Dodge Ram 3500 Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Dodge Ram 3500 based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
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 3500 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.
The intake manifold gaskets may leak. Coolant loss may be noticed as coolant leaks into the engine oil and/or there may be a rough idle or whistling noise. The intake gaskets need to be replaced if they are leaking coolant internally to prevent engine damage.
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.
If a clunking or "loose lumber" noise is coming from the front or rear suspension, there are revised shock absorbers available that can help the concern. This is usually heard at lower speeds and colder temperatures when driving over bumps.
Software updates are available to solve various Check Engine Light and warning light related issues.
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 engine cranks but does not start, or starts and stalls, the fuses should be inspected, especially the power door locks fuse. The power door lock fuse provides power to a module that sends the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) the "OK to start" signal.
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 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.