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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
89,974 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.

2002 Dodge Ram 1500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

May 102013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 24,503 miles


I was told the rear end brake the lubricant (rear end oil) out of it because I had not changed the lubricant to a synthetic oil and an additive to keep oil in liquid form and fight heat. If I had been letting the dealership do my maintenance on my truck, they would have told me about the service bulletin (tsb 03-002-02), which came out in July 2002, four months after I purchased my truck new. Well no one told me and I followed the owners manual for my maintenance and schedules, which is not correct, according to the dealership that did the $3002 repair. I had never driven my truck over 50 miles one direction (used to pull bass boat only) until the day the rear end went out, 500 miles away from home. That dealership will not answer my calls or E-mails anymore because I requested on paper what caused the failure.

- Loudon, TN, USA

problem #15

May 282013

Ram 1500

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that he took the vehicle to an independent mechanic for routine maintenance and was informed that one of the differential clips was fractured and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 70,000.

- Mt Vernon, WA, USA

problem #14

Jan 062010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the drive shaft failed three times. The contact stated that each time the failure occurred, the rear pinion knob failed and was replaced. The vehicle was never used off-road or for hauling. There were no recalls for the vehicle. The failure mileage was 32,000.

- Casasnove, VA, USA

problem #13

May 032013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


Retaining clips from the limited slip clutch packs in the rear differential, fractured and fell into the gears, locking the rear end. The truck slid on a dirt road into a gate causing minor body damage. This is the 9.25 inch ring gear axle with a dana tru-trac limited slip.

- Kittanning, PA, USA

problem #12

Jun 062012

Ram 1500

  • miles
I have had trouble with my power train and wheel twice, the first incident the front wheels broke apart completely, I was driving at a slow speed so no injuries except to the highway I had it replaced and less than three years had to be replaced again. My dash is cracked so bad it looks just awful.I had no idea so many other people had the same problem. I was never notified about the recall on the power train. I am very disappointed about that. I have several grand kids that rides with me. I should have been notified, and send a replacement letter. The unknown or other in the affected parts is my dash.

- Hartford, AL, USA

problem #11

Mar 162013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 61,891 miles
Whining noise in differential at all speeds straight ahead and turning. Replaced pinion bearings, races, and carrier bearings and races. Pinion gear and ring gear ok but bearings were rough. Cracked dash. Repair cost on differential $800. Parts. Did labor self. Cracked dash not repaired.

- Flatwoods, KY, USA

problem #10

Feb 052013

Ram 1500

  • 170,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, there was an abnormal scraping heard from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic advised the contact that the rear differential would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #9

Jan 122012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Found metal pieces (broken C clip) and damage to the rear differential of my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab 4X2. The whole rear end had to be replaced. This is a well documented known problem based on hundreds of forum threads under "C-clip", "retainer clip" and/or "clutch pack retainer" problems. Paid out of pocket to fix as warranty has expired.

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #8

Jan 052009

Ram 1500

  • 60,000 miles
1) electrical problems. Lights kept going in and out 2) dash cracking and crumbling. Pieces falling into air vents and preventing windshield from defrosting! dangerous! could cause an accident. Dash is in such bad shape that if passenger air bag were to be deployed it could kill someone due to flying pieces of hard plastic all over the vehicle. Make Dodge recall this product! what are you waiting for? you already have thousands of complaints for this problem!

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #7

Dec 252010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 192,000 miles
When the truck was a stop and I would begin to drive I would hear a clanking noise that sounded like it was coming from the rear of the truck. This went on for a month I figured it was something in the bed moving around. While I was driving one night, I heard a crunch noise that then resulted in the rear tires locking up and causing me to start skidding, I was able to maintain control of the truck and stop it safely. I was able to limp the truck home this time, at 15 to 20 mph. If I went any faster it would lock again. This is the second time the rear in this truck has failed me, the first time I was cruising at highway speed when the rear locked and the drive shaft separated from the differential causing damage to my truck as well as the shaft. The first repair cost me $2500 and I'm being quoted $1500 for this repair. This is a common and known problem on these trucks, Chrysler won't step up and take any responsibility they just tell me that my VIN was not covered under the recall despite the fact that I am experiencing the same problems as the trucks that were recalled. I will never buy another Dodge truck!

- Tabernacle, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jan 192009

Ram 1500

  • 41,150 miles


2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The power steering quit while I was driving and I was in a curve and almost wrecked. I have heard other people talking about this same problem. I thought safety was number one. But I guess this will not be a recall until some one from your office or someone you love is killed in this type of situation. I have read that people have ran of the road when this has happened or have struck a roadside object trying to stop. Come on people lets fix this issue.

- Ridgeley, WV, USA

problem #5

Dec 032008

Ram 1500

  • 132,092 miles
Pinion gear failure. Replaced rear end from a different vehicle. Many people have told me that while driving down the road the rearend will lock up causing the vehicle to skid to a stop, causing damage to transmission, and drive shaft. Not to mention the 'safety hazards' of possibly causing a wreck, and worse injuring someone.

- Garrett, TX, USA

problem #4

Sep 152007

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Intermittent lamp failures internally, lamp out circuit malfunctioning, rear differential failed (approaching the second failure in 40,000 miles), rear universal joint has failed twice, with a third replacement to occur soon, transmission failures. Any one of these systems failing while on the road could cause a serious safety issue, for myself, my passengers, and other drivers. So far, it has been in and out of the shop, old parts are no longer available, however if required I will retain them next time they fail. I've contacted Dodge, the first reply was a "spam mail" of coupons for oil changes, and tire rotations (the message I sent them was professional and extensive to the issues I was having), after copying the message again the next day, a representative told me that there is nothing they can do about it. I've retained the message if any parties are interested.

- Mokena, IL, USA

problem #3

Nov 162002

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Everything bad on my 2002 Ram 4WD. I have had new bearings in my truck, radiator 2X, fron axles 3X, rear axles 2X, new engine, power steering hoses 2X, I hate ths truck I will never oen a Dodge again... I have already told alot of people not to buy a Dodge. Driving down the road at 55 mph and the rear end locks up... they put the wrong fluid in it from the factory and burnt it up! its ony 3 years old and I got it in Nov of 2002.... I have put 4 sets of front and rear brakes on it since I have had it! I took it in to be fixed everytime and it happins again with in 6 months! last Dodge I will own!!!!

- Frazeysburg, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 222004

Ram 1500

  • miles
Problems with vehicle's transmission. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on three different occasions because of the engine light illuminating, the first time the dealer stated it was a transmission problem and the computer would need to be replaced, the second time the engine light illuminated again and the dealer stated it was sending the same code and they would replace the solenoid. The third time after having no transportation for three days, the consumer and his wife were told that a ball bearing in the valve body of the transmission was in the wrong place.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #1

Jan 212003

Ram 1500

  • miles
Truck has been in the shop four times for the transmission. Consumer states that while driving it feels as through the transmission is slipping.

- Huron, TN, USA

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