1997 Dodge Ram from North America - Comments

28th Dec 2000, 17:36

Hi, I have a 1997 2500 Dodge Ram diesel with 75,000. The dealer had to replace both front axles last month and this month the dealer is overhauling the transmission. I'm lucky since both are covered under my extended warranty, but I'm very upset that a $31000.00 truck is having so many expensive problems at 75,000 miles. The dealer states that a seal in the transmission is bad. I'm wondering if I should get rid of this truck before it has more problems?

Cindy

31st Dec 2000, 08:17

This is a update to the 97 Dodge Ram transmission problem posted 12/28/2000. I picked the truck up at the dealers on 12/29, drove the truck 40 miles back to my house only to see a line of transmission fluid behind me as I was pulling in the driveway. I looked under the truck and there was fluid everywhere. I opened the hood after putting on the parking brake, put it in N and checked the fluid level, the stick was dry. Called Dodge, they came to get it.

9th Jan 2001, 23:32

I have a '97 1500 ext cab 4X2. Upon returning from an extended business trip I noticed that when I put it in reverse it didn't move until I gunned it a few times. It didn't do it again, so I blew it off. I now realize that it does it everytime I park it for more than a day or two.

I have also had a problem with the rear antilock brakes, and balancing/proportioning the fronts. Dodge dealer says I'm nuts, but the truck only has REAR antilock, however the only way to get the fronts to grab well enough to lock is on snow or ice. I'm 6-7 260lbs, and with both feet on the pedal with all I've got, it won't do it on dry pavement.

I had the lower steering column replaced at about 15k miles because it was making a grinding clunking sound, with noticable vibration in the steering wheel. It started it again around 35k miles, and of course the dealer says there is no problem found/can't duplicate the sound. But everyday when I turn in my driveway, there it is.

Ed P.

St. Louis, MO

16th Feb 2001, 19:16

Its been rummored that the Dodge 1500, 2500, and even the 3500 Automatic trans will last 90,000 miles at most, I am at 86,000 and screwed. My buddy only got to 70,000 and I'm currently trying to convince my father to get rid of his before his tranny goes south.

23rd Feb 2001, 10:37

I have a Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 and I've noticed torque converter slip at about 20,000 miles, took it in numerous times to have the dealer test drive and see what I was talking about prior to the 36,000 mile deadline, but always came back with the explanation that there wasn't a problem.

I now have 67,000 miles on it, and it is slipping out of lock-up much more and develops a slight shudder from the torque converter while its slipping once in a while. The fluid has been changed, and the truck hasn't seen hard use. I'm pretty disappointed that the dealers seem to look past customer complaints prior to the warranty period expiring. I'm sure they would gladly change parts now that the warranty has expired. It looks like I'll have to foot the bill, but I'm not very impressed with the lack of service in this case. Basically, the problem was caught by the customer which was not addressed because it wasn't in Dodge's interest.

If anyone has a similar issue which has been repaired, I'd be interested to hear the extent of the problem - I suspect the torque converter and maybe the pump, but I'm not sure.

28th Feb 2001, 15:36

I have a 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 2x4 and am having problems with my paint already... 4 spots where it's started to flake off, the smallest of which is about the size of a dime.

I've had brake problems with it every 6-9 months since I bought it in 8/95.

The seal on the power steering fluid reservoir blew out last year, right in the middle of a parking lot. The dealer wanted a HUGE amount of money to replace it, I said no. I took it to a reliable mechanic in town and he said Chrysler was using a cheap part with only ONE seal to hold in the pressure. That seal had corroded and caused the fluid to spray out onto the pavement. They replaced the entire part with a double-seal model and it's worked fine ever since. AND, it was still cheaper than getting the original part replaced with an identical one from the dealer!

In 1998, I noticed rust forming at the bottom of the driver's side door. I found out this was due to the fact that no one had rustproofed the inside of said door when I bought the truck. The deal was, they rustproofed the truck before I bought it. So they paid for that one. HOWEVER, the new door's molding fits wrong and I heard a helluva lot of wind noise. I fixed that myself after having it in THREE more times to get them to fix it and to touch-up some scratches in the paint they made when putting the OLD window moulding back in. I made them replace that, too.

I love the truck to death, despite all the seemingly bad news here. It handles GREAT, rides GREAT and looks even GREATER. I've done a lot to take care of it over the past 7 years and since it's all paid off now, I'm likely going to get another vehicle and keep this one to show off as a classic someday! ;)

After reading what I've read on sites like this one, I'm very doubtful that my next vehicle will be a Chrysler product. Even though I think they have by far the best styling, I can't ignore all the paint/mechanical/other problems people have reported & continue to report.

For the money of a new Ram, I've got my eye on a nifty Pontiac Firebird. :)

4th Mar 2001, 17:16

I own a 1997 1500 RAM, had many problems.

Rear window leaked.

Radiator leaked, needed to be replaced.

Rattle in the driver's door, took the dealer 5 times to fix it.

Wiper blades slapped against the windshield.

Transmission needed to be rebuilt, dealer had the truck for 5 weeks.

Intake gasket needed to be replaced, now truck uses excessive amounts of oil.

Cruise control sticks, dealer replaced 3 switches on the steering wheel, still sticks.

Paint chips easily.

Grinds going into 4 wheel drive, seat ripped at the seam.

Transmission still has problems at times. Have to back up sometimes to take out of 4 wheel drive, which can be a real pain driving down the road.

11th Mar 2001, 06:38

I also have a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500. It has had many problems.

1. Both front u-joints replaced at 37,000 mile and again at 90,000 miles.

2. Torque converter & transmission replaced at 85,000 miles. Still is not working correctly. Hoping that the check engine light comes on before it's over the 12,000 mile/1 year warranty so I don't have to pay again.

3. Drive shaft from transfer case to front wheels replaced because the dealers cannot get replacement parts & the ball-joint had a defect in it. When replaced, it fixed another noise problem that I had complained about while still under warranty and they could not find solution.

4. Many other minor problems, some under warranty & some not. It has been a very disappointing experience.

My last truck was a Chevy. I sold it with 92,000 miles on it and it was only in the shop 1 time for anything other than an oil change. I guess I know where to get my next vehicle.