When shopping around for a new truck, you may have trouble deciding whether you want a Ford, a Chevrolet, or a Dodge, and one of the best ways to figure out the ideal choice is to see which one is the most reliable. Today, we’re going to look at whether Dodge Rams are reliable.
Dodge Rams have historically been reliable vehicles without any major recalls or problems related to the vehicles’ safety. Dodge Rams are particularly noted for the quality of their engines, which have always been the most reliable parts of these heavy-duty trucks.
Of course, a lot more goes into determining whether a vehicle is reliable than we can sum up in a single paragraph. We’re going to discuss how Dodge Rams have historically been rated for reliability before taking a closer look at more modern models to see how their reliability holds up compared to other vehicles.
Are Dodge Rams Reliable?
The last thing that you want to deal with is a transmission problem or spongy brakes on a vehicle that you just bought, so it’s always a good idea to do your research before you pick out a truck. One of the shocking things about Dodge Rams is that their reliability has been historically inconsistent.
Avoid Older Rams
For example, Dodge Rams from 1990 and earlier are some of the least reliable cars in the lineup. These Dodge Rams always had problems with reliability, but they haven’t aged gracefully, and you’ll likely run into some issues if you encounter one today. These vehicles have a history of fuel pump issues and starters failing.
If you’re considering getting an older Ram as a used vehicle, it may be a good idea to hold off on it. Another issue with older vehicles is that their parts are often out of production, meaning that you’ll need to get aftermarket parts or replacements sent in from overseas when something goes wrong.
Improvements in Newer Rams
On the other hand, modern Dodge Rams don’t have the slew of issues that older vehicles have, but they still have a few isolated problems that can come together to make them less enjoyable and reliable.
One of the main issues with modern Dodge Rams is the interior, which may not seem like a major concern compared to other mechanical problems, but it can get pretty annoying. The problem is that the majority of the interior parts of new Dodge Rams are made of plastic.
While many cars feature plastic internal fittings because of the affordability and weight savings that they allow for, but the plastic used in Rams tends to feel pretty cheap. A lot of the plastic pieces feel hollow and they creak when you put pressure on them, so they aren’t too promising in the long-term.
Looking at the reliability ratings for Dodge Rams over the course of the past decade or so, it’s obvious that the 2011 model was the most reliable because of its 4-star rating. However, the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018 models all had a 3-star rating, so they weren’t that far off.
We start to see issues with the 2015, 2019, and 2020 models, all of which earned themselves 1-star ratings for reliability. The surprising thing is that the issues weren’t uniform across these models, with some of them having brake problems, others having less reliable drivetrains, and a range of other issues.
What Components Cause Issues Specifically?
For example, the drivetrain of Dodge Rams has been pretty reliable over the course of the past five years, but there was one notable outlier. The fuel system of 2015 Dodge Rams was noted for being particularly finicky, and this made the reliability rating tank for that particular model.
On all other fronts, the engine, transmission, and fuel system are all extremely reliable for Rams manufactured after 2016, so you won’t have problems with some of the most crucial components in your vehicle.
When it comes to the vehicle’s systems, the picture is a little more complicated, and a particularly concerning issue is that the latest Dodge Rams have a downward-trending reliability rating for their brakes. The 2020 model in particular has been noted as needing constant brake servicing.
The 2010 Dodge Ram models had other issues, markedly with a less reliable suspension. This issue wasn’t new to Dodge Rams, with the 2005 model being noted as having a suspension that needed constant servicing so that it could function properly. Over the years, however, the suspension for Dodge Rams has improved remarkably.
In fact, for the 2020 model, the suspension has been noted as being the most reliable system. The rest of the 2020 Dodge Ram’s systems are pretty average in terms of reliability, with no outliers in terms of either good reliability or poor reliability. For example, the body has been noted as being pretty average in terms of durability.
On the other hand, the electrical system in Dodge Rams has been of relatively middling reliability. The one notable issue with the vehicle’s electrical system popped up with the 2010 model, but it seemed like the systems for the 2010 model were universally bad aside from the brakes, which were extremely reliable.
From 2010 to 2020, Dodge has won more truck of the year awards than any other manufacturer, sitting at five awards compared to Ford and Chevrolet’s three. This shows that the Dodge Ram has consistently been one of the best trucks, and reliability factors into that equation as well.
As for overall reliability, Dodge Rams took a bit of a dip in 2016, though they have since bounced back and become relatively average in terms of reliability. Compared to the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500, the Dodge Ram’s 2020 model is more reliable, being surpassed only by the Toyota Tundra.
Overall, the Dodge Ram is the most reliable American truck if we’re looking at 2020 models, though the brand has had some ups and downs over the course of its history. Let’s hope that we keep seeing an upward trend in Dodge Ram reliability over the next few years.