Trucks & SUVs

Do Not Buy This One Year Of Ram Truck

The new 2019 and 2020 Ram pickup has improved vastly since the previous generation’s problems. Though production started in 2008 as a 2009 model, the big problems started when there was a major revision in 2013. There were so many changes that included a new frame, electronic steering, eight-speed transmission and the introduction of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. All of these new systems and components led to increasing problems that only got worse as 2014 production began. 

A lot was happening internally at Fiat-Chrysler with the transition from 2012 to 2013 Ram trucks. Coming off of the bankruptcy the two cultures of Fiat, which took over Chrysler in 2012, and the original Chrysler workforce, clashed. It’s always difficult to blend two companies. The same thing happened when Daimler-Benz took over Chrysler in 1998. 

The real Ram 1500 issues began in 2012

2019 Ram 1500 Classic | FCA
2019 Ram 1500 Classic | FCA

Based on info from carcomplaints.com, problems ticked up starting in 2012. By 2013 a full 25% increase in problems make this year’s Ram 1500 one to stay away from. Issues with the GPS/UConnect infotainment system were increasing. Also in 2013 radios would go silent for no apparent reason. These were by far the two biggest problems with interior components.

But, it was 2014 that really marked an upturn in problems with Ram trucks. A turbo-diesel V6 engine was added in 2014. Soon there were fires caused by coolant escaping in some exhaust gas recirculation coolers. This continued until 2019 when a recall of over 100,000 2014-2019 Ram 1500 diesel-powered trucks was issued. But, this wasn’t the only recall for Ram trucks.

Eventually recalls in 2019 fixed some of the issues with diesel pickups

2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock Mojave Sand
2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock Mojave Sand | FCA

Around the same time as the earlier recall, another one issued to almost 700,000 Ram truck owners. This one involved tailgates becoming unlatched and opening during operation. Obviously, cargo could be released causing damage and road hazards. But there had been another recall about the same problem earlier, bringing the total number of Ram pickups recalled to over 1.1 million units. 

But there were a lot more problems. The biggest complaint was with the transmission. Issues with the transmission jumping when the brake was released, to jumping out of gear, free-spinning, shuddering, and more. Fixes ranged from replacing the gas pedal sensor to updating the PCM and clearing the adaptive transmission module. 

Various issues with the electrical system also jumped for 2014. And, almost an equal percentage of problems were related to the engine. Broken rocker arms, engine shutting off while driving, unintended acceleration, and more having to do with engine-related problems increased. 

By 2015 quality had vastly improved over the 2012-2014 period.

AEV Prospector RAM | AEV
AEV Prospector RAM | AEV

There were many other issues but these were the main complaints. By the time the 2015 Ram pickups came out, problems had substantially decreased. The difference between 2014 and 2015 is about 80%. The year 2015 was vastly improved over the previous two years. So, while 2013 and 2014 Ram pickups had its worst problems, 2015 pickups should be part of one’s used truck purchase consideration. 

Problems with Ram pickups continued to decrease starting in 2015. There has been a slight uptick for 2019, but that is attributed to it being an entirely new truck. However, the previous generation Ram 1500 is still being sold. Known as the 1500 Classic, it will see production at least through 2020. It should be considered that after a rather turbulent period between 2012 and 2014 that any of these current Classic Rams have seen most all of its issues addressed.