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:
99,950 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. new engine (2 reports)
  3. changed oil every 1500 miles (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #12

Oct 122009

Ram 1500 LT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles


i noticed the noise when the truck is cold start, oil change is due and after long drives. I want to think I have a crack in the catalytic converter, but not sure. Truck runs good and even found a white sludge a couple of times when I changed the oil like it has moisture in the oil. Still running at 52,000 and has always been terrible on gas mileage, drove from CA to VA and had to fill up every 300 miles when fuel lite came on. I never had eng lite or gauges report anything was off.

- Mike P., Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #11

Jul 192010

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

We bought this truck back in December and it was told to us that the motor had been changed but now this piece of sh*t is making noises, and I have 3 children that have to ride in this vehicle.

- Kayla L., Kinder, LA, US

problem #10

May 212010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

It looks as if Dodge is dropping the ball and losing some customers over this issue. I myself have always been a chevy person. I purchased Dodge in 2004 as a used vehicle with a lot of miles but in my price range. I loved the looks and that is was a quad cab. I became a fan. I started having problems almost immediately with the service engine soon light coming on. My mechanic said not too worry too much most likely a oxygen sensor. I have had to replace my radiator twice for leaks. I change my oil on a regular basis. And one day I started it up and it shook and made a ticking noise and this is where I am at. It runs and holds oil pressure.

My mechanic, cant figure out what the issues is, he said he found a lot of small metal flacks in the engine oil, and said the oil looked pretty dirty. I was supposed to have my truck paid off this year. But, my mechanic is saying that the best way out of this problem is a new engine, which if I do it will be a Jasper. I love my truck, took great care of it, and this is how it treats me!!!!!! oh btw, $4,000 for an engine replacement, and having to refinace it just to get it fixed, then what?? Not sure if I should trade it off for a CHEVY??!! Which I should have bought to begin with or try to make it a few more years on a new engine. What a horrible experience!!! NEVER AGAIN WILL I BUY FROM A COMPANY LIKE DODGE THAT DOESN'T STAND BEHIND THEIR TRUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Stacy S., Farwell, MI, US

problem #9

Mar 072007

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 77,000 miles


I purchased my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 in Nov. 2006. It had 72000miles on it. It began to have a slit tick in it when you would first start it in March of 07 with 77000 miles. It now has 168,000 miles on it and i have never fixed it. I just continue to change the oil every 3000-5000 miles. I spoke to a mechanic friend that said they are bad for the oil screen pluging up on these vehicles. The noise will stop once the engine warms up so that makes since. I am going to drop the oil pan when the weather breaks and try to fix the problem because it is beginning to get worse. I am also going to flush the motor to make sure there is no sludge build up. I will post an update once I complete to see if it helps.

- Phil B., Oak Hill, OH, US

problem #8

Jan 222010

Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Started truck one morning about three weeks ago with a loud ticking coming from engine on drivers side. Sounded like exhaust leak at first then it went away. Kept happening. Checked oil...fine. Then about a week later when I would start engine in the morning. The "check gauges" dummy light and tone go off and oil pressure gauge reads zero for about 12-15 seconds then shoots up to normal. Accompanied by same loud ticking until pressure gets back up. Judging by several stories i've found online it sounds like the sludge issue. Parked truck in driveway indefinitely until I speak with dealer. Closed on presidents day. Looking for ideas. I've heard solutions such as cleaning the oil pump siphon tube but it would appear to be a simple fix with all the people on this site having to replace engines so I am a bit pessimistic. I will add updates as I learn more.

- Brian B., Amesbury, MA, US

problem #7

Jan 292009

Ram 1500 Sport 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,206 miles

my 2002 dodge ram 1500 has just hit 100,000 far i have had to replace the rearend, main computer,transmission,electric window switch board, rear tailight board, and timing chain set up. i changed the timing chains,guides, and tensioners. the noise went away for about a day and now its back. I have to say the 4.7 motor and the rest of dodges product are built with the worst quality ever. I have a 1986 Toyota pu that just hit 300,000 miles and i use it still for my daily driver. DODGE go to japan and take some lessons from them on building a reliable truck.......

- James B., Granite Falls, WA, US

problem #6

Aug 292009

Ram 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


I found this site after looking trying to fix my problem. I Noticed a ticking noise after starting the engine and it only lasted a few seconds so I never thought anything of it. I noticed the noise in early 2008 but my mechanic said it was nothing to worry about as long as it ran fine. In August 2009 I was with my brother when I got a check gauges light and the vehicle had over heated. After filling the radiator it did it agian about 2-3 weeks later and then I got cylinder 2 misfire / multiple cylinder misfire. I replaced the pugs and keept getting cylinder 2 misfire, I replaced the ignition coil and still cylinder 2 misfire. I also replaced the thermostat and still have problems. Nice to find this crap out. Way to go Dodge!!!!!!!!!!

- Darrin L., Mount Vernon, IN, US

problem #5

Nov 152007

Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

I had stated in another complaint about relieving the ticking noise in the engine by changing the oil every 1500 miles. Well, this must have been a good idea because I have seen others who had their engine cease to run at an earlier mileage. I started the 1500 mile oil changes at 26,000 miles and it wasn't until the truck was at 130,000 miles that the ticking noise returned. My mechanic said that it did not sound serious and that we would keep an eye on it. Of course I took it for a second opinion. Then a third, and a fourth, and well I went through 12 different mechanics and 2 dealers and they all said the same thing. I even had a couple of them tell me that I was being an over sensitive female! The noise progressively became louder and at around 145,000 miles I noticed that the oil pressure would fluctuate slightly. I immediately took the truck to my mechanic. He could not reproduce the oil fluctuation and told me that the noise was not as bad I made it seem; that I was over reacting. WELL, At 157,000 miles I was driving down the road and the oil pressure base lined and the ticking noise sounded like someone was beating a sledgehammer on the hood of my truck and BAM! There went the engine. All this happened in less than a minute and I could not shut the truck off fast enough.

My mechanic told me that the oil pump had gone and that the #4 cylinder was damaged as well. He also told me that he was confused by the amount of sludge build up in the engine.

I called Dodge to inquire about any reported problems or recalls with this engine. Of course they denied knowing anything. I was told by Dodge that the engine failed because I apparently did not take care of my engine. After reading the other complaints, which seem to be the same as mine, I think I took better care of my truck because it lasted to 157,000 miles.

I ended up paying $4,300.00 for a rebuilt engine, that was supposed to be covered by a 36 month or 100k warranty. Which stupid me, the saga continues in the next complaint.

- Lorina B., Oxford, FL, US

problem #4

Jul 142009

Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 217,000 miles

My saga still continues. I really wish I had found this web site sooner. I would have gotten rid of my truck or tried to put a completely different engine in the truck myself. Even though I have been told several times that another engine would not fit in the truck (which I do not believe). Engine #2 developed the same ticking noise that engine #1 had, 1 month after it was installed in November of 2007, at about 7,000 miles. A red flag immediately went up. I took it back to my mechanic and he could not hear the noise. I told him he needed to get his hearing checked. At the next oil change I complained about the ticking noise and insisted something was wrong. Again he said he could not hear anything wrong. Each time I took the truck for an oil change I was told there was nothing wrong. By March of 2009 the ticking noise was loud enough that my mechanic admitted he heard it. It was due for a transmission fluid change so I made arrangements to leave the truck with him and have him service the truck and check out the ticking noise. Oh and by the way, do you hear a clicking noise when you shift into or out of gear? That part on the transmission has been recalled by Dodge. Do yourself a favor and check into it. When I picked the truck up I was told by my mechanic that there was nothing wrong with the engine.

Well, at 217,000 miles which is only 60,000 miles on engine #2, guess what happened. Come on guess! BAM! Engine #2 gone. The ticking became a knocking which became a sledgehammer on my hood. Only this time the truck shook violently like I was running over something really big. I knew what happened. I didn't need no stinking mechanic to tell me what happened.

My new mechanic says that cylinder #4 was damaged due to the top of the piston sheering off, due to what he suspects was a drop in the oil pressure. What makes things worse is that I paid for a warranty on engine #2 only to find out that there is no warranty. I am not a stupid bimbo but I sure do feel like one. I have never trusted any dealership. I did trust my mechanic. I used him for almost 6 years and this is what happens?! Stupid me for being trusting.

It seems that Dodge does know of this problem. It seems that they choose NOT to fix this problem or acknowledge it. I think that Dodge a Daimler Chrysler Corp is guilty of False Advertising. I think that Dodge should be made accountable for putting faulty engines in their Ram 1500 trucks.

Any how, I am not able to afford payments on a new truck so I am purchasing engine #3. However, I am seriously going to talk to the new mechanic about putting another engine other than the 4.7L V8 in my truck. If it is possible, because that is what I want done. I am not going to pay for engine #4. I will roll my truck into the burn pit and torch it first.

- Lorina B., Oxford, FL, US

problem #3

Jul 042002

Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

This is the first incident. I purchased the truck new in May of 2002 from Maroone Dodge in Dade County, FL. By July the truck had developed a ticking noise coming from the engine. At this time I only had 26,000 miles on the truck (I drove alot then). The mechanic at Maroone Dodge told me that there was nothing wrong with the engine and that what I was hearing was a normal engine noise. By September I had taken the truck back to Maroone Dodge 4 more times. The noise was getting progressively louder. Each time I was told there was nothing wrong with the engine and that it was a normal noise. Now I may be a female, but I know that that ticking noise was not normal. I began changing the oil every 1500 miles and that seemed to help considerably. The ticking noise became almost unnoticeable. I didn't have any problems until I moved to Central Florida. I am doing what was asked so the saga continues on the next complaint.*

- Lorina B., Oxford, FL, US

problem #2

Nov 222008

Ram 1500 N/A 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

This noise occurs only while the truck is in gear or better yet while the engine is under a load, but I haven't looked for a chassis dyno to test. The noise sounds like it is coming from the driver side of the engine. It sounds like either fuel in the lines is cavitating, or the engine vacuum is very low but haven't use a vacuum gauge or fuel pressure gauge to check these. The noise occurs around 3500 to 4000 rpm and only while the engine is under a load. If the transmission is in park or neutral there is no noise when I run the engine up to 3500 to 4000 rpm. I have not gotten a check engine light nor does the engine appear to be running rough or losing power while in this condition. I do have a K&N cold air intake/filter installed and the noise appears to have started to occur after the installation but I'm trying to rule out other culprits.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Mike

- mikesilok, Las Vegas, NV, US

problem #1

Feb 032009

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

Bought a 2002 on 11/2004 with low miles, thought I was getting a great deal. After 6mos I started noticing a knocking noise. When I took it to the dealer to check it out they said that there was nothing wrong. Engine lights kept coming on. Never expected what happened next. Just recently I changed the 4x4 and noticed my oil pan was leaking. When I took the oil pan to fixed it I found a piece of the crankshaft in the pan. Went to the dealer and was told I needed a new engine or rebuilt the one I got. Tell me who has $2700 to rebuilt or $4700 to purchase a new one.

- Jose R., South Bend, IN, US

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