Notes: The 2002 has the well-known and documented problem with their dashboards falling to pieces, but it also has engine failure from oil sludge. That's a doube shot of awful in your morning coffee.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
107,700 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. replaced radiator and fan clutch (2 reports)
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #9

Jun 252012

Ram 1500 SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


i have an 02 dodge ram 1500 quad cab 4x4 with a 5.9. my father passed away and had to drive cross country from north idaho to nasville tenn. had the truck put in the shop 3 days before we left. everything was fine, first day of the trip temp gauge went from just below the half way line to almost the H line in the middle of montana. no service station for miles turned the air off heat on and opened the vents wide open & it cooled right down. checked everything coolant resevoir was full everything was fine, did this the entire 4 day drive. put it in the shop they flushed the coolant system replaced the thermostat. on the 5 minute drive to my moms house it did it again. took it back the next morning. they kept it for 2 days put another thermostat, checked fan clutch, hoses, rad couldn't find anything wrong with it. said it was the gauge???? driving back home still having same problem. 2 years ago had to have new trans, waterpump, thermostat, timing chain, new valves, sensors, throttle body cost $7k i only paid $10k for the truck I luv my truck but this overheating thing has got to be fixed there are only a handfull of things it could be and now 3 different mechanics say there is nothing wrong with it. to replace the gauge is $80.00. I guess i got no choice but to do that and see if that fixes it, getting tired of guessing whats wrong with it. my next truck will be a chevy

- ladychappius, Coeur D Alene, ID, US

problem #8

Jul 152010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

I have had same problem as with most Dodge Ram owners. Truck started over heating about a year ago and I would just replace coolant, could not find any leaks. However, wife was driving it when it overheated and she stopped to let it cooled down, but she kept driving it until it got hot again and finally had to stop. Eventually, when assistance arrived and add water to radiator, it poured out the side. I had to replace radiator, then found another leak a few days ago on the reservoir tank near the neck of the cap. I replaced that and was good for about a year. Few days ago, truck ran hot and thought it might be the thermostat. Replace it and filled with new coolant. Test drove it and found reservoir tanking leaking again, but at the bottom. Got another tank on order, but believe its a more serious issue. Everyone needs check out this site

Over 200 plus complainants on overheating and reasons why DODGE RAM 4.7 engines have several design problems.

- Lee N., Covington, GA, US

problem #7

Jun 222011

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L 287 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

The issue had been around for two weeks prior, it was running at about 2/3 on the heat gauge. No big deal, had fluctuated past that and back to normal. Wasn't too concerned. Then I was driving to a buddy's house and then the gauge went way right on me, I had the red "check gauges" light flashing at me, (freaked me out) I pulled over in a neighborhood. turned it off then I see steam shooting out from under the hood. so I pop the hood, I didn't know what was happening. anti freeze was going everywhere it was crazy. It was bad bc I had just gotten my license a week before this and my father had just given me the truck. so I nursed it to a friends house, let it sit for a while. then to another friends house (closer to the mechanic's shop) then let it sit there over night. Then next morning got to the mechanics finally. Basically it was a pain in the butt, a hassle and freaked me out. I had the radiator replaced, and the fan clutch. That has been my ONLY issue with the truck since we bought it new in 02. I love my truck and my maintain it properly. I'm just glad I didn't melt a head or something worse from overheating it.

- nacci1995, Douglasville, GA, US

problem #6

Jun 102010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,969 miles


i have a 2002 dodge ram1500 4.7 engine overheating on the high way at a 15 miles distance at 60-65 miles an hour on this Sunday 6-20-2010 I drove 10 miles and it boiled over i flushed the radiator and changed the thermostat still overheats i even drove with the heat on to prevent the overheating but that did not work the heater wasn't even blowing hot and on this day it was 101 deg outside it still should not have boiled over anybody have an answer for this fix

- Billy C., Memphis, TN, US

problem #5

Apr 052009

Ram 1500 SLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,951 miles

I have replaced water pump, thermostat, and have had the radiator flushed. The truck is still overheating. If anyone can help, please let me know.

- Caren R., Carriere, MS, US

problem #4

Mar 132009

Ram 1500 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500, and I have replaced everything you can think of from the coolant system. I have had to change the fan, thermostat, water pump, radiator, radiator tank, etc. My truck is still overheating; the problem is that it's leaking water, which I found out is leaking into the engine. I changed my oil and saw that it was chocolate color. I have no idea what could have caused it and I have not had the chance to fix it.

If any one knows how much it is going to take to fix this problem please let me know, and if you know what could have caused it too. Thanks in advance.

- dchapa, Laredo, TX, US

problem #3

Aug 202008

Ram 1500 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


I have a 2002 dodge ram 1500 that keeps over heating when i am at highway speed. When i get to the city it does not overheat. I already had a water pump, and a thermostat replaced and still the same problem. what can the problem be ?

- Phil N., Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #2

May 142008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

My truck has radiator replaced, thermostat, antifreeze, and the problem still, I can't understand why it gets overheated at high speed when the air is blowing to the engine compartment, then on the street the truck start cooling down.

- Alvaro M., Ontario, CA, US

problem #1

Jan 012008

Ram 1500 SL 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Cooling systems overheats only at highway speeds. Cools normally in city driving. Flushed cooling system and replaced thermostat with no success.

- Greg B., Jacksonville, FL, US

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