10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,077 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1996 Dodge Ram 1500:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #26

Apr 052007

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 1996 Dodge Ram 1500. The eighth cylinder on the engine is failing and the engine head is also cracked. The vehicle was previously repaired; however, the failure continued to occur. The contact paid $700 for the previous repairs. The dealer stated that the engine needed to be replaced. The contact is aware of the safety risk involved. The current and failure mileage were 114,000. The VIN is not available at this time.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #25

Apr 042002

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Vehicle is on fourth engine and only 44,000 miles on present engine. Dealer says engine is out of warranty. Excessive blow by from engine. Check engine light comes on. Sensors have been replaced but problem still occurs. Also the truck wanders on the road, and has a rumbling rattle noise on front passenger side that sounds like its coming from the shocks area. But my mechanic says shocks are ok. The dealer did not check into problem when I purchased the truck but it is listed as complaint when the first engine was replaced. Have replaced tracking bar, U-joints, rear springs, stabilizer shock & tires. When going over bumps on highway vehicle jerks the steering wheel to side rail fast giving a fishtail effect. Drive shaft has also been replaced.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #24

Sep 142003

Ram 1500

  • miles
Engine caught on fire without warning.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #23

Feb 072003

Ram 1500

  • miles
I have a 1996 Dodge Ram van 2500 with a 3.9 liter engine in 117000 miles I had to have 2 timing chains installed and now it is on its 3rd timing chain why?

- Dale City, VA, USA

problem #22

Mar 052003

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles
I own a 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 5.2 liter engine. The engine oil light would flicker when stopped at a stop sign in drive. I took it to the Dodge dealership and they said that the engine would have to be replaced due to the wear. I have used mobile 1 synthetic oil since the breakin oil and never let the oil in the vehicle over 4,000 miles. Each time the oil filter was also changed. The vehicle has 106,000 miles on it and the engine replacement is costing me $4.700. I've been told that the 5.2 liter engine does not handle synthetic oil well. The oil does not return to the oil pan fast enough to keep the bottom of the engine lubricated. I find this hard to believe but I've never wore out an engine before. My question is how can an engine wear out when it was taken such good care of? I've had several other failures of this vehicle dealing with U-joints, steering shaft, failed fuel pump, and an unstable suspension requiring a $500 piston assembly to repair but the repair did nothing to help.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #21

Jun 252002

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was running rough, engine check light came on. Mechanic replaced one of the fuel injectors. Also, said engine head was most likely cracked.

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #20

May 012001

Ram 1500

  • miles
The engine and head gaskets failed causing the ml light to illuminate, run roughly and miss in 3rd up a hill. Nlm

- Altoona, WI, USA

problem #19

Apr 052002

(reported on)

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, consumer discovered that crankshaft was misaligned and knocked bearings out of the rods. Dealer installed remanufactured engine in truck at 54,000 miles, the remanufactured engine had a knock in it from day one of installation, consumer took truck back to dealer, dealer replaced pan and bearings.

- Vanben, AR, USA

problem #18

May 012001

Ram 1500

  • miles
The engine and head gaskets failed causing the ml light to illuminate, run roughly and miss in 3rd up a hill. Nlm

- Altoona, WI, USA

problem #17

Mar 012001

Ram 1500 4WD

  • miles
While changing the motor oil, I noticed the rear of the motor wet with oil. Traced oil leak via mechanic back to the rear of the heads on both sides. Losing approx 1/2 qt of oil between changes.

- Randolph, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jan 011998

Ram 1500

  • miles
While driving vehicle completely stopped without warning, none of gauges went out. Took vehicle to dealer, and they said it was sludge that build up. 10 months later, campshaft went out.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #15

Jun 202000

Ram 1500

  • miles
Engine rod/bearings failed.

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #14

Feb 142000

Ram 1500

  • miles
Original failure took place on Nov 26, 1997. The oil light came on and oil pressure droppped to zero. The oil pump was replaced under warranty. Then, on Jan 21, 1999 the same scenario happened again. This time the oil pump, connecting rod, crankshaft and gaskets were replaced at my expense as the vehicle was no longer under warranty nor were the parts that had been replaced. Finally, on February 14, 2000 the entire scenario took place again. The oil light came on and oil pressure dropped to zero. It appears that the oil pump will agin need to be replaced. At this point, the dealership is trying to say it is a lack of maintenance and should be repaired at my expense. My concern is that the vehicle has been maintained and that after 3 failures there is a definite problem with the vehicle. The vehicle is currently at the previously mentioned dealership awaiting repairs and the response from Chrysler Corp as to whether or not they will do so at their expense. Any help you can provide would be greatly a

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 142000

Ram 1500

  • miles
Original failure took place on Nov 26, 1997. The oil light came on and oil pressure droppped to zero. The oil pump was replaced under warranty. Then, on Jan 21, 1999 the same scenario happened again. This time the oil pump, connecting rod, crankshaft and gaskets were replaced at my expense as the vehicle was no longer under warranty nor were the parts that had been replaced. Finally, on February 14, 2000 the entire scenario took place again. The oil light came on and oil pressure dropped to zero. It appears that the oil pump will agin need to be replaced. At this point, the dealership is trying to say it is a lack of maintenance and should be repaired at my expense. My concern is that the vehicle has been maintained and that after 3 failures there is a definite problem with the vehicle. The vehicle is currently at the previously mentioned dealership awaiting repairs and the response from Chrysler Corp as to whether or not they will do so at their expense. Any help you can provide would be greatly a

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #12

Dec 271998

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Initial transmission problem started @ 38000 just out of warranty. Dealer said they couldn't help. I never thought of contacting manufacturer. Trans. Diagnosis complete at 72500 mis, dealer say rebuild, R+R at 89300mis. Brake mastercylinder lid was leaking causing insufficiet fluid level lead to pad and shoe failure. Transmission failure led to lifter failure in the engine. Trans would long shift putiing strain on engine causing a higher rev. Ultimately weakening 2 lifters. I am now hearing a noise and feeling jolts on the steering wheel turning left. Problem is unknown at this time.

- Oakford, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 061999

(reported on)

Ram 1500

  • miles
Driving at approximately 70 mph engine piston rings, failed causing vehicle to stall on the highway.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 161998

Ram 1500

  • miles
The engine oil pan had burned due to a lack of oil. Vehicle had stopped running. Took to dealer. Mechanic had to replace old engine bearings with new engine bearings.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #9

Jul 061998

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
There are 2 extra pieces on camshaft on engine. No plate (lifter keeper). This causes the engine to sound/run like a diesel. Rockale assembly rods cut into camshaft, leaving 1/2 groove. Taken to dealer for repairs. The mechanic change oil & filter which was full of shaving 3 times but the engine not right..et.

- Destrehan, LA, USA

problem #8

Jul 101996

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cylinder head cracked resulting in failure.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 011997

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Crankshaft failed.

- Seaford, NY, USA

Read the next 6 complaints »