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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
90,649 miles
Total Complaints:
37 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (26 reports)
  2. not sure (9 reports)
  3. clean the siphon tube (1 reports)
  4. replace head gasket, grind heads (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Dodge Ram 1500:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

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

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Dec 032008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,600 miles


Well I'm glad I found this sight. 2 1/2 years ago I bought a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab and have had good luck until now. As I started my truck after work I noticed a ticking sound accompanied by a misfire noise. After about 15 -20 seconds it went away and the truck ran fine. Later on that evening the same thing. Once again in the morning once I started the same thing but this time it did not go away letting it idle (warm up) for 15 minutes. I got a code pn0304 which is #4 cylinder misfiring. I tried to drive it but a few blocks turned around and returned home. Being I just changed the plugs about 1 1/2 months ago thinking it could be a faulty plug. Purchased a new plug (same kind) and a coil cap thinking that may be the problem due to the problem going away yesterday. Well I'm still sinking in the same boat. No luck. Then I found this sight. Yup eveything sounds the same except that I did not get any oil pressure drop at all or at least that I noticed. After I told all this crap happening to my piece of junk 4.7 junk magnum crap bad engineered sh*t to my mechanic friend he told me that yes these 4.7 286 engines do have this problem with sludge due to being a small displacement engine trying to push around this giant truck which causes it to run hotter than normal creating the infamous sludge. The people that have noticed their oil gauge dropping down to 0 and back to normal is that when the engine starts running higher rpms or getting warmer the oil pump sucks up the sludge which drops the pressure and once you slow down back to normal. So anyway I am looking for a used engine cause I am not paying no 3 grand for a new one. My next truck will be a Silverado 2500 crew cab or a gmc crew. Dodge should definitely stand up to their mistake with this one because this is a screw up on their part . Maybe Santa will push off a new engine off a mopar delivery truck at my house but I'm not holding my breath.

Update from Oct 26, 2009: Just wanted to update. found out I hade a rocker arm pop off cylinder #4. It cost 600 bucks at a shop. 2 weeks later cylinder poped off. A friend showed me how to fix it. Pop valve cover and pop rocker back under cam. 1 hour or less to fix. This happened a total of 7 times. cylinder 4,2,7,5,2,5,7. Nobody has answers why this keeps happeng. Truck got totaled one night now I am bying a chevy. Good luck all...........

- , Albany, NY, USA

problem #16

Nov 242008

Ram 1500 1500 Quad Cab 4.7L V.8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

After shelling out $600.00 for cam replacement due to cylinder 4 for misfiring about 30 days ago, the check engine light reappeared and this time it was cylinder 2 misfiring along with an P0135, an O2 sensor. Took (drove) it back to the shop and was told they had to flood it to get it to start, when it was time to pull it into the bay...? I was told that it failed the block test and will have to have the engine replaced (new at $6500.00) because of sludge build up!!! Like everyone else, I changed my oil and filter within the normal 3-5000 mile intervals. To my disbelief, I searched the web for some answers and I now see that unfortunately, this problem is fairly common with this engine. Prior to the cylinder misfiring, I haven't experienced any major issues! Shame on you Dodge for not doing the right thing and issuing a recall and correcting this critical defect!!! Being the original owner and with only 96K miles, this truly sucks! Who's going to bail me and the rest of us "victims" out?!!!

- , Grand Prairie, TX, US

problem #15

Nov 152006

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Glad to find this site. I also had this problem with the oil pressure suddenly dropping. When I took it in the engine ran fine, never made a noise. I even made sure to tell them that if they let it run they had to keep a close eye on it. They called me the next day to tell me I had big problems. The engine had started knocking. I believe they they started it and walked away, the oil pressure dropped and it was ruined. After spending several thousand dollars on a rebuilt motor just 5000 miles ago, it's already doing it again.

- , Derby, KS, USA

problem #14

Oct 102008

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles


I just want to add to the gang. I love my dodge ram 1500 4X4-But when all of a sudden I was driving down the highway and I felt like I was in a farm tractor I knew something was wrong- I took it to the dealer and he told me 2 lifters (rocker arms) collapsed due to sludge- What???? Ok this is just WRONG!!!That truck has had reg oil changes!! I already had to put a new transmission in it 1 year ago- The man at the dodge dealer told me if it was him he would do a temp fix and trade it in!!! Why so someone else can have the problems I had???? I am waiting to hear back from him right now- Any suggestions?????

- , Danville, NH, USA

problem #13

Mar 192008

Ram 1500 ES 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

Most of you already explained it. problems with a fan relay, changed relay. While driving. oil pressure dropped to zero and back to normal about 5 times. Temperature gauge went to red. Went back home about 3/4 mile. Parked it. Called garage, had it checked, they changed oil and said it was sludge up. A couple weeks and engine started rapping, temperature gauge started climbing, lower radiator hose blew out. Replaced lower radiator hose and coolant. Took back to garage, while going to garage, big puff of white smoke out exhaust. Wife was following me in van, could hardly breath due to fumes from my exhaust. Got to garage, Next morning the garage could not get started engine was seized up. Heads warped and problem with rods and bearings. Had to put a used motor in from a junk yard. I guess I was lucky enough to get to 129000 miles with my piece of sh*t. used engine had 79000 miles and after putting about 20000 miles on it, engine is starting to knock again. My first and last Dodge. I hope the people at Dodge (Chrysler) rot in Hell after the Hell they have put me through having to deal with the Biggest piece of junk money can buy. I thought I was getting screwed with the price of gas being so high. But the money I have had to sink into this turd since I paid it off has been unbearable. I could have almost had a new truck half paid off. My advice to anyone considering buying a Chrysler would be to go and have your head examined. Then invest in a piece of junk from the salvage yard. It will be less investment and it will run just as well. I HATE DODGE!!!!!!

- , Prosperity, PA, USA

problem #12

Sep 262008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

are we all driving the same truck? Going down the highway and all of a sudden, shuddering like crazy, even though it has a computer no gauges come on to warn me of anything. Stalls, then restarts, stalls again, restart, stall, stall, stall ON HIGHWAY!!!

Finally call tow truck and it is restarted with a loud knock then goes down to a slight ticking. Dealership says sludgy oil and replace motor. How about 6-7 thousand bucks? Forget it. Now I just have a dead dodge ram in my driveway.

- , Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

problem #11

Aug 102006

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


I have a 2002 ram 1500 4.7l just as every body else the dealer said it had sludge the engine had to be replaced. Was not under warranty due to sludge !! Never in my life have I had an engine problem with sludge this is a joke and will never buy a dodge product again!!

- , Monroe, GA, USA

problem #10

Feb 192008

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

My engine light came on. Check the oil down a quart. Engine stayed on--checked with a machine to determine why light was on. The problem was something to do with fans. Engine never overheated ran fine-- no problem. Got in the truck one day drove down the street about a half mile from home and just stopped. Towed to garage and was told no oil empty. this was after maybe 2 weeks from the start of the engine light coming on. Only way to fix was a new motor. The garage never told me if they found sludge just told me they couldn't even turn motor manually. If anyone starts a class action please count me in. And if I do I'll contact whoever is on this website. sandy s. mashpee,ma

- , Mashee, MA, USA

problem #9

May 262008

Ram 1500 Sport 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,585 miles

As usual I was on my way to work that Monday morning and noticed a ticking sound and figured it was a rock in my tire and kept going. The sound began to increase somewhat. Thats when I looked down to check out my oil and temp. Gauges which was reading fine. I didn't travel 200 more feet down the road when an awful knocking came from the engine. Once again I looked down to check my oil and temp gauges and watched the oil drop to nothing and the temp. raise to the greatest extent. When that happen my truck shut off and I coasted to the nearest store and called for a friend to come pull it to the shop where I spent $800 to get a new oil pump replaced and had the timing checked out and still I have the same knocking. I have 2 choices to make and that is (1) completely overhaul my motor at a cost of $2600 or (2) put in a new/used engine at a cost of $2000.

I have found a used motor but have not made up my mind yet what I want to do.

All I can say is that I will never own a Damn Dodge. You know the saying if you cant dodge it ram it. Well the Dodge Corporation can "RAM IT"

- , Adel, GA, USA

problem #8

May 072008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,567 miles

I have an '02 1500 with 78500 miles on it. My engine seized when pulling up to a stop light without any real warning. It ran perfectly fine till then. Throughout that day the only problem was the oil pressure gauge going up and down. It certainly didn't act like an oil pressure problem, but like a loose connection to the gauge or sensor. It never stayed down for more than about a minute or two. I was about to have it checked out, when it died. After towing it to the dealer I was told the adjuster had said there should be no problem with the warranty coverage. Next day I got a call saying it was denied, because the pictures showed sludge. I provided my service records and spoke several times with people in Detroit, and was told my records wouldn't make any difference. It's denied. $6100. plus labor for a new engine is killing me. Being without my truck is killing my business. Please contact me if there is a class action suit in the works.

- , Emmaus, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 152007

Ram 1500 Quad 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


click to see larger images

engine failure due to oil sludge engine failure due to oil sludge engine failure due to oil sludge engine failure due to oil sludge engine failure due to oil sludge engine failure due to oil sludge

I am the not so proud owner of a 2002 Dodge (Ram it) 1500 has 91000 miles does not run still owe 9000.00 at the bank, payments 250.00 a month. has been maintained to the highest degree, prompt oil changes and service. This was to be the the dodge of all dodge trucks according to dodge. They miss the mark. this is the biggest piece of junk I've ever owned. the oil sludge has been a problem since day one. I've had problems each time the oil was changed. Several Rocker arms have been put back under the cam shaft three different times. That is until the oil pump finally stopped supplying enough oil to the top end of the engine and it seized up. I The people at Dodge have no Explanation for the oil sludge or the engine failure. and treat me as if it were my fault for the problems. The best I can hope for is to find another engine. eBay around 2500.00 to 3000.00 dollars plus labor 1500.00. no warranty. and sell this thing to an unsuspecting buyer. NOT??? I Pulled The valve cover from the passenger side of the engine to find the top end completely covered with burnt motor oil and sludge and once again the rocker arm lying in the oil tray of the head. I'm really P O 'd at the Dodge People for not taking responsibility for their poor engineering and craftsmanship They should make good on their claim that this was the best dodge yet as of 2002.

- , Blythe, GA, USA

problem #6

Feb 262008

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,450 miles

Bought 2004 RAM new late 2004. Drove truck sparingly as this was my retirement truck. Truck was maintained every 3,000 to 5,000 miles by me. As you say I never kept any receipts for oil or filters. Approaching recent oil change, was driving truck and lost oil pressure, before I could get off the road the engine died. Started truck and heard a knock under the hood. Shut truck off and checked oil and it was okay Restarted truck and still knocked, so shut it down. Had truck taken home, called DODGE dealer and reported failure. Was told sounded as if it was out of oil, to which I replied, it was not. Told to bring truck in and would tear down, but by all odds would not be under warranty. they were told truck only had 44,450 miles but said no difference if it was low on oil or needed changed not under warranty. As of today (03-08-08) truck is not repaired. It seems to me DODGE has a problem with their 4.7L V8's and don't want to admit it. I think I'll go TOYOTA.

- , Palmyra, IN, USA

problem #5

Dec 192007

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

We bought the truck new and started experiencing sludge in the engine after about 25,000 miles. Had the engine cleaned of sludge at the 25,000 and 45,000 mile mark, as well as oil changes every 3000 miles for the life of the engine. At 65,000 miles, while on a trip, our oil pressure dropped and the engine seized. The mechanic said the oil pump failed and we ended up having to put in a remanufactured engine for about $6800. The dealer was absolutely no help with any of this. Last time for Dodge with us.

- , Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #4

Nov 262007

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

Purchased vehicle October 14th, 2007. Immediately thereafter, the check engine light kept coming on, and the oil gauge needle kept dropping all the way down. There was also a horrible rattling noise coming from underneath. Took vehicle in several times (first time was two days after purchase date) to be serviced. EVERY time we were told "come back when the problem is actually occurring". Went in again November 23, 2007 because the check engine light was staying on. Got told that no one was in who could help us, due to the holidays. Brought back truck Monday, and finally the problem was evident enough that it warranted someone actually looking into it. Got told the Oil Pump was pumping no oil at all. Dealer said total cost might be over $600 dollars. Got a call back the next day saying it needed a whole new engine...and the total cost had been bumped to $4400!!

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #3

Oct 032007

(reported on)

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I have been a faithful Crysler owner for almost 50 years. I have never had a problem with any engine except normal maintainance. I own a 2002 Ram 1500 with the 4.7 engine. I serviced it like I did all my cars approximately evry 3-4,000 miles. Kept my records in a file. When I do get a problem Crysler denies and states sludge in the engine. They cannot tell me how it got there other then to blame my servicer or tell me someone sabotaged my truck. I wrote the CEO and recieved a letter back from someone who would not even give there last name.

I would like to get everyone out there with a similar problem to sue the CEO in small claims court for the maximum your state allowes just to get this out in the open. Another one would be to contact TV watch dog reporters to dig into these problems and get the working person what thay paid for.

- , Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #2

Apr 242007

(reported on)

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,043 miles

Driving down the highway in mid February, I noticed a check gauges light and audible alarm. I looked down to see that there was no oil pressure. I immediately pulled over and turned the truck off. I popped the hood checked the oil noticed it was a little low but not dysfunctional. It is about 600 miles from oil change time. I figured it must have been some mishap electrically and started up the truck sure enough the oil pressure came right up. I set there idle for a moment or two and then decided to proceed on cautiously watching the gauges. Shortly after getting up to speed the oil pressure started to drop off again. I pulled over again and called the local dealership Smith Stokes Dodge in Reidsville, NC and discussed warranty with the service department. I then called Tar Heel Towing and had the truck delivered to Stokes dealership. I received a call late that evening from George the service rep saying he did not see anything wrong with the truck and wanted more information (no tech had looked at the truck at this point). We talked and he said he would have the techs look at it the following Monday and get back with me.

When Monday came and passed they had not checked out the truck no big deal. Tuesday came and I received a call from George saying the truck needed a new engine and would not be warranty covered. I told him I would come by. When I got to the dealership George had a estimate of over $7K for parts only for a new motor. (Keep in mind it was running fine when I had it towed, I had it towed as a precautionary method). To beat all he said it would be up to me to pay this out of pocket. Now the truck only has 69,043 miles on it and has been serviced by Crown Dodge in Greensboro, NC three times, once by a local garage and he the remaining six time by me at home. George said without 20 receipts showing oil changes I would be out of luck. I then started going to the owner's manual and showing them where the manufacturer suggested maintenance every 6000 miles and no receipts were required. Then George said he would contact the corporate rep and see what he could do. He would call me the next day and let me know.

I did not hear from George so on the second day I called back to see what the situation had progressed to. He wanted me to come by again and I did to talk about the Corp rep would be willing to come out and inspect the truck if I agreed to pay $580.00 for removal of oil pan and put back together if Corp Rep said no warranty coverage. Of course I told him that I had no choice that I had done all the things required of me and OK'd the work. It would be three to five days before they would have an answer. We agreed to talk again on Thursday the following week. Again George did not call and I had to contact him. The Factory guy did not come in but would be there the next day. George calls me Friday and tells me that the Corp Rep said no coverage, I went to the dealership and looked at the motor and sure enough it had some oil sludge in the valve cover area. George said he would have the oil pan and valve covers re-installed and call me when the truck was ready. I went to the Service Manager and he said he had no control and I would have to call a 800 number to Chrysler to get assistance. I contacted an attorney and asked about my situation and he suggested I follow a arbitration process and see where that would go. I started the process and began calling Pete Stokes General Manager. I called on three different occasions and went to the dealership to try to see him personally with no luck.

I will make this very long story shorter by saying I am currently working with the NC Attorney General trying to resolve this issue legally. If any one would be interested in helping with this problem I would like to get a reply from you. They should not be able to get away with this. I have also filed claims against the Corporate and Smyth Stokes Dodge with the BBB. Any information I get I will post back.


Chrysler knows there is a problem, now they must correct their failures Thanks,

- , Reidsville, NC, USA

problem #1

Mar 282007

(reported on)

Ram 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

In April, 2006, I purchased my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 from a dealership with 66K miles on it. The previous owner had all maintenance done on it. In February, 2007, at 78K miles, my truck developed a severe tapping in the engine. The dealer stated that the engine needs to be replaced because of a slipped rod. However, the extended warranty company might not cover it due to sludge in the engine. During the 12K miles I have owned it, I have had the oil changed 3 times. That comes out to roughly once every 4K miles. It is not used as a heavy work truck... it is primarily used to transport me to my office job. There is no reason within the bounds of owner negligence that this vehicle should have this problem. I am aware of the problems that the 4-cylinder Chrysler cars had, where the oil passageways were too small and the oil cooked causing the same problem. I am wondering if this is the same issue with my truck. This is the 4.7L V-8 and it was first introduced in this model, so this might be one of the problems.

At this point, I have no idea if I am going to have to shoulder the entire cost of engine replacement or not. I am definitely not buying another "american-built" vehicle, though.

- , Moyock, NC, USA

Not what you are looking for?