With every model launch or upgrade, an automaker intends to improve a previous vehicle. But, sometimes “new and improved” actually means “problematic.” Some people refuse to buy a vehicle within the first year of production with the notion that it may take a year or two to work out the bugs.
When it comes to full-size trucks, one specific model year stands out as problematic. If you plan to buy a used truck, you need to avoid the 2013 Ram 3500 at all costs.
Avoid the 2013 Ram 3500 like the plague
Ram trucks have always been top performers. While many of the earlier models and even more recent models do well among consumers, the 2013 Ram 3500 may be considered a nightmare. The 2012 model actually logged more complaints, but the 2013 Ram 3500 seemed to rank even worse.
The specifics include major engine and suspension problems, per the NHTSA. Imagine driving along and experiencing a sudden, uncontrollable oscillation in the front suspension. Also referred to as the “death wobble,” the problem most likely has to do with the steering stabilizer or loose bushings on the track bar.
There are general suggestions for fixing these dangerous issues. Although finding the necessary parts and services is possible, it can be a difficult and expensive process.
Better Ram 3500 model years
Don’t stress if you had your heart set on a great, used Cummins inline-six. There are many other model years that don’t present the same issues as the 2012 and 2013 Ram 3500s. If you want an older used truck — those Cummins B series hold their mileage — the 1994-98 Ram 3500s are great. With a new body style and 5.9L engine, these trucks put Dodge back on the stage.
You might consider the 2003-07 models if you’re interested in the upgraded interiors and Crew Cab options. Dodge seemed to have worked out the kinks by 2016. So, any later models should deliver as expected.
When purchasing an older model truck, remember to find reliable Ram services and replacement parts in your area. While you may not anticipate any problems arising with your used Ram 3500, you’ll want to have a reliable source for troubleshooting assistance.
Consider newer model Ram 3500s
We are almost to the end of the year, meaning you can expect discounts on late-model new trucks. The dealers want to make room in their inventory, and you can try your hand at finding a great 2019 leftover or a 2018 low-mileage Ram.
The 2019 Ram 3500s boast a range of first-in-class perks, including 35,100-pound diesel towing capacity and 7,680-pound gas payload. You can rest assured that buying these means your truck will run smoothly.
Every automaker may be entitled to that one bad year. For the Ram 3500, that year was 2013. Prevent the “death wobble” and any subsequent performance issues by avoiding that model year altogether. As for the other model years, you should feel comfortable with your purchase and settle into that driver’s seat just fine.