really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,063 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.

2003 Dodge Ram 1500 electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Dodge Ram 1500:

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

2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Jun 012007

Ram 1500

  • miles


Dash is cracking in numerous place and falling in. This is causing wiring harness to be exposed to sunlight and to break down. The vehicle has since developed electrical issues due to the insulation on the wires breaking down.

- Arp, TX, USA

problem #23

Aug 142008

Ram 1500

  • 65,000 miles
The ventilation system failed as is common with these vehicles. Due to weal parts, the, "doors" that control air flow through the ventilation ducts broke. I have slowly replace each of the four doors as they failed. As they went out it affected every aspect of ventilation, including the defrost. After doing some research it is evident Dodge was fully aware of this issue but made no improvements to the system, continuing to sell these vehicles to an unsuspecting public for several years.

- Green River, WY, USA

problem #22

Jul 172011

Ram 1500

  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the entire dashboard was separated from the vehicle causing the wires to shorten. As a result, the horn and exterior lighting failed intermittently. The air bag was also exposed. In addition, the vehicle stalled intermittently while driving. The dealer had not been notified. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who informed the contact that the electrical wires were compromised due to the electrical system malfunctioning since the fragments were tampering with the wires. The manufacturer was aware of the failure; however, did not offer any assistance since there were no recalls. No repairs were performed. The current mileage was 97,643 and the approximate failure mileage was 82,000.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #21

Sep 012009

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


The problem began with the ignition remaining on with the key out. The next thing was the headlights not switching between bright and dim.third came the wipers not turning on all the time.now the turn signals are working improperly.

- Leavenworth, KS, USA

problem #20

Aug 092011

Ram 1500

  • 137,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram. The contact stated the wire connecting the ignition wire melted causing the windshield defroster to malfunction. The wire melted due to the size of the terminals to the connector. The lack of a defroster made driving very difficult for the contact. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer stated the wire that connect the ignition to the blower motor needs to be replaced. The contact stated the vehicle was unsafe to to drive due to the impaired vision. The failure mileage was 137,000.

- Otwell, IN, USA

problem #19

Oct 152010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 1. started to have some electrical issues, power windows and heater blower motor would work intermittently. Also occasional smell of melting plastic. 2. after some time blower motor totally quit. Went online to trouble shoot problem and learned of recall on 2002 Dodge Ram for identical problem. That was caused by melting ignition switch. So I took apart steering column and found plug for my ignition switch melting and wire burnt and corroding. After finding problem and putting the plug back together blower motor started working intermittently again and when it is on wire gets extremely hot. Consequences would by loss of visibility if windows fog up and or potential fire hazard. 3. nothing has been done to fix the problem yet. Chrysler wanted me to bring my vehicle in and pay to get the problem diagnosed at their dealer. Then they would work with me to get the problem fixed, not guaranteeing they would cover any or all of the cost. So I will probable fix the problem myself with used parts because I don't have money to pay Chrysler to fix a problem the are very aware about. Since they issued a recall on the 2002 Ram that uses the same ignition switch as mine.

- Brainerd, MN, USA

problem #18

Jan 152010

Ram 1500

  • 60,000 miles


Besides heat not working, numerous gas cap replacements, numerous shorts in brake light, radio cutting off, my dash has cracked in several places which could cause injury if touched by youngsters. Apparently numerous complaints on all of the above!!

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #17

Nov 022009

Ram 1500

  • 99,000 miles
We own a 2003 Dodge quad cab pickup with 99000,00 miles on it. We were having the heater core and blend door replaced and notice D the blower was not working. The mechanic thought it was the resistor but come to find out it was the ignition switch wires that go to the blower motor were burnt at the contact points on the ignition switch. Due to the looseness of the connection prongs this has been going on for some time. I do believe this is a safety issue that if left unfixed would have caused a fire in the vehicle. I did keep the old part for your viewing. I also contacted Dodge to let them know about the problem and asked them if they were at least going to issue a tsb for this problem. Their reply was no. That's when I contacted you. We went ahead and had the mechanic replace the part due to the safety concern.

- Valley Springs, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 102009

Ram 1500

  • 67,000 miles
HVAC blower intermittently working due to bad connection to the ignition switch. Window is constantly fogging. I do not feel that NHTSA recall no. 03V078 covered all vehicles affected as my vehicle falls 6 months short of the recall and will have to get the repair done at my cost. Looking up this problem on the internet and speaking with repair services this is very common past the 2002 manufactured trucks.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #15

Oct 192009

Ram 1500

  • 200,000 miles
Poor reliability of electrical control and distribution system causes numerous and sometimes intermittent failures of exterior safety-related lighting such as headlamps (low beam and high beam), taillamps, turn signals, brake lamps, and trailer lamps. Problems seem to be exacerbated if vehicle is not operated for a few weeks. Dealer is quoting repair cost in excess of $2000 for replacement of the power distribution center, which is reportedly not a serviceable unit. This high repair cost will undoubtedly cause owners to "take their chances" and continue operating vehicles in an unsafe condition because the repair is so costly and the problems are intermittent. Some users have reported needing to complete this repair more than once over the vehicle lifetime, which further confirms there is an inherent reliability problem with this vehicle's electrical system. Other users report similar issues with windshield wipers reportedly due to the same unit failure. Because Dodge Ram pickup trucks have at least ten different model categories and multiple model years for reporting in the NHTSA online reporting structure, the complaints are spread out and the concentration of problems endemic to this vehicle may not be readily apparent to ODI investigators. Complaints may be reported under "1500", "2500", "3500", "Ram", "Ram 1500", "Ram 2500", "Ram 3500", "Ram quad cab", "Ram pickup", "Dodge truck",..., all due to the same module failure. Complaints are also spread out among many different complaint categories, further diluting the recognition that there is one fundamental root cause of a dozen or more different failure modes.

- Rochester, MI, USA

problem #14

Jun 162008

Ram 1500

  • 63,000 miles


We have a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. We are having problems with our brake lights, turn signals and trailer lights and took our truck into a Dodge dealer. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. we were told we need a new pdc block (power distribution center). We were told it would be $500. They couldn't order the part because they say they are back ordered with almost 200 orders. It would take anywhere from 2 - 12 weeks to get the part it. Seems to me that there are a lot of problems with this vehicle having electrical problems with the pdc, which is non repairable and needs to be replaced. Maybe someone should look into this. Part #68005475aa. Please let me know if you decide to D a recall on this vehicle.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #13

May 012003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Shortly after purchasing our Ram new from dealer, I experienced a small slight shock when getting in and out of the driver seat coincidentally I hold onto the inside door handle to do this. We have 20" wheels, and I am only 5'4. mentioned this to the dealer at regular maint. In their service shop. Nothing done. Now this has gone on for 5 years. After appx. 3 years (just after 3/36 warranty expired) my driver door power window/door lock switches are not working correctly. Intermittently they will work for the other doors, but not very often. Also, if driver door is open, the switches don't work at all. I am and have been out of warranty for many miles, they say it's not a known issue, I say it is now! this is unsafe, I would not be surprised to find my vehicle on fire due to the electrical problem they refuse to acknowledge.

- Mount Carroll, IL, USA

problem #12

May 022008

Ram 1500 6-cyl

  • 33,700 miles
I started the truck one day, and I noticed the speedometer going crazy, and I had yet to put the truck in gear. At that same time the ABS and brake lights both lit up. I did notice with the truck not even running and the ignition turned to the on position, the speedometer still goes crazy, moving from 0 to 120 mph. At this point, all I have done so far is to take it to a shop for evaluation, and they were unable to diagnose the problem. I did some research on the NHTSA website, and found there were 5 other complaints with the same problem. The more I look into this, it appears to be a manufacturers defect.

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #11

Sep 172006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 slt quad cab experienced over the course of the past year a malfunctioning speedometer, fuel gauge, brake warning light, ABS warning light, wiper motor, aux. Power outlet. As a result of recurring electrical defects vehicle suffered an electrical fire completely destroying it's value and use while it was parked and unattended. Owner had written complaint letters to dealership and manufacturer prior to fire incident and has service records documenting defective speedometer, replaced brake sensor (which continued to malfunction after repair), and replaced wiper motor. Other complaints were never addressed by dealer service department because "they were sporadic intermittent electrical problems that were impossible to diagnose and repair" according to service writer statements.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #10

Feb 202006

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
While driving in heavy rain water got into the connector of the PCM and shorted out the module. The lights will not turn off even with the switched off. There is a recall for 2004 vehicles with this problem and for 2003 vehicles but only if they are equipped with a diesel. The fix costs $500 for a new fuse box and module.

- Macomb Township, MI, USA

problem #9

Sep 112005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L 2wd truck stalled. Most recent listed below but happened before as well. No events leading up to failure. Driving on highway, in traffic, truck shutters (like it downshifted several gears at once) then engine quit. Have electrical accessories, radio, fan, windows and dash are working, but engine not running. Coast to stop on side of road. Shift to park but won't re-start. Have towed to dealership (which was closed because this happened on a Sunday). Next day the truck stared fine at dealership and had no codes. Dealer did nothing to repair. The first time this happened, the same thing happened. Towed to dealer at night, started the next morning and had no codes. Dealer re-flashed computer that time.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #8

Jul 132004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
While driving vehicle lost power (no throttle response). Next the ignition switch went bad. The vehicle's steering column was out of alignment.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #7

Oct 152004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,480 miles
Check engine light illuminates. Code P0440 is diagnosed, there are no tsbs or information available to dealers on what this code means. Mechanic says it's in the evaporation system. I've only had this truck for 3 wks, this is the 2nd occurrence. Mileage on vehicle 11,500.

- Ligonier, PA, USA

problem #6

Mar 112004

(reported on)

Ram 1500

  • miles
After numerous attempts to repair the stalling problem, the consumer would like to pursue the lemon law. The rear passenger outside door handle was loose.

- Superior, WI, USA

problem #5

Dec 012003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,300 miles
Truck died on a major 6 lane highway with no break down lane on a hill. Electrical system failure due to poor quality of manufacturing ( loose connections and bad modules).

- Random Lake, WI, USA

Read the next 4 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?