1997 Dodge Ram Pickup Sport 5.2 from North America
A high maintenance vehicle
Constant belt squeak since new.
Engine blew at 71,000 miles.
Left front brake caliper seized up.
Steering wheel has heavy wear damage.
Shocks went bad at 50,000 miles.
Paint peeled on the front bumper.
Warranty not the greatest when you read the fine print.
The engine had something wrong with it from day one. The belt was changed 5 times by the dealer with no explanation. Upon having the dealer put in a new engine I learned that the warranty company reserves the right to use used parts when making repairs. They wanted to put a used motor in the truck.
The paint on the front bumper peeled for unknown reason. When taken back to the dealer, they took pictures of the front bumper and said they would submit it to Dodge. Never heard anymore about that. I recently had a new bumper painted and installed after a minor accident. Repair bill was rather modest, not worth it to turn it in to my insurance company.
Brake caliper seized up and was replaced as per warranty.
The leather around the steering wheel has deteriorated over the last four years.
Shocks did not last very long compared to other trucks I've owned.
All things said, since the new engine was replaced, mechanically I cannot complain.
Plenty of room in the cab.
No problems at all with the transmission.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th July, 2001
15th Oct 2002, 01:19
I have the same problem with the belt squealing. The dealer replaced the auto-tensioner under warranty, which repaired the problem for about 10k miles. I have found that this is common on many of the magnum engines, but don't know the reason. All I can recommend is to change the belt as it shows wear and enjoy the quiet when the squeal is not present.
I also had the brake caliper lock up, shortly after the warranty expired. This was caused on my truck by rusting from the Midwest road salt. I took the caliper apart, cleaned and reassembled it, and 45k miles later it still works like a charm. It also helps to be out of the midwest.
25th Apr 2003, 12:16
I had (have) the same paint problem with my 97 Dakota's front bumper.
Also had belt problems. Beware on the 318ci, the belt you will get at Autozone and Advance is a little too small. I ran one of these on mine, it caused the AC compressor clutch to go bad and the water pump to fail. Get the belt from Napa, it fits correctly and is worth the extra $20.00 they want for it.