1999 Dodge Ram Pickup Sport 5.2 from North America
Looks nice and is fun to drive, but not worth all the problems
** Mud flaps not installed correctly made noise from day 1.
** Loud front wheel squeak (fixed under warranty).
** Right front wheel has always worn at about 2 times the rate of the others even though alignment points showed correct alignment. (Only option is to rotate them often I was told).
** A/C changes automatically from dash vents to defroster vents during acceleration or anytime engine is developing more than average power.
** Had to tighten an oil hose clamp located near the radiator to stop leaking at about 3,000 miles.
** A/C compressor went out just after warranty expired costing $820 to replace.
** Rear brake shoes failed and ruined drums just after warranty expired.
** Master cylinder leaks brake fluid which collects in the can behind it on the firewall making the leak invisible.
** At about 60,000 miles the speedometer stopped working at speeds under 25 mph.
** Cruise control stopped working at about 40,000 miles.
** Hand grip on passenger side striped out and fell off when a friend used it to climb in.
** Lots of slop in drive train when starting shifting to reverse.
** Swamp smell from A/C system when first turned on.
** Engine started making a sever pinging sound during acceleration at about 58,000 miles (not related to gas quality)
This is the short bed, 4x4, regular cab, RAM Sport 1/2 ton truck.
I like the looks and the way the truck handles. Since it is short, light and comes stock slightly "lifted", it feels a little like driving an ATV. Also has a tight turn radius.
Fuel consumption seems to average about 12 mpg on the highway or in the city.
From my reading, Dodge has known about many of the problems I experienced for a long time, but didn't do anything to prevent them in my truck.
This truck has been lightly used. Normally just to commute 10 miles to and from work with an occasional load of stuff from Home Depot or pulling a small boat (400 pounds) 8 miles to the lake. It has proved the "Ram Tough" propaganda pushed by Dodge to be a big lie.
If I buy a "tough" full size truck with a V8 engine I expect more toughness than this.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 15th April, 2004
I think can help with that speedometer problem. My '99 Dodge Ram 1500 (5.9L) also wouldn't register speed from 0-20 or 25 MPH, accelerating or decelerating. Had to take the truck in to replace the rear ABS sensor. The shop wiped the onboard computer and reset to factory specs. Speedometer works fine now. (This might help other electrical problems, too.)
You are exactly right. Just before I returned the truck under the lease I found several web sites saying this is a very common problem on RAMs, Dakotas and other Dodges.
I bought the part from a local dealer at a cost of roughly $55 (The parts guy also said it was a common problem) and replaced it myself. One of the sites recommended doing all the work with the battery disconnected to prevent any electrical surge type damage and also to clear the fault codes.
When I finished, the speedo started working and the brake and ABS lights went off. I hoped it would fix the cruise control problem, but it didn't.
Dodge RAM Cruise Control Problems. I had this problem also. It was a vacuum leak because they use a hard tubing that gets brittle with heat and age. My vacuum tube was cracked just as it went into the cruise control vacuum solenoid, which is just about under the battery.
Same problem with '99 Durangos. The speed sensors located on the transmission and the differential fail prematurely and a myriad list of problems ensue, including the need for high engine RPM's before the transmission will shift. Aftermarket sensors are readily available now at a fraction of the MOPAR cost and last for many years.