RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid

RAM EcoDiesel Years to Avoid: A Buyer’s Guide to Dodge’s Diesel Trucks

If you’re in the market for a tough, fuel-efficient pickup truck, you might be thinking about the RAM EcoDiesel. But not all model years are equal. Some have had mechanical issues and reliability problems, leading to costly repairs and headaches for owners. 

Our guide to Dodge’s EcoDiesel trucks is here to help you avoid these issues. As diesel technology evolves, it’s important for buyers to be aware of potential issues that could impact their decision. In this article, we’ll explore RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid models and discuss which and why. We’ll also give tips on what to look for when buying new or used. 

List 5 Dodge RAM 1500 Years To Avoid

2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid

The 2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel faced various issues including problems with the emissions system, engine, excessive oil consumption, faulty fuel injectors, and premature timing belt wear. It was also involved in a class-action lawsuit for alleged emissions cheating. As a result, it’s advisable to avoid this model year and consider later versions that have been refined.

Owners of the 2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel reported multiple issues with the vehicle, making it a less reliable option compared to later models. The class-action lawsuit related to emissions cheating further adds to the concerns surrounding this particular model year.

2015 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

The 2015 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel saw improvements, but it still had reliability concerns. Owners reported issues with the DEF system, turbocharger, and fuel injection system. Recalls for airbag and steering problems were also a concern. Dodge addressed some of these issues, but caution is advised when considering this model year.

2016 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

The 2016 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel has been reported to have ongoing issues with the DEF system and emissions, particularly related to the SCR catalyst. This has led to costly repairs for some owners. There have been reported problems with the transmission and electronic shifting system, which could lead to unexpected shifting of the truck. So, the 2016 model year is not as reliable as some of its successors.

2009 RAM 1500

The 2009 RAM 1500 faced significant issues with its powertrain, including engine, transmission, and driveshaft problems. Additionally, many owners reported suspension system issues that led to uneven tire wear and safety concerns. Due to these multiple issues, it is advisable to avoid the 2009 model year and consider later, more reliable options for a RAM 1500.

2012 RAM 1500

RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid

The 2012 RAM 1500 has been reported to have engine problems, including the Hemi tick caused by worn exhaust manifold bolts, as well as transmission issues leading to poor shifting performance and potential failures. Due to these reliability concerns, it’s advisable to avoid the 2012 model and consider newer options with improved performance and fewer reported issues.

5 Best Dodge RAM 1500 Years To Look For

2018 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

The 2018 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel marked a notable improvement over previous models, with Dodge addressing many of the engine and emissions system issues. This resulted in a more reliable and efficient truck, making it a solid choice for those in the market for a used diesel truck. The 2018 model also boasted a stylish redesign and additional technology features, further enhancing its appeal to potential buyers.

2020 RAM 1500

The 2020 RAM 1500 represents a significant upgrade with its new, stronger frame, improved suspension, and revamped interior. The addition of advanced technology features enhances the overall driving experience. With multiple engine options, including the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 known for its fuel efficiency and towing capability, the 2020 model offers impressive performance and versatility.

So, the 2020 RAM 1500 is highly regarded for its quality and performance in the truck market. Its fifth-generation improvements make it a strong contender for those seeking a reliable and capable pickup truck.

2019 RAM 1500

RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid

The 2019 RAM 1500 is indeed a solid choice for those in the market for a used truck. It offers a refined interior, multiple engine options, and strong towing capability. The 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine provides impressive fuel economy, making it an attractive option for truck enthusiasts looking for both performance and efficiency. So, the 2019 RAM 1500 delivers a great blend of performance, reliability, and value, making it a popular choice in the used truck market.

2021 RAM 1500

The 2021 RAM 1500 is an impressive pickup truck that offers advanced technology, safety features, and a spacious, comfortable interior. With the option of the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, it delivers strong fuel efficiency and towing capabilities. The high-quality materials and range of standard and optional features make it a top choice for those seeking a modern and reliable truck with impressive capabilities.

2017 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

The 2017 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is a reliable option for those in the market for a used diesel truck. Despite not having the same level of refinement as newer models, it still offers solid performance, fuel economy, and towing capabilities.

Dodge has addressed many of the issues found in earlier EcoDiesel models, resulting in improved reliability for the 2017 model year. As a more affordable option compared to newer models, the 2017 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel is a smart choice for budget-conscious buyers looking for a dependable diesel truck.

List 8 Common Dodge RAM 1500 Problems

Exhaust Manifold Bolts and Hemi Tick

RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid

The RAM 1500, especially those with the Hemi engine, can experience exhaust manifold bolt breakage, leading to an exhaust leak and the characteristic ticking noise known as the Hemi tick.

This issue can result in reduced engine performance and fuel efficiency over time. Fixing it requires replacing the broken bolts and possibly the exhaust manifold gasket. The Hemi tick is common in 2009-2012 RAM 1500 models but can occur in other years as well. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs are crucial to prevent further engine damage.

Transmission Issues

RAM 1500 trucks have indeed faced transmission problems, such as hard shifts, slipping gears, and complete failure. These issues are often linked to faulty solenoids, software glitches, or internal damage.

In some cases, a software update or solenoid replacement can fix the problem, while more severe cases may necessitate a complete transmission rebuild or replacement. Regular transmission maintenance, including fluid changes and inspections, can aid in preventing these issues and prolonging the transmission’s lifespan.

Differential and Axle Problems

Experiencing whining noises, fluid leaks, or premature wear in your RAM 1500’s rear differential and axle may be caused by lack of maintenance, manufacturing defects, or damage from off-road use.

Repairs may involve replacing worn bearings, seals, or even the entire axle assembly. To prevent these issues, regular inspections and maintenance are essential, including checking and replacing the differential fluid as needed. Be proactive to minimize the risk of differential and axle problems.

Fuel Pump and Fuel System Issues

RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid

The fuel system issues in your RAM 1500 truck, such as poor performance, decreased fuel efficiency, or difficulty starting the vehicle, it is likely due to a failing fuel pump. These symptoms may also be linked to a faulty fuel pressure regulator, fuel injectors, or the fuel pump itself. To resolve these problems, it is necessary to replace the faulty components. Regular maintenance of the fuel system, including replacing the fuel filter and inspecting the fuel lines, can help prevent these issues from occurring in the future.

Suspension Issues

If you own a RAM 1500 truck, it’s crucial to be aware of potential suspension issues such as premature wear of components like ball joints, control arms, and tie rods. These problems can result in uneven tire wear, poor handling, and safety concerns.

Regular suspension inspections and maintenance are essential to catch these issues early on. In some cases, upgrading to heavy-duty suspension components may offer a more durable solution. Keep an eye on your truck’s suspension system to address any potential problems before they escalate.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) System Issues

Issues with the DEF system in your RAM 1500 EcoDiesel are due to problems like DEF pump failure, injector issues, and faulty sensors can lead to warning messages, reduced engine performance, or even a forced engine shutdown.

Regular inspections and maintenance of the DEF system are essential for early identification and resolution of these issues before they escalate. Be proactive in addressing any DEF system issues to ensure optimal performance and compliance with emissions regulations.

EGR and DPF Issues

The EcoDiesel models have faced issues with their Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) systems. These problems can lead to reduced engine performance or even engine failure. In some cases, a software update or component cleaning may resolve the issue, while more severe cases may require component replacement. Regular maintenance and inspections of the EGR and DPF systems are recommended to prevent these issues from occurring.

EGR and DPF Issues

Electrical issues

Electrical issues in RAM 1500 trucks can range from faulty sensors and switches to more significant problems with the wiring harness or computer modules. Common issues include malfunctioning power windows, door locks, and interior lighting.

In severe cases, electrical problems can cause stalling, poor performance, or a failure to start. Regular inspections of the electrical system are crucial to prevent these issues. This includes checking for corroded or damaged connections and ensuring all components are functioning properly. In some cases, software updates or component replacements may be necessary to resolve electrical problems.

Why Did RAM Discontinue The Ecodiesel?

RAM did not entirely discontinue the EcoDiesel engine. Instead, they have continued to refine and improve the engine in response to customer feedback and concerns. The 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine remains available in the RAM 1500 lineup, providing customers with a fuel-efficient and powerful diesel option.

RAM’s commitment to addressing the issues that plagued earlier EcoDiesel models has resulted in a more reliable and efficient engine that meets the needs of truck owners who prioritize fuel economy and towing capability.


The RAM EcoDiesel offers impressive fuel efficiency and towing capacity, potential buyers should be cautious of specific model years that have been associated with reliability issuesTo make wise purchases, consumers need to be aware of common issues and potential problems. Before making a decision, it’s crucial to carefully inspect used RAM EcoDiesel trucks to ensure they are dependable.

By staying informed and seeking professional guidance, buyers can confidently find which RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid, and will easily find that meets their needs without any unexpected problems in the future. Taking these precautions can help buyers avoid costly repairs and ensure a more satisfying ownership experience.

FAQ’s about RAM EcoDiesel years to avoid

What steps can be taken to prevent or address issues with the RAM EcoDiesel?

Regular maintenance and inspections of critical components can help identify and address potential problems early on.

Are there any specific areas of concern with the RAM EcoDiesel that buyers should be aware of?

Yes, potential buyers should pay close attention to the fuel delivery system, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, and turbocharger.