really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
91,650 miles
Total Complaints:
37 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (27 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. replace engine crankshaft (1 reports)
  4. replace valve springs on head, number five cylinder (1 reports)
2004 Dodge Ram 1500 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

May 282021

Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,353 miles


click to see larger images

engine failure engine failure engine failure engine failure

So, I have read ENDLESS amounts of examples of Dodge really screwing up and ultimately SCREWING THEIR CONSUMERS OVER by not correcting this issue of the poor quality valve springs in their Hemi engines from the 2004 era. I realize it has been many years since this truck came out on the market, yet it is still an expensive truck for a lot of people!! There is A LOT of Chevy & Ford trucks from the same era that are going strong!!! Well, there is for Dodge as well... but this particular engine... that actually COST MORE MONEY TO GET (!!!) WAS VERY DESIRED BY ENTHUSIASTIC DODGE FANS!!! THE HEMI!! Or some called them the Semi-Hemi!!

Nonetheless... when it ran... it was AWESOME!!! Plenty of power and the trucks and cars look beautiful!!! It's just sad that I invested ALL OF MY MONEY into this truck, only to have it have the infamous broken spring, which let the valve drop down and busted up the piston!! Leaving me with a huge hole in my pocket and without a truck to be able to live and work with!! It just sucks that they couldn't dip into their pockets a little bit and correct a problem that is completely UNDENIABLE!! So that way the people who work every day and try to just survive and work extra harder to try to have a nice vehicle... only get completely screwed over because the HI PAID EXEC's couldn't have let a tiny piece of their ENORMOUS lucrative pie go to fixing a SCREW UP CAUSED BY THEIR CHEAP CHOICES!!! I have a lot more colorful and self-censored things I would love to spit out... but, that won't fix the truck. I don't know what I can do now. This sucks.

- Troy K., Marysville, WA, US

problem #36

Mar 212020

Ram 1500 ST 3.7L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500, 4DR. A manual. It worked and ran perfect. The next minute it lost power and Threw a Rod!! Great oil pressure. Not low on oil! It's been well maintained! Don't buy a V6 3.7L engine. Under powered.

It seems to me the that I am seeing lots of problems with the 3.7, 4.7 and Hemi engines. The 5.9 and diesel cummins seem okay.

P.S. I would like to replace my 3.7L engine with a newer year 3.7 and matching computer? Would anyone know if it's possible? I already know the 3.7 engine itself will not work.

Thanks, I am retired mechanic.

- Byron S., Dade City, FL, US

problem #35

Dec 242020

Ram 1500 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I am the second owner of my Sonata. The connecting rod bearing went out and they told me I had to replace the engine. There is a current recall campaign for this exact issue, but my VIN is not part of yet. Hyundai will only cover 65% of the repair, which is close to 9K. Since I am the second owner, the warranty drops to 5year/60k....this is so frustrating!

- Caroline P., Poway, US

problem #34

Jul 102018

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles


I took very good care of truck, changed all fluids on time, I had no warning just driving and engine locked up. wife almost got killed from this issue. I got home and engine locked solid no reason, I am sure dropped valve but taking apart now. never buy Dodge again. I own an auto repair shop and have seen other Dodge's with the same problem, need us to bring them to account for it.

- Glen M., San Jacinto, CA, US

problem #33

Nov 302016

Ram 1500 XLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,496 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure engine failure

I too am a victim of the infamous 5.7L Hemi valve spring. My 2004 Dodge Ram1500 had 167,496 miles on it at the time of the engine failure. I bought the truck with about 20,000 miles on it from a private owner. I changed the oil using Valvoline Synpower oil and Dodge or Purolator filters every 3000 miles. The last change was 150 miles before the failure.

I was in town cruising about 40 mph. Let up on the gas to let a car change lanes in front of me and when I tried to resume my speed it had no power. Looked down at the dash and it had no warning lights. Engine acted like it was out of gas. Let up on the throttle and the engine died. Managed to start it by holding the throttle almost to the floor, slammed it into gear and got it moving. After a half block I let up on the gas and the engine died again. I coasted the last half block to the front of my driveway. When I tried to restart, all I got was the engine cranking and a clicking sound.

Had it flat bedded to my service garage. The next day they managed to restart it to trouble shoot it, but in doing so it pushed a rod out the pan and locked up the engine. The quoted me a price for a Jasper replacement engine. The rest of the truck is in excellent shape and trucks without motors don’t bring much on the used car lot.

After a number of years with nothing but problems with this truck, it finally had been very reliable. Rearend twice, two wiring harness to the back, radiator, fuse/battery box short, two speed sensors and 4 defrost/heater doors and motors. Lots of aftermarket extended warranty work. And I had just spent $450 for new muffler and tail pipes and $1100 for new aftermarket exhaust manifolds. Another problem Dodge knows about but refused to admit. I don’t like making auto loan payments so I felt a remanufactured engine was the way to go.

The shop found the number 7 cylinder broke the intake valve spring, dropped the valve into the piston, broke the rod and stuck it out the side of the oil pan. All this because Dodge wouldn’t do a recall because of poorly manufactured valve springs that they knew about. I would advise that if you have a Dodge truck with 100k or so miles and you haven’t had an engine problem and still intend to keep it, spend the money and have the heads pulled new springs installed. Or, welcome to the club.

- Ken G., Vancouver, WA, US

problem #32

Jun 252014

Ram 1500 SLE 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

3 PISTON FAILURE. Broken above the top ring. Trashed the head too.

- Robert Y., Colleyville, TX, US

problem #31

Jan 222015

Ram 1500 5.7L V8 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,014 miles


Just adding to the increasing list of victims of the infamous 5.7L Hemi valve spring failures. My 2004 Dodge Ram had 119,014 miles on it at the time of the engine failure. I bought the truck in February of 2007 wiith 21,362 miles as a certified pre-owned vehicle from a Dodge Dealer (it was a lease turn-in). I changed the oil the night before the failure. I changed the oil every 3000 miles right up until the failure.

Was on bhe highway on cruise control at 65 mph. Started to hear and feel a rumble which felt like a rear tire going bad then the engine missed but then kept chugging awary. I observed that I never lost oil pressure, coasted down a highway off ramp, came to a stop and the engine died. Attempted to restart, and heard a horrendous noise that I never want to hear again, it was the equivalent of a human femur snapping in half.

Had the truck flatbedded to a service station near my home 108 miles away (thank God for AAA). My mechanic reported he could not turn the crank by hand with a breaker bar and socket on the crank pulley nut, his words were "it's locked up". Had the truck flatbedded again to a larger auto repair establishment who could accommodate an engine replacement. They quoted me a price of $6000 on a Jasper re-manufactured Hemi installed. When the engine was pulled from the truck, the mechanics found that one valve spring snapped, the piston hit the valve and they found the metal shards in the cylinder and also in the intake. The body on the truck is in very good shape so the $6000.00 was a "no-brainer" when I saw what new or newer used trucks are costing these days.....I plan to hold on to the truck for quite a while, my hope is that Jasper uses quality valve springs, not the garbage OE springs, in their rebuilds. For all you others out there who went through this, I feel your pain.

- John S., Coraopolis, PA, US

problem #30

Sep 132015

Ram 1500 1500 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure engine failure

This complaint is related to the "hemi tick". Took my truck to dealer under warranty at 65k miles for a tick. They said it was normal for a hemi tick. Wouldn't fix it. Now, i finally find what the problem was. Valve spring was broken this whole time, causing the exhaust valve to barely "tap" the piston. Over time, this got worse. This past weekend, the valve stem retaining clip gave way and dropped the valve. Engine is now a complete loss as the piston is now shattered. This could have been prevented, and my truck still driving if Dodge would have just fixed the damn problem when I took it to the in the first place. Will never buy another Dodge again.

- Rob C., Marion, IN, US

problem #29

Nov 012014

Ram 1500 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Truck has 60,000 and was on its 2 engine and the dealer wanted me to pay for the 3 engine, sent it to the junk yard. 1 engine a valve stuck and took out the piston, dealer did an in frame fix, 2 engine a valve stuck sending the rod through the block. Last time I will by a Dodge.

- Jeff Z., Lockport, NY, US

problem #28

Mar 172015

Ram 1500 5.7L, V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,488 miles

We use our vehicle everyday for our family run business. With this vehicle down it really puts us behind the 8 ball. Not to mention the added cost to fix. We are Auto Dealers and Recyclers. We purchase cars to safety and sell and we also take them apart and sell the parts. Even though we are in the auto business, it doesn't really help with the inconvenience of it all. We love our truck but this issue really bites the big one.

The motor has been ticking for awhile now. It sounded like it was just an exhaust tick. Never went away and never got louder. Approximately 9 months ago the lifter dropped out in the #6 cylinder. It was towed to Dodge and $2000 dollars later the truck was back on the road. Two days ago my wife and I picked up our daughter at school, truck was driving normal and all of a sudden it just died. Pulled over to the side and started to diagnose. Couldn't see anything visibly wrong. Thought it might be the Alternator. Tried to boost it. NO GO. Got the truck towed home and tried to turn engine over with a bar. No Go. ENGINE SEIZED

I'm going to do the work myself this time. Not sure what I'm going to find or how much it will cost but you can be sure that it will be cheaper than taking it in to someone else.

Thanks for listening


- bsmokal, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

problem #27

Aug 172014

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Engine failed. Have been chasing Intermittent Mis-Fire for quite some time. Suddenly engine quit and locked up. Found Valve cover broken and broken valve spring inside. I understand engines won't last forever, but this has been a know problem for years from Dodge.

- Tim W., Watauga, TX-Texas, US

problem #26

Aug 282014

Ram 1500 3.7L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 98,000 miles

2004 RAM 1500 3.7 V6, original motor failed in 2006 with 62K miles, replacement $3000.00

8/28/14 motor failed again, cylinder 5, water in oil, knocking with 98K miles. Now I need another motor, not sure I want to purchase. Dodge should be paying for this. New motor $3500.00 not including installation. Jeep and Ford also using this crap in the F150.

Do not buy any vehicle with 3.7 V6.

- dbenic, McDonough, GA, US

problem #25

Jan 222014

Ram 1500 XLT 5.7L V8 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

Well, to be frank I have read many blogs about this problem with the Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L Hemi motor breaking a Valve spring. I was driving down the highway and my truck felt like the engine was shaking or something like that so I l pulled off to the side of the road and took a look at my tires and engine compartment. Then tried to start it and it wouldn't almost felt like it had a Vacuum leak. I towed it to a mechanic who found out the number five cylinder had no compression. The mechanic had to pull the head off and found the Valve spring broken. Lucky for my the Valve did not fall into the cylinder and cause more damage.

The problem I have with this situation is DODGE new about the problem because the update the springs a couple years after my truck was build. They did nothing about this problem for the people that bought the truck with that motor according to the blogs that I have read (no recalls). I will spend $2000 (one head) to fix the problem and might while it is apart have the other one done (replace the springs another $500). So it comes down to fixing the one side and offing the truck to a dealer then paying $350 a month for a Chevy or keeping the truck only if I plan to fix the other head. I this Truck worth keeping?

- nova383hp, Santa Maria, CA, US

problem #24

Jun 142013

Ram 1500 LST Hemi V8 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


- the thrill sgt, Fairchild Air Force Base, WA, US

problem #23

Jun 012013

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

It started at 90,000, over heating, and I did buy the extended warranty when I bought my truck. I will quote my repair guy, I have never seen a radiator clogged like that. It was over-heating so I got it my mechanic, he replaced the the radiator, a couple hundred dollars.

Then it started overheating again at 100,000 miles , this time it was a blown head gasket or the engine was blown, I'm not sure. My truck has been sitting since Dec.1, I contacted Dodge/Chrysler and they said there is nothing they can do, its out of warranty. I stated I take care of my cars, always changed the oil between 3000 and 3500 miles and always maintained the filters and greased the joints. I kept up with the maintenance of the truck. Again, they did not want to help out a good customer.

I told them I did not want anything for free but felt the engine should not of went like that. I asked for them to sell me an engine at cost , they will not do that. I have to go thru their distributor. I get it, but my wife drives a Chrysler, my company fleets are Dodge pickups, and they did not want to help me out? This is not the way to treat a good customer. I am moving forward with Ford.

I have ordered a new pick up Ford for my company. I am trading in my blown Dodge Truck and getting a Ford. Dodge does not get it, once you do not help someone out it will take 10 times the amount of effort to get someone back, screw you Dodge , never again .

- Tom T., Abington, PA, US

problem #22

Nov 052013

Ram 1500 Limited 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,675 miles

Not sure what to say except i payed off my 04 truck less then a week ago 19k. I have always done all proper maint and baby it. but today my check engine light came on. So i got to work and left it parked all day then drove home about 5 miles, and as soon as i got close to home i stopped at stop sign and while waiting for 3 min or so i started to smell something so i looked in my mirrors and seen a light white smoke starting to billow out from under my truck. So noticing the smoke i hurry through the intersection and less than 100 feet down the road with no warning or noise,vibrations roughness of any kind it just cut out like the key had been turned off but wasn't of course. I tried to put it in neutral and restart it.over and over again and still nothing so now I'm left stuck on foot and most likely am going to lose my job over this.. Everything that i have read or seen online regarding this truck and its problems makes my f#cking stomach turn and brings me to tears..

Its almost like dodge knows the second its paid off or goes out of warranty and as soon as either happens they press a button somewhere that makes sh*t go terribly wrong. I WILL TELL EVERY PERSON I KNOW TO NEVER EVEN THINK ABOUT A DODGE, JEEP OR CHRYSLER! THAT IS A PROMISE!!!! ON THAT NOTE GO TO HELL CHEAP BASTARDS

- Mat R., Kihei, HI, US

problem #21

Jan 062011

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

since I purchased the 2004 ram 1500 with a 4.7 motor in it used, with @ 29000 miles on it, I have experienced the following problems and subsequent repairs, due to engine oil sludge build-up, caused by inferoir design;

significant to extreme overheating of the motor - 4 radiators, 2 water pumps, 3 thermostats, 2 sets of spark plugs, 1 set heads (gaskets as well), set of piston rings, set of valves (guides, seats too), several sensors and pcv.

ask any dodge mechanic why all of this has to be replaced ALWAYS, they just scratch their heads. each has.a.different, charming but stupid answer, none of which are correct. called chrysler and asked them....long silent period followed with, ..."we'll get back to you on that."

wtf. cowards they are. they know they have a problem, but all they want to do is sell you a newer model. seems that the problem lies in poor design: thin cylinder walls, poor oil circulation in heads and block causes engine to overheat, cascading problem to inferior gaskets, water pump, thermostat and radiator. POWERTRAIN PRODUCTS has stated they have solved the problem by redesigning the piston heads, reducing combustion chamber heat variances, as well as drilling several new holes in the block and heads to promote better oil circulation to prevent sludge. head gaskets also redesigned to prevent failure in extreme heat conditions. cost to purchase redesigned motor is @ 4000 dollars, 3500 with acceptable core trade-in. motor comes with 4 year, one million mile warranty. for 299 more, warranty will become "no fault" . thats what im going to do to fix my sh*tty, but beloved ram truck. so sue chrysler everyone for a piss poor designed product. good luck getting them to pay. I wont ever buy or recommend another dodge or chrysler product ever again, or ford or chevy. theyre pieces of sh*t too. im buying a mercedes benz....a model after the chrysler years. at least ill know I have a quality product.

- Mark D., Garden Grove, CA, US

problem #20

Dec 072012

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,200 miles

We bought this truck brand new and have taken care of this truck. It is our baby and the only new car we have ever bought. We were looking into it and the same problem we have had many have experienced. Class action lawsuit anyone? I am really trying to get the ball rolling here and make Dodge fix their mistake

- Linsey B., Elk Grove, CA, US

problem #19

Feb 042013

Ram 1500 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,634 miles

It is really bad that my truck only has only 51,634 miles and something in the motor broke and the motor is now nfg and there is no recall especially with all the complaints that are out there about motor problems.

- Mike B., Lee, MA, US

problem #18

Jan 012013

Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 shuts off while driving. Steering locks up and there is nothing I can do but try and make it off the road or stop traffic. After several attempts the vehicle will start back up and work fine. This has happened to me well over twenty times in the past year.There is no patterns to the engine failure. I have been seriously close to major accidents several times. I have taken my truck to 3 mechanics and 4 dealerships and have gotten nowhere. Every time I leave I think the problem is fixed but then it happens again. It is EXTREMELY dangerous. I've had every oxygen sensor replaced, mass air flow sensor, air intake filter, EGR valve, throttle body and crank shaft sensor. Anyone have any other ideas?

- Chad R., Lancaster, NY, US

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