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What Is The Dodge Death Wobble?

I bet you can’t say ‘Dodge Death Wobble’ ten times fast, but if you’ve ever experienced it, you probably wouldn’t want. The death wobble isn’t exclusively a Dodge problem, but it is an issue some Dodge owners have unfortunately experienced. Death wobble is scary, and even more importantly it is dangerous. While the name itself sounds pretty self-explanatory, there are several causes that have made more than one Dodge truck experience this terrifying movement.

You’ll know it when it happens

Death wobble itself isn’t a problem exclusive to Dodge, in fact, Jeep faced this issue with a generation of Wrangler. Dodge, however, has had several trucks over the decades experience death wobble, and it might leave owners more than just a tad concerned.

You don’t have to have experienced death wobble to know what it is when it happens. When you experience death wobble, your car or truck will shake violently and you will lose the ability to control your car, which is just about as terrifying as it sounds.

A new Dodge Dakota on display at an auto show
A Dodge Dakota on display | Scott Olson/Getty Images

This can occur for a handful of reasons, usually resulting from some type of mechanical issue with the steering controls or sometimes the suspension. Whatever the cause, death wobble can be one of the most unpleasant experiences you can have while driving your truck.

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The death wobble feels unlike any other movement your car can make, and it can be as scary to experience as it is dangerous. If you’re unlucky enough to have this happen to your truck, you’ll likely know exactly what it is. The best thing you can do is pull over, and not drive the truck until the issue has been resolved.

What Dodges have been known to have death wobble

The popular Dodge Ram 3500 has been known to experience death wobble, and it was one of the biggest complaints owners had about the truck. Newer years of Ram 3500 haven’t been reported to have this problem nearly as often if it all. For this model, the issue stemmed from a failure in the suspension rather than the steering mechanism.

This is incredibly concerning because the Ram 3500 is a heavy-duty truck that many owners used for its high towing capacity – and if death wobble doesn’t sound scary enough, imagine experiencing that while towing a 14,000lb load.

The 2015 RAM 2500 Longhorn on display at the Annual Chicago Auto Show
An older RAM 2500 model | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Not so surprisingly the Dodge Ram 2500 also had death wobble, which makes sense considering how closely it is related to the Ram 3500. It was again the biggest complaint owners had about the truck, which was otherwise well-loved by many drivers.

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Death wobble can be caused by manufacturing defects but it can also be caused by driver error and isn’t a problem most people typically have to worry about. Most drivers will luckily never experience death wobble, even if they are looking to buy one of these Dodge Rams on the used truck market.