really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,242 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 2500 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Owner Comments (Page 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Apr 102006

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles


Excessive movement in poor quality oem ball joints, along with road feed back through a multi piece, and movable steering shaft and steering column. Make this series of truck unsafe, a hazard, and a liability on the road.

- S. Easton, MA, USA

problem #11

Dec 022005

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
I own a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck. Four wheel drive with a diesel engine. Vehicle has 30,000 miles. On 2 December 2005, while driving to work with out any warning the steering locked, rendering me helpless unable to steer the vehicle. After I was able to get the vehicle to a safe location I attempted to test the steering. The steering wheel would not steer to the right of center. It will steer to the left but seems to have a diminished power assist performance at first. While cycling the steering system several times the power assist to the left improves. However once the steering reaches the center point to the right the steering locks and would not go any further right of center. The vehicle is currently at dominion Dodge service rep 1259 E. main street salem Virginia, and they have determined that the steering gear box has failed. Although it is very possible that a component of this type could fail, in the 30 years as an automotive mechanic and a master in hydraulic systems technology I have yet seen or heard of a steering gear box failure that would render a vehicle completely incapable of controlling steering. Most of my experience in this field is usually worn component that cause poor performance in the steering capability. Usually this occurs at greater than 100,000 miles, not at 30,0000.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012005

Ram 2500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The contact stated there was excessive play within the steering and a shimmy in the front right tire at speeds of 65 mph. The truck could strike a bump in the road and there would be complete loss of control. The vehicle has been to a dealer for inspection of this problem. The dealer discovered the right front tire was about to fall off. Also, he noted that the pitman arm, tie rod, and stabilizer bar needed to be replaced. No repairs were performed due to the expense. She contacted the manufacturer, but they did not offer any cost assistance.

- Eubank, KY, USA

problem #9

Aug 022005

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,205 miles


2003 Dodge 2500 quad cab 4X4. Diesel: When driving on interstate highways it becomes very difficult to steer and control after hitting a rough spot in the roadway and a rough bridge. Does not do it all of the time so you never know when to expect it. The only way to stop the problem is to slow way down, at least 25 to 30 mph slower. It did not start doing this until about 200 miles over the factory bumper to bumper warranty. Local dealer thought it was due to rotating tires and the tires being out of balance. I had tires re-balanced and also install a new mopar steering strut and it still does it. It is very dangerous and I am afraid to pull my 21 ft boat now. My wife will no longer drive it either. There needs to be some kind of factory recall before lives and property are lost!!

- Rawlins, WY, USA

problem #8

Jun 112005

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,700 miles
Vehicle was driving at 55mph when suddenly complete loss of steering occurred and brakes locked simultaniously causing vehicle to spin out of control into oncoming traffic. No accident occurred although oncoming traffic also spun out of control to avoid accident. Engine never died and when vehicle stopped itself steering and brakes returned to what appeared to be normal. Driver was to shaken to continue and her brother took over. He re-entered highway and slowly accelerated watching gauges to look for abnormal occurances. When vehicle reached 45mph oil pressure guage jumped all the way to top reading, complete loss of steering re-occurred, and brakes locked again causing vehicle to spin again out of control. Vehicle was towed to nearest dealer where dealer said they had never heard of that happening. Contacted Chrysler where they said they had no record of that happening. Perhaps because the people are all dead" whatever causes this sequence of events to be able to occur should be of major concern to the people at Chrysler. The vehicle is under warranty but since no one seems to understand how this could happen how do I ever put my family back in this truck again much less hook up our horse trailer to it"

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 212005

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles
I was driving at freeway speed 75 mph when I hit a small washboard type bump, my 2003 Dodge 4X4 2500 diesel (with 39,000 miles) began swerving so violently I could hardly hang on to the wheel. We nearly ran off the road and just missed the semi next to us. It was so bad, my wife's head was hitting against the passenger window. We had to slam on the brakes & come to a speed of 30 mph to get it to stop. It seemed to drive fine until we could get it to the dealership in grand junction, who diagnosed it as a bad tie rod end. Replaced that, , and sent us on our way. We again began driving down the freeway, pulling a small cargo trailer when it happened again. This time it was so much worse while I tried to hang on to the wheel that I could hardly Focus my eyes and again my wife's head smashing against the passenger window with this violent shaking. We took the truck to the Dodge dealership in St. George, ut where they reported there were several things they could do, but couldn't guaranty that it would fix the problem. Did comment that they were well aware of this problem with these trucks and the service team in slc, ut had named it "the death wobble". I questioned why there is not a recall if it is so common, but he had no answer. He stated most of the people who had this problem 'just got rid of the truck' in other words some other fool has it. This is going to kill someone if not remedied. As a matter of fact, my small wife would have never had the strength to hang on to that wheel & we would be dealing with a crash or death instead of this letter.

- Paragonah, UT, USA

problem #6

Jun 152003

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 22,000 miles


My 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 steering shakes uncontrollably when you hit a bump at highway speeds or a bridge expansion joint. Directional control is difficult while this is happening. This happened while traveling at 75 mph, and sent the truck into the other lane, nearly causing an accident. Could not get the shaking to stop until truck dropped to 45 mph. The dealership says that one other customer is having the same problem. They checked all the steering components and said everything was good. This is very dangerous, and should be checked out further. Ball joints in these trucks:2003 Ram 2500 -3500 are proven to be defective. I am a member of the turbo diesel register which is comprise of 40,000+ members and this problem is not uncommon at all. Approximately 50% of all 2003 + trucks have ball joint slop in the first 10,000 miles.

- Conway, SC, USA

problem #5

Oct 182004

Ram 2500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Problem seems to occur more frequently on interstate or highway at speeds of over 65 mph. When vehicle hits a bump a certain way it begins to bounce and sway very violently. So much so that it throws you into other lanes. You have to slow to less than 50 mph to get it to stop. Nothing has been done to correct this. Local dealers have been unable to locate problem. This problem will cause fatalities if the problem isnt solved soon.

- Somerville, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 062004

Ram 2500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Manual transmission
  • 32,900 miles
My 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 steering shudders uncontrollably when you hit a bump at highway speeds. Directional control is difficult while this is happening. This happened while traveling at 75 mph, and sent the truck into the other lane, nearly causing an accident. Could not get the shaking to stop until truck dropped to 35 mph. The dealership says that one other customer is having the same problem. They checked all the steering components and said everything was good. This is very dangerous, and should be checked out further.

- Roy, UT, USA

problem #3

Apr 152003

Ram 2500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,779 miles
We bought our 2003 Dodge 2500 diesel Ram pickup on January 25, 2003 with 10 miles on it. We noticed it pulled to the right and once in awhile would shake a little, we thought it was out of alignment. On April 27, 2003 we where driving on the freeway at about 80 miles per hour when all of a sudden the truck was violently shaking back and forth. It took everything my husband had to keep us on the road. After what seemed like an eternity he was able to pull onto the shoulder and get it stopped. We decided to try to get to the next town that was 20 miles away. Traveling at 40 M.P.H. with our flashers on, it happened again. My husband called the tow truck, and we haven't seen our truck since! the mechanic said a bolt on the track bar mount had come loose and fell out and they would need to replace the entire front axle. Spoke to the mechanic today and they received the front axle today. Now they need to replace the ball joints, they have been ordered and will take another couple of days. I have spoken to a couple of mechanics today and none of them can figure out why the front axle along with the ball joints would need to be replace because of the loose track bar mount. You can find this on the NHTSA website, sorry I don't have the exact website address. www.NHTSA.dot.gov once in the website go to: Complaint search criteria: Vehicle 2003 Dodge truck

- St. George, UT, USA

problem #2

Feb 102004

Ram 2500

  • miles
I drive a 2003 Ram 2500 quad cab pickup. Several times while driving this vehicle at highway speeds I have come to a bump in the road, (sometimes just a repair left after construction), and nearly lost control of the vehicle. The steering wheel becomes loose feeling, and the vehicle actually looses contact with the roadway. I fear having this happen someplace where there are other vehicles in close quarters. I have taken the vehicle in to the service department where I purchased it. My service manager admits he has had this same experience in a demo vehicle he drove. He lowered the tire pressure (way below what I thought was recommended). This does help some, but it doesn't completely fix the problem. I also worry about driving on underinflated tires. This has happened numerous times, with the most recent being today.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 112003

Ram 2500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
While driving at 15 mph, the intermediate steering shaft fell apart, the driver loss control of the vehicle. The cause of the steering shaft failure was due to the pinch bolt falling out. The consumer making a right turn towing a small trailer when the steering shaft separated and the vehicle veered into the ditch.

- Butler, PA, USA

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