2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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18
Known Problems

On some models a void in the rear window seal may cause a water leak. Water may be present on or under the carpet. The seal will need to be replaced if that is the source.

Replacing a pressure solenoid valve in the transmission valve body may fix an issue where the transmission "hunts" between first and second gears. Our technicians report that customers sometimes describe this complaint as surging or bucking.

If the engine is difficult to start or cranks but does not start, it can be caused by a leak in the return side of the fuel system. This type of leak can allow air to enter the injection pump resulting in starting issues. A rubber hose on the back of the injection pump, connecting the pump to the steel hard line, that can be the source of this type of leak.

The AC/heater (HVAC) system may unexpectedly switch to the defrost mode when accelerating. This system is operated by engine vacuum and should be inspected for any vacuum leaks if this problem develops.  There is also a revised vacuum check valve available to address this concern.

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.

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.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate for many different reasons, some of which may be corrected by updating the software in the powertrain control module (PCM).

Long cranking times in cold temperatures (below freezing) may be solved with a software update to the Cummins ECM.

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.

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.

The throttle body may malfunction in very cold climates causing symptoms at engine start up. A throttle body causing problems will require replacement.

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.

The track for the power seat may need to be replaced if the seat rocks when the vehicle accelerates or slows down.

A new lower secondary door seal is available if clothing is getting dirty when entering or exiting the truck. Dirt or mud may build up on the rocker panel below the door.