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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,377 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #20

Jun 012019

Ram 1500

  • 194,000 miles


While driving all of the gauges have quit working headlights stay on will not turn off.

- Seale, AL, USA

problem #19

Jun 142019

Ram 1500

  • 140 miles
Hello, I have had a problem with my Dodge Ram the fuel line system just cracked and caused my vehicle to catch fire and blow up while myself in my 7 year old granddaughter was in the vehicle my vehicle has been maintained since day one when I bought it brand new never having problems with it other than your will wells were never drilled out to drain the water in the back I would like to know if you have had other issues with this vehicle on the same incident. Myself in my granddaughter inhale very toxic fumes before we were able to get out the truck as it was on fire and inches away when it and report wont download thank you

- Bridgeton, MO, USA

problem #18

May 092019

Ram 1500

  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact attempted to restart the vehicle, but was unsuccessful. An independent towing company towed the vehicle to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The contact took the vehicle back to the independent mechanic who informed the contact that the wire harness convertible box had a lot of corrosion around it and needed to be replaced. A collision shop was contacted. The dealer and manufacturer were not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 200,000.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #17

Mar 242018

Ram 1500

  • 27,697 miles


4.7L engine has a sludge build up problem which in turn causes engine total failure. I've had engine replaced 3 times with brand new remand from Chrysler Corp. And all engines were installed at ase certified shop and all have blown up also due to this sludge build up problem that Chrysler Corp is aware of but refuses to admit its engine factory defect and all my engines failed at 1,200 miles/ 1,468 miles/27,497 miles on last engine and all failed of same cause sludge build up.

- Moorhead, MN, USA

problem #16

Apr 122017

Ram 1500

  • 200,000 miles
Car accident occurred when vehicles back cab hydroplaned and fishtailed out of control at less then 25mph and hit a tree head on. No airbag deployed and driver was hurt.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 112013

Ram 1500

  • 180,000 miles
Engine failure while driving on highway. Head or head gasket as it is burning lots of water. Flows out of tailpipes. So many problems with this motor it should be recalled as there is no cheap fix. From sludge to overheating problems that ruin the motor there are few options to replace other than a rebuilt that has been altered to correct all said problems. Fairly high priced I might add. Dodge should claim some responsibility and help out rather than ignoring this issue. This engine has failed too many times the same way to be coincidence.

- Culbertson, MT, USA

problem #14

Feb 092017

Ram 1500

  • miles


Dropped valve seats locked up my 4.7 liter engin

- Giddings, TX, USA

problem #13

Aug 152016

Ram 1500

  • 147 miles
Parked truck at brookshires to get gas, started truck up and bam blew the intake out the back killed the engine everyone hit the pavement it was so loud like a bomb! started it back up bad knocking and started to rev itself up to 5K rpms due to vacuum leak with insert damaged on back of intake. Took engine all apart to find a valve seat shattered destroying the head on both sides due to the valveseat breaking into about 20 small pieces it sucked a few over across the engine to cylinders across ruining 2 pistons, both heads, have all evidence still.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 012008

Ram 1500

  • 48,000 miles
2002 Dodge Ram quad cab sport 4X2 (1.)gas peddle has to be press down at all time in order for truck to stay on and once I let go of gas peddle truck stalls. (2.)first day I bought truck from dealership I ask, is that faint sound coming from transmission, I was told by Dodge dealer thats the sound transmission makes, I said really. (3.)interior top dash so thin sun is able to crack dash by its self with the hot heat and dash plastic is sharp and dangerous its become a hazard to all occupants or pedestrians, passegers. (4.)the whole back tail light found hanging tried to hook it back up its made of plastic components crack with no way of hooking it with nuts, so for now I tape it in place, it truly falls under a recall. (5.)ac works but no heater slite warm. (6.)mirror cover on passenger side has fallen off on freeway. (7.)all engine components seem to brake to fast due to being made of plastic clips wires not stable to hold on to devices once they brake off, some also crack off into devices, crack into devices which cause vehicle problems and issues that affect mulitiple hazards to truck speed, suspension, steering, fuel/propulsion, lighting, powertrain, brakes, engine, electrical, ele/ stability, rir bag, body, wheels, seat belt, visibility/wipers, in general all aspects has some kind of hazardous components that needs mandatory recalls.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 012008

Ram 1500

  • 48,000 miles
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab sport 4X2 1. gas peddle has to be press down at all time in order for truck to stay on once I let go of gas peddle truck stalls. 2.first day I bought truck from deal I ask is this faint sound coming fom transmission, I was told Dodge dealer thats a sound that trasmission makes, I said really. 3.interior top dsah so thin sun is able to crack dash by it self with the hot heat and sharp plastic and its now dangerous its become a hazad toall occupants or pedestrians passegers. 4. the whole back tail light found hanging tried to hook it back up its made of plastic components crack with noway of hooking it with nuts so for now I type it in place, its truly falls under a recall. works but no heater. 6.mirror cover on passenger side has fallen off on freeway. 7.all engine components seem to brake to fast due to being made of plastic clips wires not stable to hold on to devices, hoses fall off, crack into devices which cause veichal problems and isusses that affect mulitiple hazards to truck speed control, suspension, steering, fuel/propulsion, lighting, powertrain, brakes, engine, electrical, elec, /stability, air bags, body, wheels, seats, seat belts, visibility/wipers, in general all aspects has some kind of hazardous componets that need mandatory recalls.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 012013

Ram 1500

  • miles


I am being ignored on a seat belt recall nearly all 4.7 engines have oil pan failure

- Marinette, WI, USA

problem #9

Aug 202015

Ram 1500

  • 141,216 miles
I was on my way home from picking up my paycheck driving on the highway in the fast lane doing around 70 mph when all of a sudden my truck shut down with no warning and then restarted. I immediately got off of the highway and took back roads. About 1.5 miles from my home at a red light the truck once again shut down completely, no engine, no electric, nothing, it was completely dead on a fairly busy road. I had to have the truck towed home and have not been able to get it started at all. I went online to see what might be the cause and have found many related cases to what I am dealing with.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #8

May 152013

Ram 1500

  • 182,687 miles
Cracked dashboard. Parts of the dashboard are falling down into air conditioner and everything else under it. There are parts of the foam that are flying out of the air conditioner vents and pieces are coming out the vents, heas have been replaced and now engine sounded like it exploded now it needs an engine vehicle model year has many known non recalled issues

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #7

Apr 012005

Ram 1500

  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated while driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled without warning. However, the check engine light had illuminated after the failure occurred. The vehicle was merged to the emergency lane and restarted the vehicle. Also, the vehicle over heated multiple times. In addition, the dashboard began to crack and later collapsed. The contact noticed that the crack was near the air bag and could potentially inadvertently deploy the air bag. The failure caused the entire instrument panel to malfunction. The contact stated that the pieces from the dash board fell into the air vents causing the A/C unit to malfunction. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician stated that the engine and dashboard needed to be replaced. Also, the technician stated that the vehicle was unsafe to drive. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 54,000.

- East Ridge, TN, USA

problem #6

May 012014

Ram 1500

  • 102,000 miles
I have a 2002 with the 4.7L that I am having overheating issues that I have never experienced before. When driving around town or even on the highway under 65 my thermostat never goes above just under halfway. Driving in town I have yet to see it go above that point. However, when driving down the highway if I increase my cruising speed to 70, my thermostat climbs. When going 70-75 it will go up to about the 1 O'clock point before I slow down, so I don't know how far it would go if I continued. I replaced the thermostat, flushed the radiator, replaced the fan clutch. But the problem remains.

- Parma, ID, USA

problem #5

Apr 222010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 116,500 miles
Was driving truck from store when I started hearing a loud tapping noise coming from my engine. I took it to mechanic and was told that the valve seats had dropped. I was told that this was a common problem with Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 4.7 L engines. I went to Dodge dealership before going to mechanic and they told me my problem was that I had not changed my oil. I changed my oil every 5,000 miles on my own because everytime I would take my truck to the dealership to get oil changed they would charge me a couple of hundred dollars for other services. They would tell me that if I didn't get these other services performed that it would void out my warranty. Now I am stuck with a truck with 116,500 miles and I have to replace an expense motor.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 142013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 176,000 miles
Gas pedal stuck, and caused unintended accelerating while making a left turn onto a busy street. Vehicle spun out while my husband tried to get the pedal unstuck the truck spun out more and turned a 180 facing oncoming traffic back passenger tire hit against the cement median knocking the tire in and busting the axel.

- Butte, MT, USA

problem #3

Aug 042012

Ram 1500

  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the low coolant warning light illuminated and white smoke started to emit from the exhaust. The contact mentioned that he waited for vehicle to cool down and added coolant fluid to the radiator. The vehicle was not taken to repair shop or dealer to be inspected or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of failure who filed a report and did not offer any additional assistance. The failure and current mileage was 54,000.

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #2

Aug 202012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 173,550 miles
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 driving at 55 mph came to a stop, suddenly white smoke started coming out of tail pipe with sweet smell of anti-freeze. Vehicle will lose power told that engine heads need to be replaced. There is a engine design flaw for this year and model that Dodge is not willing to admit nor repair there are multiple complaints but there was never a recall. Vehicle will smoke upon starting and smoke will come back off and on. Just want dod ge to admit the issue and cover repair.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #1

Jul 282012

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 89,600 miles
Shortly after entering highway 281, my engine fell on it's face. I pushed the gas pedal but got nothing but RPM's from the engine. I began to move over to the right with no power, little steering, a dash full of error lights, and doing my best not to get hit by passing vehicles. Once I got to the side of the road, the engine wasn't running. I started the engine and checked my gauges. The check engine light was on, the water temp was near the red zone, and the engine sound like bowling ball in a dryer. There was fluid on the ground or smoke from the tailpipes so I felt it was safer to get off the highway with the truck. Near the exit, I pulled in a station where I checked the truck and top-off the water. The sound was like a dropped rocker arm. I had the truck towed to the dealer where they from the "factory" coating inside the oil pan had delaminated and was sucked into the pickup tube. The coating then plugged the screen and pickup tube. I called Dodge cares and they tried to blame me then the oil. I told them I've never used additives, always use mobil one, and I had receipts dating back to the day I drove the truck off the lot new. They claimed this was a non-issue and it had not be reported before now. I have always taken very good care of my vehicles and to be told a manufacturing error is my fault does not set well with me. Now I have to replace the whole engine because some engineer was dumb enough to coat the inside surface of the oil pan. I normally travel during the night into early hours of the day. What if this had happen while I was out in the middle of no-where. I'm handicapped; I couldn't have walked a quart of a mile for help. What if my 70-year mother had been driving my truck at the time! this could have been real bad!!! and then to be told it's non-problem. I have pictures if you want to see them.

- Mcallen, TX, USA

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