Dodge Ram – All Models

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

July 2000

Dear Chrysler Owner:

Thank you for contacting the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) about your
1986 or later Dodge Ram pickup, Ram Van/Wagon, or Ramcharger. CAS has
received many complaints which question Dodge’s claim that their large
trucks and vans are built “Ram tough.” The most common complaints on these
vehicles include stalling, transmission woes, paint
and brake failures. Dramatically redesigned
after more than twenty years of production, squeaks and rattles appear
to plague the latest generation of Ram pickup trucks.

Most of these vehicles suffer from harsh/rough shifting transmissions.
Many owners also experience unexplainable noises from their differentials
at normal operating speeds. Chrysler has issued many Technical Service
Bulletins (TSB’s) and “driveability” kits in an attempt to cure stalling,
surging and hesitation as listed in the enclosed fact sheet. Another common
complaint on Ram trucks and vans concerns paint that peels off in large
flakes like a bad sunburn. This is particularly common on 1985-93 models
with blue, silver and gray paint. CAS has urged Chrysler officials to
extend coverage for this and other factory paint defects to 6 years and
unlimited mileage which is the same as GM adopted at CAS’ urging.

Full-size Dodge Ram pickups with the 5.9L Cummins diesel engine also
produce a large number of complaints for stalling, poor fuel economy,
and coolant/thermostat problems. Chrysler has issued dozens of Technical
Service Bulletins (TSBs) on problems in the Cummins diesel and how to
fix them. Driveline vibration and shudder are common problems as are various
failure of power locks and remote keyless entries in later models. Chrysler
notified dealers but not owners about these problems. CAS has listed many
of the major TSBs in the enclosed Fact Sheet which tells you how to find
any other TSBs on your vehicle.

You’ll find more information on these and other Chrysler truck and van
problems below and what you can do about
them plus a complaint box. Your information
will help us build a strong case against Chrysler on the defects we know
about and help us spot new ones.

We need you to support the Center for Auto Safety in our fight for consumer
rights and against poorly designed and unsafe cars. Your contribution
is tax-deductible and
entitles your to our quarterly newsletter, Lemon Times. Please
submit the membership form along with your
contribution and complaint. If you contribute $35 or more, we will send you the current edition of The Ultimate Car Book, by Jack Gillis. Every home should have this
invaluable consumer guide.


Clarence M. Ditlow
Executive Director

Wagon, Truck, Charger, Van
Technical Service Bulletins are listed in brackets below.

For info on bad paint, wind noise, or water leaks, go to Chrysler

Water in ABS warning lamp 1991 Van, Wagon, 1989-91 Truck, Charger (05-01-91);
Front disc brake noise 1990-91 Truck, Charger (05-05-91), 1994-95 Truck
(05-02-95); Rear drum wear 1990-92 Van, Wagon, 1989-92
Truck, Charger (05-04-92); Premature wear with 12″ rear
brake drums 1993-95 Van, Wagon, 1989-93 Truck (05-21-94);
Vehicle leans left 1990-91 Truck, Charger (02-06-90);
Rattle/Clunk from front 1994-95 Truck (02-05-95); Front shock bushings
deteriorate 1995-97 V(02-11-97); Rear sits too low 1994-97
Truck (02-03-97), 1996-97 V (02-05-97), 1996 Van, Wagon (02-02-96);
Pulls left or right 1994-97 Truck (05-03-97); Front brake
lining wear 1994-97 Truck (05-04-97); Shudder pulling
away from stop 1994-96 Truck (03-02-96), 1995-96 Truck (03-04-96);
Rear leaf spring noise 1994-96 Truck (02-03-96); Drone,
vibration 1994-96 Truck (03-03-96); Shimmy after hitting
bump 1994-96 Truck (19-05-96); Smooth road vibration
in seat 1995-96 Truck (23-48-96); Knocking in front on full turns 1998-99
V (02-08-98).

No start 1992 All (18-04-92), 1994-97 Truck, Van, Wagon (08-21-97);
Poor performance 1990-91 Truck, Charger (18-11-92), 1991-92 Truck, Charger
diesels (18-18-92); Erratic idle/stall & Surging
1992 All (18-15-92, 18-16-92); White smoke/lack of power
1994 Truck with 5.9L Cummins (18-10-94); Erratic idle,
stalling 1992-94 Truck, Charger with 3.9/5.2/5.9L (18-16-94);
Slow to warm up 1994 Truck with 5.9L Cummins (07-07-94);
Surge between 41 & 54 MPH 1994-95 Truck (18-11-95);
Excess oil drainage from draft tube 1994-95 Truck (09-04-95);
Runs poorly/Lacks power/Idles rough/Blows black smoke 1994-95 Truck (18-06-95);
Miss/Rough idle 1994-95 Truck (18-09-95); Whine @ idle,
High idle 1994-95 Truck (18-10-95); Vibration or miss
1994-95 Truck (21-04-95); Turbocharger problems 1994-97
Truck with 5.9L Cummins (11-15-96); Low rpm miss, white
smoke, hard start, low power 1994-96 Truck with 5.9L Cummins (14-07-96);
Fuel injector pump oil seepage 1994-95 with turbo (09-07-96);
Rough idle, surge @ 10-mph 1994-95 Truck (18-21-96);
Cold sag, hesitation 1994-95 All with 3.9/5.2L 1994-95 (18-21-97);
V10 engine moan 1994-97 Truck (09-04-97); Erroneous malfunction
indicator light (MIL) & driveability problems 1996 All (18-03-97),
1997 All (18-26-96, 18-12-97); Buck/jerk 1996-98 Truck
with 5.9L Cummins (18-29-97A); Timing chain noise 1990-97
All with 3.9L (08-27-97A); Fuel odor, evaporative purge
sticks open 1994-97 Truck (14-10-96A); Light spark knock 1996-97 All (18-24-98);
Spark knock, misfire, surge @ 45mph in 4th with 3.9/5.2/5.9L 1994-99 Truck
(18-48-98); Accessory drive belt noise or damage 1994-99 Truck with 8.0L
(09-04-98); Low power or noise from wastegate actuator failure 1994-98
with 5.9L turbodiesel (11-08-98).

Auto overdrive clutch repeat failure 1988-90 All (21-01-90); High 1-2
upshift 1987-90 Ram 50 (21-04-91); Noisy 3-4 upshifts
1988-91 All (21-11-91); Erratic 3-4 shift 1991-92 Truck,
Charger (18-10-92); Delayed upshift 1992-93 All (21-18-92),
1992-94 Van, Wagon, Truck with 4spd auto (21-19-94); Delayed engagement
1990-94 Van, Wagon, Truck (21-08-94); Driveline clunk,
harshness (4spd auto) 1988-94 Van, Truck (21-18-94);
Delayed engagement/Torque conv. drainback 1994-95 Truck (21-05-95);
High effort shifting from 2nd to 4WD in cold temps. 1994-95 Truck (21-25-94);
Noise below 1400 rpm 1989-93 Truck (06-01-94); No overdrive
below -5F 1996-98 All (21-06-97A); Buzz on shift into
Reverse 1996 All (21-11-97); Failure below -15F All (21-01-96);
No 5th 1994-99 Truck (21-10-98A).

Other: Overheating/no
heat 1989-90 Truck, Charger 5.9L diesel (07-01-91); Lower
hose leaks 1990-91 Truck, Charger (07-04-91); Faulty
jack 1989-92 Truck, Charger (22-05-92); Exhaust drone
@ idle 1994-95 Van, Wagon (11-03-95); Lubricant seep
from rear axle speed sensor 1995 Truck, Van, Wagon (03-01-95);
Cowl cracks 1993 & Prior Truck, Charger (23-63-94);
Low heater output 1994-97 Truck (07-01-96); Engine oil
contaminates vacuum system 1995-96 Truck with 5.9L Cummins;
Remote lock fails 1995-97 Van, Wagon (08-16-97); Remote keyless entry
discharges 1997-98 Van, Wagon,1998 Truck (08-39-97);
Speed control inoperative 1996-97 Truck (08-22-97); Steering
column clunk 1995-96 Truck (19-01-96),1996-97 Truck (19-08-97);
Excess steering play 1994-98 Truck (19-10-97); Oil canning
noise from cargo box 1994-98 Truck (23-61-97); A/C changes
to defrost on accelerating 1994-96 Truck (24-01-96A);
Door glass separates from lift channel 1990-96 Van, Wagon (23-13-96);
Door area rattle 1994-96 Truck (23-46-96); Tailgate cracks
1994-96 Truck (23-29-96); Tailgate won’t latch in cold
weather 1994-96 Truck (23-21-96).

Copies of recalls may be obtained from NHTSA’s
Technical Reference Division at 202-366-2768.

Buckle unlatches 185,000 1994 Truck (95V-005); Buckle rivets bad 4,200
1998 Van, Wagon (98V-105); ECM module replace 30,400 1998 Van, 263,00
Van, Truck (99V-002, 99V-023);

Master cylinders cracked 7,400 1986 D/W series (86V-020); Vacuum hose
deteriorates 58,000 1995-96 Truck (97V-068); Brake rotor hub fractures
1,550 1998 Truck (98V-075).

Fails 30-mph Crash 26,600 1987-90 Truck (90V-124), 7,000 1994 Truck without
rear bumper (94V-113); Exhaust pipe ignites material adjacent dash pad
6,400 1997 Truck (97V-126); Fuel tank valve leaks 497,000 1994-96 Truck
(97V-199); Generator fuse arcs 12,000 1996 Truck (95V-237); Transmission
line sprays fluid on hot exhaust 96,000 1994-97 Truck (97V-084); Fuel
line leak 8,144 1998 Truck (98V-182); Diesel supply tube fracture 25,014
1998 Truck (98V-207); CNG tank straps 29 1999 Van (99V-034); Fuel hose
leak 45 1999 Ram (99V-044); Clutch line rupture 8,800 1995-99 Truck (99V-115)
& melts 9,000 1999 Ram (99V-190); Ignition switch overheats 690,000
1994-96 Truck (00V-135).

Track bar attachment loss 3,900 1994 Truck 4wd (93V-173); Front track
bar failure 1,900 1994 Truck (94V-097, 94V-202); Lower control arm weld
fails 76 2000 Truck (00V-070); Upper control arm fastener breaks 480 2001
Truck (00V-307).

Keys on ring lodge in steering wheel holes 200,000+ 1994-95
Truck (94V-145, 95V-088); Steering wheel comes loose
20,000+ 1991 Truck (95V-089); Seat back latch fails 17,000
1993 V(93V-213); Hood flies up 175,000 1994-95 Truck
(95V-056); Wrong tires 2,500 1996 Truck (96V-027);
Steering shaft separates 475,000 1994-95 Truck (96V-230);
P/seat comes loose 3,500 1998 Van, Wagon (98V-076); Mirror
glass wrong 90 1994 Truck (95V-025.002); High idle due
to bad ECM software 30,747 1998 Truck with 5.9L diesel (98V-209); Headlight
fails 79,000 1994-97 Ram 3500 (99V-024); Trailer
fracture 357,000 1998-00 Truck (00V-107).


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