Keeping Your New Ram Running May Rely on Preventative Maintenance
Justin Wheeler knows engines: he troubleshoots industrial diesel generators in remote locations all around the country. He needs a 4WD truck that can trailer a ton, has boxes for his tools, and can run 50k miles–every year! After a string of used trucks, Mr. Wheeler bought a brand-new 2019 Ram 1500 Limited. Four years and 200k miles later, he’s sold. But getting so many miles out of a Ram 1500–even a new one–required some preventative maintenance.
Upgrading an exhaust manifold
One major Achilles heel of both fourth and fifth-generation Ram 1500 pickup trucks is their exhaust manifolds. Because of this, many Ram truck owners report their entire exhaust manifold or their exhaust manifold bolts breaking.
Justin Wheeler was not surprised when he found his Ram 1500’s exhaust manifold had cracked. On one hand, he felt lucky Ram replaced the manifold under warranty. But on the other hand, he knew swapping in a sturdier manifold would have been good, preventative maintenance. Unfortunately an aftermarket manifold was not covered by his warranty.
But if you have an older Ram truck with a cracked exhaust manifold, definitely consider an aftermarket replacement.
Ram maintenance: getting ahead of coolant leaks
Both fourth and fifth-generation Ram 1500 pickup trucks are known for suffering coolant leaks. Common Ram truck coolant leaks include between the radiator’s metal body and its plastic uprights, the radiator cap, or the water pump’s seal with the engine block.
Some Ram owners just examine their trucks regularly for the residue left by leaking coolant. But others prefer to upgrade their radiator to an aftermarket unit and to even reseal the water pump gasket as preventative maintenance.
Waterproofing other seals
In addition to coolant leaking out of Ram trucks, owners complain of water leaking into them. And depending on where this leak is, it can cause serious issues.
One of the most commonly reported leaks is the truck’s rear window seal. This is an issue Justin Wheeler has not experienced, but he admitted it may be because he parks his truck facing uphill.
Another leak, commonly reported in fifth-generation Rams, is water getting into the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) which houses many of the fuses in the engine bay. So this is a box worth inspecting and re-waterproofing if you are driving an older Ram.
Overall, owners report many frustrating issues with their Ram trucks. But according to the Repair Pal website, only 13% of reported issues are “severe” drivetrain malfunctions. As a matter of fact, this is one of the lowest percentages of any vehicle. So while Rams may have issues, they can often run for a long time with just a bit of preventative maintenance.
Here are our recommended service intervals for your Ram 1500:
|8k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|16k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|20k||Inspect brake pads, tie rods, and all front suspension components|
|24k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|30k||Inspect brakes, front suspension components, CV joints, transfer case fluid, and the condition of the transfer case and axle|
|32k||Oil change, tire rotation, air filter replacement, spark plug replacement|
|40k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|48k||Oil change, tire rotation, spark plug replacement|
|56k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|60k||Inspect brakes and suspension components. Check and/or replace: transmission fluid, engine coolant, transfer case fluid, and brake fluid. Inspect all filters.|
|64k||Oil change, tire rotation, air filter replacement, spark plug/wires replacement|
|72k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|80k||Oil change, tire rotation, cooling system flush|
|88k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|96k||Oil change, tire rotation, air filter replacement, spark plug/wires replacement|
|100k||Inspect brakes and suspension components and CV joints. Check and/or replace: transmission fluid, engine coolant, transfer case fluid, and brake fluid. Inspect all filters.|
|104k||Oil change, tire rotation, cooling system flush|
|112k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|120k||Oil change, tire rotation, serpentine/drive belt replacement, transmission fluid service, transfer case fluid service|
Inspect brakes and suspension components. Check and/or replace engine coolant and brake fluid
|128k||Oil change, tire rotation, air filter replacement, spark plug/wires replacement|
|136k||Oil change, tire rotation|
|144k||Oil change, tire rotation, spark plug replacement, cabin air filter replacement|
Next, find out the most reliable part of a fifth-gen Ram 1500, or see what parts of Justin Wheeler’s Ram frustrate him the most after 200k miles in the video below: