pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
85,688 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. repaint (1 reports)
  3. repaint car (1 reports)
1997 Dodge Ram 1500 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1997 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 192012

Ram 1500 SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles


paint peeling and dashboard completely gone. serious safety hazard.

- , Bluffton, SC, USA

problem #2

Aug 011998

Ram 1500 SLT Laramie 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles

I bought my 1997 Dodge Ram brand new from an authorized Dodge dealer. After getting home and washing the vehicle I noticed some small pin holes in the clear coat. I ran my hands over the vehicle and did a through inspection. I found thousands of tiny holes all over the hood, front fenders, roof, rear bad rails. I immediately went back to the dealer and informed them of the situation. They said they were aware of the problem with Dodge trucks and paint issues and the only remedy was to wet sand my clear coat down. They did offer to do this but I refused stating that it was a brand new truck and I didn't want to lose any clear coat protection by having my paint sanded 2 days after buying the truck!

I did some extensive research on this and found out the many vehicles that were shipped via Train seem to have this issue. It seems that the exhaust from the train is hot and filled with tiny particles that settle on the paint. This then causes tiny holes in the clear coat and eventually this leads to the peeling after water seeps into and under the clear. Also, in my case I could see tiny bluish specs. This turned out to me metal fragments that after time started to rust and fall out. This further deteriorated my clear coat and after a few years the affected areas started to really wear badly. Around the second year I noticed my rocker panels started to discolor. I have a two tone Black and gray truck. The gray on the bottom started to show oblong spots and look faded. I tool back to anothher dealer and they told me there was a recall on the rocker panel paint ONLY. The issue of clear coat was not recalled. I did the standard argue and threaten but they refused to repaint the entire truck. So, I let them repaint the gray and left disappointed.

Over the years the paint has gradually gotten worse. I did have the truck repainted in certain bad areas but this paint has also failed. I am told that because of the faulty factory clear coat all the paint has to be removed down to bare metal. This would be very expensive and cost more than the truck is worth. So, I am left with a great truck running that looks terrible. As you probably know the blue book value is very low and I am guessing the paint issue has a lot to do with that.

Almost every older Dodge I see has this issue and stunningly many later models do as well. WHY hasn't some Legal group gotten together and filed a class action law suit against Dodge? It seems like an easy case to win. At least give owners a special credit towards the purchase of a new truck with a GUARANTEE and extra paint warranty on their new purchase.

I hope this issue is resolved because I really love my truck. I would buy Dodge again but NEVER unless I had a 10 year paint warranty.

Was anyone able to get this issue resolved???

- , Mount Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #1

Sep 022007

Ram 1500 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,563 miles

The clear coat is peeling off of my truck. The body and motor are in great condition.

- , hawkins, TX, USA

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