There are so many things to love about your Dodge Ram 1500, from its powerful engine and tough stance to its spacious cabin and superb suspension. If you’re planning to buy a used Dodge Ram 1500, it’s helpful to know about its reliability ratings and the common issues you may encounter as your truck gets older.
Is the Dodge Ram 1500 Reliable?
The Dodge Ram 1500 has average scores in terms of reliability. RepairPal gave the Dodge Ram 1500 a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 4th out of 17 trucks. Older models scored similarly, with the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 getting a 2.0 out of 5.0 rating from J.D. Power.
The average annual repair and maintenance cost for a Dodge Ram 1500 is $670. It’s lower than the average cost for full-size trucks, which is approximately $936.
Dodge Ram trucks are tough and dependable. As long as you follow your regular maintenance schedule and replace faulty parts immediately, making the most of your pickup truck’s service life will be a breeze.
Dodge Ram 1500 Common Problems
Just like any other truck, the Dodge Ram 1500 is bound to develop issues as it racks up mileage. Here are some of the most common problems you may encounter with this model:
Broken Exhaust Manifold Bolts
Some owners of 1995 and 1997-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s that come equipped with a 3.7L V6 engine or a 4.7L V8 engine have complained about problems with their exhaust manifold bolts. The exhaust manifold bolts on their trucks are prone to damage.
Most owners were able to resolve the issue by replacing their exhaust manifold gaskets. Fortunately, there are many aftermarket exhaust manifold gaskets available online. So if you encounter this problem, finding replacement gaskets for your ride will be quick and easy.
Faulty Rear Window Seal
A void in the rear window seal may cause some Dodge Ram 1500s to develop water leaks. The most telltale sign of this problem is water on and under the carpet. If a faulty window seal is indeed the source of the leak, replacing it should resolve the issue.
However, note that other problems may cause your rear windows to leak water, so it’s best to take your pickup to an auto repair shop for a proper diagnosis. Most of the reports regarding this issue came from owners of some 1996-1999 and 2002-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s.
Several owners of 1994-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s have complained about overheating due to coolant leaks. The leak usually comes from the thermostat gasket, water pump, intake manifold gasket, or timing cover gasket.
Coolant is essential in keeping the engine cool, so it’s imperative to address leaks immediately. Take your pickup truck to your mechanic once you spot signs of leaks. Repair or replace the faulty part that’s causing the issue to keep your engine from overheating and damaging other components.
Cam Sensor Failure
The camshaft position sensor on some Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles from model years 1994,1995, and 1998-2008, and 2010 are prone to failure. When this happens, the engine may crank but fail to start. The problem may also cause intermittent stalling.
The owners of the affected units had to replace their truck’s camshaft position sensor to solve the issue. The labor cost for this type of repair is between $80 and $90, depending on the rates in your area.
Some 1994, 1999-2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s may develop 4-wheel drive issues as they rack up mileage. According to reports, some trucks may have problems shifting into and out of four-wheel drive. The “serv 4WD” late will usually trigger when this happens.
Owners of the affected units were able to resolve the issue by replacing the front axle disconnect actuator and getting a totally integrated power module (TIPM) software update.
Shaking due to Suspension Issues
Suspension-related issues dominated the list of 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 problems. One owner said it feels like he loses control of his vehicle when he hits a bump. Other owners said it also happens when changing lanes. The shaking was so severe that they had difficulty steering their vehicle. The problem usually occurs when the truck is running above 50 mph.
Replacing faulty components like the steering linkage appeared to solve the issue on most affected vehicles. Repairs for this type of issue can reach up to $1,500.
A damaged dashboard is one of the most common complaints among 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 owners. Several drivers have reported that their dashboard developed cracks after around 82,450 miles.
Besides cracks that got worse when touched, some owners also had to deal with vent grates that disintegrated and fell into the vents. Replacing the dashboard or buying an aftermarket dash cover usually resolves the issue.
Oil sludge is a common problem across several 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles. Several owners have reported that their motor or engine failed due to oil sludge. The problems usually start with a drop in oil pressure and engine misfires.
Replacing the engine, cleaning the siphon tube, and replacing head gaskets or grind heads are some of the ways to solve this issue. Repairs for this type of issue can reach up to $3,610.
Locked Up Wireless Control Module
The wireless control module (WCM) on some Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles may lock up and cause a no crank or no start condition. In most cases, a static discharge through the ignition key system is to blame for this issue.
A quick fix for this type of problem is disconnecting the terminal of the battery for thirty seconds to reset the module temporarily. This will allow you to start your car and drive to your specific destination. Installing a revised model must be done to permanently solve the issue.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the issues you may encounter with your Dodge Ram 1500. But don’t worry. As long as you read up on these issues, purchasing this truck should come with a little risk. Stay on top of your maintenance schedule and replace faulty parts immediately to maximize your pickup’s service life.