really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,560 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #13

Apr 042016

Ram 1500

  • 201,281 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving at an unknown speed, black smoke emitted from the rear of the vehicle without warning. In addition, when the brake pedal was depressed, an abnormal sound emitted from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the brakes, calipers, and rotors needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the hub bearing, wheel hub, axle shaft assembly, and driveshaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. Lastly, the front driver side headlight failed to operate. The head lamp was replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 201,281. Updated 06/29/16

- Vulcan, MI, USA

problem #12

Sep 042015

Ram 1500

  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the driver side signal and emergency blinkers failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was a loose wire in the integrated fuse box. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,000. The VIN was not available.

- Cannon Falls, MN, USA

problem #11

Jul 152015

Ram 1500

  • miles
My brake lights is staying on, while the truck is crank up. 3rd barke light working fine. As soon, I shut the. Truck off brake lights goes off. Take the truck to the dealership, they replace the brake light switch. Problem went away for awhile and came right back. So, I order two new brake light control panel from the dealership problem again went away. Now it's back again. Driving down the road everybody thinking, I'm riding my brakes. When, I do come to a stop it won't light up too warn drivers behind me. That, I"M stopping.

- Georgetown, SC, USA

problem #10

Aug 062014

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 155,000 miles


While driving on the freeway at night the headlights, tail lights, blinkers, 4-ways, brake lights, and tail lights went out and when slowing down to pull over the engine stalled. The engine started back up to get to the side of the road and stalled again with no warning. The truck now stalls at all stop lights and stop signs and is not giving any codes. The truck now has a large draw and kills the battery shortly after turning the truck off. The truck is still in the shop and so far the FCM, pdc and some wiring has been replaced but the power draw persists and the engine stalling still persists. Researching the issue on the internet this is a common problem on this vehicle and has been for quite some time. This is a very dangerous issue and needs to be addressed.

- Hackensack, MN, USA

problem #9

Mar 072012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • miles
Having several electrical issue with my Dodge truck. Not all power windows and autolock work and have to replace the bulbs for the brakes and turning signal about every 6 months. Already replaced the bracket where the bulbs go. Plus seen several complains on the dashboards cracking like my truck has and Dodge won't have a recall nor fix this issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Nov 012011

Ram 1500

  • 72,000 miles
On my way to work in the dark my headlights went completely out while doing 50 mph, luckily I was on a straight stretch of road and was able to pull over on the shoulder. As I came to a stop the headlights came back on so I started to pull back on the road. Within a few seconds the headlights started to flash off and on. I was able to get the truck into a parking lot off of the road where I sat for awhile with the lights off. I turned the headlights back on and they seemed to work for the time. I made it to work with out the lights going out again. I left the truck running in the parking lot with the headlights on & noticed that they would go out and come back on again. Unable to drive the truck in the dark now due to this problem. This is a huge safety concern that Dodge needs to fix.. now driving in the day the turn signals will flash incorrectly, if I turn the right signal on it may start flashing the left signal or just quit all together.

- Port Hadlock , WA, USA

problem #7

Dec 132011

Ram 1500

  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that when engaging the right turn signal, the left turn signal would activate instead and when engaging the left turn signal, the right turn signal would activate instead. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 90,000.

- Hunlock Creek, PA, USA

problem #6

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 #5

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 #4

Jan 122009

Ram 1500

  • miles
I have to keep replacing the rear tail light bars because they seem to overheat and scorch the sockets. The lamp out light and warning bell is constantly coming on. The bell is beyond being tolerated while driving. I have to turn off my front light switch for the bell to go off. Lots of fun at night. The Dodge forum says this is a very common problem with 3rd generation Dodge Ram trucks. There should be a recall on this system. I can not ethically sell this truck with this constant problem.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Dec 012006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
Purchased a Ram 1500 quad cab slt from budget and now the power window buttons on all doors but the driverside do not work and the locking button on driver side intermittently stops working. Also the lamp out light keeps coming on even after replacing the bulbs. Even after the 5th time.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Sep 072007

Ram 1500 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram. The contact parked the vehicle in her driveway. She exited the vehicle and left the driver side door open. She then heard a loud pop and noticed that the vehicle was moving. She was unable to enter and stop the vehicle. The contact was struck several times by the driver side door. She was pinned between a metal post and the door of the vehicle. The contact was able to free herself and sustained injuries to her midriff, back, and head. The powertrain, speed, and failure mileage were unknown. The current mileage was 46,900. Updated 01/17/08 the dealer stated the right brake lamp is inoperable. The consumer has provided all medical documentation and repair invoices pertaining to the incident. Updated 01/17/08

- Purdy, MO, USA

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