1999 Dodge Ram Pickup from North America

Summary:

Outside of these major problems, I love it

Faults:

The differential went out at 43,000 miles. I had it repaired.

The transmission went out at 52,000 miles. I had it repaired.

The differential went out again at 57,000 miles. Dodge said, "Sorry! You are out of warranty."

General Comments:

The new car warranty expired at 36,000 miles, but Chrysler donated new parts as a courtesy. I had to pay the labor.

The transmission was over $1,200 to repair.

This latest fiasco is estimated at $1,100+. Chrysler says that since they already contributed to the first repair as a courtesy, that I will have to pay the entire bill myself.

I don't tow anything or abuse/misuse the truck in any possible way. Two rear ends and a transmission gone in a total of 57,000 miles sounds like a poor design to me. Chrysler should take full responsibility for this.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th March, 2004

29th Dec 2004, 09:51

I don't know where you live, but in California if there is an ongoing problem with your car that was covered by warranty at the time it expired, it is still covered until fixed. I'd check your laws...

1999 Dodge Ram Pickup SLT 5.2L V8 from North America

Summary:

A comfortable truck that has handled Alaska's extreme weather well

Faults:

Plenum Gasket failed 15,000 miles which will make engine ping incessantly. Plenum Gasket failed again at about 60,000 miles which led to a loss of 2.5 quarts of oil, plugged cat., and chemical clean of injection system ($450 later for a warranty issue?). Power steering pump failed at about 2,000 miles.

General Comments:

This vehicle has been very solid and reliable in Alaska for last 5 years, other than the darn gasket.

Body, interior, and running gear have all worked and lasted wonderfully.

Plenum gasket was another Dodge-ism that they neglected to remedy unless people caught them on it. Last time they fixed it, they said a new metal-clad gasket was being used for replacement.

I have not had any problems with transmission, but I have had it serviced three times. Friends that have had problems have not done that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th March, 2004

1999 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 QC 4x4 5.2 318 from North America

Summary:

A tough all around great pickup

Faults:

The engine began pinging at about 50,000 miles. A dealer updated the PCM and tuned it which almost eliminated the problem. When it started up again around 65,000 miles, I re-routed the plug wires and put in 89 octane gas which has eliminated the ping, but is now eating my wallet too. This is common with Mopar since they don't use a "knock sensor" on their engines like Ford and Chevy do.

Front bearings and seals wore out around 65,000 miles. Unfortunately, the front ABS option requires a single bearing/hub assembly that costs $240 apiece.

Release bearing is starting to rattle after heavy stop and go driving.

General Comments:

I picked this truck after searching in vain for a 98 Chevy Z71 for months. One look and test drive and I was sold. Plus it was one year newer and thousands less than the 98 Chevy for which I was searching. The styling of the Ram is second to none. It still looks better than the new Ram and F150. As for Chevy, well, they must have broke the mold in 1998.

I was disappointed when the bearings went out and I had to replace the whole hub. This replacement seemed premature. Dodge should put a greasable bearing in there. Oh, well.

The pinging also bothers me. It's something that will never completely go away unless I rip off the PCM and throw a carb on it. The price we pay for emissions control...

My Ram is a 1500 short box quad cab with a manual (I was well aware of Dodge's auto troubles and I wanted a manual anyway). I got the ST model so there's no frivolous electronics to wear out unexpectedly. The floors are easy to clean and the seats are very comfortable. The center console is still the largest on the market and the gages are perfect. I keep a strict maintenance schedule and use the same brand oil and gas every change and fill. It is a very smooth highway cruiser and soaks up city potholes with ease.

Overall, this truck is magnificent! It starts everyday, hot or cold. It looks great dirty or clean. It plows through snow like a snowmobile. I've made four flawless cross-country trips with it in the summer and winter. The cab is huge and more comfortable than both my cars ever were. It would be nice to have more low end torque for going up hills or passing. But then again, it's a truck!

I highly recommend the Dodge Ram. It's not a car and not supposed to be a one. I love it for everything it does and doesn't do. For me, it's the perfect vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2004

6th Apr 2004, 18:22

I am updating my review. I have since stopped putting in 89 octane because the pinging returned after I wrote this. Also, I am constantly doing research to eliminate this problem. Here's what I'm going to do: Install a 180 degree thermostat, add a cold air intake, install colder plugs and, if needed, replace the plenum pan gasket. This should eliminate the ping from what I've read.

20th Jul 2004, 01:28

I had the pinging problem too, It was also using more oil than it should have been. No smoke from the tailpipe though. My mechanic replaced the intake manifold gaskets and both problems went away. I hope this helps.

Jeff

BTW, One of the intake gaskets was definitely bad.

13th Oct 2004, 17:51

I had the plenum gasket checked before another trip and it was still intact. The mechanic ran an injector cleaner through it and the ping was completely gone. I took my 4000 mile trip to Chicago and back without a single problem. However, back home, the ping returned ever so slightly. But it was probably due too bad gas and differing octane levels. (There aren't Chevrons everywhere in this country).

These seem to be the problem with pinging. One, carbon build up. If it's been a while since a good fuel system cleaner, try it. Not the can at Napa. Get your mechanic to run industrial stuff through the fuel line. Two, the plenum gasket leaking. Fortunately, that's an easy one to spot (oil usage). So far, I haven't changed the thermostat because I figure why mess with the stock system if there's another solution. I'd also like to keep the mileage reasonable and the truck stock. In the meantime, I'll keep watch of the oil and enjoy my rig!!

3rd Jan 2007, 16:35

Dodge is not the only vehicle that comes stock with non-greasable bearings. My 99 Chevy S10 Zr2 were non-greasable and a little more expensive than that. I ended up spending over $700 and replaced them myself. I am looking at a dodge right now and can't decide if I want one or not.