On this blog, we’ve written extensively about the RAM 1500 and all its features. Today, we will talk about what kind of mileage you can expect from this large truck and if this is a car you should consider in your buying process. Let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a RAM 1500 lasts between 240.000 – 280.000 miles. A RAM 1500 needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.2 times per year, with a 13% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, RAM 1500 owners spend an average of $691 per year on repair costs.
However, that certainly doesn’t answer the question entirely. Below we’ll first take an in-depth look into the performance of different generations of the RAM 1500 in terms of mileage. Also, we’ll compare the 1500 to its main competitors and other cars manufactured by Dodge/RAM. Finally, we’ll look at maintenance costs and common problems to make sure you have an excellent feeling for what this car has to offer. Read on!
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The Potential Mileage Of RAM 1500
Let’s start by inspecting the mileages of RAM 1500s currently available on the market and then dividing them into groups based on mileage. This will give us a better understanding of the lifespan of the RAM 1500 as a group and whether or not it seems to be a durable truck.
To do this, we went to Autotrader.com, and we selected all the RAM 1500s that are currently for sale in the United States. Then, we only selected the ones manufactured before 2017. The reason for this is that this will give us the most precise understanding of potential mileage. There’s no point in including cars that are only a couple of years old since they haven’t had time to reach high mileage.
We ended up with a sample group of 16,911 RAM 1500s. Then, we divided them up into groups based on their mileage. The results are displayed in the table below. You can see immediately that 8.23% of all available RAMs in this category have a mileage of 150.000 miles or higher.
|Number Of Miles||Percentage Of Cars|
|Cars With 150.000+||8.23%|
|Cars With 100.000 – 149.000||28.07%|
|Cars With 45.000 – 99.999||53.15%|
|Cars With 0 – 44.999||10.55%|
Let it be clear that this is a substantial number. Passenger cars usually score between the 2.5 – 5% when we perform this research. SUVs generally score between 5 – 8%, and trucks score 8% or higher as a general rule of thumb. Therefore, the 1500 does seem to live up to its standards.
Furthermore, it also becomes clear there’s a large group with between 100.000 – 150.000 miles on the dashboard. All of this does seem to indicate that the RAM 1500 can reach higher mileage. However, we need to take a deeper dive to conclude.
The RAM 1500 Compared To Its Competitors
One of our favorite ways to do this is by comparing the RAM 1500 to its main competitors. In this case, there’s no doubt that the Ford F-150 and the Silverado 1500 are the main competitors of this GM-made truck. In the table below, you can see that we performed the same research on these trucks as we did with the RAM.
However, it also immediately become clear that both the F-150 and the Silverado 1500 seem to perform way better in terms of how many percentages of these cars have a mileage of 150.000 or higher. It’s fair to say that the RAM doesn’t even come close to the competitors’ numbers.
Furthermore, we also feel it’s essential to look at the highest mileage truck we could find of each model. This usually gives us an even better understanding of the mileages that are possible for these trucks.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150.000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+||Highest Mileage|
|Chevy Silverado 1500||23,084||3,538||15.33%||400,000|
Now, let it be clear that the highest recorded mileage of 300,000 is excellent. Looking at this category, there’s very little to be ashamed of for the RAM 1500. However, again, the F-150 and the Silverado 1500 outperform the RAM 1500 here. Both the competitors come closer to the 400,000 mark. Not only that, there were a few examples of these trucks reaching these mileages, whereas there were non for the RAM 1500, which had an observed maximum of 300,000.
The RAM 1500 Compared To Other Dodges
Furthermore, we feel it’s also essential to compare the RAM 1500 to other cars made by Dodge. Yes, we are aware that the RAM is currently not part of the Dodge brand anymore. However, just comparing the RAM to other RAM trucks also seemed to be flawed in researching this topic.
Instead, we want to get a general feeling for the durability of a brand. For this, we felt it’s better to look at what Dodge has manufactured because GM still owns both companies.
What we found here is that the RAM 1500, of course, puts up solid numbers. This is mainly because the 1500 is a dedicated truck, whereas most other cars are minivan/SUVs/sedans. However, we also found that there are cars (such as the Journey) that seem to perform a little more robust in terms of how many of them reach higher mileages.
Also, we found the Dakota (another truck in the line-up) also has the highest recorded mileage of 300,000 miles. All other cars, except for the Dart, have healthy maximum mileage between 200,000 – 280,000. Therefore it does seem to use that Dodge, in general, builds reliable cars that last a long time which is a good sign for the RAM 1500 overall.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150.000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+||Highest Mileage|
|Dodge Grand Caravan||2,710||514||18.97%||290,000|
RAM 1500 Maintenance Cost Per Model Year
Besides the potential mileage of a truck, we feel it’s also essential to look at the expected annual maintenance cost of this truck. The reason for this is that there’s no point in having a truck that will last you a long time if that means you have to spend much money to keep it on the road.
For this, we used information from Repairpal.com. What we found here is that the RAM 1500 has a very decent annual maintenance cost. On average, RAM 1500 owners spend $691 per year on maintenance. This is much less than the expected $788 per year that Ford F-150 owners spend and a little less than the $714 per year that Chevy Silverado 1500 owners spend.
Furthermore, RAM 1500 owners have to go to the garage for unexpected maintenance around 0.2 times per year with a 13% chance of a severe problem. This is less than the 0.28 times per year and the 15% chance for the Ford F-150 and less than the 0.23 times per year and the 16% chance for the Chevy Silverado 1500.
|Year Of Manufacturing||RAM 1500 Maintenance Cost|
Also read: What Gas Does A RAM 1500 Take? (Explained)
Common Problems And Recalls Of The RAM 1500
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
Also read: 12 Common Problems Of A RAM 1500
Combustion Of Coolant In The Intake Manifold
This is a recall that’s issued under the number 19V757000. It affects RAM 1500 manufactured between 2014 – 2019 with 3.0L EcoDiesel engines. This mixture can combust in the EGR system, which causes fire. The EGR system may crack open, which allows pre-heated vaporized coolant to enter the EGR system. The repair is carried out free of charge, and owners were notified of this problem on November 21, 2019.
Low Tire Pressure Warning Not Functioning
On specific 2019 models of the RAM 1500, the Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor does not function properly. Therefore, it does not correctly indicate the low tire pressure warning when needed. The recall is issued under number 19V887000. The recall started on January 9, 2020, and the correct TPM sensor was installed free of charge.
Temporary Power Steering Loss
Some 2019 models have a contaminated electric power steering (EPS) gear, resulting in temporary power steering loss. This increases the risk of a crash and mainly occurs during low-speed maneuvers. The EPS gear assembly needs to be replaced, and this happens free of charge. The recall started on December 12, 2019, under number 19V812000.
Some 2018 – 2019 models have an incomplete weld fusion between the tube and tube yoke, resulting in a fracturing driveshaft or weld cracking. The driveshaft may become detached from the car during driving, or there is a sudden loss in power. The recall started on June 13, 2019, under number 19V324000, and the repair is done free of charge.
Unlatching Power Tailgate
All RAM trucks (also the 2500 and the 3500) manufactured between 2013 – 2018 had a recall concerning the power tailgate that suddenly unlatched during driving. The recall started on October 18, 2019, under number 19V347000. The tailgates were replaced free of charge.
Insufficient Lubricant In Rear Differential
On September 26, 2018, RAM 1500s from that same year were recalled under number 18V556000 because of too little lubricant in the rear differential. This may cause the breaking of the rear differential, which results in the loss of power or locking of the rear wheels.
Breakage Of The Exhaust Manifold Bolts
The exhaust manifold gaskets will need to be replaced when the exhaust manifold bolts break off. This seems to happen mainly around the 100,000 miles mark for pre-2011 models. This is especially common with the 3.7L V6 and 4.7L V8 models. This repair will cost around $300.
Faulty Rear Window Seals Cause Leaking
On some pre-2011 models, the rear window seals aren’t installed correctly, which will cause leaking. Water will be present on or under the carpet. This usually occurs around the 70,000 miles mark but may happen much later too. Repairing this will cost around $50 – $100.
This problem has been mainly detected on pre-2011 models, although this is not to say that newer generations may not also have this problem. The coolant system of the RAM 1500 certainly isn’t its strong point. This results in leaking for many cars that have crossed the 150,000 miles mark. Possible leaks are as follows:
- Thermostat housing gasket leask which will cost around $130 to replace the thermostat.
- Water pump or the heater return tube O-ring which will cost around $300 – $500 to replace the water pump.
- Intake manifold gasket which will cost around $350 – $450 to replace this gasket.
- Timing cover gasket which will cost around $500 to be replaced.
Stalling Or Non-Start Of The Engine
RAM 1500s that cross the 170,000 miles mark tend to have issues with stalling or non-starting the engine, which is caused by a failing camshaft position sensor. This is usually the case with the 3.6L V6s and 4.7L V8’s of the earlier generations. Replacing the sensor will cost around $200.
Also, this problem occurred on the 2018 RAM 1500, and a recall was issued under number 18V524000. In this case, it was faulty wiring under the front hood that caused the problem. The recall started on October 2, 2018, and was done free of charge.
Let it be clear that the RAM 1500s manufactured between 1995 – 2010 have many more problems that we haven’t listed above. In this case, we’ve decided to list the main issues that you have to look out for in this generation. However, for the relevance of this article, we’ve mainly listed the problems that occurred with the RAM 1500s manufactured from 2010 onwards.
Is A RAM 1500 A Smart Buy?
All of this brings us to the question of whether or not the RAM 1500 is a smart buy these days or not.
When we look at the potential mileage that the RAM 1500 can reach, it becomes clear that this is pretty high. The RAM 1500 does seem to be made for intensive use and higher mileages. Furthermore, the truck appears to be able to reach 240,000 – 280,000 miles without too many problems, indicating that you receive value for your money.
However, the car is outperformed by the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500 when we look at how many of them reach the 300,000 miles mark. Also, both these cars seem to be able to get higher mileage much more consistently.
However, on the other hand, we also saw that the RAM 1500 is much more reliable and costs much less in maintenance per year than its competitors. The only conclusion that we can make here is that you have a decision to make. Do you want a truck that’s trouble-free with a little less potential for mileage? Or do you want a truck that may cost a little more but will last you 3-4 more years in the long run?
Are you in the market for this RAM? Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of the largest RAM dealers per state!
What Year RAM 1500 Can You Buy Best?
If you’re in the market for a RAM 1500, we would always recommend you go with a used option. The reason for this is that trucks depreciate pretty quickly in the first five years. In the case of the RAM 1500, we’re looking at a depreciation of 46% in the first five years.
This means you can pick up a five-year-old model that most likely still has 150,000 miles left without any significant problems. This is the easiest way to get the most bang for your buck. Furthermore, models of the 2014 – 2017 generation seem to have the least amount of problems which does rule in favor of buying a truck that’s 5-8 years old.
Looking at the list of problems and the depreciation, we recommend staying away from the 2018 – 2019 models because this car has already been subject to many recalls. It’s impossible to tell how many problems will occur over the next 5-10 years. Therefore, it’s better to be cautious and go with the models that have shown minor defects.
Want more information about the RAM 1500? Check out our list with the 15 most active RAM forums!
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!