6 Most Common Ram Truck Problems

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

Table of Contents

The Dodge pickup brand has been revitalized several times, but today we have the Ram 1500, the model that has been in circulation since late 2009 when the FIAT/Chrysler Group restructured Dodge’s trucks. And, while they come with upgrades – the 4th generation Ram is more powerful than any other version, there are also downsides.

Some of them are cosmetic, and others make the Ram difficult or dangerous to drive, so it’s vital to gain awareness and understand them during the buying process. That way, you can drive home an affordable truck with which you are comfortable.

In this article, we’ll breakdown the six major and most common Dodge Ram problems. Let’s get to it.

Electrical Issues

Unfortunately, there is a host of Ram 1500 problems relating to electrical failure. As a result, you can experience everything from airbags deploying without reason, the cruise control not disengaging, and the ABS failing. While all these are hefty problems, the one that stands out above them all is when the TIPM goes. TIPM stands for ‘Totally Integrated Power Module,’ and the issues can range from embarrassing to hazardous if it fails. 

Mechanics and Dodge technicians might try to fix electrical problems one-by-one, yet it won’t make a difference. The only option is to replace the TIPM system, which costs around $300 to $500, and it’s a pretty easy swap. 

Cam/Lifter Failure

As far as Dodge Ram problems go, the cam and lifter failing are the two that are most widely reported. It’s straightforward to spot this issue as the pickup will stall in many scenarios. Whether it stalls at idle, when in neutral and out of gear, or when stopping, it’s not rare for a Ram to suddenly stop.

Cams and lifters do wear out over time on almost every vehicle; however, they last quite a while before failing. Lots of Ram 1500 owners report problems when the truck has traveled well under 75,000. Unlike the TIPM system, they aren’t as cheap to replace. If your Dodge guarantee is no longer valid, it can be as much as $3,500. 

Leaking Coolant

Coolant leaks are reported quite a lot, even if lots of Dodge Ram owners can’t locate the source of the hole. Thankfully, previous run-ins with Ram 1500 models of all ages means we can point you in the right direction. Typically, the gaskets will be the cause of coolant flow from the engines, yet they aren’t the only suspects. If you can’t see coolant coming from the gaskets, then check:

  • heater hose
  • hoses to the water pump
  • problems with the water pump itself

Another smart tip to remember is to check for leaks regularly. Because it’s hard to gauge the location and the severity of the problem, they often go unnoticed and harm the engine even further.

Transmission Difficulties

Difficulties with the transmission are widespread Ram truck problems. For the most part, they are small things that are more frustrating than dangerous; for example, struggling to start. But, specific issues do make driving a Dodge Ram quite risky, the main one being the fact it slips into gear when stationary. If it does this in traffic, you could be in a fender bender or worse.

Diagnosing the source of the problem is often tough, which makes fixing it even harder. Ram owners who can’t be bothered with the stress or hassle of transmission 1500 issues can go to a specialist dealer to get it off their hands.

Exhaust Manifold Gaskets And Bolts

Some Ram truck problems are cosmetic and still cost a lot of money. The exhaust manifold on a Dodge Ram 1500 has gaskets and bolts, similar to most pickups. The difference with 1500 is that they aren’t durable. Often, they break or snap when they come into contact with a small amount of pressure. The 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines are the most susceptible.

The best course of action is to get them replaced with sturdier gaskets and bolts. Otherwise, you’re looking at a bill of $700 or more.

Rear Axle Pinion Nut Failure

This is something that a lot of petrolheads won’t have heard about before, but it’s simple to explain: it’s when the pinion nut fails. The problem is significant enough for Dodge to recall a selection of its Ram models and replace the nut for free. Therefore, if you can hear a rattling sound, or if there is an annoying noise, it could be that the pinion nut failed. 

In this case, you should get in touch with a Dodge representative and organize a free repair or replacement.

Things To Know

The above problems affect Dodge Ram 1500 models, but not every version will have the same issue. It depends on the year it was manufactured and released. Therefore, it’s essential to remember the year of your truck and whether the problem affects it. Here’s a short roundup of the releases and their common failures:

Third Generation (2002 – 2009)

The older models are plagued by the exhaust manifest issues that lead to gaskets and nuts breaking. They do it at a healthy rate, too, but only with regards to two engine types: the 3.7 and 4.7 liters.

Fourth Generation (2009 – 2018)

Fourth gen Rams have the issue that you want to try and avoid – the TIPM system failure. Considering it relates to the vehicle’s electrics, it can lead to problems with almost everything, including the brakes and heating and cooling systems.

Fifth Generation (2019 – )

Fifth-generation Ram truck problems are yet to be reported in bulk. Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be issues in the future. For now, the failures that crop up the most are poorly-built-and-installed rear axles.

Cash Auto Salvage

Sure, you can throw money at problems that frequently occur to try and salvage your Dodge Ram, or you can speak to us. At Cash Auto Salvage, we offer the best quotes so that you can recover money for a vehicle that was never fully-functional. Whether it goes in your bank account or towards a replacement, one thing’s for sure: you’ll be glad you got rid of your Ram 1500!

Want to get rid of your Ram truck? We’ll give you an instant online quote – just go here!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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