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:
No data
Average Mileage:
89,030 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. covered by warranty - twice (2 reports)
  3. replace all gears, parts, axles (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #8

Apr 122014

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


click to see larger images

rear differential parts shredded

Bought this truck used with 61K miles, a little over 62000, I was changing differential oil, I've found the retaining clips on the bottom towards the back and found one up front. The pinion gear is burnt. This diff looks like it was serviced before for the same problem. The gasket sealer was orange. The gears look good. The oil looked like silver in color and too thick, worst than condensed milk. My friend told me looks like anti-seize was used to quiet it down. May be the dealer or independent garage did that. The gloves used look like they have glitters. Copper?

- , Antioch, CA, US

problem #7

Feb 052014

Ram 1500 SLT 4.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My 2002 Dodge Ram 1500, the rear differential makes a grinding noise.

- , Vienna, WV, US

problem #6

Nov 242010

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,000 miles

ok , well it started with the squealing , then it started grinding ... i took it appart because id rather fix it myself then pay for a shop and the gears looked fine but ther was what looked like a shattered spacer and intead of 75w 90 it looked like 10w30 oil idk wft this is but its really pissin me off

- , Bastrop, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 312010

(reported on)

Ram 1500 Sport 5.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,237 miles


click to see larger images

rear differential parts shredded rear differential parts shredded rear differential parts shredded rear differential parts shredded rear differential parts shredded rear differential parts shredded

Well here's the story, Bought this truck used back on October 27th of 2008, had 57,980 on it at the time. Proceeded to bring to the dealer, to have all fluids changed and a complete inspection of the vehicle. Dealer told me of Rear Differential Issues, (the clips dropped), had replaced at a cost of about 2000, Now on August 16th 2010, driving on a highway about 6 miles from home. Started to see a tad of smoke in my rear view mirror, suddenly my driveshaft dropped and hit the ground, rear wheels seized. Almost flipped over. Somehow made it to the side of the road, got out looked under the truck, saw the driveshaft laying on the ground, the pinion sucked in and fluid all over the ground. Had it towed and attached are the pictures of the carnage, the housing was trashed along with everything else. It was a beautiful sport model had a srt-10 hood on and some nice touches that made the truck basically like a show truck. I put a lot of work into, I just spent about a grand in parts and replaced my entire front end components and this happens 3 days later. Since then, I tore a few parts off the truck and its been rotting in the repair shop lot as I figure out what to do with it, since I can't find a new Axle housing, its probably heading to a junkyard in about a week basically a 16,000 dollar loss, after buying it and then the maintenance and things I fixed. I've been told by the shop its at to blame the dealer for shoddy repair work 19,000 miles ago. I contacted chrysler corporate and the dealer, neither cares.

I will be picketing in front of the dealer for a few days in the coming week or two. Avoid Chrysler products, they don't give a crap once you've bought the vehicle. I'm happy they still are hemorrhaging money and hopefully Ford and GM crush them in the coming years.

- , Old Bethpage, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 192008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear differential parts shredded

I brought my truck in for an oil change and tire rotation prior to camping. This was over a week before. They recommended changing the rear differential fluid which was done. They discovered the rear end had pretty much blown apart and said unsafe to drive. They were not calling to report updates, such as unavailable parts and delays. WE had to keep calling them and the best part was when the tech called my husband to ask where the "driveshaft was"!!! We DROVE THE truck in there you dumbass!!! So in looking for the drive shaft they pryed open my truck cap (which was denied and never followed up on). We got the truck back the day before our departure. It took 3 visits to an associated KIA dealer to get the terrible vibrations out of it and a final re-balancing of my tires at the tire dealership to get it straightened out.

About a month later I heard a bearing spin (or similar sound) but have just continued to drive it since I am so NEVER going back to the dealer for ANYTHING! LOVE my truck but hate the service / dealership!

- , Londonderry, NH, USA

problem #3

Feb 042010

Ram 1500 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

Wife complained it sounded like picked up something around wheel after crossing railroad track.I took it for a test drive and it sounded like bicycle wheel with a card in spokes.

I thought first it was tranny but sound was coming from rear so I checked u joints they seemed ok so then checked wheel bearings they seemed slightly loose so I began changing them and when I drained differential I found chunks of curved metal so Took caps off to remove differential and found major wear on aluminum housing that bolts go into to hold dif. in on passenger side. I began inspecting to find what could have caused

and found on drivers side a half moon shaped cup that only appears to be held in by caps must be some kind of dipper for oil, this thing came out on passenger side and chewed up aluminum housing. This looks like a poor design by dodge and I feel should be recalled. I am no pro

mechanic but from what I see this could hurt someone.

- , Bryceville, FL, USA

problem #2

Mar 012006

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Update from Oct 19, 2010: We come in to to the dealership after the rear end slip the dealership said we had Metal in the rear end and it need to be Replace It was under warranty by Dealership.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 302005

Ram 1500 SLT Plus 5.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

Because I was religous about doing maintenance, this issue was corrected under warranty (twice.) Basically, the differential parts just ground themselves up. twice in 7 years dodge replaced most of the moving parts in the rear diff - under warranty. I have 100K drivetrain and am 86K miles - planning to sell and buy non-american. No more dodge - they never fail to disappoint, repeatedly, in my experience.

- , Carmichael, CA, US

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