How Many Miles Can You Get Out Of a Ram 1500

Trying to determine the maximum reliable miles from a vehicle might seem like a very loaded question since there are so many variables involved. However, the fact remains, any vehicle can run as long as you want it to run. There are certain engines that simply do it with more ease than others. The Ram 1500 has proven itself to be durable and robust with reliability becoming almost a given. So what is the maximum reliable miles you can get out of a RAM 1500?

Ram 1500 pickups have proven to rack up mileage well over 300k miles without major engine or transmission repairs. There is no reason why most modern Ram 1500 engines can’t make it pass 300k miles with proper preventive maintenance.

If you browse around online in search of people’s opinions on the Ram 1500 pickups, you’ll quickly notice a trend. Many owners swear by them and won’t touch any other brand.

Then there are those, like any other brand, who simply hate Rams and view them as being behind the competition of Ford and Chevy. What we do know is that there are a few common issues on the older trucks to look out for, which we will discuss in more detail later. We also know is that you can run these trucks well into the hundreds of thousands of miles, giving them a growing reputation for durability and reliability.

Let’s first get a better idea of what owning a Ram 1500 is like and what some have said about their trucks.

How Many Miles Can A Dodge Ram 1500 Last

After scouring the internet forums and reading review after review I found a few rather interesting reports from Ram 1500 owners.

Have a look:

I have a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L V8 4×4 with 175,000 miles on it… and still going strong

175k miles (281k km)!!! And just getting warmed up!

I paid 2800 for an 03 dodge 1500 1 original owner. Swear to god looks brand spanking new inside, everything works and paint looks great, plugged in scanner. No codes, no emissions problems, passes smog, no oil leaks, no drama and it has 259k miles! Still running strong!!!!

259K miles (416k km) with no leaks or reliability issues is nothing to scoff at. I’d be very happy with that kind of service.

My 03 Dodge ram 2500 has the 5.7L V8 hemi in it. It’s just 290k miles and has never skipped a beat on me! I had to replace the power steering line one time and i put new sway bar linkages on it as a preventative thing. The dash is cracked but it’s still running like a animal! Keep that oil changed and a Dodge will make you a believer

The older models sound pretty bullet-proof with only a few cosmetic issues reported.  

I have a 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 with 370K original miles on the motor.

Sure it’s an older model with a more basic design. Still, 370k miles (595k km) is very impressive for any engine.

I’ve got 400,000 km on my 06 ram, still going strong! No dodge tick or grinding

A much newer and more modern model with 400K miles (643k km) is fantastic.

I have a 2003 Dodge 3.7 with 662,000 miles on it, original engine and transmission. I bought it with 42,000 miles on it. No cracked dash. It has been good to me!

622K miles (over 1000 000km) on the original engine and transmission!!! I’ll leave it right there.

So I hear you saying, sure I’m only highlighting all the positive examples, what about all the problematic Ram 1500 and unhappy owners out there? Well, in all fairness, every vehicle has its own set of problems and each case is different, however, what this goes to show is that reliable high mileage is definitely attainable with these RAM trucks. It proves these engines are robust and can really take a beating, if taken care of properly.

OK, to satisfy the naysayers, let’s next look at some problems these Ram 1500 throw out.

Are Dodge Rams Good Trucks

The earlier RAM models are well known for racking up high mileage. Sure the truck might start falling apart around the engine, but it just keeps going. It’s not uncommon to see 200k miles and over 300k miles on the older models still going strong. And most of these trucks don’t live easy lives. Many of them have lived most of their existence in construction sites and used in the commercial industry.

Resale Value

Dodge Rams have been known to lose their value faster than the competition, however if you are BFL (Buying for life), and are willing to maintain and keep the thing running, they can be very dependable.

Rust Issues

Many have complained about the RUST!!! Yes these trucks rust and they rust fast. That could be down to inferior metals or something in the production process, we don’t know, but they tend to rust slightly faster than the competition.

Cracking Dash

Cracking dash pads on the 2nd generation Rams have been a common complaint. 3rd Generation trucks seem to have that sorted out now. In recent years they have really upped their game in terms of quality fit and finish.

Engine Tick

Hemi 5.7 have been known to develop the dreaded ticking noise. There is no official technical service bulletin or recall from Dodge. It’s always important to check the amount of engine oil and ensure you are using the right type of oil for the vehicle.

5.7 Hemi Life Expectancy (High Mileage Dodge Ram 1500)

When it comes to any high mileage pickup, one thing to remember is, the resale value totally depends on how the truck was maintained and treated by the previous owner. Each case needs to be looked at individually since two trucks of similar spec and age can live two completely different lives and end up having vastly different resale values.

Mileage isn’t the beginning and end all when you are purchasing a used truck. A 20 year old pickup, for example can rack up 200k worth of easy highway mileage versus a 3 year old truck that has 200k miles of hard city and construction site mileage. They both have 200K miles on but one will be significantly more worn out than the other. Highway mileage is easy miles on the engine, transmission and drivetrain since most of the time you’re traveling at a constant speed with less gear shifting in-between and stop-starts which placed enormous wear on engine and drivetrain components.

With that being said, if the vehicle received regular services and a few oil changes in between throughout the year, it could still turn out to be a very nice truck.

So how long can a Hemi 5.7 typically last?

Most modern gas engines are over-engineered and built to withstand extreme conditions. Manufactures spend millions on R&D to ensure these trucks see plenty of trouble-free miles. So, if your conditions are “normal” and you’ve really looked well after the truck there’s no reason why your hemi shouldn’t see 300k miles or more without major engine and transmission repairs.

Preventative maintenance cures all

The service manual should serve as a guide to how far apart the service intervals should be spaced.  So if you notice a pattern when transmission oil changes are carried out, say every 60k miles, do your best to continue that maintenance pattern. If the scheduled engine services are done every 10K miles, it won’t hurt to do a small oil and oil filter change between services.

Below is a breakdown of the Ram Service intervals:

8,000 Miles1st oil and filter change. Top-up all other fluids like, brake, anti-freeze, etc. Rotate tires.
20,000 MilesCheck all suspension components like tie rods, ball-joints, bushes etc. Brakes should be checked, adjusted, and replaced if needed.
30,000 MilesEngine and cabin filter replacement. CV/Universal joint inspections. Check transfer case fluid and have the case and axles inspected.
60,000 MilesTop-up transmission fluid, filters, engine coolant, brake fluid.
100,000 MilesAll of the above + inspect and replace all spark plugs, PVC joints.
120,000 MilesRepeat 60,000-mile service. Replace transmission fluid.
150,000 MilesReplace engine and cabin filters.

5.7 Hemi 300 000 Miles

There are other viewpoints on purchasing a used Ram with over 200k miles. Some believe that only the diesel Cummins is a safe used purchase with that much mileage. Sure there will be component failures at 200k miles, but what would cost you more to replace? Diesel components or gas components? We all know Diesel is way more expensive to repair than a gas engine.

There are many owners who have driven Ram pickups for over 2 decades, racking up hundreds of miles well over the 300k mark with nothing but praise for these trucks. Not to mention the many awards and accolades it’s piled up along with consumer confidence ratings, and long-term tests to back up this beautiful beast’s reputation.


Yes, the Ram 5.7 is a robust engine and can endure many hundreds of thousands of trouble-free miles however, expect components to start failing anywhere around 200k miles. If well maintained and driven with a certain level of mechanical sympathy you can exceed 500k miles without major repairs.

Resources

K&N Replacement Filter.

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit

Haynes RAM 1500 Repair Manual

Jet Performance Products Power Control Module Stage 2 – 91202S

Auto Meter Dodge Factory Match Fuel Pressure Gauge – 8563

Conclusion

Many believe manufactures are getting soft as the years roll by with trucks becoming more sophisticated and plush with every model release sporting more gadgets, safety and creature comforts you can ever imagine. The manufacturer will always be biased towards on-road safety and comfort since that is where most vehicles spend 80% of its life.

Rams however are becoming smarter, safer and more comfortable for both on and off-road use and suitable for roads that are not well maintained or paved. Ram has raised the bar when it comes to durability and ruggedness, and if you see how many off-road enthusiasts are kitting these Ram trucks out for off-road and overlanding, its sure testimony to their reliability and capability.

Below are examples of awards the Ram has received in recent years, giving its owners even more confidence in these trucks:

  • 2017 Consumers Digest Best Buy Award
  • 5 straight Consumer Guide® Best Buy Awards

A Ram 1500 is probably one of the most durable and robust engines on the market. They have a strong pedigree and have proven to stand the test of time over and over again.

Jade C.

4-Wheel drives and off-road driving techniques has been my passion for over 20 years. Here we strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date, information about the functionality, common faults and latest technology built into most 4 Wheel Drives.

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