1999 Ram Quad Cab Ping

srwadesrwade Member Posts: 8
edited April 2014 in Dodge
I have 99 Quad v8 Magnum Sport. Dealer has repaired intake manifold, run two updates to the computer, to no avail. This ping started after I had towed with the truck. It has caused loss of power and a continuous ping when going up the slightest incline. Almost sounds like timing or something. I've heard people talk about torque converter problems and also been told by one dealer that rubber stoppers could be put on (don't remember the part) but seems to me that would mask the underlying problem. Now the dealer wants to update my computer for a spark ping? I qualify for Lemon and buy back at this point. Really would like to know if anyone has had the same problem and if it is fixable or if I should pursue the buy back.


  • herculosisherculosis Member Posts: 1
    I have a '98 Quad 1500 Quad Cab with a 5.9. I had similar problems with ping, and alot of frustration. The dealer made many attempts to fix it, including new plug wires and a decarbonization, all to no avail. It even pinged on premium gas. I went from loving the truck to absolutely hating it, and all because of that ping. Finally, they got a new software patch in October, said to specifically fix this problem. Since then, I haven't heard even the tiniest of pings, even with the cheapest regular gas. I love my truck again. If this is what your dealer is suggesting, it's well worth it. Hope this helps.
  • g2000g2000 Member Posts: 4
    g2000 here. Sounds like my truck exactly. I hope they have the software here. My truck is under warranty so the way I figure it they are obligated to fix it. What kind of fuel do you use and what kind of milage are you getting compared to pre software update?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Actually, I don't think you do qualify for a lemon buy-back. You should carefully read the laws in your state, but most of them require you to not only be deprived of use (which you aren't really), but also to demonstrate a safety hazard and a loss of value. These lemon laws aren't such an easy thing, so don't count on this as a way out for you.

    If you have real "ping", you have a timing problem...what you are hearing is the internal parts of your engine rattling around due to faulty combustion. If it isn't fixed soon, it will destroy your engine. A computer could definitely affect timing on your car. I would treat this as a serious threat to your engine's integrity, if, indeed, you are hearing pinging and if it is as frequent and severe as you imply.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The ping is 2 flame fronts colliding in the combustion chamber, the shock wave of which will eventually blow holes through the piston crowns. In late model engines the causes can include:
    - fuel octane too low
    - EGR system malfunction
    - knock sensor (if equipped) malfunction
    - PCM software not retarding ignition timing as required
    - high engine operating temperature
    - lean fuel mixture
    - carbon deposits on piston crowns/combustion chambers
  • ryanc1ryanc1 Member Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 2001 Dodge Ram 4X4 Quad Cab Sport. With the Off-Road package. In the owners manual it says that light spark knocks are normal. Is this true and what is the difference between a spark knock and a ping?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Same thing, and a slight knock can be harmless...what you have to worry about is heavy pinging under load (when engine is working, not revving easily).

    I'm not sure why Dodge has to map an engine to knock at all, but it would be interesting to know that....
  • mopartimmopartim Member Posts: 1
    I have 98' Dodge ram 1500 Quad cab-5.9L 4WD, With the same Ping. I've had it in the shop three times for this problem,and each time the problem still exsists.They have replaced plug wires,re routed plug wires,cleaned cylinder heads,replaced sensors,reset the computer,and even had a cad. converter replaced while it was under warranty.The mechanics have told me that dodge is notorious for this pinging and that it would not hurt the engine, so I gave up the battle and moved on.
    Now after finding this web site and reading the input and output on the "PING" I am little concerned. My warranty is gone and i feel a dark future with my Dodgeram.If it is as simple as upgrading the computer will it cost me an arm and a leg or will the dealer fix it for free, since the problem existed before the warranty was up.
    I also have a 99' Dodge Durango that my wife drives and she just resently informed me that it also is pinging. And her warranty has just expired too.
    What is it with these V8-5.2L and 5.9L engines?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    It is pinging under LOAD that could prove harmful...if you just get a quick ping on take-off and nothing more, that's okay. But if it pings throughout the day at all operating speeds, that's not so good.
  • surfcastersurfcaster Member Posts: 1
    Hello gentlemen I to have that darn ping and went nuts with it they changed my plugs re routed my wires changed my intake manifold gasket cleared my pcm and re programed it. I had it in the shop 6 times for this problem then they said to me did you read your manual it tells you that light spar knock is normal my response was what do you consider light spar knock they just looked at me because they did not have an ideal so they finally cleared my pcm, by the way the truck is a 99 quad 4x4 5.9. loaded it up with 2000 software and that cleared up the problem for a while now I guess I have light sparknock when accerating but know where near the nock thatI had before.

    my conclusion I bought the truck because I thought that for the money I was getting more truck, but what I got was problems. I guess you get what you pay for. what I dont understand is how did dodge hide that darn ping when all of these trucks where test driven. makes you wonder.

    needless to say this is my first dodge truck and last.anybody want to buy a truck they say they hold there value. hmmmmmmmmmm
  • madatdodgemadatdodge Member Posts: 6
    I've got a 99 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 with the 5.2 and it's been at a 5 star dealer 12 times for 41 days in 7 months because the engine pings and knocks so bad the check engine light comes on. I tried every brand of gas and octane to no avail. Went to arbitration and the jerk said no. Hard to believe that a truck that has been in the shop that many times and days, has left me stranded twice isn't a safety issue, a use issue and a value issue. Everyone knows a truck that's in the shop that many times, has a bad history record and doesn't move when it breaks down is worth more! WORD OF ADVICE. GET A LAWYER WHEN YOU GO TO ARBITRATION. Dodge has now agreed to give me $3000 and pay my lawyer $1500. I'm taking it and getting rid of this lemon ASAP.
  • srwadesrwade Member Posts: 8
    I think the only reason that I likely would have qualified for the Lemon Law is that chrysler actually documented that it was not fixable and gave me the number to call. They were actually shocked that they said this. Chrysler then paid my truck payments to buy time until a fix was available. I let them run the spark knock update to the PCM and so far all is well........NO PING!!! I still seem to have power failure on incline and a slight knock that they do not feel is excessive at this point. We'll see what happens when I start towing the boat again this spring. I will let you all know what happens. My concerns are still not gone because I drove the truck with excessive spark knock even on flat surface for just short of a year. I've heard that valve and piston damage can occur. I don't know how to identify either one of these things myself so for now I wait and listen to the dealership. I don't believe any of the vehicles were recalled so to speak for this problem so I am not sure what is involved if your warranty has run out. I do know that the update took about a half hour. As far as the gas mileage, It got down to about 9 miles per gallon with the ping. Have not noticed much of a difference with the update but I am able to run regular gas again without the ping. All in all, I would say have the update if you are experiencing the same problems. Thanks for everyone's input!
  • senorraysenorray Member Posts: 1
    I was seriously thinking about moving from the Dakota to the Ram, but after reading here about the Ram's ping problem, I'll probably take a serious look at the competition. It's still early in 2001 I wonder if the Ram's ping problem will plaque the 2001 series. It's unfortunate because I do like the design, but I couldn't stand that constant pinging and especially the indifference Dodge's attitude is towards the problem.
  • 17combo17combo Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 QUAD cab 1500 2WD with auto trans and 5.9L V-8. I first noticed my pinging at about 33k miles. I had light ping under moderate acceleration, but it rattled like a diesel when I floored it. Using mid-grade unleaded stopped the pinging, but it was expensive given the poor gas mileage of this truck. Had the dealer do a tune-up and they suggested cleaning carbon build up for $150 if the tune-up didn't fix the problem. The tune-up didn't fix it and I thought $150 was a bit excessive. I bought a bottle of Valvoline "Once-a-year" gas system treatment for $10, poured it in and added about 20 gallons of reg unleaded. The pinging was completely gone after about 70 miles. I am now at 41K miles using only regular unleaded and haven't heard another ping since. I think that these engines get carbon build up when driven "softly" to conserve fuel. That's the way I drove it for the 1st 33K mi. Now I'm a little more aggressive with the gas pedal and I "punch" it from time to time for good measure. I hope this helps some of you.
  • b4ejonesb4ejones Member Posts: 1
    I took my 1999 to the dealer for service and told them that the truck had developed a ping/chatter. After an oil change and the very expensive 30,000 mile service, which was at 37,000 I still had the ping/chatter. The dealer had me bring it back in and adjusted the timing. The dealer said I might lose a little power, but it would be fine. Well one week later, the check engine light came on. I checked the oil and guess what - NO OIL! Tomorrow will be a brighter day, because my husband will accompany the truck (on a wrecker) back to the dealer. It is my truck, but he is the dealer problem now. This is my second Dodge Ram, the first, a 1997, had transmission problems. It would be nice if we could trust the service departments.
  • joejakejoejake Member Posts: 2
    I bought a new Ram truck in August. I test drove one and chose another color. Mistake!!! When I picked it up, there was a horrible "balance problem" and I turned right around and told my salesperson. Come to find out, it was a broken wheel!! They replaced the wheel, checked the other 3 and replaced all tires. Now I have the problem again. At speeds of 35-45, you can definetly feel a bounce like a tire is out of whack or something, and it feels like it slides or shifts at times. Also, hitting a rough part in the road it goes out of control slightly. I took it to a auto shop to see if they could check the air in the tires, and when I told them what I was feeling, they said it could be a separated tires (like the Firestone problem), or the wheel has broke again, OR it need balanced and rotated. You would think buying a new car, you shouldn't have to worry about these problems. This is the first truck I have owned, and won't again. I'm scared to drive it anyway on the interstate. I have made an appt to take it back in. The sales person told me that they would give me $11,000 for a trade on a new one if I wanted. I financed it for $18,000. Makes me think, hmmmmmm.... I know vehicles depreciate, but that much? So much for holding value. I also have the ticks and hard idleing. With a broken wheel, do I qualify for the Lemon Law? Unfortunately, it is my only vehicle and I do drive to work (about 1 mile), and to the store. It has 7,000 miles on it. Thanks for any suggestions.
  • dodges2dodges2 Member Posts: 1
    went to dealer they changed the plugs and updated the computer and the pinging went away see mike at bertera dodge in westfield mass .
  • joejakejoejake Member Posts: 2
    I just got my truck back and the bouncing was from my tires being out of balance. The guy at the shop told me I had to balance my tires every 3,000 miles to prevent that. I find that hard to believe. It still has a bit of bounce to it, and we are ready to get rid of it. The only downfall is, it has depreciated so much, I can't trade it in. Dealers only want to give me $11,000 for it, but books on Edmund for $14,500-$15,600. Why the big difference? It has Goodyear tires on it, should I go to them?
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