hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,124 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Jun 012016

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • miles


2003 Dodge Ram 1500. Consumer writes in regards to passenger airbag recall replacement parts still on back order. Vehicle has multiple recalls that relates to steering, lighting, visibility, electrical, engine issues and requests loaner vehicle. The consumer stated the additional recalls, would probably explain, why he had to replace the thermostat, vehicle speed control and the radiator three times.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #26

Oct 032012

Ram 1500

  • 215,000 miles
Truck stalls every time I start slowing down for a stop sign or red light and sometimes when I turn corners. When idling it shuts off immediately unless I throttle to keep rpms up. Also stalls when I put it in reverse. I've been almost hit several times when pulling into an intersection. Replaced all known causes and nothing has fixed the issue. I have read in some sites I may need a software update from Dodge dealership.

- Ft Hood, TX, USA

problem #25

Apr 212011

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
While driving came up to lights and the engine stalled had no steering and no brake put engine in park restarted and drove on this has happened numerous times in nd out of traffic. When pulling hard to the left or right the engine will begin to stall did this while truck was sitting in front yard. Had a tune up done and went away for a while but now it is starting up again.

- Ozark, AL, USA

problem #24

Aug 182011

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 129,000 miles


Husband was driving the vehicle at about 45mph and without any warning the oil light came on and the motor blew a rod through the oil pan, if someone would have been behind him he would have been hit. Have been looking for another motor for this vehicle and when asking they laugh about it, it is a 4.7 lt 8 cyl motor and apparently Chrysler knows about the problem and yet nothing is being done about it. The oil was everywhere on the road after this happened and that in itself is a hazard. Look online and a motor to replace it is in the 2 to 3 thousand range. We are still paying for this vehicle and that is without the motor price, look under problems for this truck and you will find a lot of comments about the motor blowing up with no warnings.

- Babson Park, FL, USA

problem #23

Jan 302010

Ram 1500

  • 89,000 miles
The engine light on my truck keeps coming on. It show a vapor leak in the emissions. It is not the gas cap. Dodge needs to held accountable for the environment impact.

- East Taunton, MA, USA

problem #22

May 232004

Ram 1500

  • 16,585 miles
Driving on highway in 2004 & 2008, engine quit running(Dodge calls it a stall). Dodge trouble shooting database does not include this problem. Other independent data bases point to loss of crankshaft or camshaft pulse. There are no codes for this event, therefore no corrective action was taken after several scans at dealers. Safety hazard: Possible multiple rear end collisions and possible fires. Ref. Dot / NHTSA vehicle owner's questionnaire no. 10251962.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #21

Oct 152007

Ram 1500

  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving downhill at approximately 60 mph, the vehicle experienced unwarranted deceleration. When the failure occurs, the contact cannot accelerate. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they reprogrammed the computer system. Immediately after the repair, the failure resurfaced. The manufacturer did not assist. The failure mileage was 100,000 and current mileage was 106,000.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #20

Feb 252009

Ram 1500

  • 107,000 miles
Truck kept overheating but it was never displayed on gauge of over heating.the coolant was flushed and replaced. A week later the truck stalled on the interstate and would not run. It would turn on but the engine would sound really loud and the truck and steering wheel would be trembling. It was towed to a mechanic and he claims that it would need a new engine. The over heating caused a rod to break. The truck on has 107,000 miles.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #19

Mar 042009

Ram 1500

  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. While the vehicle was at a complete stop, the accelerator pedal extended to the floor without being depressed. The vehicle spontaneously accelerated. The engine warning indicator was illuminated at the time of the failure. The contact had to remove the key from the ignition to stop the vehicle. He is in the process of notifying the dealer to determine the cause of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 116,000.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #18

Dec 082008

Ram 1500

  • 76,000 miles
My heater fan went out, creating a dangerous driving situation during winter driving conditions. I checked the fuse which is good. I think there should be a recall for this problem. I am going to have to have it fixed and believe the problem is in the ignition and will be costly.

- Independence, KY, USA

problem #17

May 232004

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,585 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving between 30-50 mph, the engine suddenly stalled. The failure occurred on two occasions. The contact immediately took the vehicle to the dealer and they performed a diagnostic in an attempt to produce an error code. A code never appeared and the cause of the failure could not be determined. The contact took the vehicle to an independent repair shop and they were able to find similar failures in their database, but they did not make any repairs. He believes that the manufacturer should inspect the failure. The failure mileage was 16,585 and current mileage was 54,509. Updated 01/09/09. Updated 01/12/09.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #16

Feb 112003

Ram 1500

  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact noticed that the thermostat indicator on the instrument control panel indicated that the vehicle was overheating. On some occasions, he can see antifreeze and water leaking from the vehicle. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they replaced the water pump. The contact experienced an identical failure several months later and the dealer replaced the reservoir. Currently, the vehicle continues to overheat. The dealer has made numerous repairs, but none of them have successfully remedied the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 2,000 and current mileage was 69,145.

- Laurens, SC, USA

problem #15

Jul 252008

Ram 1500

  • 46,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 hemi, electronic throttle will shot off going down the highway which makes it idle bad and loose power, have to stop on the side of the highway and shout off the truck and re-start hwich will reset the throttle. The problem will happen at speeds from 30 miles per hour to 75 miles per hour it will happen using the pedal our on the auto control and with or with out the ac on. Safety problem have to stop on the side of interstate 95 or the 495 belt way and restart the truck very unsafe for me and for the other drivers around me. The problem will happen every 150 to 250 miles, I have taken the truck back to Dodge many times and spent a lot of time and money trying to get the problem fixed but Dodge is unable to find or fix the problem. One time Dodge did find that the truck had bad springs in the engine that they replace( bad from the plant ) and they hoped that would fix the problem but it did not. This problem started after I got the truck from the dealer used, it had 40,000 miles and at 46,000 it started and has not stopped the truck now has 94,000 miles and I have to stop every day on the road to reset the throttle. First date of problem 05-01-07.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #14

Apr 122008

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,500 miles
At 130K miles the oil pressure dropped, engine seized, dealer blames sludge. I have the oil changed at 7500 miles intervals using full synthetic.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #13

Apr 112007

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
My 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7 liter engine with 64000 mile oil pressure dropped suddenly without warning, cause was determined by Dodge dealership to be "sludge" in engine, voiding my 70000 mile warranty, daimler Chrysler assuming I did not maintain my engine properly, although I change oil myself usually every 4500 miles (book says 6000) and use best heavy duty filter. Provided some "official" oil change receipts from popular quick oil change facility but that was not enough to enforce warranty. Found thousands of same stories for my 4.7, Dodge's 2.7 and other engines over the internet. Dodge is one of the last hold outs as far as Toyota, and other automobile manufacturers to pony up on poor engine design and new, lighter engines having more heat and more change of oil burn or "oil get" resulting in sludge even with 100% provable maintenance. Under other circumstances, engines "blow" or "burn up" suddenly and that is not only as expensive as mine to fix ($4000 to $6000 repair) but dangerous to the occupants and public as well. More frequent oil changes and system flushes, or change to synthetic oil may help prevent or delay situation, but Dodge has not released any such information to help or warn consumers. Problem will only get worse as more Dodge and chrsyler 1999 to 2005 engines reach mileage condition occurs (57000 to 77000, some as early as 20000).

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #12

Sep 012006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,764 miles
: updated 10/4/2006 - the pistons melted inside the engine and the spark plugs melted. The check engine light illuminated the engine lost all power while driving 70 mph. A

- Anaheim Hills, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 012004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Rough/unexceptable idle in 2003 Dodge Ram since 6,000 miles on odometer, taken to Dodge dealership numerous times with no results or repair. Dealership and dahmler Chrysler have no remedy and I have a fairly new vehicle that runs like its on its last leg. I am totally annoyed with the Dodge experience, and should have purchased a GM product. I am currently researching the lemon law procedure.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #10

May 012005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Water leaking on to number 1 cyclinder causing it to miss fire.as far as I know Dodge aint saying a thing about this just giving tune ups and sending people on there way.also both doors are tearing up weather stripping on both sides of vechile [on some modles] these modles are Dodge Ram 1500,2500.3500

- Brookpark, OH, USA

problem #9

Apr 082005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
Having driven 120 miles, I was 4 miles from home; turning a corner, the motor shut down and started missing. It was missing so bad that I thought if I let off the gas pedal, the motor would shut down. My truck was loaded with tools so I proceeded to go on the next 4 miles and risk it and not lose my tools. Earlier as I was in a passing lane, I felt the motor shudder as if a spark plug was fouling or I had bad gas or a bad plug wire. If I was passing in a serious passing situation earlier in the day, and this motor shut down as it did, I wouldn't be writing this E-mail. This truck is equipped with a Dodge hemi and is expected to pass with ease. This is a serious safety problem. I was told there are 115 people in line for this par, T and if I paid an extra $80 I would be bumped to #6 because they classified me as vehicle off road. I'm told by the dealer that number is growing. The part has yet to be received by the service dealer, and I am completely without transportation.

- Hot Springs , AR, USA

problem #8

Mar 302005

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
I've owned my 2003 Dodge Ram for less than 2 years. Recently it felt like the idol was off, like it was going to stall. Before I could get it into the shop it broke down while diving on the expressway and had to be towed. Sludge was found in the engine, causing it to seize. This is impossible because I regularly change my oil as well as add oil as needed. The repair cost is $5000 they don't want to honor the warranty because I did not save all my oil change receipts.

- Clermont, FL, USA

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