Ram 1500 years to avoid

Ram 1500 Model Years to Avoid – A Guide for Your Next Used Truck Purchase

Want to know about what Ram 1500 years to avoid? Keep reading…

The Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup truck that has become a household name in the American automotive industry. Known for its impressive power, durability, and versatility, it’s no wonder the Ram 1500 is popular among truck buyers.

If I had to answer, “The worst Ram 1500 years?” The years that most people have had problems include Ram 1500 2003, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. We will talk more about this in a minute.

When purchasing a used truck, it’s essential to do your research and be aware of any potential issues that may come with specific model years. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the Ram 1500 model years to avoid when considering a used truck purchase. We’ll provide an overview of the common issues reported with certain model years, including specific problems with the engine, transmission, and electrical components.

Additionally, we’ll look at the recall rate and safety concerns of these problematic model years. Our goal is to inform and educate potential buyers so that they can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing a used Ram 1500.

Common issues with specific Ram 1500 model years

Let’s get straight to the point. One of the main problems reported with specific model years of the Ram 1500 includes transmission, engine, and electrical problems. 

These issues can be costly to repair and significantly affect the truck’s overall performance and reliability.

While discussing problematic years, I want to point out that these issues may not affect all Ram 1500 trucks from these model years. 

Specific issues with certain Ram 1500 model years

The specific issues reported with certain model years of the Ram 1500 vary depending on the model year in question. 

2003 Ram 1500: Known for its problematic engines

2003 model of Ram 1500 SLT
2003 model of Ram 1500 SLT. Credit: GRautogallery

The ram 1500 model launched in 2003 is known for having engine problems, including issues with the cylinder heads and turbocharger. 

Many owners have reported that their engines overheated due to coolant leaks, which usually came from the water pump, thermostat gasket, and intake manifold gasket.

2010 Ram 1500: The ugly transmission issues

Ram 1500 model 2010
Ram 1500 model 2010. Credits: GravityASS

The 2010 model year, on the other hand, is known for its transmission issues. Many drivers have reported noise at low speeds, problems with downshifting, and the transmission shifting out of gears while driving. 

Additionally, many 2010 Ram 1500 owners also reported a ticking noise from the engine, which is another costly problem to fix.

2013 Ram 1500: Back to the engine that dies quickly

2013 ram 1500
2013 Ram 1500. Credits: Automotiveaddict

The 2013 model year is known for its engine issues, with many users reporting that their engines died on them with less than 100,000 miles. 

There were also frequent mentions of knocking sounds from the engine, which can be a costly problem to fix.

2014-15 Ram 1500: The double trouble of air suspension & engine

2015 ram 1500 model
2015 Ram 1500 model Credits: Car&driver

The 2014 and 2015 model years have been known to have issues with the air suspension not working properly and some issues with the engine. 

Some owners have reported that their Ram 1500’s air suspension system would not level properly, causing the vehicle to sit too low or too high. 

Besides, many owners have reported that their 2014-2015 Ram 1500s experienced engine ticking, which a camshaft lifter lock issue can cause.

2016 Ram 1500: Problem with cruise control

2016 ram 1500 model
2016 Ram 1500 model. Credits: Carbuzz

The 2016 model year has also had its fair share of issues. Many owners have reported problems with the truck’s electrical systems, including issues with the cruise control and other systems not functioning correctly. 

Further, there have been reports of the transmission not shifting smoothly and some issues with the fuel system.

As we discuss this “worst Ram 1500 years”, I want to add a side note. Remember that while these model years may have specific issues, they may be challenging for some. 

However, it’s essential to be aware of these issues and to have them inspected by a qualified mechanic before making a purchase.

Additionally, it’s also worth considering a warranty or extended service plan to provide added protection against unexpected repairs.

So what are the best Ram 1500 years, then?

Now that we have spoken of the worst and in good detail, let’s also talk about the good part a bit. The best years for the Ram 1500 are generally considered to be 1994-1999, 2013 (I know, I know, I said it’s the worst), and 2017+. The 1994 model is known for its durability and high performance, while the 2013 models received high ratings for their powerful Hemi engines and fuel efficiency. When it comes to 2017+ models, these are considered some of the most reliable in the Ram 1500 lineup.

Recalls and safety concerns

Regarding recalls and safety concerns, specific model years of the Ram 1500 stand out as particularly problematic. 

For example, the 2019 Ram 1500 has racked up 24 recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The number is double the recalls found for the 2018 model and the seventh consecutive year in which the Ram 1500 totaled recall numbers in the double digits.

It’s worth mentioning that many of the problematic model years have a higher recall rate than other model years. 

For starters, the 2014 Ram 1500 has 16 recalls issued by NHTSA, ranging from engine fires to an insubordinate cruise control system.

In addition to the high recalls, certain Ram 1500 model years have also been associated with safety concerns. If we discuss the 2015 Ram 1500, for instance, you will find that this model has been identified as having a higher risk of engine fires.

Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to check for any open recalls or safety concerns associated with the vehicle you are considering purchasing.

Tips for buying a used Ram 1500

Apart from being careful with Ram 1500 models with the make years mentioned above, here are some extra tips that can help you make the most of your deal.

inspecting the vehicle
  • Research and evaluate the specific model year of the Ram 1500 you are interested in purchasing. Look for information on common issues and problems that have been reported with that specific model year.
  • Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for any recalls or safety concerns issued for the model year you are considering.
  • Get a vehicle history report to check for accidents, repairs, or other issues that may not be obvious during a test drive.
  • Take the Ram 1500 for a test drive and pay attention to any unusual noises or warning lights that may indicate an issue.
  • Ask the seller for maintenance records, as regular maintenance can help prevent or mitigate problems with the vehicle.
  • If you find a used Ram 1500 with a known issue, factor that into the price negotiation. Consider the cost of repairs or replacement parts when determining a fair price.
  • Consider purchasing an extended warranty or service contract to help cover the cost of repairs in the event of an issue.
  • Have a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle before purchasing to identify any potential issues you may not have noticed during a test drive.

When purchasing a used Ram 1500, it’s essential to remember that while certain model years may have known issues, they can still be great vehicles if they are well-maintained and the known issues have been addressed. With the proper research and due diligence, you can find a great used Ram 1500 that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

What’s next? Go on and read everything you need to know about Ram 1500 interchangeability here.

Over to you!

It’s time to wrap it up now so let’s have a recap while we are at it. Learning about the potential issues that may come with certain model years of the Ram 1500 is a good practice when considering a used truck purchase.

Model years such as 2003, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 have been reported to have common issues such as transmission, engine, and electrical problems. 

Ensure you check for the history of recalls and safety concerns. Remember to consider the tips provided in the blog for negotiating a fair price and evaluating a used Ram 1500.

I hope this detailed guide on the worst Ram 1500 model years that need to be avoided was helpful to you. And don’t forget to leave comments about your experiences and insights on buying a used Ram 1500 below.

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