The first generation of the Dodge Ram was fabricated in 1980 for release in 1981. However, the famous Ram hood ornament and emblem was used on Dodge trucks and cars dating back to as early as 1932 to 1954.
The truck brand is still going strong today, with many consumers choosing it over the competition time and time again. It’s marketed as a beast in the industry or, actually, a Ram, and has the reputation that comes with the moniker. Ram trucks are supposed to be able to take on heavy loads and terrible conditions. But might this just be a perfect example of some misplaced hype or are the trucks actually that good?
It's a decent question, as many owners have reported problems with the truck. In fact, there are so many issues that the automotive industry is questioning the positive feedback more and more. When people think of big, powerful pickup trucks, they think of the F-Series from Ford, they think of the Chevy Silverado, and of course, they think of the Ram.
The earlier Dodge Rams are probably why the name has such a great reputation—though according to our sources, in the last decade or so, the latest models have definitely gone down in quality. So take a look with us and find out just how many consumers out there are lying to themselves, ignoring all these issues altogether and thinking that their Ram is the best truck on the roads!
25 ENGINE BLOW-OUT AT JUST 65K!
For what these trucks are supposedly supposed to be able to do, this is just unacceptable. What was the driver doing to make the engine blow out? Probably the plethora of things the advertisements state that drivers of Ram trucks can do: hauling, pulling, and so on and so forth. The truck was practically brand new at just 65,000 miles. The engine in question was a diesel and the consumer thought it would last a considerably long time but, man, was the poor guy wrong. Turns out, the consumer wasn't even using it for hauling, but only for taxiing his crew to and from his construction site.
24 RUST, RUST, RUST
For any of you fans of the sitcom Friends, you will obviously remember the character of Ross Geller and his antics trying desperately to impress the father of Rachel Green. In one episode, Rachel's dad tells Ross that he found some rust on his boat, to which Ross responds, "It gives it a nice antiquey look." As Rachel's dad knew and as we all know, rust is much more than that. In fact, it can be compared to a terrible ailment and rust can mean the beginning of the end for any vehicle. Unfortunately, many owners have detected rust on Dodge Rams fairly early on and no, they aren't regarded as prized antiques as early as three years in. Sorry, Ross.
23 TRANSMISSION REPLACED UNDER 55 MILES
Now, how's that for a major malfunction? We'd say pretty bad. The transmission is pretty important, obviously, and when it goes, it's usually the start of other problems down the line. For it to happen so early, we'd have to say it's a bad omen. One consumer actually reported this early transmission failure and the gearbox's subsequent replacement three times in a row, every few thousand miles or so! And he always got his replacements done at the dealership! Now, we don't mean to state that all Dodge and Chrysler dealerships aren't doing their jobs but this poor character definitely got the short end of the stick.
22 BACKUP CAMERA GLITCH
Back in the day, drivers were a tad less lazy when it came to simply pivoting their bodies, resting their arms on the back of the seat, and making sure nothing or nobody was standing behind their vehicle. But, as technology takes us from the realm of "do it yourself" to the realm of "relax, we'll do it for you," we definitely didn't get there without a few glitches along the way. But in this case, drivers have relied on this feature and put their trust in the backup camera so much that when an issue does come up, they seem to forget how to back up without its aid. But we can't blame the drivers here, the systems shouldn't have as many glitches as they do and there have been many reports about the Ram backup camera.
21 ABNORMAL START-UP NOISE
You've purchased nothing but used cars all your life so you've become accustomed to odd noises, weird bumps, and awkward driving conditions. But one day, you decide that you'll put an end to all the hassle of used cars and lemons that break down on you just after ten months and you decide to splurge on the truck you've always wanted. You go for a Dodge Ram; after all, it's reputation speaks for itself, right? So there you are, about to embark on your first journey in the mammoth beast you've just spent your hard-earned money on and when you turn the key, the sound that makes its way to your ears is all too familiar. A nightmare, indeed, but it's actually happened to a few consumers and owners of Dodge Rams.
20 DEF TANK FAILURE
Firstly to understand this issue, we need to understand what DEF is. DEF stands for Diesel Exhaust Fluid, and in layman's terms, it's a fluid that lowers the amount of nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide in the emissions from a diesel engine. The DEF tank is where this fluid is stored in a particular vehicle. If there is an issue with this tank, then there can be issues regarding the vehicle's exhaust and, of course, unwanted chemicals let out into the air. Many Dodge Ram consumers have reported this issue and repairs to this tank can actually be quite costly. This problem seems to be with the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, particularly, yet many have wondered why no recalls have been made.
19 MONOXIDE SENSOR FAILURE
A sensor such as this one is present in vehicles to monitor the amounts of monoxide in the car. The issues may be serious enough that if the sensor illuminates, the driver must get the cause looked at quickly. But what many consumers have been reporting is that the sensor brightens and alerts them of some sort of excess and when they go to the mechanic or dealership to take a look at it, there is no leak of which to speak of. Therefore, the issue is a malfunction in the sensor. And we can't begin to tell you how many sensor issues there have been reported in the Ram.
18 STUCK IN PARK
There's nothing worse than having spent loads and loads of money on something, only to be presented with a problem as ridiculous as this one. A major machine such as a Dodge Ram shouldn't have these problems and the fact that they do is quite telling, we're afraid. As it turns out, yes, many drivers and consumers have reported that their Rams get stuck in Park quite often, and this has been reported for a few of the more recent models. Now, what a pesky little problem to have and a very frustrating one, at that. We wonder why so many others have ignored and put up with problems such as this one.
17 OIL PUMP FAILURE
The oil pump in any vehicle works because of the engine's drive belt. As the belt turns, the pump thus works. But when the pump starts to have problems, this can definitely lead to complete and utter engine failure. This is obviously less than ideal, but it happens often enough. However, it shouldn't happen in relatively new vehicles, especially ones as big, powerful and expensive as the Dodge Ram. Yet many consumers have reported this issue in their vehicles and the problem is quite serious as stated. One consumer replaced it at a reported cost of 2,000 dollars, only to have another issue with it soon after.
16 TIRES WEAR OUT
Have you ever seen the size of the tires on a Dodge Ram in person? They're huge and the treads look like they have deep craters enough for a small civilization to dwell in. It would seem like it should take a lot to wear out those tires. But as it turns out, some consumers have reported tires being worn out as early as 10,000 miles in! And as it turns out, they weren't even using the truck for hauling or construction! At the end of the day, the tires of a truck like this speak volumes and right about now, they're saying, "We can't cut the mustard, it seems." And with testimonials like this, we'd have to agree.
15 NAVIGATIONAL ISSUES
The Dodge company prides itself on the navigational system found within their vehicles, particularly the newer models of the Ram truck. But as it turns out, many consumers have reported issues with the system. Of course, we all know that this can come down to human mistakes but if enough reports come in, we obviously know that there's a glitch in the system. Many would say, "Get your own GPS." But to that, we say firstly, we all know how reliable those can be, and second, if we're paying for a feature as consumers, we expect said feature to work for a long time before we experience any issues. Right or wrong?
14 ISSUES REMINISCENT OF THE JEEP COMPASS FIASCO
The Jeep Compass 2007 was famous for issues regarding the chassis, tie rods, and the entire support system being in horrible condition just a few years after its release. There was a rust issue because of a lower grade of metal used in this vehicle. The company decided to deal with the issue by lengthening the warranty—as opposed to recalling the vehicles—once they realized it was their fault. Best of all, with a warranty extension as opposed to a recall, no letters were necessary to send out alerting the clientele of the problem. Pretty questionable indeed. No what does this have to do with the Ram? Well, it's no wonder that Chrysler is at the helm of both divisions, Jeep and Dodge, and many have wondered why Dodge hasn't issued recalls on all these persistent problems that keep popping up.
13 BRAKE LIGHT GASKET FAILURE
This problem has been brought up time and time again but one consumer was angry that he is still experiencing issues in 2019. Many have reported this issue and although a brand new brake light gasket isn't all that expensive, it's quite a hassle and a disappointment for this failure to be popping up so early in the ownership. Many have said that this issue should have been dealt with many models ago, yet it seems to be quite persistent still and Dodge seem to be quite slow in rectifying the issue. This brings up a familiar question of why the company is so reluctant to find an answer to these issues.
12 CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ALWAYS ON
This problem has been reported many many times and not just with Dodge Rams. Many drivers out there have had this similar issue, yours truly included with some of my older vehicles. And when it's brought up to mechanics across the globe, we're pretty sure that the complaint is met with much of the same passiveness that I've encountered. "It's not a problem, really. The engine is fine and just ignore it." Ignore it? That's easier said than done for many people out there. When you purchase a vehicle, you want everything to function properly. There must be some reason that the light's illuminating and if it isn't the engine, then figure out what it is, for crying out loud!
11 ISSUES WITH THE REAR WINDOW
Many have reported issues with the rear window in many Dodge Ram models. Issues include funny sounds while opening and closing and also many have reported issues with the window staying open and being unable to close it. This is a serious problem, especially in certain climate and weather conditions. It reminds me of an issue regarding a sunroof window in an old car of mine which was, interestingly enough, a Chrysler. I opened it up on a long drive and when I got to my destination, it wouldn't close. And worse yet, it was raining, so i taped some garbage bags to the roof of the vehicle. When I got the problem supposedly fixed, I never trusted the window again.
10 RACK AND PINION
For any mechanic, the importance of the rack and pinion is well set in their minds, as it is simply explained as a mechanism or gear system that transforms circular motion into linear motion. This is a super important feature found in all vehicles' steering systems and, indeed, in most machines. We won't go further into the mechanics and physics of the whole thing in depth, but rest assured that it's quite important to the functionality of any vehicle's steering. Consumers of the Ram have reported failure in this department and the costs to repair it aren't exactly astronomical but are rather steep. These repairs can set a consumer back anywhere up to $1,500.
9 START BUTTON GETS STUCK
Now, of all the problems to ignore and continue on with, this one takes the cake. What do you do if you can't turn your vehicle off? Just sit there and think back to simpler times and simple key ignition systems until the vehicle decides that it wants to turn off or worse yet, run out of battery power? Many poor clients of Dodge, particularly those consumers who purchased a Ram with this feature, experienced these problems early on but because it happened once and not again, they chose to ignore it. But when it comes to vehicles, if it happens once, rest assured it may happen again, often at the most inopportune time.
8 BAD PAINT FINISH
Now, if we put the mechanical issues aside for just a brief moment, we'd like to mention that many consumers have reported issues with the paint job or, rather, the paint finish. These trucks look awesome on the showroom floor. The dealerships know how to light those places perfectly so that the lights hit the paint and body just right in order to get you interested. And by the way they look that first week you own them, you'd never think that the paint would chip or peel away in the first few years of ownership. And yet some consumers have reported just that within mere months of taking it off the lot!
7 MAP LIGHT FAILURE
Now, some would state that this is a rather minor issue but we'd have to strongly disagree. Imagine, if you will, driving down a dark and desolate road. There are no street lights and the night is rather cloudy, so all the stars and even the moon are well hidden away. The only lights are your looming headlights illuminating the way on that dark back road. The interior of the car is lightly illuminated by the dash equipment but other than that, everything in there is hard to see. Imagine dropping something rather important, like your cellular phone. Try finding it quickly in those conditions without your trusty map light working properly.
6 SHIFTING ISSUES
Shifting gears is what it's all about, really—especially with a manual transmission. Without that or if the transmission doesn't work properly, the vehicle's sunk and you can't go anywhere. For the Dodge Ram to have these issues, we'd say that's pretty severe. Many consumers, with many different model years, have reported this one and in conjunction with all the other problems on this list, many would argue that these trucks aren't driveable. It's sad, seeing what kind of legacy these trucks had in the first few generations going back to 1981. It just goes to show you that when a company gets too big, bad things can end up happening.
5 AMBIENT NOISES
Ambient noises are things that one would and should expect in the depths of a dark cave. Perhaps also while snorkeling or diving into the depths of the ocean. And we'll even go as far to say that ambient noises should be expected in a deserted mansion that has been left to itself for long centuries. But ambient noises should not be coming from the engine or the chassis of a brand new Dodge truck. Yet this is exactly what many consumers have reported. And the worst thing about ambient noises is that often times, they're extremely hard to detect because when consumers bring the truck into the garage, they're left saying, "It kind of makes a ding, bang, rumble sound when I put it in gear." And such comments are always met with the most sarcastic of expressions, we're afraid.
4 LONG WAITS FOR DEALERSHIP REPAIRS
And when you finally decide to stop ignoring all these issues and bring your truck down to the dealership for repairs, apparently your consumer woes aren't yet at an end. Many clients of the company have reported extra long waits at the dealership and although five, six or even seven hours can seem long to most, the types of waiting times that have been reported are a lot longer. One consumer, in particular, stated that he waited a whopping eight months for his car to be ready and all the while, the dealer constantly telling him that the parts needed were on back order and they needed to wait. The whole deal ended in a warranty dispute and is still unresolved. Imagine paying the monthly payments for your vehicle and not having that vehicle!
3 NOT AS COMFORTABLE AS YOU'D THINK
The Ram is a huge truck and perhaps many have thought it would seem very comfortable. But there have been many consumer reports stating that the cabin and seats are not as comfortable as often perceived. Some consumers have called the interior "awkward," "too bulky," and also, many have reported back issues because of the apparently horrible seats. Trucks like these should definitely be comfortable. Particularly because these trucks give the impression that they are ideal for long trips and if you're going to be on a long trip, the last thing you need is an aching back.
2 DIFFICULT HANDLING
This can be an issue that many novice drivers would complain about, as it's more than understandable that a huge truck such as the Dodge Ram is a tad more difficult to maneuver around in. But the complaint doesn't come from novice drivers, it comes from truck veterans and the fact that this issue comes up as often as it does means that there is some truth to the issue after all. There are plenty of vehicles that require a bit more know-how and skill and yes, they can take getting used to. But for drivers that have driven many trucks to say that a Ram's handling is off, then it's a problem that needs looking into, that's for sure.
1 DIRT AND DUST IN THE CABIN
The cabin of a pickup truck can hardly be compared to the cabin of a jet but we'd assume that it would be sealed enough to keep certain elements out while driving, especially with the windows up. Or so we would hope. One chagrined client experienced a most peculiar issue. They reported that they live in a rather rural community and the truck is always filling up with dirt and dust from the road, even in cold weather when the windows are rolled up. This client went even so far as to take pictures of the accumulated dust and sent them to the company. The truck was brand new and the amount of dirt and dust is rather staggering. It's obviously coming in from somewhere and yet the dealership hasn't answered her inquiries.
Sources: Consumer Affairs, Wikipedia, and Car and Driver.