"ferrets" in my dashboard

Old 11-05-02, 04:04 PM
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Location: Indianapolis
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"ferrets" in my dashboard

Hello All,

I have a steering question regarding a '97 Dodge Ram 1500. 5.2 318 engine, 4x4, almost 90k miles.

I just stepped back to review the alldata site as mentioned in the Readme for this site... recognized a couple things my truck is doing as well. "TSB" is that a 'known issue' or what???? non-warranty stuff, I'm guessing? Is there a way to look into them further?

Are these just common issues with this truck? These sound familiar:

19-003-02 APR 02 Power Steering - Hissing Sound
19-04-00 JUN 00 Steering Column - Squeaking/Creaking Sound
21-08-99 APR 99 A/T - Buzz/Whining in Reverse When Cold
19-10-97 AUG 97 Steering Gear - Steering Wander
19-08-97 MAY 97 Steering Column/Wheel - Clunk/Rattle
232297 APR 97 Driver's Side Wiper Blade - Contacts A-Pillar

I see these steering-related issues and wonder if there's an underlying quality issue with the Ram steering.. because my question is about a funky sound coming from under the passenger-side dashboard area.

This sound only happens when the vehicle is cold. I tend to mostly notice it when backing out of the garage as a result. I start backing up, begin to turn the wheel to match my slightly-slanted driveway, and I get this squeeking sound that reminds me of the ferrets we had as kids - fast paced, short clipped sounds, almost like a rubber-rubbing sound, perhaps. It continues as I turn the truck half circle in reverse after leaving the driveway. It continues as I rotate out of the cul-de-sac, and then it seems to be done. Anyone have an idea what this may be, if it is big cause for concern, etc? Thanks for any opinions you offer.
Old 11-05-02, 05:55 PM
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The steering wander problem most commonly applies to 2500 and 3500 steering boxes but can also apply to ball joints seizing up. As far as the sound you are getting, we have had several trucks where this particular sound was coming from the hood hinges and we had to replace the hinges to get rid of the sound.
A TSB is a technical service bulletin and is used for information only, the parts or labor are only covered under warranty if the vehicle still has warranty on it.
Old 11-06-02, 11:12 AM
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I agree and I don't agree.

A TSB CAN BE (not always) ammunition into a hidden problem that you can get the dealer to pay for. It's dependent on a lot of things:

1) The dealer.
2) How hard you press.
3) The willingness of the OEM to listen to you.
4) How good of a customer the dealer/mfgr perceive you to be.

Some TSB's have lead to people getting repairs for free, but not in all cases. It is good ammo to provide corporate folks. I have successfully argued defects on multiple TSB's in the past.

All depends.

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