really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,992 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #75

Mar 032010

Ram 1500

  • 168,534 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the reverse gear was non-functional. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who informed the contact that the reverse gear retention clip came out and disintegrated. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 168,534.

- Plainville, CT, USA

problem #74

Nov 302009

Ram 1500

  • 148,000 miles
I drive a 98 Dodge Ram. The transmission slips out of overdrive on it's own. I will be replacing this transmission at a cost of $2000. It does it at speeds of 70 mph and could be dangerous if towing a trailer. Dodge trucks are known for faulty transmissions.

- Manhattan, KS, USA

problem #73

Feb 152009

Ram 1500

  • 124,000 miles
My transmission have failed. Intake manifold gasket blew out.

- Chicago Ridge, IL, USA

problem #72

Dec 232008

Ram 1500

  • 150,000 miles


1998 Dodge Ram 1500 truck transmission failure twice in three years. Have seen numerous complaints over various internet sites with same problems. First transmission failed, then all the sensors failed on transmission, and now torque converter.

- West Memphis, AR, USA

problem #71

Feb 102007

Ram 1500

  • 110,000 miles
Truck parked on driveway in park--did not hold and rolled backwards into tree on the lawn causing damage to the rear bumper-luckily it did strike the tree other wise it would have been on the street. I have the same problem of shifting into drive--and reverse the engagement points are no where they are shown to be on the shifter. There is also a hesitation when engaged(sometimes) and will engage roughly with a jerk. I ve been told that there was a defective connector inside the steering column and that there was a safety recall on this part--cannot get a direct answer from a local dealer here --what's the score on this.

- Regina ,Saskatchewan, 00, USA

problem #70

Mar 072006

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
(1) started to pull as if it were not getting fuel (2) the trans temp light came on (3)the overdrive light came on (4) periodically there was a grinding noise (5) truck would delay or jerk when put in drive (6)will no longer go in drive or reverse (7) truck has stalled and is no longer running.

- Taylor, TX, USA

problem #69

Apr 062005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving vehicle stalled. Driver was unable to restart vehicle, and had it towed to dealer. Mechanic determined that transmission and engine needed to be replaced due to wear and tear.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #68

Jan 032005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
The rpms increased, and the gears popped on the vehicle on their own. Took vehicle to repair shop for check up, and results showed that a new transmission needed to be replaced.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #67

Mar 152005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,500 miles
Transmission no longer has reverse. This was repaired once at dealership in February 04 at cost of $2135.41. Now, to rebuild for same problem 13 months and 22K miles later is $3064.47 at same dealer. They blame increase in cost of parts. Contacted Dodge consumer help line and was told that there was nothing they could do due to 12/12 warranty expired. They blamed increase cost on increased labor rate at dealership. Both suggest remanufactured transmission at cost of $3857.95. Called local transmisison repair shops and was quoted $1100 - $1700 for same repair, and both offer same or better warranty. Second shop told me what my problem was by just knowing year and make of my truck. There is a manufacturer's problem with this transmission !!!!!!!!!

- Shepherd, MI, USA

problem #66

Dec 282002

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Truck has been nothing but problems replaced many parts for leaks and transmission problems engine light consistently comes on even after repairs. Truck buck when accelerating looses engine power. Would like it fixed I read other complaints and they had the same problem. I put a lot of money into the truck and have not yet been able to fix problem because they cant seem to figure out the cause. Problem has been on going since vehicle was purchased.

- Salisbury, MA, USA

problem #65

Feb 022003

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


At 35 degree or colder orjust rainy days with warm temp.transmission will not shift into overdrive, can drive 15 miles on highway in 3rd gear. When it does shift into overdrive and I hit a bump in road it will go out of overdrive. Also the engine will rev as if it is trying to switch out of overdrive. All of these factors are resulting in increased fuel usage, which at $2 a gallon is becoming an expensive problem. I was told at time of purchase, this was a normal fuction of the transmission, bought truck Feb. 2003 and brought truck back 2 times to a chysler dealer and was told same story, dealer is now no longer in business and my warranty has expired, but still have problem.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #64

Apr 282003

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,650 miles
We have not had a crash, but my Dodge Ram has been in our garage since April we are afraid to drive it, the ABS breaks are on and the transmission is going out also smells like fire crackers at times.

- York, NE, USA

problem #63

Sep 302004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
I was driving on a 4 lane highway at 65 miles per hour when I suddenly lost speed and the RPM were heading to redline. I hit my brake in the middle of traffic trying to keep from hurting my engine. When I got pulled to the side of the road I checked to see if I could go and I had no transmission. I only have 78,000 miles on my truck and don't pull heavy loads or load my pick-up with heavy loads. I have talked with other people that have the same year Dodge pick-up and they have had similar problems. I am having my transmission replaced along with the transmission cooler because it has parts of my clutch in it. I found 5 people in my county that have had problems with their 98 pick-ups and have had them fixed and then traded them for another brand of vehicle. I would really like to know why nobody has investigated this or recalled the vehicle because of this problem.

- Knoxville, IA, USA

problem #62

Aug 072004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,987 miles
While returning home from seeing my first grandchild, South of hershey pa my transmission died at approx. 50,000 miles. I had to have the vehicle towed from the interstate and the transmission rebuilt. They told me there were a lot of metal shavings in the transmission which clogged up the works. This cost me almost $3,000 plus the cost of being stranded out of town for 5 days. I now have 92,000 miles on the truck and have to have the transmission rebuilt again. I do not know the cost to do this yet. Plus I have the cost of obtaining alternate transportation to get to work for about 14 days until I get the work completed. The first repair work was done by aamco and the warranty on their work was for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever came first. I had aamco do a diagnostic on the vehicle and they told me the transmission was "toast".

- Pulaski, NY, USA

problem #61

Apr 082004

Ram 1500

  • miles
Vehicle changed gears on its own. Then, engine raced. Consumer felt vehicle was going to take off.

- Murrayville, GA, USA

problem #60

Mar 182004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,200 miles
1998 Dodge Ram 1500 transmisson; the tranmission failed on my truck at 60,000 miles! evidently, there is a problem with these Dodge transmissions and this is a very common problem. Nobody can say that 60,000 miles is resonable for such a major repair (about $3,000 in my case). I want Dodge to acknowledge this problem (recall probably) and reimburese me for this repair.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #59

Dec 022001

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Transmission slippage 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 at 49,000 miles. Please recall, this problem is present with everyone I know that ownes a Dodge with an automatic transmission, thank you for your time.

- Cardiff, CA, USA

problem #58

Sep 022003

Ram 1500

  • 56,000 miles
The bolt that holds fifth gear in place dislodged and the gear came off the shaft. Vehicle was still drivable in the other four gears but fifth gear was inoperable. Manufacturer and the dealer have been notified.

- Langley, 00, USA

problem #57

Jul 282003

Ram 1500

  • miles
While shifting the vehicle transmission started shifting left to right.

- Cottage Grove, OR, USA

problem #56

Jun 102003

Ram 1500

  • miles
While traveling about 55mph on the highway without prior warning. The fifth gear gave out.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

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