There is no doubt that Ram has been on top of its game in the design and manufacture of high-quality, hardy, and aggressive trucks over the years.
Ram has become synonymous with trucks.
But like any other vehicle, there must exist some models or model years that will be problematic.
The magnitude of the problems will always differ from one truck to another.
What Ram Trucks Has the Least Amount of Problems?
The 2017 and 2019 model years of the Ram 1500 are the top Ram trucks that had the least number of problems. The 2017 Ram 1500 (Previously Dodge Ram), 2019 Ram 1500, are not only popular in the Ram lineup, but are also the most reliable.
Many reliable consumer review sites, like Consumer Reports and J.D Power, have rated the Ram 1500 (2017 and 2019 model year) as the most reliable truck in the Ram lineup.
This truck has stood the test of time with each model year coming out with a host of features to wow truck enthusiasts.
Over the years, the RAM trucks have undergone constant development and refinement in all its aspects.
Right from the time they were referred to as Dodge Ram Trucks to date.
Over the years, the Ram trucks have seen a dramatic increase in sales, thanks to the additional amenities, potent engines, and continuous design for comfort and agility.
These trucks have raised the bar so high for truck manufacturers all over the world.
Every model year of the Ram has come with something new that appeals to the driving needs of truck lovers.
Although the Ram trucks are built for dependability, durability, and convenience, they have also experienced a fair share of issues along with their evolution.
These issues don’t change the fact that the tucks are built for the long haul, but they are worth noting for buyers looking to purchase used or pre-owned Ram trucks.
The RAM 1500: Performance and Reliability On the Road
When shopping for a Dodge Ram truck, 1500 will most likely be the first stop for many truck lovers who love style, comfort, and performance.
Over the years, this truck has been scoring above average in predicted reliability scores.
The reliability of the Ram 1500 has been improving progressively over the years despite having new features added.
Unlike its rivals, the additional features have not been the source of more problems.
Instead, Ram has been careful in the implementation of the high-tech comfort, safety, and performance features that make them top the list of the top best trucks in the world.
The top consumer sites have all been consistent in the reports on the reliability of the Ram 1500 since its introduction.
This half-ton pickup is no doubt the most sought-after workhorse in the entire lineup of highly sophisticated Ram Trucks.
According to CarComplaints, the number of problems reported on the Ram 1500 has been reducing over the years with the new 2020 Ram 1500 recording only eight problems.
2002 through to 2004 model years of this truck had issues concerning the dash cracking.
But this has since been addressed in the consecutive releases.
The new generation models do not experience this issue anymore.
Also, during the period 2012 to 2014, the Ram 1500 experienced an increasing amount of complaints concerning their eight-speed ZF transmission, which was replaced by the old models during those years.
The new transmission came with new software issues, which have since been resolved in the 2020 and later Ram 1500 model years.
On the other hand, Consumer Reports indicates that the 2017 Ram 1500 was the best year for this truck while 2014 – 2015 were reported as being the worst of the Ram 1500.
This report is consistent with that of the complaints reported on CarComplaints.
Compared to its rivals and other trucks of the same class and performance level, the Ram 1500 performed very well.
Ram 1500 Common Problems
Buyers going for Dodge Ram trucks are looking for the reliability and stellar performance that these trucks offer.
But like any other machine, there are a number of issues and peculiarities with the Ram 1500 that drivers should be aware of when shopping for this truck.
Different trim levels of the Ram 1500 will come standard with varying Ram truck configurations to match the individual lifestyle, but this also presents a unique set of problems from one trim level to another.
The Ram 1500, was initially referred to as a Dodge Ram truck before Chrysler LLC changed the name in 2010.
They are the number three most popular pickup trucks in the United States.
Even if the Ram trucks aren’t quite as well-known as the Ford lineup (F150) and the Chevy Silverado, they are being used by over 200,000 happy customers.
Customers have been giving feedback on the performance and related problems affecting the Ram 1500 over the years.
These problems can be grouped into the different generations of the Ram 1500.
Ram 1500 (2002 – 2009): 3rd Generation
The model years across this generation experienced a significant rate of exhaust manifold bolt breaking.
Fortunately, the 3.7L and 4.7L Hemi engine options were not affected by this issue.
Ram 1500 (2009-2018): 4th Generation
The fourth-gen model years, which ranges from 2009 to 2018 had more issues reported concerning the Integrated Power Module (TIPM).
This leads to electrical problems because it is the center of the entire truck’s electrical system.
The fourth-generation saw the last of the Dodge Ram 1500 truck names.
It was around this time that the name was changed to Ram Trucks.
The 2021 Ram 1500 model year was more problematic in this generation and may be classified as the worst year for the Ram 1500 trucks.
During this period, the 5.7L Hemi V-8 engines that came standard with this model year were notorious for cam-shaft lifter lock.
This was indicated by the ticking noise behind the dash.
This led to breakage or freezing of the lifters that were expensive to repair.
Fortunately, this did not warrant a recall.
Because this engine is now found in millions of vehicles worldwide with a very low failure rate, there was no need for the company to issue a mechanical recall.
Between 2012 and 2016, however, the cam-shaft issue was the most frequently reported problem by Ram 1500 owners.
Surprisingly the Dodge Ram truck did end up scoring highest in terms of customer satisfaction in 2012, according to J.D Power, compared to previous generations.
Most people appear to adore the pickup truck since it had fewer problems.
At the same time, the 2017 Ram 1500 has proven to be the most reliable and trouble-free fourth-generation truck in the past decade.
Thanks to the nine recalls that seemed to have dealt with the most problematic mechanical issues, like the tailgates opening while in motion, one for broken transmission interlock pin, and the issue of the 3.0L diesel engine.
The Ram 1500 was offered in 15 trim levels to allow you to select the truck that is adventure-ready and fits your driving style.
The Night edition was iconic in the Ram 1500 trim levels as it embraces the dark and powerful nature right from its 20-inch black wheels, dark bezels, and stylish black badging.
This truck came standard with the Hemi engine with sport exhaust that delivers plenty of power, while suspension helps the truck sag down for better aerodynamics at high speed.
Ram 1500 (2019 – latest): 5th Generation
The fifth-generation is arguably the best model year to buy a Ram 1500 truck from.
This model year has the least number of problems reported.
Additionally, the few issues reported are not as critical as the ones witnessed in the earlier generations.
These problems do not warrant a recall from the firm.
Because of this, they are generally the most reliable Ram trucks in the market.
Most complaints in the fifth generation were concerning the inefficiency of the rear axles and some electrical glitches that were reported on some model years in the fifth generation.
This generation saw the addition of driver-assist features to make the truck suitable for daily commute.
However, it appears that these features were the sources of most of the issues reported.
The 2019 Ram 1500 was the worst year for the Ram 1500 with over 21 active recalls and 413 complaints.
This was alarming for a truck that has been on the road for more than two years.
There was a wide range of malfunction reported in the 2019 model year specifically.
Some included the cruise control failing to turn off.
A loose ground caused the power steering to fail.
For some, the seatbelts were not snug enough to prevent injury.
Luckily, this list of problems did not stop the Ram 1500 from winning the 2019 Truck of the Year awards by Motor Trend.
It was also awarded the Top Safety Pick award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The 2020 Ram 1500, which is the newest in the 5th generation, has also received a fair share of accolades from its users.
This truck has received fewer problem reports so far.
It is currently one of the most popular pickups in America.
It is the second truck in this generation and probably the best of its kind.
It appears that the majority of the issues that were reported on the 2019 model year of the Ram 1500 have been resolved.
Aside from that, the Ram HD was named the Truck of the year by Motor Trend and received the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick rating.
This model year only saw seven recalls and 90 complaints. This is a great improvement from its predecessors.
But on average, the 2020 Ram truck has since been more reliable compared to pickup trucks of the same class in its price range and class.
The RamBox, a tool storage system built into the bed rails, is one of the outstanding features of the 2020 Ram 1500.
Fortunately, this feature comes optional regardless of the Ram truck configuration you choose.
It can easily be installed on your truck.
This truck comes standard with advanced features like the infotainment center that looks like a tablet and has a huge center console that can hold a laptop and your documents.
Other smart features that made the 2020 Ram 1500 stand out from its peers include cruise control with intelligent braking, front emergency braking system, lane-departure warning, to mention but a few.
In essence, this truck has the luxury, comfort and all the convenience of a high-end sedan packaged in a sturdy, aggressive, and high-performance Ram truck configuration.
If you are on a budget and shopping for a Ram truck that will give you a great user experience and still serve you for the long haul, the 2020 Ram truck is a good choice in the firth generation lineup of Ram trucks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are Ram Trucks reliable?
Yes. Ram trucks are reliable and come with superb towing and hauling abilities. Provided you know which models and model years to avoid, Ram trucks remain one of the most dependable pickup trucks to buy.
Whether you go for 1500, 2500, or the 3500 Ram truck model, they all come with their fair share of issues that you have to consider to make an informed decision.
These trucks are the second most popular cars in the United States.
While the Ram 1500 is one of the best in the lineup, it comes with its fair share of problems despite its popularity and accolades.
You have to do your due diligence before settling for the model year to buy.
Does the Ram 3500 have many problems?
CarComplaint has 145 complaints about the Ram 3500 truck.
This is a heavy-duty workhorse that comes packed with extra power, safety, and comfort features.
This truck doesn’t come cheap and sports a large size with a lot of enhancement across its trim levels.
Comparatively, this truck has fewer complaints compared to the 1500 and the 2500 Ram Trucks.
There was a fatal wobble with the 3500, which was the most common complaint.
This was caused by a malfunction of the suspension that affected many earlier models of RAM.
That was the main problem with this truck, the rest of the issues were rare.
The second most common problem with the 3500 was that the diesel exhaust fluid pump would stop working.
This was a great concern, but it wasn’t as severe as the wobble.
Which Ram Truck model years should I avoid when shopping?
There are six model years of the Ram 1500 that you should avoid, including 2003, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and the 2016 models.
This is because the 2003 Ram 1500 models had intake valve problems and some reports of transmission issues.
These are costly problems that you would wish to avoid.
The 2010 Ram 1500 was famous for its weak engine and inefficient fuel economy.
It is not an ideal choice for hauling or long-distance travel, although it is still a reliable truck with a comfortable interior.
On the other hand the 2013 Ram 1500, despite being named the truck of the year, had 12 recalls related to electrical problems.
Least Problematic Ram Truck
There is no doubt that the Ram 1500 is a hallmark of Ram trucks in terms of durability, technology, performance, luxury, and high-tech features.
These trucks are more reliable and are less problematic across the model years.
Since the ‘90s, a Dodge Ram truck has been the mainstay of United States’ highways and off-roaders.
There have been a few model years where the trucks haven’t been tough enough with some problems reported here and there.
But this has since been addressed in the latest releases of the Ram 1500.
Recently, many people have relied on recall data as opposed to consumer satisfaction reports to determine the reliability of the vehicles they intend to buy.
This is because these vehicles haven’t been owned long enough to amass a large number of consumer complaints and insights about malfunctions and other problems.
As much as we love to assume that newer is always better, there is not enough data to project some of the issues that will certainly crop up in the future for these new model years.
New trucks don’t come cheap; thus, you need to do your research to establish the most reliable used truck to buy.
Knowing the common problems that affect the different Ram models and model years will help you in making an informed decision on the right truck to buy and what to look out for in terms of repairs and maintenance.
That way, problems can be handled before they become too complicated.
Consequently, excluding certain Ram truck model years is a first step to avoid buying the worst Ram truck.
Ram trucks that have reported fewer problems throughout their model years are guaranteed to offer you great value for your money.
Therefore, be sure to have your Ram truck’s vehicle history assessed thoroughly before buying so that you can have a clear picture of some of the problems encountered in the past and how they were addressed, including the cost implication.
Please don’t allow the few problems of some of the Ram 1500 model years to discourage you from buying a used Ram truck.
Ram trucks are robust, and you can confidently choose one from these model years; 2011, 2012, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
Ram trucks are among the most reliable pickups, Ram 1500 is one of the best in the lineup that has been refined and redesigned based on user feedback over the years.