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Are Ram 1500 pickups reliable?


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.

On 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.

On 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 ReportsĀ 

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.

Each 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


  1. 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. 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. Hi
    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. 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.

    • 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.


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