Common Dodge Ram 1500 Failures: Problems, Solutions & More!

There’s a lot to like about the Dodge Ram 1500, from its powerful engine and tough stance to its roomy cabin and superb suspension. Of course, it is also a good idea to find out about the common faults of the Dodge Ram 1500 before buying it.

If you’re planning to buy a used Dodge Ram 1500, it’s helpful to know about its reliability ratings and common problems you may encounter as your truck ages.

How good is the Dodge Ram 1500?

The Dodge Ram 1500 has an average score in terms of reliability. Consumers gave the Dodge Ram 1500 a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it fourth out of 17 trucks. Older models scored similarly, with the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 earning a rating of 2.0 out of 5.0 from JD 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 about $936.

Dodge Ram trucks are tough and dependable. As long as you follow your regular maintenance schedule and replace faulty parts promptly, getting the most out of your truck’s life will be a breeze.

Dodge Ram 1500 Common Failures

Like any other truck, the Dodge Ram 1500 is bound to develop problems as the mileage accumulates. Here are some of the common Dodge Ram 1500 failures that you may encounter with this model:

1. Problem with the breakage of the exhaust manifold bolts

Some owners of 1995 and 1997-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s that came equipped with a 3.7L V6 or 4.7L V8 have complained of issues with the exhaust manifold bolts. The exhaust manifold bolts on your trucks are prone to damage.

Most owners were able to solve the problem by replacing their exhaust manifold gaskets . Fortunately, there are plenty of aftermarket exhaust manifold gaskets available online. So if you run into this problem, finding replacement gaskets for your vehicle will be quick and easy.

2. Rear window seal problems

A gap in the rear window gasket can cause some Dodge Ram 1500s to develop water leaks. The most telltale sign of this problem is water on and under the rug. If the bad window seal is really the source of the leak, replacing it should solve the problem.

Be aware , however, that other issues can cause your rear windows to leak , so it’s best to take your truck to an auto repair shop for proper diagnosis. Most reports of this problem come from owners of some 1996-1999 and 2002-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s.

3. Problems with refrigerant leaks

Several owners of 1994-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s have complained of overheating due to coolant leaks. The leak is usually coming from the thermostat gasket, water pump, intake manifold gasket, or timing cover gasket.

Coolant is essential for keeping your engine cool, so it’s imperative to address leaks immediately. Take your truck to the mechanic once you detect signs of leaks . Repair or replace the faulty part that is causing the problem to prevent your engine from overheating and damaging other components.

4. 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 start but not start. The issue can also cause an intermittent shutdown .

Owners of affected units have had to replace their truck’s camshaft position sensor to fix the problem. The cost of labor for this type of repair is between $80 and $90, depending on the rates in your area.

5. Problems with four-wheel drive

Some 1994, 1999-2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006-2010 Dodge Ram 1500s may develop four-wheel drive issues as they accumulate mileage. Some trucks may reportedly have trouble shifting into and out of four-wheel drive. “Four wheel drive service” takes time to kick in when this happens.

Owners of affected units were able to resolve the issue by replacing the front axle disconnect actuator and obtaining a fully integrated power module (TIPM) software update.

6. Suspension problems

Suspension-related issues dominated the list of problems for the 2007 Dodge Ram 1500. One owner said it feels like he loses control of his vehicle when he hits a pothole.

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 over 50 mph.

Replacing the faulty components, such as the steering knuckle, appears to have resolved the issue in most affected vehicles. Repairs for these types of problems can reach $1,500.

7. Control panel failures

A damaged control panel is one of the most common complaints among 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 owners. Several drivers have reported that their control panel has cracked after about 82,450 miles .

In addition to cracks that get worse when touched, some owners have also had to deal with vents that disintegrated and fell into the vents. Replacing the control panel or purchasing an aftermarket panel cover will usually resolve the issue.

8. Oil sludge problems

Oil sludge is a common problem on many 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles. Several owners have reported that their engine misfired due to oil sludge. Problems often start with a drop in oil pressure and engine misfire .

Replacing the engine, cleaning the siphon tube, and replacing head gaskets or reground heads are some of the ways to fix this problem. Repairs for this type of problem can run as high as $3,610.

9. Wireless Control Module Problems

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 problem.

A quick fix for this type of problem is to disconnect the battery terminal for thirty seconds to temporarily reset the module. This will allow you to start your car and drive to your specific destination. Installing a revised model must be done to permanently resolve the issue .

In summary

Keep in mind that these are just some of the problems that you may encounter in your Dodge Ram 1500. But don’t worry. As long as you read about these issues, buying this truck should be fairly risk-free. Stay on top of your maintenance schedule and replace faulty parts immediately to maximize the life of your truck.

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