Dodge Ram 2500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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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Known Problems
Long cranking times in cold temperatures (below freezing) may be solved with a software update to the Cummins ECM.

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.

The transfer case in the Dodge Ram 2500 has multiple gear ratios, which can be selected by moving the switch in the cabin to 2Hi, 4Hi, or 4Lo. It has been known to shift to 4Lo without warning, at any speed, and whether the vehicle is on or off. If this occurs at highway speeds, the result can be catastrophic failure of the transfer case.

This is caused by a faulty four wheel drive shift motor, selector switch (in the cab) or the wiring between the two. The most common cause is the transfer case switch, which is an electric motor mounted on the transfer case. 

To correct the issue, inspect the wiring to the transfer case switch motor for damage, and replace the shift motor if needed. Disconnecting power to the shift motor will lock the transfer case in its current setting.  

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.

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.

On the 3.9L V6 and 5.2L V8, rerouting the ignition coil wire and spark plug wires can help solve a misfire and/or surge problem that occurs at approximately 45 mph. A service bulletin was published that outlines the specifics of the repair. It states the rerouting procedure should be performed before other repairs are done for misfires, surging or spark knock.

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 models could have a severe drift or pull to one side when the brakes were applied. If this is not caused by a dragging brake caliper, there is a service bulletin describing the step-by-step diagnosis and many possible solutions. Our technicians note the most common solutions are performing a four wheel alignment, checking torque on suspension components, installing shims between the wheels and hubs, and replacing the suspension arms.

If the door locks intermittently lock and unlock without pressing the door lock switch, the door lock cylinder switches may need replacement. This may occur more often when driving in damp conditions like the rain or through a car wash.

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).

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.