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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,900 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.

1998 Dodge Ram 3500 lights problems

lights problem

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1998 Dodge Ram 3500 Owner Comments

problem #13

Nov 232011

Ram 3500 6-cyl Diesel

  • 93,500 miles


This incident involved failure of the headlight switch as described in safety recall #819 for 1995-1997 model vehicles, resulting in smoke and melting of connector and wires. Inaction by Dodge and a copy of the complaint follows: Thank you for contacting the Ram customer assistance center in regards to your 1998 Ram 3500. Your concerns, particularly in view of the expense and inconvenience involved in this issue, are understandable. However, your request for consideration in this matter must be declined, because the vehicle in question has exceeded the time or mileage limitations of the manufacturer's warranty at the time the expense was incurred. Although a more favorable reply could not be provided, sharing your concern with us is appreciated. Thanks again for your email. [xxx] customer service representative Ram customer assistance center for any future communications related to this email, please refer to the following information: Reference number: [xxx] email case number:[xxx] reply link: original message follows: ------------------------ us customer service - Dodge brand site brief description: Recall #819 headlight switch failure comments: Although my dealer rep said that recall #819 did not apply to my vehicle, I experienced an identical failure on November 23, 2011 after driving the vehicle for 16 hours with the headlights on. The headlight switch connector and several wires were burnt. Because it is obvious that this issue was not resolved for my vehicle (I am the original owner), I believe that Dodge should provide support for the repair. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Anacortes, WA, USA

problem #12

Nov 162007

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Dodge Ram 3500. Over the past five years, the contact has replaced the headlight switch seven times. The switch currently needs to be replaced for the eighth time. His VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 99V024000 (exterior lighting: Headlights: Switch). The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 280,000 and failure mileage was 75,000.

- Big Bear City, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 152005

Ram 3500 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 134,701 miles
Headlight switch overheat/fire no headlights, driving lights. Failure without warning replaced wiring and headlight switch with factory new parts. No recall available for my model, previous years had recall for headlight switch burnout.

- Independence, OR, USA

problem #10

Jun 152002

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles


Headlight switch failure while driving down highway at 65 mph. Forced to drive down highway w/O lights, putting myself and my family at risk. Cause: Headlight swich failure, told at dealer this is a common failure. Burnt harness wire block. Replaced switch, and was told the only part available for the burn wire block--to replace the entire wire harness. Cost over $1000 plus labor.

- Eagle River, AK, USA

problem #9

Oct 152003

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles
Driving down intrastate highway in 5th gear, complete loss of power (as if shifting into neutral). Vehicle taken to transmission shop...nut holding 5th gear backed off--disengaging 5th gear. This is a well know problem with Dodge diesels. Dodge introduced a retrofit kit to hopefully resolve problem. If the problem requires a retrofit, why not recall the transmissions and fix the problem. A nut backing out cost me $1400 plus 2 weeks of no phelps.

- Eagle River, AK, USA

problem #8

Nov 032003

Ram 3500

  • 150,000 miles
While driving the headlight switch assembly has caught on fire without warning.

- Griffin, GA, USA

problem #7

Sep 112003

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 79,500 miles


Burning odor and light smoke from dashboard. All lights going on and off. Turned of headlights and burning odor and smoke stopped. Went to Dodge dealer to check for recall - manufacturer's recall 819 was for similar problem but only applied to model years 1994 - 1997. This truck was 1998 model. Purchased new headlight switch and replaced the burned switch along with some burnt wiring.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #6

Aug 011998

Ram 3500 4WD Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Headlights keep going out because a wire is melting the switch. Consumer states headlight doesn't have a relay. There is a recall for 1997. *akconsumer was advised by the service manager that some of the early 1998 model didn't have the relay protection on the light switch. There has been a recall on the 1997 models, the problem was corrected on the 1998's. they refuse to correct the relay switch on consumers vehicle even though the vehicle does not have the corrected switch. Consumer has paid for three new siwtches plus pigtails. The last time the switch burned out it caused a dead short in the wiring.

- Sulphur Rock, AR, USA

problem #5

Dec 122001

Ram 3500 4WD Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Electrical system kept burning out, causing dashboard and tail lights to go out, without warning. *akheadlight switch was checked and dealer found melted plastic wire to the switch connector. Switch was replaced, then the tail lights went out. Still the same problem.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 072000

Ram 3500 4WD Diesel

  • miles
Thin stream of white smoke emitting from dashboard. Headlight switch shorted out causing wires to burn behind dash. Very close to an electrical fire. Have heard other Dodge pickup owners having same difficulty (at least 3 that I know). Please investigate this problem!

- Aloha, OR, USA

problem #3

Dec 201999

(reported on)

Ram 3500

  • miles


While driving headlights went out. Dealer has been notified.

- New Boston, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 121999

Ram 3500 Diesel

  • miles
Fuse to dash lights/tail lights blew when headlight switch failed.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #1

May 261998

Ram 3500 4WD Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Headlight switch and connector failed causing overheating.

- La Grande, OR, USA

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