Type to search


We take a closer look at the 2002-2019 Ram 1500 pickups to see what the top consumer sites have to say about their reliability. Are there issues with the Ram half-ton pickups you should know? Is it a pickup you should avoid? We dive deep to learn more.

Ram pickups, or Dodge Ram pickups or simply Dodges depending on your view, have taken off in sales over the past decade with more pickups buyers gravitating to their styling, engines and features. However, a reputation for poor reliability continues to plague the brand. We took a look at a few key consumer reliability sites to see if reliability has improved.

Recalls, Repairs and TSBs

The first site we visited was Carcomplaints.com. This is a great site to get a quick sense of the various problems that may be affecting your vehicle of choice.

Ram 1500On this site, you can see past history separated out by year as well as all the recall and technical service bulletin (TSB) repairs Ram has requested to their pickups.

You can also search for problems owners have been reporting. For example, the 2002-2004 model year pickups had problems with the dash cracking.

Ram 1500On newer model year pickups, we can see the 2012-2014 years are showing some issues mostly related to a new 8-speed ZF transmission Ram replaced their old transmissions with during those years. This new transmission has had its share of “growing pains” and it looks like many of the issues are just software related.

Non-Profit Consumer Reports 

Another great area to look for information Ram truck reliability is Consumer Reports. This non-profit group buys, tests and surveys its owners to determine what vehicles are the best.

Each year, Consumer Reports gives out its list of the most reliable vehicles with additional information available for its paying members.

Consumer Reports reported 2017 was the best year for the Ram 1500 with the 2014-2015 years as their worst.

More detailed information is available for paying members on ConsumerReports.org.

J.D. Power Awards

Finally, J.D. Power rounds out the list of the top places to look for reliability information.

Ram 1500Each year, J.D. Power sends out surveys to collect information on reliability. It then analyzes the data and gives out awards. They sell the information to the public and companies looking for information on reliability.

Unfortunately for Ram pickup fans, the truck hasn’t done particularly well on the J.D. Power vehicle dependability studies and the brand has been below the industry average for many years including in 2019.

In the end, you can still buy a lemon vehicle from any brand. While Ram pickups haven’t done particularly well on many reliability surveys, compared to their competiton, they still have a big following and many consumers are taking notice on their new looks and features.

What do you think? Have you had good luck with Ram pickups?

Related posts:

Most dependable pickups of last 15 years – J.D. Power Dependability

Most Dependable Trucks, SUVs for 2019 – Toyota, Lexus, Porsche, Chevrolet Top List

Is the 2014-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 reliable? One year to avoid

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

  • 1


  1. Charles Vess August 22, 2020

    I have a 2005 Ram 1500. I have owned it since 2006. It has 109000 miles at least 40 % were pulling a 7500 lb travel trailer. I pulled over the high rockies numerous times. Pulled over the Sierra Madre when the desert floor was 112 and the top of the ridge was 95. It has never overheated.
    I Have driven it practically every day since I’ve owned it. Never had a breakdown and nothing but normal maintenance. Yeah the engine light stays on all the time and it stalls at red lights sometimes but starts right up. All and all it’s the most dependable vehicle I’ve ever owned.

  2. Richard Ellsworth Friars September 21, 2020

    Dodge is a great truck. But I won’t say that for RAM. The new Hemi are horrible. I just replaced my 6.4 motor with only a 157000 miles on a 2014. It cost me 12000.00 us dollars. Due to hammering on my cam, due to no back compression on the cylinders that shut down . Due to emissions. I had to replace the whole motor due to contamination of all the aluminum composites in my motor. and if I didn’t I would have no warranty. Thinking I’ll stick with the old trucks. Other parts aren’t exchangeable nor could I put a 5.7 hemi in it that’s half the cost. In March of 2020 I couldn’t get my parts in a reasonable time nor could I find aftermarket parts. Heads are made in Canada Rams in Mexico and who knows where the other parts are made.

  3. shohan October 7, 2020

    To be honest your article is informative . I search many site to know about Ram 1500 pickups reliable but I didn’t get the information I needed.
    I saw your site and I read it. I got some new information from here. It is beneficial for many more like me.
    Thanks for share your kind information.

  4. Ram Owner December 1, 2020

    I have a 2015 Ram 1500 Limited – 76K miles. The only issue is a sporadic jerk from the transmission. Other than that, a small exhaust manifold leak that I am fixing. Maybe I got lucky? Or maybe all the issues are around the corner? The 5.7L Hemi still gets up when needed, drives smoothly, everything still works. Pulls my trailer without issue and is amazing on long trips. Maybe the Limited is more QA’d in the MFG process but I doubt it. As a matter of fact, it has done so well my neighbor just bought a 2020 and so far he loves it. Could it be that many people just abuse trucks? I don’t mean daily work and tough riding or hauls, but expect it to be indestructible? Overall, I’d but another limited in a heart beat.

    1. Tim Esterdahl December 2, 2020

      I think the issue for many is they see the transmission jerk and leaking exhaust manifold at 76,000 miles and think, why do I have this many problems on this truck already? It is all perception really. I know a person who replaced the truck’s transmission three times and still swears it is a reliable truck.

  5. Darrell Reeves April 2, 2021

    I purchased. a brand new 2018 RAM Laramie 4X2 Eco Diesel in November of 2018. I love the quality of the interior and it delivered up to 28 m.p.g. on the highway and 19 to 20 m.p.g. around town. However it has been in the shop four times all emissions related. The def system had to be replaced at 4500 miles. Then the egr valve leaked at 10,000 miles next the egr filter again at 17,500as it was plugged up and put the truck to where it would not drive.over 45 m.p.h. And now it is a shot catalytic converter at 20,000. My truck has sat in the damn shop for a total of 5 weeks during the 4 times the chec.engine light has come on. The ecodiesel has had major problems with all of the emissions crap that California required after 2013 for diesel engines. The engines run hotter and the egr valve leaks causing engine fires. Over 1.6 million have been recalled. Fiat RAM Jeep Chrysler knew that they were selling a bad engine due to the emissions controls. They were fined 351 million dollars by the California Air Resources Board for their cheating on emmisions tests just as VW did. The RAM trucks are very nice and are a lot better built than their predecessors 10 to 15 years ago. But they screwed up royal by pushing this ecodiesel knowing that it could not be smogged without destroying the engine and it’s fuel economy and reliabilty. The Cummings diesels in the RAM trucks do not have as much bad problems with them as the smaller ecodiesel does.

  6. Randy Sessions January 11, 2022

    I own an 2016 Ram 1500 with the 5.7 hemi it’s 2022and the truck is approaching 30,000 miles…. I am happy to say have yet to experience any major issues to date . Although I don’t drive it much I continue to enjoy driving it… I stay up with the oil changes… running 5 w 20 syn . Castro’s oil. Still plenty of get up and go on request keeps it fun . Like I stated not driven much but at this point in time It would certainly be on the short list should I be looking . And I am an Big Ford fan.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *