What Is the Most Reliable Part of a 5th Gen Ram 1500?
Is the Ram 1500 reliable enough to last 100,000+ miles? Some Ram drivers say yes. While Motorbiscuit has tested the 5th Gen Ram, we haven’t subjected it to a 100k+ mile torture test. Luckily one owner has published a ton of data on his 190k-mile 2019 Ram 1500. He reports that though he’s had other issues, his reliable eight-speed automatic transmission has taken a licking and keeps on kicking.
How often should you change transmission fluid in a 5th gen Ram 1500?
Ram claims the fluid in your automatic transmission will be good for the lifetime of your half-ton truck. But the eight-speed automatic’s designer–ZF of Germany– recommends a fluid change at 60,000-80,000 miles. Ram dealerships recommend regularly inspecting (and possibly replacing) transmission fluid starting at 60,000 miles.
Justin Wheeler is a diesel technician whose job requires crisscrossing the country in a truck filled with his tools. As a result, he’s put over 190,000 miles on his reliable 2019 Ram 1500 Limited. Because Wheeler has documented every step of his journey into ultra-high-mileage, his YouTube channel is a wealth of information on how the 5th gen Ram 1500 holds up over the long term.
Wheeler admits he has not been gentle on his Ram’s eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. He often tows 6,000-8,000 pound trailers. The most he has ever towed was 11,000 pounds–much more than the vehicle’s approved towing capacity.
So how often does Wheeler change his transmission fluid? At 190,000 miles, he has yet to swap it out once. Wheeler points out that Ram claims the transmission fluid should last the life of the truck. But as he’s pushing his truck’s lifespan a bit, he plans to change it once he hits 200,000 miles.
How many miles can a Dodge Ram 1500 last?
Justin Wheeler has driven his reliable 2019 Ram 1500 Limited nearly 200,000 miles for work, and reports that the truck is still going strong. That said, he has been very careful to keep up with service intervals.
Wheeler did experience the infamous cracked 5.7-liter Hemi V8 exhaust manifold. But this has been the extent of his engine issues. In fact, his latest oil analysis shows the engine’s condition is excellent.
Wheeler’s only other drivetrain complaint is a loud “clunk” from his transfer case as he shifts from reverse to drive. He expects that the chain in the transfer case has stretched, though it is still fully operational.
Other components on the truck have malfunctioned, but Wheeler is still comfortable using it for all his long work trips. His motto: “Take care of your truck, and it’ll take care of you.”
How often does your Ram 1500 need to be serviced to be reliable?
During regular driving, the Ram 1500’s warning system will recommend you change its oil every 8,000 to 10,000 miles. The dealership recommends you have your tires rotated at the same time. Ram publishes a list of other services to incorporate into these oil change visits to keep your 1500 reliable.
Our Motorbiscuit chart of Ram 1500 service intervals is one of the more comprehensive, and conservative, around. That’s because we combined the official Ram recommendations (via Junek’s Ram dealership) and additional suggestions from CarEdge.com. See the full chart below:
|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, read about the top Ram 1500 problems according to a mechanic, or see Justin Wheeler answer frequently asked questions about his high mileage Ram in the video below: