The Most Common Problems: 2003/2004 Dodge Ram

Written By JD Diagnostics & Diesel Repair on Nov 07, 2019

2003 – 2004 Dodge Ram: Overview

The 2003 Dodge Ram was the 3rd generation of the 2500/3500 models. Changes to the truck included smoother body lines, a larger grille, increased towing capacity and improvements to passenger comfort. The most significant change was the introduction of an inline six cylinder, 5.9L Cummins engine. It utilized a Bosch high pressure common-rail injection system, to increase torque and horsepower (555 lb-ft). Drivers were ecstatic with the new power they were feeling on the road.

Unfortunately, the 2003-2004 models are not without issues. There are several common problems that we hear about this truck.

Are there any recalls on the 2003-2004 Dodge Ram trucks?

According to Transport Canada there are several recalls that need to be addressed.

  • The 2004 Ram 1500 – defective airbag inflators
  • The 2003/2004 Ram 2500 and 3500 – steering problems
  • The 2003/2004 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500 – electrical issues

Contact JD Diagnostics today to have your vehicle inspected to determine if repair is needed.

Should I be worried about the “Death Wobble”?

Owners of the 2003/2004 Ram trucks complain of a “Death Wobble” that occurs when driving over 60mph on a highway. The truck suddenly starts to violently shake and makes steering difficult to control. Bring your vehicle in today for a safety inspection. We will check the track bar, tie-rod ball stud, bearings, suspension, and steering to determine where the problem lies.

How effective is the Bosch injection system?

We have found it necessary to replace the components of the common-rail system, which includes the injectors and CP3 pump. Occasionally, the excessive heat from a stuck injector can cause a piston to melt. This is most noticeable after the truck reaches 200,000 miles. Contact us to schedule an appointment so that we can assess any problems you may be having, before major damage occurs.

Are there any problems with the automatic transmission?

When any significant amount of power is added, there is always a potential for problem. The automatic plug-and-play programmers don’t seem to be able to handle the power demands of the vehicle. At JD Diagnostics, The Diesel Doctor specializes in diagnosing and servicing diesel truck transmissions.

Why is the dashboard cracking?

The quality of the material used for the dashboard is inferior. It easily cracks and shows signs of disintegration. The vent grates for the heating system and speakers seem to have the most issues. Contact us today to discuss options for replacing or repairing the dashboard.

Is it common to have problems with the A/C and heating system?

Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence with the 2003/2004 Dodge Rams. Customers complain of both the heating and A/C systems not blowing with enough force. The defrost function also seems to take longer than usual. Without regular maintenance, the heating and cooling system can lose efficiency each year. Schedule an appointment today so we can get your system back to pumping at full capacity.

How can we help you?

Owning an older vehicle doesn’t have to be costly. Contact us to discuss how our highly trained technicians can help keep your 2003/2004 Ram truck on the road for years to come.

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