Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

3.4

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,562 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Dodge Ram 3500:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 Dodge Ram 3500 Owner Comments

problem #19

Jul 052006

Ram 3500

  • 150,000 miles

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

On three different occasions the retaining nut for fifth-gear has failed. Dealer offered repair kit... contained new main shaft for tranny. Cost was $3600, Chrysler refuses to acknowledge defect in manufacturing of thread tapering. There is also no power brakes. ABS seems to not be working, relies on pressure from oil to brake. If pressed continuously, will go all the way to the floor. Wiring harness burned up after dealer work, frank shoupe of georgetown Kentucky refused to repair their mistake. Said it was my fault, then refused to keep speaking with me. Stated replacement was $2015, and would take a week;received one from junkyard in Montana, took three days, and $300.

- Georgetown , KY, USA

problem #18

Aug 012000

Ram 3500 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 109,387 miles
Diesel engine, manual transmission, 3500. The nut that holds the 5th gear on in the transmission comes off while the vehicle is moving at a high rate of speed. Resulting in no 5th gear. It is known that the nut sometimes jams the rest of the transmission, resulting in no transmission at all when moving at a high rate of speed. It has happened to me twice and it is about $600+ to fix each time. I live in California, my business friend in South caroline has had it happened twice also, and he knows of another person in Texas that had the same problem. I do not know of too many people that have the same vehicle, so it seems strange that the one person I do business with on the other side of the country has the same problem and that he knows of someone else in another part of the country with the same problem. The pick up spends 1 or 2 days in the shop, they replace the nut, and that's it. The second time they replaced the nut, I think they put locktite on it. The old part is not available, but my work orders from the Dodge service departments are. I am not sure of the exact dates of both occurrences, it is all filed away, but if you want, I can dig them up for you.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 012005

Ram 3500 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 87,000 miles
The vehicle's manual transmission failed. The locknut was inadequate to ensure that the 5th gear was fully engaged. The transmission failed while pulling a 5th wheel rv.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #16

Jun 152004

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 150,000 miles

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

1998 Dodge Ram transmission locked up. While in traffic, the consumer had to coast to the shoulder while pulling a 26' trailer. The consumer was unable to get the trailer completely off of the highway. There were numerous complaints about this problem. Chrysler refused to help.

- Port Hope, MI, USA

problem #15

Oct 152003

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles
Driving down highway at 65 mph, 5th gear disengaged--(as if shifted into neutral). Taken to transmission shop, told bolt holding 5th gear backed off. Told there is a retrofit kit available to hopefully fix the problem and prevent re-occurance. This is a common problem with Dodge diesel/5 speed combos. This bolt (known defect) cost me $1400 and 2 weeks with no vehicle.

- E, AK, USA

problem #14

Jul 312003

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,200 miles
5th gear suddenly ceased to work on my very well maintained 36,000 mile 98 Dodge 3500 manual drive truck. My father and I were nearly in a multiple 18 wheeler crash on a bridge before we were able to finally limp along. I now come to realize that there is a service bulletin on this very problem ( 21-10-98A ) which was ignored by the manufacturer. It nearly cost my family dearly.

- Taylorsville, NC, USA

problem #13

Jan 312003

Ram 3500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 163,100 miles

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

Loss of fifth gear (manual transmission) while going up a mountain on interstate 25 in Wyoming resulting in rapid deceleration of vehicle. The problem was recognized by Chrysler in 1994 and service bullitens where issued to dealers. I have discussed this with numerous owners of this same model and have found it to be a common problem encountered at various mileages. Chrysler refuses to do anything about due to "out of warranty" status, the repair would be performed no questions asked if within the warranty period.

- Cavalier, ND, USA

problem #12

Oct 082002

Ram 3500

  • miles
Upon starting vehicle and motor is cold, vehicle will not shift properly. Mechanic states lip seal is wearing causing the vehicle not to shift properly.

- Pride, LA, USA

problem #11

Oct 152002

Ram 3500 4WD Diesel

  • miles
I was driving on the highway at 55 mph and the 5th gear in the manual transmission completely went out. I contacted scott enkirk and in turn contacted Dodge and was told that they claim no responsibility. My neighbor's 1998 Dodge Ram truck also did the same exact thing.

- Sperry, IA, USA

problem #10

Feb 242001

Ram 3500 Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While driving, the vehicle lost fifth gear, it was confirmed by the dealer that the nut backed off the gear. Nlm

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #9

Sep 012000

Ram 3500 Diesel

  • miles

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

Lost fifth gear - nut spun off allowing gear to slip on shaft.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #8

Mar 112000

(reported on)

Ram 3500

  • miles
Vehicle shifts into neutral when hitting bumps in the road, manufacturer said that this is normal. Nlm

- Carson Cit, NV, USA

problem #7

Nov 231999

Ram 3500 4WD Diesel

  • miles
Fifth gear loss is caused by ( nut holding fifth gear backing off) as I was told by dealer. This is a common problem according to the dealer (tsb 21-10-98) cost to fix this is $400-$799 and they said it could happen again. I was told it was caused by backing off the throtle in fifth gear. This is a clear case of design defect in the transmission. I know of many people with this truck who are having the same problem.

- Dammeron Valley, UT, USA

problem #6

Nov 291999

(reported on)

Ram 3500

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While driving in 5th gear there was a loss of power as if in neutral. The other gears were functional. Dealer said a new lock nut was needed to hold gear in place.

- Cadet, MO, USA

problem #5

Nov 031999

Ram 3500 Diesel

  • miles
5th gear lost while on I-37 norhtbound in corpus christi, tx. Shifted up from 4th gear to 5th after entering freeway. No 5th gear.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #4

Oct 071999

Ram 3500

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Clutch would not return to postion, clutch go on, causing transmission to become inoperative. Asking NHTSA to look into this matter.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 191999

(reported on)

Ram 3500 4WD

  • miles
There is a buzzing noise in the transmition when put in reverse after a cold start. I have had the truck in 4 times now to remedy the problem. They say all the trucks have this problem and it is a non harmful problem that a modification has been made for. The have preformed the modification and it hasn't fixed the problem. I am bringing the truck in again for them to do the mod again. My problem is that I am about out of warrenty, and they are telling me this is a harmful problem. I have mechanic friends that agree with me when I say it sounds like the transmition isn't getting fluid when it is first put in reverse. If what myself and the mechanic friends I have are right, the transmition will eventually break. There are alot of people I know that have Dodge, and none of them have this problem. Why can"T they fix this problem?

- Meridian, ID, USA

problem #2

Aug 211998

Ram 3500

  • miles
Transmission shifts late on certain occasions jumping into gear, diagnostics' were performed by dealership resulting in a negative result, the truck still persist's with the problem usually at speeds' 35 mph and under. The truck has pulled right upon delivery, dealership replaced calipers stating that the O.E.M. calipers were seized from factory, three days later the problem was back, dealership performed alignment, problem still persisted and continues to do so. The reason I put power steering down under the comments section is because of my belief that the problem resides in the steering gear-box, which has not been checked. The back-up lights did not work upon delivery but were fixed immediately and have been fine ever-since. The drver-side window molding leaks and on certain days causes fogging of the window resulting in a loss of vision and an unsafe driving condition. O.E.M. jackstand is also to short to replace tire on independent front suspension.

- Berkey, OH, USA

problem #1

Mar 101999

(reported on)

Ram 3500 4WD

  • miles
Transmission cooler lines leaking, requiring replacement.

- Greenbrae, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?