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1994+ Dodge Ram
Commonly Seen or Odd Ram Problems

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[ Steering ] [ Brakes ] [ Gas Engine ] [ 12 Valve Diesel ] [ 24 Valve Diesel ]

[ Axle, Drive Shaft ] [ Auto Transmission ] [ Body, Paint, Interior ]

These sections have not moved to new pages yet; they are farther down on this page.

[ Noise ] [  Manual Trans, Clutch] [ Transfer Case ] [ HVAC ] [ Electrical ] [ Suspension ]

Important Numbers

The MDH is the month, day, and hour (24 hour clock) of assembly of your truck as expressed as XXXXXXX. For example: a 1996 model with 020611 is February 6th of 1996, at 11:00 AM.  That information is found on the white data plate in the driver side door jamb along with the recommended tire pressure and loading of standard tires.  Look in the lower left corner for the MDH info. Write down the Date code, VIN, and any info from the data plate under the hood that lists the equipment found on your Dodge.
       Your dealer (or any CC dealer) can deliver a complete list of EVERYTHING that went into your truck by getting onto his DIAL 2000 line direct to CC and performing a Function 14.  It will give you the as-built trans type, rear axle ratio, and the build code for each item.  If is is not there CC didn't put it there during assembly, it came later.
       Diesel engines have a CPL number and a serial number on the engine data plate found on the side of timing gear case.

      If you find yourself stuck with a problem that the dealer can not or will not fix see "Resolving Warranty Problems" , an RTML posting with excellent advice for people with a service problem.    

  • Whistle while truck is moving (not turbo noise) - loose radio antenna
  • Chirp or clunk from front end when driving over bumps
    • bad lower ball joint, track bar, and/or intermediate steering shaft
    • loose lower shock bolt
  • Hissing from front of truck after engine turned off - normal; a result of pressure in AC condenser bleeding off. NOTE: AC runs in many positions of the selector switch.
  • Grinding or "Impact wrench" sound that gets louder with engine load - Transfer case output shaft snap ring broken allows shaft assembly to move backward and grind into the case.
  • Squeak from steering column or front end while turning steering wheel - Lube the U-joint in the steering shaft (under the hood).
  • Flapping sound from front of truck
    • Rubber baffle (radiator protector) under/behind bumper loose
    • Diesel: Air intake snorkle from fender to air filter collapsing - remove it
  • HVAC control intermittent, air vents change themselves -
    • all engines: check for vacuum leak(s)
    • all engines: TSB 24-01-96A  bad or missing HVAC vacuum check valve
    • diesel only: TSB 24-16-96  oil contamination of vacuum lines
  • HVAC system has musty or moldy odor
  • Cruise Control inoperative
    • TSB 08-22- 97  leaking vacuum hose at speed control servo due to battery acid on the servo hose
  • Fan noise and low air volume - The return air duct can be partially blocked by items that fell from the back of the glove box.


Manual Transmission 
  • NV5600 shift pattern on knob rotates - use a small screwdriver to pry it out and reseat it.
  • NV5600 shift knob loose/rattling - Tighten the shift knob:
    • Use a tiny screwdriver to pry the shift pattern piece out of the shift knob.
    • Use a 15mm socket to loosen the locknut, screw the knob down until tight.
    • Retighten the locknut and pop the shift pattern back into the knob.
  • NV5600 6 speed leaking oil - loose shift tower bolts on top of transmission
  • NV5600 6 gear grind when shifting into 3rd - DC is working on the problem - update page.
  • 2000+ Models with loose transmission bolts - Reports of loose transmission, bellhousing, trans mount, and crossmember bolts have appeared on the TDR forum. Check your bolts!
  • NV4500HD OD failure - 5th gear nut vibrates loose  TSB 21-10-98a  replace nut
    • IMPORTANT: To prevent OD failure,  do not pull or haul loads in OD at engine speeds below 1600rpm.
    • The real fix is the Standard Transmission fully splined mainshaft
  • V10 Manual transmission rattle - TSB 21-13-97 - replace clutch disk and propshaft
  • Launch shudder - 2X4 REGULAR CAB 3/4 models - 
    • TSB 03- 02-96 change the 2 piece drive shaft to a 1 piece
  • Clunk from transmission when shifting into forward or reverse
    • reports to RTML are that the transmission must be rebuilt if customer complains
  • Shifter noise and/or rattle - loose knob retainer nut
    • Pry out the plastic gear shift diagram. Under that is a 14mm hex nut. Loosen it with a deep socket. Then make sure the shifter knob is screwed on as far as it will go. Then tighten the 14mm locknut.




Transfer case shifter noise and vibration -

Shudder while turning in 4WD Mode - Don't drive a Ram in 4X4 while on a dry and hard road surface! Chrysler gets many complaints from people who do not understand that a part time 4WD system is not meant for hard surfaced roads. For shudder conditions when off road or in winter weather: Document the weather conditions, when it happens, on what type of surface, gear used, hi/low range used, how long in 4WD, amount of throttle used, etc to help the service technicians reproduce the shudder.



  • Excessive current draw with key off (high IOD) - Seat Belt Control Module keeps seat belt solenoids engaged which draws almost .5A continuously. If the solenoids remain activated for more than 20 minutes, replace the module with a revised part..
  • Battery is dead due to glove box light staying on - TSB 08-35-97 Install spacers on glove box lamp switch.
  • Battery does not charge 1996-1998 - Disconnecting the black connector from the PCM without first waiting for the key to be in the OFF position for at least 5 seconds can, under certain key-on or key-off scenarios, cause the PCM to write information to the EEPROM chip, which then sets the target charging voltage to zero. The PCM must be relaced to restore charging capability.
  • Failure to crank 2000-2001 - see service action #00-01 for fuse revision
  • Failure to crank and/or starter runs when key released - burned solenoid contacts. Repair parts and instructions available on Foster Truck acc page
  • No crank with key held in start position 1994-1997
    • TSB 08-21-97 check B+ terminal on starter solenoid and retighten to 120 in/lbs
    • battery dead - they die without warning
  • Noisy windshield wiper 1998-1999 with RKE (keyless entry) - A quieter wiper assembly PN 55076549AG is available. When the module is installed, the CTM must be reflashed as discussed in TSB 08-43-99.
  • High Beam indicator remains lit with lights on low beam 1998-1999 - even after replacing the printed circut
    • revised part #  1998 models use 5602061AC, 1999 models use 56020618AE.
  • Lights flickering 1998-2002 diesel
    • Lights will normally brighten and dim at idle as intake heater grid cycles on/off
    • poor connection on the intake air temperature sensor connector - clean pins and reassemble
    • Charge cycle unstable - replace PCM
    • Bad intake manifold heater solenoids - replace
    • Loose wires on intake manifold heaters - tighten connections
  • fog lamps don't stay on -
  • 98-02 Headlamp switch hot - normal heat dissipation from instrument light dimmer.
    • If it bothers you, remove the headlight switch and punch a 5/16" hole in the top of the air duct under the dimmer wheel to cool the dimmer heatsink.


  • Clunk From Bed Area - common on trucks w/ helper springs as the helpers hit the spring bumpers, live with it.
    • Noise can be reduce by installing 3" rubber plumbing couplings (known as Fernco Couplings) on the stops.
  • Creaking Noise coming from the rear of the vehicle
  • Speedometer Clicking -
    • TSB 08-23-96   Replace speedometer.
  • Front End Clunk -
    • Loose shock absorber bolts
    • worn stabilizer bar end links
    • incorrect stabilizer bar end links
      • 1994, 1995 4x4 4x2 chassis cabs  TSB 02-05-95  replace with tapered ball stud links
    • worn factory shocks (they die young - replace by 20,000 miles!)
    • Loose lower shock bolts - very common


Another Bulletin Board type page with a lot of Ram complaints




Last Update - November 18, 2002