1997 Dodge Ram Van 2500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 Dodge Ram Van 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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16
Known Problems

The HVAC blower may operate on high speed only. This is commonly caused by a failed blower motor resistor. Chrysler has released a revised part to address this problem.

Some vehicles may exhibit a "buzz", whining", or "moaning" like noise from the transmission when reverse gear is selected. The condition is caused by a resonance of the transmission regulator valve system. Our technicians tell us that the repair involves replacing the transmission regulator (aluminum) valve with a steel one.
Intermittent cycling of the door locks especially during damp conditions may occur. Our technicians tell us that revised door and liftgate lock cylinder switches are available.
An erratic idle, stall on hot restart and/or low speed deceleration. may be caused by a faulty idle air control motor. Our technicians tell us there is a revised IAC motor to correct this condition.
Excess cooling fan noise may be caused buy a faulty cooling fan and fan clutch.

The blower motor may operate erratically and the blower switch operation has a sticky or mushy feeling, the detents almost non existent. Our technicians tell us that the blower switch should be removed and inspected for overheating. This is common if the blower motor is frequently operated on high speed as the current flow through the switch tends to melt internal the components. Also carefully inspect all of the switch connector terminals for discoloration due to overheating and replace as required. A poor electrical contact at the connector will also cause the switch to overheat.

Leak detection pump failure can be caused by the internal diaphragm switch sticking, or in some cases, contamination from debris or carbon particles from vapor canister. If black carbon particles are present in the LDP, replace vapor canister in addition to LDP. The purge solenoid should also be checked for debris or carbon contamination and replaced as necessary. All evap system hoses are subject to cracking and splitting causing leaks, Inspect hoses carefully. In cases of contamination from carbon particles or debris, all hoses and tubes must be blown out with compressed air to remove contaminates.

On 3.9L V6 and 5.9L V8 engines, the intake manifold gasket may leak and cause increased oil consumption and a spark knock during acceleration; the gasket should be replaced.

On the 3.9L V6 and 5.9L V8 the engine oil leaks at the distributor can be misdiagnosed as leaks from the intake manifold seal, oil pan gasket, or rear crankshaft (rear main) seal. A revised distributor is available if oil is found inside the distributor.

On the 3.9L V6, 5.2L V8 and 5.9L V8 the Oil leaks commonly from the valve cover gaskets, intake manifold gaskets (front and rear), timing cover gaskets, distributor O-ring, and the rear main seal area. Using fluorescent engine oil dye can be helpful in determining the source(s) of the oil 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.

Some vehicles may exhibit one or more of the following: Spark knock complaints when the vehicle is under load, various single cylinder misfire, and surge in 4th gear (around 45 mph). Our technicians tell us that rerouting the coil and spark plug wires to minimize induction effects will commonly correct this condition. If wires must cross during the reroute procedure, they must cross at a 90 degree angle.

The door glass may separate from the glass lift channel. Our technicians tell us a front door glass channel kit is available to repair the door glass. The repair involves removing the door glass from the vehicle.

On vehicles equipped with a Theft Security system a loss of power to the Central Timer Module can result in a no start condition.
The engine may not crank over when trying to start the vehicle. Our technicians recommend to inspect the starter cable at the solenoid before replacing the starter motor or battery cable.