One of the most high-quality full-size pickups you can find today is the Ram 1500. However, as in all vehicle brands, the Ram 1500 also has lemons that deviate from the usual. In this article, I’ll discuss the Ram EcoDiesel years to avoid.
It would be best if you steered away from the Ram 1500 model years 2013, 2014, and 2016. Considered the worst fourth-gen model of the Ram 1500 is the 2016 model year. The highest number of complaints is recorded against the 2014 Ram 1500.
EcoDiesel is different from the conventional Ram 1500 with a diesel engine. It has a greener technology than ordinary diesel engines, which enables it to use most of the fuel and get the most out of the engine in terms of power and efficiency. However, being a Ram 1500 didn’t help avoid the generic issues of this vehicle line.
Read on to learn more about the Ram EcoDiesel model years that you must avoid and why you need to avoid them.
Ram EcoDiesel Years to Avoid
Among the model years of the Ram 1500 that you need to avoid are the year models 2013, 2014, and 2016. The most complaints were lodged against the Ram 1500 2014 model, while the worst model of the Ram 1500 is the fourth-gen 2016 model.
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel differs from the standard Ram 1500 because of its unique diesel engine. Its EcoDiesel engine can optimize its use of diesel fuel. This ability enables it to extract more horsepower from the engine while using less diesel fuel than usual.
So the Ram 1500 is more powerful and more fuel efficient. However, this improvement did not help the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel escape the generic issues of its vehicle line. When choosing the Ram 1500 2013, 2014, or 2016 model years, you must be careful.
Undeniably, the Ram 1500 is one of the most high-quality full-size pickups in the market today. However, as in most vehicles, some lemons are always in the mix. You need to read what they say about such lemons so you will be aware.
The model years of the Ram 1500 that I have included have their share of recalls and issues. These model years do not have the same problems.
Some have problems with their drivetrains, while others have issues with their suspension system. For the rest of this article, I’ll try to give you the specific issues of each Ram 1500 model year.
What Are the Most Common Ram 1500 Problems?
While specific issues are encountered by the problematic models of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, they all have some common engine problems. Here are other common issues that you need to know:
1. Slipping Timing Chain
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel uses a standard timing chain. It controls the timing or sequence of the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves of the engine. The slipping timing chain appears on Ram 1500 EcoDiesels which have around 70,000 to 150,000 miles on their odometer.
If the timing chain jumps or slips a gear tooth, the timing of the opening and closing of the engine intake and exhaust valves will go out of sync.
This will lead to the misfiring of the engine, reducing its performance. It can also eventually cause the valves and the pistons to slam with each other, which can cause total engine failure.
2. Malfunctioning Oil Cooler
When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is towing in a mountainous area, and the load is pretty heavy, its engine oil temperature increases significantly. It is known that this condition can cause the oil cooler to malfunction.
Failure of the oil cooler is very common in EcoDiesel Ram 1500s that tow heavy loads. This issue is most prevalent in the 2014 to 2016 model years. When the oil cooler fails, the engine oil and the coolant will mix, contaminating the vehicle’s cooling system.
This condition can also contaminate the engine oil, leading to rust formation inside the engine combustion chamber,s which can eventually lead to engine failure.
3. Exhaust Couplers Leak
The exhaust couplers of the Ram EcoDiesel 2014 and 2015 models are prone to leaking. These couplers are usually made of flex pipe. They can crack because of the heat they get from the exhaust gases. So they can quickly develop small cracks or holes that cause leaks.
This issue can cause a foul smell to contaminate the interior spaces of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. The unpleasant smell is caused by exhaust gases coming from the turbo of the vehicle’s Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) system.
4. Failing EGR Cooler
An EGR cooler cools down the air temperature of the exhaust gas before recirculating the air into the engine’s intake system. This cooler of the EcoDiesel of the Ram 1500 is susceptible to cracking. Hardline cracks in the cooler can lead to a coolant leak in the engine bay.
It can also cause the cooler to crack, although this is uncommon. But the more severe eventuality is that it can cause a fire in the engine. It can affect the efficiency of the cooler in performing its function.
Instead of cooling down the hot exhaust gases before recirculating them in the system, it will even heat them leading to the engine’s overheating.
5. Body Issues
Many complaints also came from Ram 1500 owners about the vehicle’s body structure. They complained about bad paint; bumper holes drilled too big, rust buildup, and bad lock mechanisms.
6. Exhaust Manifold’s Bad Bolts
Customers who owned the Ram 1500 models with the 3.7 V6 and 4.7 V8enginese complained about the exhaust manifold bolts that easily break. To fix this issue, you need to replace the bolt. You may even need to replace the gasket if it is damaged.
7. TIPM Problems
Most of the latest Ram 1500 vehicles’ TIPM or Totally Integrated Power Modules are susceptible to problems.
When the TIPM goes wrong, it may lead to several electrical issues, such as:
- Malfunctioning A/C system,
- Power windows are not working,
- Coolant fans are not functioning, and
- Airbags not deploying.
8. Leaking Coolant
Some owners of the Ram 1500 model from 1994 to 2010 have complained about overheating the engine because of coolant leaks. Leaking usually originates from the intake manifold gasket, the thermostat gasket, or the water pump.
Again, what are the RAM EcoDiesel years you should avoid? Avoid buying RAM EcoDiesel 2013, 2014, and 2016. The 2016 model is considered the worst 4th gen model, while the 2014 model received the most complaints.
Why Do You Need to Avoid Some Ram 1500 Model Years?
We come now to the specific reasons or problems you should know about the Ram 1500 full-size pickups to avoid being hooked by someone or some website selling them personally or online:
1. 2016 Ram 1500
The biggest issue of this vehicle is connected to its transmission. Reports showed that when you step on the brakes, the vehicle jumps. This happens 90 percent of the time with some drivers.
What happens is that when they shift to low gears to slow down to 2 miles per hour, the vehicle jerks. Additionally, when they put the car in Tow Mode, it will jump when it attains around 16 to 17 mph.
This problem usually occurs when the vehicle reaches 35,000 miles on the odometer. Fixing this issue will cost you big money.
Another big concern about the 2016 Ram 1500 is its engine. Engine failure in the conventional Ram 1500 tends to be earlier than in most Ram 1500 year models. Many owners of this vehicle model had faced near-fatal accidents when this problem occurred.
The best way to fix this issue is to replace the engine. However, that is a very costly proposition. So before you decide on buying a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, research the vehicle to ensure its engine will not fail after only a few years.
What you can do, in the meantime, if you already own a Ram 1500, is to take careful notice of every little noise that you think is coming from the engine so you can take care of it before the issue gets worse. Your engine is at stake, so you need to observe it.
3. 2014 Ram 1500
By far, the list of issues of the 2014 Ram 1500 is the highest among the lot. This vehicle model has lots of problems that will give you endless headaches. It also has some transmission issues, just like the 2016 Ram 1500.
Interior Space Issue
Aside from the issues with its cruise control, it also has problems with its interior space. Its cruise control can go bad, while its dashboard is prone to cracking. Another common issue with this vehicle model is that its steering wheel can go bad. This usually occurs even with low mileage.
Fixing this particular issue is expensive. It can run up to $2,500, even if you correctly identify the problem. Suspension problems are also quite common in the Ram 1500. It appears that the air suspension in this model is not working correctly.
4. 2013 Ram 1500
When discussing interior issues, the second Ram 1500 with the second highest number of complaints is the 2013 model year. It also has some engine, electrical, and steering issues. These problems seem to show themselves even in early mileage.
There are also some issues with its ignition and TIMP. Brake issues are also reported on the NHTSA website by some of its owners. Some of these problems can be serious.
What Is Ram 1500 EcoDiesel?
Chrysler released the EcoDiesel engine in 2014. The company launched this engine with its Dodge Ram 1500 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles. This engine is a 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged diesel engine. It is half the size of the conventional Cummins diesel engines.
This engine was also the first option for those looking for Dodge Ram that weighs half a ton. For whatever reason, FCA chose not to use the usual Cummins diesel engines for these truck sizes.
So, they manufactured the EcoDiesel 3.0L diesel engines instead. They produced these engines through VM Motori in Italy.
You need to avoid the Ram 1500 model years 2013, 2014, and 2016. The highest number of complaints was lodged against the Ram 1500 2014 model year. Considered the worst fourth gen Ram 1500 is the 2016 model year.
The Ram 1500 Eco Diesel uses greener technology, which is why it differs from the standard Ram 1500. It can use most of the fuel and get the most out of the engine in terms of power and efficiency. However, being a Ram 1500 didn’t help it avoid its generic issues aside from its own.