pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,615 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced rear differential (23 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
  3. replaced with a rear differential from Detroit Tru-Trac (3 reports)
  4. complete differential rebuild (2 reports)
  5. replaced rear-end and transfer (2 reports)
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Sep 052011

Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,800 miles


Under 80k miles on the truck, the pinion bearing and seal went, sprayed most of the gear oil out. The repair shop took it apart and said the whole rear end would have to be replaced because it had run without much oil, which was going to cost (best case scenario) about $2000 to replace with used parts.

- , Ontario, NY, USA

problem #14

Mar 012011

Ram 1500 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

rear locker failure, clutch retaining clip broke, wore into carrier barring cap and housing. I hear this is a big problem with Dodge Ram trucks, Chrysler Corp. refuse's to make a recall, too bad !!!! I WILL NEVER own a Chrysler car or truck again !!!!!!!! Dealership wants 4000.00 dollars to fix !!!!!! Ya right.....they can kiss my ass !!!!!

- , Toledo, OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 312011

Ram 1500 Quad Cab

  • 70,450 miles

One month ago while getting my oil change, the shop mechanic had my truck in the air and noticed water leaking from my rear differential. He advised me that there is water inside my rear differential. So i took the vehicle to a repair shop to change the rear differential fluid. When they took off the rear differential cover, they noticed 3 small circular metal pieces come out of the rear differential and they did not know what it was. So i bought the vehicle to know rear differential specialist and showed him the pieces and he advised me that it looks like part of my positive trac system. Is just a matter of time before that goes out. Now i am driving my vehicle wondering when will this go out and where will it leave me stranded. 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7 liter

- , Opelousas, LA, USA

problem #12

Jul 072010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles


Truck has never been off road. Very Surprised that a Limited Slip Differential would go bad after only 52,000 miles! I had two months before the 7 year 70,000 warranty expired, happily!

The truck is babied and always garaged!

- , Seaside Park, NJ, US

problem #11

Apr 092008

Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Richard Petty got me driving Dodges in early 70s, and have drove one every since. I put up with the weak front-ends in the early models but stayed true, but this is a major malfunction. Less than 100,000 the whole frigging drive train was babied and should not have fallen out, (literally in middle of interstate transfer case and rear-end). I can't wait to get rid of this truck and am considering giving up Chrysler altogether

- , Knoxville, TN, US

problem #10

Oct 122009

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,500 miles

Been dealing with this nagging whining noise since October 2009, and decided to take it in here Sept 2010. Mileage at start was 84500 and now sits at 92450 and just decided to have it looked at. Got the call from the dodge dealer and it needs a rebuild as the bearing pinion is toast. $1190 to fix. I haven't picked it up yet, but that is what they are saying is wrong. I won't complain too much. This is a 2003 and I just now had my first major issue with it. Time will tell if it takes care of the problem...and for how long....

- , Austin, AR, USA

problem #9

Nov 132009

Ram 1500 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


I bought this truck used. The truck looks awesome and mean but it really is weak. It's not as bad ass as it looks! The rear end blew out along with the tranny and also the rack and pinion. All had to be fixed at the same time. I was without a car for a month. I have always owned a Ford and it looks like I will buy a Ford next time around.

- , West Islip, NY, USA

problem #8

Sep 152009

Ram 1500 1500 SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

For the third time since owning this truck I have had problems with the pinion bearings going out. Now my extended warranty is up and it is happening again. What am I to do? do I eat the cost to fix it? do I put a completely different rear end in it? do I trade it in for a different truck and get ready to take it where the sun doesn't shine? I cant get an answer as to why I keep having this problem, I live in sunny southern CA great weather no offroading mostly freeway driving so what gives? This is my second Ram the first one I had was an 02 1500 with the 4.7 only issue I had with that one was steering failure but that was my fault for having the lift and huge tires on it. I think I would rather deal with that issue anymore.

- , Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

Feb 172010

Ram 1500 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

This sucks took it in and mechanic found issue thank goodness I haul my horse with this vehicle and found out that my rear end could of just locked up which could of spelled disaster if I was hauling at the time

- , Gowen, MI, USA

problem #6

Nov 182009

Ram 1500 SLT 4.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,058 miles

My nephew changed the brakes on the truck and he notice that the differential was liking, so I drop off the truck at the dealer to get it fix, the service was done after I paid the deductible of $100 dollars. But after few month later, my son almost got into an accident the driveshaft fell due to coming off from the differential the truck suddenly stopped. Thank God he is alright. My son called the dealer and service said they could not do anything about it. The extended warranty ended at 70,000. Now I'm stock with the bill, must likely will trade in with a Toyota Tundra. I had a Toyota before and they are reliable.

2. check engine light turns on and off they had change few sensors already. and right now it's on. change the heater core. I love the truck but coming up with numerous problems.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 042008

Ram 1500 SLT 4x4 1500 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


Like I said that the diff is trashed. At 58000 miles the trans went out & it was covered . They fixed it. But I told them they needed to look at the diff too. Any time you have a massive lock up stuff gets damaged. They said they looked and nothing was wrong . But I guess to cover their asses they put in new gear lube. Well about 25000 miles later I start getting whining and bucking from the rear . So to check it out . I paid $112.00 Just to tell me that the diff was trashed. They told me to have totally rebuilt it would cost 3600.00. And could get one from the junk yard one that had 60000 miles on it they could do it for me for 2800.00 with a 60 day warranty . And mind you, I paid 34,000.00 for this piece of sh*t.Were is the k.y . Anyway I go to Toyota to trade it in with the problem that I told you all about. They told me the would give me 7000.00. For it . So here I sit at a crossroad. Trade it or fix it. I want to buy a toyota because I already own a toyota yaris . The best money I spent. I drive a lot - its a 2007 and I have 108000 on it and no problems and 40 miles to the gallon. And I paid 12000.00 out the door. I hope toyota buries dodge in the ground . I can't wait till dodge goes out of business.

- , Round Lake Heights, IL, USA

problem #4

Apr 232007

Ram 1500 Hemi V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,305 miles

We had to FIGHT with our extended warranty company to pay for the repairs. They repaired 4 out of the 5 bearings in the rear differential, along with the axle seals, pinion seal, and rear axle. We paid our deductible only of $100.00 and went on our merry way.

- , Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #3

Sep 182008

Ram 1500 Hemi V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,243 miles

This happened to us in 2007 also. We are now having to pay for a 2nd rear end in the same truck. The first time we were able to get the extended warranty to cover the repairs after arguing with them for a week. This time they said that they have scientific tests that prove that there was water in our rear differential pinion bearing. Not sure how that happens when you NEVER take the vehicle near water. And the bearing was checked, clean, refilled with lubricant only 15 months ago. Please if you have had this problem call Dodge and file a complaint. I have seen numerous people list the same problem on different sites. Dodge said if enough people file a complaint with them then they will consider a recall. So call them today and they will reimburse us for previous repairs if they do a recall.

- , Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #2

Sep 012007

Ram 1500 Quad Cab 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I have a Dodge Ram 1500 Quad-cab. My rear differential had been making squeaks and grinding noises. So I thought id take a trip to the local auto parts dealer to get some new differential fluid so I could change it thinking maybe I got some water in it. Well I got home and pulled the cover off. The fluid looked pretty good draining out. After it was done draining I discovered metal chunks from the differential clutches coming apart. There again this is a Dodge known problem. I put it back together and took it to a place that specializes in differentials. When I got there he had 3 other Dodge's with the same problem. Thank god for extended warranty! He accepted it! We were in his office talking about the problem. I told him I didnt want a Dodge OEM differential. He strongly agreed! So he said my alternative was to wait 4 days to get a Detroit Tru-Track differential. By the way the Detroit Tru-track is $125 less then the OEM.. He called me a few days later to say my truck was ready. I jumped in my truck and its quiet as can be! The total bill would have been $1,250. But with the warranty it only cost me out of pocket $100. In which he didnt charge me because of the difference in the price. If you ever have this problem go with the Detroit Tru-Trac!

- , Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

Aug 252006

(reported on)

Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab

  • 39,220 miles

have 2003 dodge ram 1500 quad cab 2 weeks after i bought it took it back for a noise in the rear axle they said couldnt find anything, so i left it like that then 3 years later my abs and brake light came on went back to dealer they change speed sensor (of course i paid a deductable) that seemed to work for about 2 miles so went back they kept the truck for 3 days they told me metal pieces in the rear so basically they said i need new rear it took 45 days for it to come in, they have it there and now they are taking their sweet ass time to to fix it now come on change a dam rear is not rocket science i use to do that and i know its not that hard what can i do to speed them up (lol).

- , Hamilton, NJ, USA

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