Ram 1500: What are the Common Problems?

Every car model has its own quirks and issues to watch out for, and today we will discuss the common complaints owners have with the Ram 1500. Formerly called the Dodge Ram until Chrysler LLC created the “Ram” brand in 2010, these Ram trucks represent the third most popular pickup in the country.

While not as popular as the Ford F150 and Chevy Silverado, these Ram trucks nevertheless attract north of 200,000 new customers each year. that makes for a lot of people who want to know what sorts of issues to watch out for.

Ram 1500: What are the Common Problems?To identify these problem areas, I have scoured various recall and repair bulletins as well as owner forums to pinpoint exactly which issues are most likely to crop up each model year.

Issues with the Ram 1500 (previously the Dodge Ram) tend to group into each generation, so here are the common problems within each generation:

  • Third Generation (2002-2009): These third-generation Rams tend to experience exhaust manifold bolt breakage at an extremely high rate. Luckily for those who bought the Hemi engines, this problem mainly affects the 3.7-liter and 4.7-liter powerplants.
  • Fourth Generation (2009-2018): Early fourth-gen Ram 1500s have frequent issues with their TIPM – the Totally Integrated Power Module. As the brains of the electrical system, this causes countless issues to arise with the truck, making it the most important issue that commonly pops up on these pickups.
  • Fifth Generation (2019 and newer): Relatively few complaints have been reported for the very newest version of the Ram 1500. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been some hiccups, however. There have been multiple reports of various electrical gremlins as well as an issue with some improperly-built rear axles.

So there you have a very general overview of the main issue affecting each modern generation of Ram’s half-ton pickup. Keep reading to find out the full scope of problems affecting each model year.

Ram 1500 2002 Models – Reported Issues

2002 Dodge Ram 1500
2002 Dodge Ram 1500

Problem: Engine Failure Due to Sludge

Solution: Engine replacement

Cost: $3500 – $4000

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: Valve Spring Failure – 5.7-Liter Engines

Solution: Replace valve springs

Cost: $200

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Ram 1500 2003 Models – Reported Issues

2003 Dodge Ram 1500 | Photo by Greg Gjerdingen
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 | Photo by Greg Gjerdingen

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: Valve Spring Failure – 5.7-Liter Engines

Solution: Replace valve springs

Cost: $200

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Ram 1500 2004 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Ram 1500 2005 Models – Reported Issues

2005 Dodge Ram 1500
2005 Dodge Ram 1500

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Ram 1500 2006 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

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Solution: text

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Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Ram 1500 2007 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: text

Solution: text

Cost: text

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Ram 1500 2008 Models – Reported Issues

2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2008 Dodge Ram 1500

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Ram 1500 2009 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: AC/Heater Failure

Solution: AC compressor or heater core replacement

Cost: $400 – $800 (AC) or $750 – $950 (heater)

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Problem: Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) Failure

Solution: The TIPM is a necessary part that must be replaced when it goes out.

Cost: $300 – $400

Problem: Rear Axle Pinion Nut Failure

Solution: Ram will install a pinion nut retainer under recall 13V038000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2010 Models – Reported Issues

2010 Dodge Ram 1500
2010 Dodge Ram 1500

Problem: Exhaust Manifold Bolt Breakage

Solution: On 3.7 and 4.7-liter engines, the exhaust manifold gaskets and bolts should be replaced.

Cost: $700

Problem: Computer Failure

Solution: Computer replacement

Cost: $500

Problem: Faulty Rear Window Seal Causing Leak

Solution: Replace the faulty rear window seal.

Cost: $100

Problem: Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) Failure

Solution: Replacement of TIPM

Cost: $300 – $400

Problem: Rear Axle Pinion Nut Failure

Solution: Ram will install a pinion nut retainer under recall 13V038000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2011 Models – Reported Issues

2012 Dodge Ram 1500 | Photo by RL GNZLZ
2012 Dodge Ram 1500 | Photo by RL GNZLZ

Problem: Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) Failure

Solution: Replacement of TIPM

Cost: $300 – $400

Problem: Cam and Lifter Failure

Solution: Replace camshaft and lifter, usually around 100,000 miles

Cost: $3000 – $3600

Problem: Fuel Pump Failure

Solution: Replace the fuel pump or fuel pump relay

Cost: $100 (relay only) to $1000 (fuel pump replacement)

Problem: Rear Axle Pinion Nut Failure

Solution: Ram will install a pinion nut retainer under recall 13V038000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2012 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: Cam and Lifter Failure

Solution: Replace camshaft and lifter, usually around 100,000 miles

Cost: $3000 – $3600

Problem: Rear Axle Pinion Nut Failure

Solution: Ram will install a pinion nut retainer under recall 13V038000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Unexpected Front Airbag Deployment

Solution: Ram will repair and secure steering wheel wiring harness under recall 15V459000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2013 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: Unexpected Front Airbag Deployment

Solution: Ram will repair and secure steering wheel wiring harness under recall 15V459000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Disables upon Starting

Solution: Upgrade to the ESC software under recall 13V287000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2014 Models – Reported Issues

2014 Dodge Ram 1500
2014 Dodge Ram 1500 | Photo by RL GNZLZ

Problem: Unexpected Front Airbag Deployment

Solution: Ram will repair and secure steering wheel wiring harness under recall 15V459000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Cruise Control Fails to Disengage

Solution: Ram will reflash the vehicle’s software under recall 18V332000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2015 Models – Reported Issues

2015 Dodge Ram 1500
2015 Dodge Ram 1500

Problem: Improperly Assembled Rear Axle

Solution: Ram will inspect and replace the rear axle, if necessary, under recall 15V661000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Cruise Control Fails to Disengage

Solution: Ram will reflash the vehicle’s software under recall 18V332000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2016 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: Improperly Assembled Rear Axle

Solution: Ram will inspect and replace the rear axle, if necessary, under recall 15V661000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Cruise Control Fails to Disengage

Solution: Ram will reflash the vehicle’s software under recall 18V332000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Differential Pin Failure

Solution: Dealers will inspect and replace the differential retaining pin under recall 17V198000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2017 Models – Reported Issues

2017 Dodge Ram 1500
2017 Dodge Ram 1500

Problem: Differential Pin Failure

Solution: Dealers will inspect and replace the differential retaining pin under recall 17V198000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Cruise Control Fails to Disengage

Solution: Ram will reflash the vehicle’s software under recall 18V332000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2018 Models – Reported Issues

Problem: Cruise Control Fails to Disengage

Solution: Ram will reflash the vehicle’s software under recall 18V332000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Rear Axle Assembly Failure

Solution: Ram dealers will inspect rear axles and replace those axles with insufficient oil levels under recall 18V556000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Ram 1500 2019 Models – Reported Issues

2019 Dodge Ram 1500
2019 Dodge Ram 1500 | Photo by Matti Blume

Problem: Cruise Control Fails to Disengage

Solution: Ram will reflash the vehicle’s software under recall 18V332000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Passenger Seat Sensor Failure

Solution: Ram dealers will inspect and replace seat sensor under recall 18V822000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Rear Axle Assembly Failure

Solution: Ram dealers will inspect rear axles and replace those axles with insufficient oil levels under recall 18V556000

Cost: $0 (under recall)

Problem: Various Electrical Issues

Solution: Owners have reported several electrical problems such as dashboard warning lights and systems not working

Cost: $0 – Ram should fix these issues under warranty for any 2019 model truck, although a formal recall has not been filed as of yet

In Summary

As you can see, the more recent years rely more heavily on recall data than consumer reports. That’s simply because these trucks haven’t been on the road long enough to accrue very many consumer reports of issues. While we can hope these newer models will give their owners few problems, there just isn’t enough data to predict some of the problems that will likely start rearing their ugly head in the future.

If you haven’t noticed, new pickup trucks are quickly becoming very expensive. Buying one secondhand is a great way to save some money, but of course, that means watching out for any mechanical issues that can arise. By knowing what is likely to fail before it actually fails, you or your mechanic can check these parts before or after purchase. And that ensures that the problems are dealt with before they get even more costly.

Still, this list provides you with the best information currently available regarding the common problems with each model year of the Ram 1500. Hopefully, it will save you some headache and leave you armed and ready when it comes time to inspect your next Ram truck before you buy it.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for the info. on my 2019 RAM no problems as of yet, did hear about oil port (hole) stopping up and over heating some areas of the 5.7 hemi eng. causing low oil pressure and eng. damage.

    1. Kenny, you are most welcome. Thank you for stopping by. 2019 is a solid model, the oil port issue can happen but if you use the recommended oil and keep up on maintenance you should be ok.

  2. Front tires rub on liners. Ever so often roaring sound like high speed fan that rises
    And decreases in pitch. Turn off then on and noise is gone. Heated mirrors do not remove frost but test says they are producing enough heat.
    Clunking or bank under frame when on uneven surface

    1. Wendall thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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