pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
87,833 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace flapper door on acutator motor (9 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
2003 Dodge Ram 2500 AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Owner Comments

problem #17

Nov 122007

Ram 2500

  • 97,000 miles


I've had nonstop problems with the hvac system since I bought this 2003 Dodge Ram used in 2007. The worse part about it and the safety issue is there is no defrost. Defrost is very important living in the northeast to melt or prevent windshield ice up in the winter and for defogging duties year round. My system functions on vent only and pretty marginal there as well. I finally decided to take dash apart and investigate. Sure enough I found broken / inoperable mode 1 & 2 doors in the hvac system as well as a partially functioning blend door probably about to completely break like the others. Luckily this is a 2nd vehicle and don't need to drive it during weather, otherwise I would have gotten rid of it long ago, it's dangerous problem. Cost and labor is prohibitive to get this fixed. This should have been a recall years ago.

- , Shirley, MA, USA

problem #16

Apr 122008

Ram 2500 Lariman 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Defrost is a safety issue there needs to be a recall..

- , Frankford, DE, USA

problem #15

Nov 152006

Ram 2500 SLT V8 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

The fan motor was making a noise similar to the sound that was made when you would put playing cards in the spokes of your bike. Took to dealership they claimed they had to replace the motor when I knew that was not the problem. I dissembled the dash only to find out what the problem really was. The problem was a broken damper door that was rubbing against the fan blade and they never replaced the fan motor at all. By this time the warranty was up. Sad that this truck only had less than 3000 miles on it. Now I am asking myself what is next and then the dreaded cracking of the dash pieces started. I had an 1981 Dodge Ramcharger that I purchased new and the dash on it is still perfect. Very disappointed with Dodge

- , Yukon, OK, US

problem #14

Jun 012010

Ram 2500 HD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


If your having this problem you need to call the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and make the complaint. Their number is 1-800-424-9153 you will need the VIN number. So call and maybe we can get a recall on this.

- , Cecilia, KY, USA

problem #13

Jun 112010

Ram 2500 SLT 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,900 miles

vaccuum for changing vents back and forth does not work correct in winter. if you want it blowing on the floor it turns on the defrost. it does not work correct all winter and when summer comes around it starts working again.

- , Sandy Valley, NV, USA

problem #12

Sep 152009

Ram 2500 LT Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

My truck heater will not blow air to the floor or defrost vents, only dash vents get air. I got a dealer to price a fix they say $1000 to $1200 to remove the dash and replace the cheap plastic pieces that are broken. Dont understand why this problem with the defrost is not considered a safety issue and be a recall by dodge. Have you ever been driving and the windshield fog over, you can't see so is this safe to you and the other people on the road. I hope no one dies because DODGE WON"T DO THE RIGHT THING.

- , Warren, AR, USA

problem #11

Jun 012010

Ram 2500 SLT Cummins

  • Manual transmission
  • 230,000 miles


OK, so this problem is ridiculously expensive and a royal pain in the arse... I'm broke and my truck has 230k so no warranty and... well you get the idea... my biggest beef is that no defrost is a severe road hazard and there should be a recall on this... and dodges stupid cracking dash.

So, if you're like me, don't have the money for proper repairs my solution might help you to get air to your feet and the windshield... (pity spring is here). Effectively my solution damages your air handler so i'm sorry if you end up with bigger problems, on the bright side the damage is only limited to the parts that you'll have to replace to perform the proper repair.

out of curiosity I just want to see how many people want to know my cheap fix... so if you're interested text me (its a txt only number so don't bother calling) at (515) 442-4344 mention you're interested in how i managed to get my defrost working and I'll either txt u back or call you (if you're in the US).

I'm not a fan of Dodge, All i wanted was the Engine/Drivetrain... can't be beat.

- , Iowa Falls, IA, USA

problem #10

Oct 012008

Ram 2500 LT Hemi 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

This must be the worst design for a defrost/heater/dash flap design ever made. I am not sure how long vehicles have had this option, but by 2003 this should be a "no-brainer" as far as function is concerned. The defroster is the single most important function after the engine starts during cool, foggy weather, cold, dry weather, freezing rain, snow, and several other conditions not mentioned- it is stupid and irresponsible for dodge not to address this problem with a recall. After taking it to a now defunct dealer and learning that it required the dash, steering column/air bag, A/C, and heater to all be dismantled to replace a worthless piece of poorly designed plastic and learning how much the total repair would cost, I decided to FORGET the dealer repair until dodge is forced to recall THEIR mistake (Hello? Dodge?), but after several years that has not occurred. I bought this truck because I needed a different truck (my dad has a great 1996 and several other people I know with that style are satisfied) after my 1977 CHEVY finally succumbed to the elements. I hoped, for the cost, that I could get the same amount of use out of the new truck, but I am not even going to get 10 years! ??? 77's might rust, but at least they work (Hello? Dodge did you hear that?). I have closed the dash vents, which forces as much air as possible to the windshield- pretty feudal, but I am spending all my money on payments so there is none left for unnecessary repairs (Hello? Dodge, are you listening?). Sometimes, when I am absolutely desperate rotating the control knob and simultaneously flipping the fan from low to high causes the "flap" to switch and the defroster will actually work, until you switch the truck off, or get so hot you need to turn the fan down- then the flap falls back into the "stuck" position- and back to square one. I know oil is HIGH, but this little piece of plastic CANNOT be worth $3??.00! Do people that buy dodges look stupid- I know our IQ must have dipped a little when we considered purchasing the truck, but afterwards it rebounded, and probably raises enough to NEVER CONSIDER their products again. It is just too bad that the government offered a bail-out. But true-to-form, now we can all expect the government to fix our problems and hold this company to higher standards.

To my knowledge, there is no simple fix, but I am trying to figure out how to hook up a resistor to the "heated mirrors" that I NEVER use, that I can secure under the windshield. Maybe it will generate enough heat to keep the moisture from forming inside and the frost/ice from forming on the outside- not holding my breath.

- , Gallatin, MO, USA

problem #9

Dec 012010

Ram 2500 SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Guessing I am out of luck my defrost will not come on when turned to defrost. If I mess with it for about 20 minutes I sometimes get it to come on for a bit. This is gonna suck driving in Western New York this winter with no help from Dodge.. Cannot believe that nothing is being done with this!! Guess I will wait for a Law suit to show up when someone gets hurt.

- , Niagara Falls, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 012008

Ram 2500 2500HD 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I have had nothing but a/c issues with this Dodge Ram pickup. The a/c begins to freeze up after running the a/c for about 30 minutes in which I lose air flow. It seems to be really bad on humid days. If I turn the compressor off, I continue to get cold air for about 5 more minutes and then the air flow returns. Then I can turn the compressor back on.

- , Andrews, TX, USA

problem #7

Oct 032009

Ram 2500 5.9L

  • Manual transmission
  • 87,000 miles


When I switch from defrost to floor most of the heat keeps coming from the defroster making it very hot on my face and freezing my feet. I checked and flat rate is 4.6 hours annd you have to drain the coolant and recover the refridgerant to drop the whole heater out from under the dash. It sounds like the defroster door hinge is broken. So much for any free time on the weekend. I just finished putting a set of injectors in because of a no start problem. Looks like 80,000 miles is about the time to trade these off.

- , Thorp, WA, USA

problem #6

Oct 302009

Ram 2500 XLT 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,256 miles

Defrost stopped working recently, thanks Autobeef for helping find the solution. Air blows fine from dash vents, but not from defrost or floor vents. Gonna call my friend at the Dodge dealer for an estimate and decide if I want to attempt it myself.

- , Media, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 012007

Ram 2500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

This is my third dodge truck and it will be my last. For this problem to be so widespread and for dodge to ignore it, shows the level of their concern for the customer. I have always tried to buy American but I am through.......keep your government owned company vehicles, Toyota, here I come.

- , McHenry, MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 012007

Ram 2500 SLT 5.9L I6

  • Manual transmission
  • 61,000 miles

The known mode door issue has struck yet again. Chrysler has really sold us a bill of goods on these trucks. We pay $40 - $50k only to have them fall apart in less than 2-3 years.

They wont fix my defrost unless I pay to fix the dash that is in 21 pieces after 18 months of owning the truck.

Dodge/Chrysler has seen me on the lot buying a truck for the last time ..... I guess I will need to learn how to wear a bow tie?

- , Goodlettsville, TN, USA

problem #3

Sep 232008

Ram 2500 2500 HD Hemi 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Can't get the heater/defrost to work... was told it was the flapper door and that it would cost $1500 to fix it. I reported the problem to Dodge who said it was out of warranty so not their problem. I said it was their problem because it was a safety issue. It started to rain and the defrost wouldn't work, had to pull over because we couldn't see. I reported the problem to NHTSA and I am waiting for a followup.

- , Jacksonville, NC, US

problem #2

Feb 142008

Ram 2500 SLT Hemi 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Defrost quit working, only had dash vents. Hot/Cold air was OK. Found a bad flapper door on the actuator motor that changes air output location from dash, to floor to front of dash.

Have to remove entire dash board, drop (or remove) steering column, and remove air bag. NOT a home-fix-it recommended effort. Its costly $1200 to $1500 for dealer, but we spent a good weekend doing the dismantle, removal, fix and reinstall of dash.

Of course, many screws are inserted before dash is installed, so it's a bitch getting to them. Also if windshield is removed it makes it easier to get to a few.

- , Hastings, MN, USA

problem #1

Apr 282007

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Can only get air flow through dash outlets. Have no defrost, floor heat or A/C. Have been told would cost $1200.00 or more to repair at dealer. Finding out this is a common problem on this truck. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to repair at a resonable cost? Would there be any recourse through Chrysler, as warranty has expired?

- , Georgetown, CO, USA

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