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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 2003 Dodge Ram 3500

2003 Dodge Ram 3500

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2003 Dodge Ram 3500 Problems

Exhaust & Emissions -- Verified

If a Check Engine Light illuminates indicating leak detection pump (LDP) failure, the cause is often pinched or disconnected vacuum lines to the pump. Vacuum lines should be inspected before replacing the leak detection pump. Contamination (carbon or debris) in the pump can cause failure and any hoses should be cleared before a new pump is installed.

Engine -- Verified

The thermostat may fail to close completely, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. This problem will prevent the engine from reaching normal operating temperature; a new thermostat should be installed.

Heating & Air Conditioning -- Verified

Some vehicles may develop a musty odor coming from the HVAC system, Dodge has issued a cleaner/disinfectant and a coating for the evaporator designed to inhibit bacterial growth.

Suspension & Steering -- Verified

A vibration or shimmy felt in the steering wheel when driving over rough roads may be caused by a worn steering damper and tie rod ends. Also be sure the tires are correctly inflated, alignment is within specification and suspension components are tightened properly.

Drive Train -- Verified

If the transmission delays initial gear engagement after being parked overnight or longer, it may be due to a suspect transmission cooler return filter. If the transmission was recently serviced and the part number for the cooler return filter contains an "AB" suffix at the end, a new filter should be installed.

2003 Dodge Ram 3500 Recalls (Recent)

Body, Interior & Misc., August 28, 2009

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Chrysler has recalled certain 2002-2009 Dodge Rams (1500/2500/3500) because the wiper module assemblies may be susceptible to water intrusion, which may result in partial or complete loss of windshield wiper capability. This may cause reduced visibility for the driver, which could result in a crash. Dealers will replace the wiper module assemblies with vented wiper motor housings.

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Drive Train, March 20, 2006

RepairPal Expert Overview:

On trucks with diesel engines, when attempting to quickly exit the vehicle with the engine running, the driver may accidentally leave the automatic transmission in reverse. This could allow rearward movement of the vehicle. Dealers will perform a software modification to equip these vehicles with an out-of-park alarm. This is not a recall, but is a safety campaign and the work should be covered free of charge. The Chrysler campaign number is E17.

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Drive Train, March 10, 2003

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Chrysler has recalled certain 2003 Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500 models with Cummins Diesel engines and manual transmissions because they may experience an elevated idle speed after extended cruise control use. This can result in unintended acceleration and a reduction in braking effectiveness, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will reprogram the software in the Cummins engine controller.

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Suspension & Steering, June 6, 2009

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Chrysler is recalling 18,000 aftermarket steering linkages used for service on 2003–2008 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty Pickup models. The affected assembly part numbers are 52122362AA through 52122362AD. The linkages may drag or fracture, causing a loss of steering control, which can increase the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the steering linkage drag link inner tie rod end assembly and inspect the steering linkage damper bracket free of charge.

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Suspension & Steering, July 6, 2011

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Certain vehicles may have been assembled with a left outer tie rod ball stud that may fracture; others may have received the affected tie rod assembly as a replacement part during normal service. This condition tends to occur during low speed parking lot type maneuvers when the driver is making a tight turn. This condition could result in a loss of directional stability in the left front wheel, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the tie rod ends, replace the left outer tie rod end as required, and perform a front end toe alignment as needed. The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. The Chrysler recall number is L16.

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2003 Dodge Ram 3500 Questions and Answers

roperdan, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500, 5.9L 6 Cylinder Diesel Turbo, Verbena, AL

My engine overheats when I use the air conditioner. The shadetree mechanic is reading a low fan relay, but cannot find it. Where is the low fan relay?

anson, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500, Diesel, Oxnard, CA

I had to replace the rear end on the truck and not the cruise control is not working. Can this be a result of the new rear end?

greg007, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500, 5.9L 6 Cylinder Diesel Turbo, Great Falls, MT

While driving down the highway my ABS and emergency brake light came on at same time.Checked pedal and was not engaged,even pulled up on it.Checked all parts visually as well as brake fluid,all che...

dennishud, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500, 5.9L 6 Cylinder Diesel Turbo, Saint Charles, MO

yes i have a problem with the heater first my heated seat just went out i checked the fuze it didnt look bad so the next day went out and my blower motor wont come on have any answers to help me

Visitor, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500, 5.9L 6 Cylinder Diesel Turbo, Ridgway, CO

have replaced primary battery. If plugged in, starts immediately, even below zero.

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2003 Dodge Ram 3500 Reviews

I LOVE MY TRUCK. PULLS EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN BUT THE HEAT/AIR DEFLECTOR WENT OUT UNDER WARRANTY AND THEY FIXED IT. BUT A YEAR AGO, IT WENT OUT AGAIN. AND NOW FOR THE LAST MONTH, IT WON'T CRANK WITHOUT PLUGGING IT UP OR USING ETHER. NOT SURE OF WHAT IS CAUSING THE ENGINE NOT TO START. FROM THE RESEARCH I HAVE DONE, IT COULD BE ANYTHING FROM THE GLOW PLUG TO A CRACKED FUEL LINE.

suspension sucks.trac bar bushing replaced and front end still pops.and still it will hop or dance,but not as bad.

I have owned 4 dodge trucks with cummins now have put over 300000 on 97 200000 on 2001 over 100000 on 2003 and over 240000 on my main 1 ton, i was 100% ford until 97 when i finally had to give up on ford due to bad customer service. went to dodge with cummins and manual trannys have over 250000 on my main driver now with original clutch and pull 20000lbs often, standard maintainance as expected but have never had an engine or drive train issue, I know by experience the 97 thru 2003 dodge cummins are the best trucks ever made, i am sure there are folks out there who have had problems, but the v8 diesels in the fords and chevys are substandard, no manufacturer ever including cat has ever produced a v8 diesel as reliable as an in line, so think about that before you buy a v8 diesel, my buddy bought a new ford diesel 2000 miles out of warranty the engine had a catastrophic failure, cost him 16000 to repair, the cab had to be removed to replace engine, just my experience and opinion. Buy what you want but beware.I have owned over 30 trucks used in business and personal use, I do all my own repairs and repairs for others

I bought this truck new in '03. It now has 217,000 miles on it and it runs like a champ. Dash cracked at 200,000. Had to rebuild front end due sealed bearings, but all of the trucks have sealed bearings. There is not a truck on the road that can out haul this truck. Nothing beats a Cummins, don't even try

Cummins engine and drive train are excellent. Front suspesion is not so great, I have had to redo front end parts(tie rods, ball joints, alignment) at 78000 miles. The truck now has 101000 mile and is showing signs of needing repairs again. The interior of the truck is poor quality materials on the dash. My dash cracked at 50000 miles and the dealership said the repairs would cost 900$ for parts plus labor. Aftermarket dash cover looks good...lol. A brake job on the trusk costs 585$ (dually). Other than the front end and the dash the truck is great. If Chrysler would step up and replace the dash and put a more beefier front end on the truck, it would be perfect.

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