really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,592 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 1500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #14

Aug 062015

Ram 1500

  • 41,000 miles


When backing the vehicle out of the garage, I noticed an oily substance in the center of the vehicle directly below the rear differential. Inspecting the vehicle, I could see there is a leak emanating from the drive-shaft and differential where the pinion seal is located. There is a recall on the pinion seal for the 2009 and 2010 model years that does not cover my 2008 Dodge Ram 1500. I believe the recall needs to extend to the 2008 model year also.

- Lenox, MI, USA

problem #13

Mar 172014

Ram 1500

  • 211,077 miles
I was driving down a 45mph road and the truck was not shifting so I pulled to the side shut it off turned it back on the checked all the gears and everything seemed fine then I tried driving again and it stalled while driving down the road and will not start and the engine makes a weird rumble noise.

- Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #12

Aug 132013

Ram 1500

  • miles
The contact owns a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that he received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 13V038000 (power train) several months ago and was informed by the dealer that the part for the repair was not available. The manufacturer was not contacted about the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Homestead, PA, USA

problem #11

May 302012

Ram 1500

  • 98,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated the structure body of the vehicle has rotted away. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic for routine maintenance and was informed that the structure was rusted and corroded. The vehicle was undrivable. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #10

Jan 022012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Transmission slips into neutral when turning corners. We have to let the engine idle down and wait 15 to 30 seconds before transmission catches.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #9

Feb 202006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles
Loud drive train noise coming from truck. Serviced at 70K by Dodge dealership, replacing rear differential/bearings. Truck is now making same noise at 99K and first estimate of repair indicates rear differential/bearings again.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #8

Feb 152003

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,100 miles


My husband ordered this truck in late 1997. We purchased it new and have had numerous problems with the vehicle. The biggest problem we have faced is the transmission. Mid-April 1998 the first problems occured with slippage, the transmission cooling lines were replaced, one month later the torque converter went and repairs were made. Now at 51,000 miles and very little driving for the last 2 yrs (since my husband has been sick with cancer) it has blown again. The front seals are leaking profusely. The rear window was leaking so badly at one point the entire ceiling inside was soaded. The ABS computer went wacky on us early on also. The seatbelt has been twisted since we purchased the vehicle and we have not successfully fixed it. The extended warranty we purchased has gone out of business. I will not likely buy another Dodge ever again. Mercedes takes the cake.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #7

May 152003

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,210 miles
The transmission failed due to lack of lubrication. Just go to jasper.com. They say that 1995 to 2001 Dodge truck transmissions have a high rate of failure due to lack of lubrication. Seems that Dodge put to low a volume pump in all these transmissions. Local transmission rebuilders tell me that you can not let the truck idle because the tranny gets no lubrication at low RPM's. so during the winter while you are waiting for the windsheild to clear off to drive in the northeast where it snows. You are damaging your tranny. The tranny over heat light never came on just the service engine light.Dodge says there is nothing wrong. I have a list of other people who have had Dodge tranny problems. One is my brother-in-law.

- Cropseyville, NY, USA

problem #6

Jul 152001

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,898 miles
The transmission failed at roughly 64,000 miles and I had it repaired at a Dodge dealership. In September of 2003, the transmission failed again at 108,000.

- Valley City, ND, USA

problem #5

Mar 212003

Ram 1500

  • miles
From the day I saw that 96 Dodge truck rolling down the street I fell in love. I saved every way possible to purchase the big bad 1500 4X4 5.9(98)with every option avail. Had everything and from week 1 had problems. Front windshield cracked while driving "due to frame stress" it about 2 weeks into it. Brake failure cause serious assault on guard rail, and Dodge said I must have been driving to fast (@ 30 mph). They refused any warranty because "nothing can touch the wheel" and since the incident occurred after 93 days lemon laws did not apply so after (2) $900 brake jobs two weeks apart everything was fine. Not to mention damage to body I paid for out of pocket. Now I just go through an entire set of brakes every 6 months. But I stop until then.. I replaced the transmission at 38 K miles, note the warranty on that is 36 K miles. I have had steering linkage become so loose instantaneously (or 3 separate occasions) that it felt like I was running over my own axle, which is another $1000 each time. For the past three emissions inspections the on board computer fails so I have to take it to the dealer while they charge $200 to fix it, but will not give straight answer to what is problem. And to night as I type, I spread the grime of engine crud across my keyboard as I try to figure out why the fuel filter suddenly stopped. Amazingly I have had this truck for 5 years because it has kept me too broke to buy something else. Any "legal" suggestions on what can be done would be appreciated. I recognize I have spent more than $15,000 trying to keep this thing running right, and that is too much for a "late model" truck. I would love to blame a dealer but I have been to just about all of them around here and with the smiles on there faces I hear "that will be another $950 sir".. good grief.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #4

Dec 012001

Ram 1500 4WD Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Consumers vehicle ran into a trailer on his property and ABS was defective, also brake drums were rusted, dealership was aware of problem. Consumer stated that headache bar and fuel tank, tires, fuel filter, steering stabilizer, front shocks, rear shocks, air filter, rear axle seal and fluid, rear transfer case seal and U-joints in rear drive shaft failed and replaced.

- Tower Hill, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 112001

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was set on cruise control going 70 mph. Vehicle slowed down, and ABS lights/ air bag light/ speedometer went to zero/ gas gauge went to empty, and tank was full. Consumer took it into dealer, and clockspring needed to be replaced. Dealer has not stated if it will be covered.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #2

May 262000

Ram 1500 4WD Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Speedometer was not registering properly. Dealer notified, and informed consumer that the speedometer could be off by 10% and still be within vehicle's specifications. Speedometer checked, and found to be only off by 1 mph.

- Ovid, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 011999

(reported on)

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Trip odometer malfunctions, resets when vehicle shuts off.

- Yucaipa, CA, USA

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