000 (power train:automatic transmission) was referenced. The contact stated that the remedy did not correct the failure and was only a temporary repair. The current mileage was 108,606 and failure mileage was 52,000.

- Denver , TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 132007

Ram 2500 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I had the Dodge E17 recall done to my 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 slt. The recall said it would be an out-of-park alarm. I thought it would be a buzzing or dinging alert. Instead it honks my horn. Now I can't back up to my trailer with my door open without waking my neighbors. I'm disgusted that nhsta approved this "improvement" and insist that a buzzing or dinging alarm be used instead.

- Manor, TX, USA

problem #18

Feb 072007

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 with a current mileage of 43000 miles. The failure caused a lack of transmission park pawl engagement and caused rearward movement of the vehicle which resulted in a crash. The vehicle sustained rear end bumper damage do to the recall 05V462000 failure. The contact called the manufacturer, and was told that they would not cover any damages to his vehicle at this time.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #17

Sep 012005

Ram 2500 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,567 miles
- on 09/05/05 while driving on a major road, the contact stated that his 2003 Dodge Ram was unable to shift out of a low gear staying at a speed of 25 mph. The contact took his vehicle to allen samuels in houston, tx and they stated that they couldn't detect any failure on the vehicle. On 10/28/06 while driving down a hill pulling a 30 ft travel trailer at 50 mph, the contact tried to down shift, but the vehicle would not change gears. The contact stated that he couldn't use the emergency brake to assist in stopping the vehicle. The contact took vehicle to his local dealer( dub herring in picayune, ms) and they couldn't detect any failures with the vehicle. The contact can provide copies of the invoice repair if needed. Updated 03/14/07.

- Carriere, MS, USA

problem #16

Apr 212006

Ram 2500 Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Dodge Ram fuel lines rotted resulting in a severe leak. ***** the consumer stated the manufacturer cannot or will not produce a replacement fuel line. The consumer stated while the truck was sitting in idle, the vehicle began to move backwards. The consumer attempted to stop the vehicle with no success. The vehicle rolled down a hill and into a tree. The consumer received a recall notice after he experienced the failure with the transmission.

- Sheffield, PA, USA

problem #15

Mar 232006

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,425 miles


My 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 heavy duty pickup with an automatic transmission and diesel engine rolled backwards after being placed in "park". I left the vehicle to talk to someone. The indicator was in "P" before I left the vehicle and still in "P" after rolling backwards ~ 150' through 2 snow banks made by clearing the driveway. The pickup stopped upon hitting a sign which received minor damage; but the right rear pickup bed received ~ $450 in damage. Nobody was in the vehicle at the time. Nobody was injured. The sign prevented the vehicle from crossing a busy street. I received the safety recall letter to install the "out of park alarm" on Monday following the accident on Thursday. I have contacted the local dealer to have the alarm installed.

- Eagle, NE, USA

problem #14

Nov 302005

Ram 2500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact states there is a NHTSA recall campaign 05V462000 concerning the automatic transmission. This consumer experienced the same problems as indicated in the recall, but it is not included in the recall due to VIN. The vehicle has not been repaired. The vehicle was modified by the braun corporation. The vehicle was originally a Dodge, Ram, 2500, and has been converted to a Dodge Ram B 2500 van. Updated 01/04/06.

- Hawley, PA, USA

problem #13

Oct 012004

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
Without warning while in idle with no one in it truck jumped out of park and went into reverse by itself. The vehicle accelerated on its own, and rolled away, causing damage to truck and some concrete steps. The dealer put the truck on the computer and informed the consumer that nothing was wrong with the vehicle. Contractor for manufacturer said he could find nothing wrong with truck.

- Mt Juliet, TN, USA

problem #12

Jan 122005

Ram 2500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The consumer is experiencing problems with the automatic transmission. The vehicle will periodically down shift into low gear. The vehicle is currently out of warranty.

- Dubois, WY, USA

problem #11

Feb 132004

Ram 2500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
When idling in park on a flat surface the vehicle slipped out the park gear to reverse. This caused the vehicle to roll back and hit a car. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Redmond, OR, USA

problem #10

Jul 052004

Ram 2500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
I purchased my vehicle from wilson motors in corvallis, or on September 18, 2002. Approximately 2 months later, I began having trouble with the vehicle loosing power when shifting from reverse to drive. I took my vehicle to the dealer for repairs on 5/20/03, 7/16/03 and 8/1/03. On the last visit the computer was flashed according to tsb 18-005-03, which seemed to correct the problem, until recently: On 7/5/04 I encountered a significant power loss while climbing the Continental divide (while towing a 6,500 pound travel trailer) and was unable to continue my climb of the 6,000 feet, 6% grade. Luckily, I was able to resolve the issue by carefully moving into the emergency lane to re-start the vehicle as to reset the computer. On 7/12/04 wilson motors was unable to determine the problem. I then contacted Chrysler customer service, who indicated they cannot fix the problem unless the dealer can re-create the problem. I feel this issue creates a very serious safety hazard.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #9

May 232004

Ram 2500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
First time I was in a parking loton May 23,04, I backed out of parking spot put it in drive and it stalled. Started it up again put in drive engine sounded ruff but did go. Got onto free-way and could only get speed pu to 50 with gas peddel to floor. A few miles down, the road turns to two lane and there is a stop light. Light was red as I got to it had to slow because of a car in front of me, light changed as I got to it my speed now about 30 the car ahead of takes off. With me gas pedal to fkoor could tell if engin was running so I looked at tac it showed over 4000 RPM's and then shout out like a bullet. By the time I could get my foot off the gas and on to the breake my truck was doing over 90 and almost hit the other car time no.3 was leaving a store started truck the engin sounded ruff backed up ok, but in drive it went at slow speed ok, turned at stop light then would not get over 30 mph in a 45, dealed ship was only a a 1/2 mile pulled in, and machines had just left so no one could look at it. Set app. For tus. June 1 they put it on computer and test drove it and found nothing, the same problem happened that afternoon only this time the truck would not move in drive at all. There was tech from detroit on June 15 drove it for an hour could not get it to do it, but that after noon it did it again. The dealer findly did take it in on June 21 and keep it for a few days only after therented with a lawsuit. Chy Corp would not do anything. To this date June 24 they could not get the problem to requir while they have so they will not do anything.

- Hudson, MI, USA

problem #8

Sep 102003

Ram 2500

  • miles
When vehicle is put in reverse and back into drive it loses power.

- Lenhartsville, PA, USA

problem #7

Mar 232004

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
After 300 miles my transmission failed in my new 2003 Dodge Ram. It was replaced, and failed again. Replaced a second time and was recalled on two other transmission issues. It is slipping now and has been recalled yet another time. My dealer nor Chrysler will take no responsibility for this unsafe, unreliable product that has put my family at risk many times.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 042004

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Has trouble shifting out of park. Happen 3 times. Severe transmission vibration at idle on cold morning. (28 degrees) happened once. Transmission stutters shifting into overdrive, not always, but usually whille towing loads. Sometimes when empty.

- Dove Creek, CO, USA

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