One minute I was browsing Craigslist, the next I was chasing a unicorn down a dead-end dirt lane in Virginia. My unicorn: a 1991 Cummins-powered Ram pickup truck with a manual transmission and 4WD. As I listened to this Ram 2500 predecessor purr in the barnyard, the owner said, “best part is she’s only got 250,000 miles!” And I wondered to myself, What is considered high mileage for a Ram 2500?
Which Ram 2500 lasts the longest?
Whether or not a Ram 2500 is considered high mileage depends on two factors: the drivetrain of the truck in question and how it has spent its life so far.
Many gas-powered V8 engines will need a rebuild somewhere between 100,000 miles and 200,000 miles. Therefore, a gas-powered Ram 2500 is considered high mileage by 200,000 miles. Many diesel engines last much longer.
If you know a truck did years of towing and hauling in a mountainous state, think twice. Likewise, if a Ram 2500 was pressed into duty as a plow truck for decades, it may need some repairs soon. In these cases, imagine the mileage on the odometer is doubled and plan to maintain the truck accordingly. Even worse, if a truck has had many owners and has no maintenance records, it might be a poor investment.
Finally, simpler usually lasts longer. Features such as 4WD or auto-leveling air suspension are nice upgrades on a new pickup but often require repair later in the truck’s life.
What is considered high mileage for a Cummins diesel Ram truck?
Diesel pickup engines can last for 500,000 miles or more. But most diesel truck engines do not last that long, not without major work.
To be more precise, Ram claims its 6.7L Cummins engine will last for 350,000 miles. For this reason, a Cummins-powered Ram 2500 with good service records is considered high mileage between 350,000 and 500,000 miles.
What is considered high mileage for the rest of a Ram 2500?
Though heavy-duty truck engines sometimes last a long time, every other component of the drivetrain and body will need routine maintenance. A properly maintained Ram 2500, with no serious rust or other wear, should last as long as its engine: 250,000 miles or more.
Though some components of the heavy-duty Ram 2500 may last longer than on half-ton trucks, most of them will be more expensive to replace. Here are some of the major items from Ram’s maintenance schedule–according to the Liberty Chrysler center.
|Every 8,000 miles/6 months||Change the oil, change the oil filter, and rotate tires|
|Every 16,000 miles/1 year||Inspect and/or repair front suspension, inspect and repair exhaust, and lube front driveshaft fitting|
|Every 24,000 miles/18 months||Inspect and/or replace CV joints and brake components, including lines.|
|Every 50,000-100,00 miles||Inspect and/or replace shocks and struts–according to RepairPal.|
|Every 64,000 miles/4 years||Change transmission and transfer case fluid, especially if towing|
|Every 72,000 miles/4.5 years||Inspect and/or replace any serpentine belts|
|Every 104,000 miles/6.5 years||Replace timing belt, coolant, and differential fluid|
|Every 144,000 miles/9 years||Inspect and replace axle fluids|
My Cummins story
In the end, I decided that the “unicorn” Cummins truck was not my unicorn. The engine was in good shape. But after countless owners and amateur repairs, every other part of the truck needed work.
Many similar trucks with twice as many miles are still on the road today. The definition of high mileage depends on the condition and history of the specific vehicle you are considering.