Trucks & SUVs

Why Do Ram Trucks Rust so Much?

Rust can be a serious problem that can cause both cosmetic and mechanical issues in your truck. But is one truck brand more likely to rust than another? It seems the Dodge/Ram brand has developed an online reputation for making rusty trucks. Is it just a bunch of rumors? Or is your Ram truck likely to turn into a rust bucket?

Do Ram trucks really have a problem with rust?

It’s a commonly-heard claim that Dodge Ram and Ram trucks are more prone to rust than others. But as most online myths prove to be, that claim is hard to prove.

In a recent article by HotCars, a list was created of trucks best-known for being rust buckets, but also trucks best-known for never rusting. The Ram truck line found itself on either side of the list. Does that mean some Dodge/Ram trucks are more prone to rusting than others?

Are some Ram trucks more likely to rust than others?

Though there is no surefire way to know whether a brand is more likely to create rust buckets than any other brand, the internet does allow a variety of information about every vehicle to be shared.

And when the research is compiled, it appears some Dodge or Ram trucks may be more likely to rust than others. For instance, one of the most-reported complaints about the 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 from consumers is excessive rust, according to Car Complaints. Fast forward a few years, and those complaints drastically decrease.

According to Consumer Reports, problems with rust have decreased as the Dodge/Ram brand has changed through the years. For Dodge Ram 1500s from 2000-2012, overall reliability is ranked as average or below average.

Those same Ram model years ranked extremely low in reliability in categories like paint/trim and body integrity, with many owners reporting rust problems.

In fact, Dodge and Ram issued a recall that affected almost 300,000 trucks between model years 2009 and 2012 for rust-related safety problems. According to The Car Connection, metal straps used to attach fuel tanks in Ram trucks were corroding in salty conditions.

But there is a clear difference in the ratings after Ram became its own separate truck brand. From model years 2012 until its current model, the Ram 1500 scored average or above-average reliability ratings in the same Consumer Reports categories. 

What Ram truck owners have to say

There seems to be a multitude of owners on Dodge forums that have a problem with rusty Rams. While some report they have the biggest problems with rust after extended use, others claim that rust has been a problem since the truck was picked up from the dealership.

While owner satisfaction ratings are typically high, Ram owners do find that preparing for rust is the best action to take. According to Torque News, many Ram owners from all over the country report rust-proofing their trucks and undercarriages with undercoating every year.

Is rust just a truck thing?

Just because owners of Ram trucks experience problems with rust doesn’t mean that owners of other truck brands aren’t also having the same problems.

On the same HotCars list, you’ll find multiple Chevrolets, Fords, and Toyotas listed as notorious rust buckets. So is it just the way a truck is made? Up until recently, automakers used durable, steel for its trucks’ frames. But today, more truck brands are using aluminum frames instead of steel, which has a more “rust-resistant nature,” according to Reading Body.

This could help attribute to the decreased reports of rust in newer-model pickup trucks. Older-model trucks are simply more likely to rust, but due to a variety of factors unrelated to its brand, such as age, use, and location.