The Dodge Ram 1500 is a proven light-duty pickup truck with decades of history. If you own or are considering buying one of these trucks, you may want to know some of the Ram 1500's common problems and how to fix them.

How Reliable Is the Dodge Ram 1500?

Overall, the Dodge Ram 1500 is reliable. However, Ram 1500 reliability varies by model year. While 2020 models are the most reliable and have the fewest issues, 2002 models are considered one of the worst model years, with high repair costs and problems starting at low mileage.

10 Common Problems With the Dodge Ram 1500

Here are 10 of the most common problems with the Ram 1500.

1. Poor Throttle Response

The 3.7-liter V6 and the 4.7-liter V8 engines — mostly with models from 1995 to 2010 — may accelerate slowly, generate excess noise and have a poor throttle response due to exhaust leaking from the exhaust manifold into the engine.

2. Engine Stalls or Won't Turn Over

An engine that stalls or won't turn over could have several causes:

  • An old battery
  • A bad cam sensor
  • A bad starter motor
  • Loose cable connections
  • A poor connection from the starter motor

3. Excessive Oil Consumption

One of the most common Ram 1500 problems is excessive oil use. If your truck goes through oil quickly but doesn't have a leak, it's probably a bad intake manifold gasket, which is also indicated by engine knocking. This issue is more likely if your vehicle has more than 120,000 miles.

4. Coolant Leak

A leak near the water pump could be due to a bad radiator or a faulty water pump. Check for loose hose clamps, worn hoses and leaking gaskets. If the leak location isn't readily apparent, replace inexpensive or easy-to-reach parts first.

5. TIPM Problems

Malfunctions with the totally integrated power module (TIPM) can cause many dangerous electrical input issues on newer Ram 1500 models. Problems you could see include:

  • The coolant fans fail.
  • The radio stops working.
  • The horn honks randomly.
  • The airbags deploy randomly.
  • The power windows stop working.
  • The air conditioning stops working.
  • The airbags don't deploy in a crash.
  • The starter cranks, but the engine won't start.
  • The fuel pump stays on when the engine is off.
  • The power windows go up and down randomly.
  • The anti-lock braking system (ABS) malfunctions.

6. Lifter and Cam Failure

Late-model Ram 1500 trucks can start seeing cam and lifter failure after just 75,000 miles. The most common problems are cylinders misfiring and lifters seizing.

7. Transmission Problems

Ram 1500 transmission issues include:

  • Rough starting and running
  • Difficulty shifting into first gear
  • Jerky shifting into second gear
  • Hard downshifting, especially when slowing or stopping

8. Leaky Rear Window

A poor seal around the rear window lets in water from rain or even car washes and can cause interior water damage over time.

9. Body Problems

While body wear and tear isn't one of the most serious Ram 1500 issues, it can still affect vehicle safety. Common problems include bubbling paint and decay or rust on the wheelhouse, wheel arches, bolts and bumpers. Malfunctioning tailgate locks can also be a hazard, whether they are opening randomly or not opening at all.

10. Cracked Dashboard

Model years from 2001 to 2003 are the most prone to cracked dashboards. Cracked dashboards can't be repaired, only replaced, so the best option is to prevent sun damage with a dashboard cover.

Shop Dodge Ram 1500 Parts at StockWise Auto

Many common problems with the Dodge Ram 1500 are easy to diagnose and fix. If you need replacement parts, shop at StockWise Auto.