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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,575 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 Van 1500 steering problems

steering problem

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1998 Dodge Ram Van 1500 Owner Comments

problem #9

Jul 192013

Ram Van 1500 6-cyl

  • 161,000 miles


Some Dodge Ram vans have a latent defect in the frame that is very dangerous. As far as I can tell, there is no recall even though the internet is littered with complaints, incidents and accidents due to failure of the frame in one spot. I believe that the ac runoff is vented directly into the frame which, over time results in the eventual failure of the frame at the point where the suspension and steering are located - this results in loss of control of the vehicle. There is no easy way to correct this problem short of replacing the whole frame. Dodge denies that this is a problem and blames this defect on road salt and conditions. This would be a valid assertion if the rest of the vehicle had rot problems elsewhere on the vehicle. Including the much more volatile body parts, which are in some cases, still solid and in good condition. This problem is prevalent in several years of this model truck. This problem is easy to check for and needs to be addressed by Dodge simply because the vans are getting older and this problem will be occurring more frequently.

- Dunmore, PA, USA

problem #8

May 222011

Ram Van 1500

  • 100,101 miles
While backing out of my parking space and turning the steering wheel I heard a loud pop/thump. Subsequently while driving down the road at 15mph the steering went out and the vehicle was uncontrollable. I had the vehicle towed to a repair shop. The cause of the break down was the front passenger side frame had rusted and cracked. This is where the steering is connected to. No repair was possible. I have contacted alternate repair sources of dealers, body shops, welders and metal fabricators without any success to get anyone willing or able to repair the frame. The vehicle is considered non-drivable and non-fixable.

- St. Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #7

Jun 012008

Ram Van 1500

  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Dodge Ram van. While pulling into a parking space at an unknown speed, the contact felt a hard vibration and heard a loud bang. He exited the vehicle to locate the origin of the sound, but was unsuccessful. He re-entered the vehicle to continue to park when another loud sound occurred. The steering did not respond. He exited the vehicle again and located a failure with the steering control arm and its components. The contact also noticed that the entire front end was completely rusted. He called a tow truck and had the vehicle towed to a local dealer. The dealer stated that there body shop would not repair the vehicle because they did not want to be responsible for any liability. They further stated that they may be able to locate a collision repair shop to perform the repair work. The contact has not yet been able to locate a shop to perform the needed repairs. The vehicle is currently at the dealer. The failure and current mileages were 140,000.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #6

May 062002

(reported on)

Ram Van 1500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72 miles


When the temperature was cold outside it was difficult to steer the vehicle. The problem continued until the outside temperature warmed up. The dealership replaced the parts 3 times but the problem still occurred.

- Lagrange, OH, USA

problem #5

Sep 192000

Ram Van 1500

  • miles
While driving 45mph, hit another vehicle unexpectedly at a frontal impact which caused steering to lock up, and brakes to fail. Upon impact, driver and passenger airbags did not deploy, which did not protect the occupants. No prior problems with the airbag system.

- Yulee, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 021998

Ram Van 1500

  • miles
Driver lost control and slid cross ways, across the highway, and busted the rear axel. Truck flipped over, and front bumper went into front tire, and the airbags did not deploy. Truck was totalled.

- Corning, IA, USA

problem #3

Mar 181998

(reported on)

Ram Van 1500

  • miles


Problematic steering and braking systems.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #2

Feb 181999

Ram Van 1500

  • miles
Since we purchased the van the dealer said we had a bad tire both times we picked it up, but it still drifts and has spungy streeing. I.e. it goes were it want to and when you turn the wheel to correct it the streering takes it time to go the other way. My other problem is the right rear frame leaks water bad, at first the dealers body shop said the weld had broke at the seam were it was put together and that they had 3 of them in the last 6 weeks. We have had the van in the shop many times to get this fixed. It still leaks!!!!

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #1

Oct 271998

(reported on)

Ram Van 1500 Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Steering centering valve continually pulls to the left causing steering problems at high speeds, unable to correct design defect.

- Port Arans, TX, USA

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