How Long Do Ram 1500 Last? (Solved & Explained)

The Ram 1500 debuted in 2012 as Ram’s first-generation truck with independent branding. 

Formerly known as the Dodge Ram, the Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup truck that offers a range of workhorse engines.

Following the re-branding, the Ram 1500 took on a notably more premium direction than its Dodge Ram predecessor, offering smoother driving dynamics and an emphasis on comfort.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how many years of service you can expect from the Ram 1500.

Here is the short answer to how long Ram 1500 Last: 

The Ram 1500 is a durable pickup truck that can last between 200,000 and 250,000 miles when properly maintained and not pushed beyond its working limits. Based on an annual mileage of 15,000 miles this equates to 13 – 17 years of service before repair costs become uneconomical.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Ram 1500?

Although the re-branded Ram 1500 debuted in 2012, there is enough historical evidence to expect the 1500 to share the same 15-year lifespan as the formerly known Dodge Ram.

On average you could expect between 200,000 to 250,000 miles before the vehicle breaks down or requires expensive repairs, however they can certainly last longer if they are well looked after.

As with most vehicles, case-to-case reports of longevity can vary based on a number of factors, the main ones being driving habits and vehicle maintenance.

Ultimately it’s down to the owner to get the most life out of their truck.

The Ram 1500 is capable of off-roading, carrying heavy loads, towing campers and long-distance driving.

That being said, frequently pushing this truck to its limits will greatly affect overall longevity and increase wear and tear on components. 

The harder an engine is made to work, the shorter its lifespan tends to be.

Whatever you intend to do with your Ram 1500, be sure to stay up to date with factory scheduled maintenance and practice good driving habits to get the most life out of your vehicle.

How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Ram 1500? 

Unfortunately, despite offering excellent all-terrain usability, the Ram 1500 carries the rust problems of its Dodge predecessor.

Owners of both Dodge Rams and the Ram 1500 report undercarriage, exhaust system, and brake rotor rust – even in models as recent as 2019. Although the Ram 1500 has its fair share of rust-related issues, there has been a noticeable improvement over the Dodge Ram which was almost guaranteed to rust.

Due to rust occurring consistently, Ram owners have historically been known to advise anyone purchasing a Ram truck to invest in at least undercoating. 

Given the nature of the Ram 1500 as a heavy-duty workhorse, we recommend that 1500 owners invest in full ceramic coating, undercoating, or rust-proofing sprays. 

Residents of areas particularly prone to rust such as the Salt Belt states, coastal or snowy regions should take extra precautions to avoid rust.

Salt buildup on vehicle surfaces is corrosive, and the sand, dirt and snow that accumulate can trap moisture in wheel wells and underbody structures.

Standard rust proofing measures include:

  • Regular washes
  • Rustproofing sprays and treatments
  • Keeping the interior dry
  • Ceramic coatings
  • Storing your vehicle in a garage

You may also be interested in our article: Ram 1500 in snow and winter driving

How Long Does the Ram 1500 Last Compared to Similar Models?

The Ram 1500 currently stands as one of the best, most well-equipped options in the full-size pickup truck market. With excellent driving dynamics, rugged off-road capability, and interior creature comforts, few trucks are as well rounded as the 1500.

In this segment, we’ll see how the Ram 1500 stacks up to its competitors. 

Ram 1500 vs. Ford F-150

In the full-size pickup truck market, few trucks match the Ram 1500 as closely as the Ford F-150.

Both trucks are some of the best in their class at hauling, off-roading, and towing. 

The Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 share a similar life expectancy of around 250,000 miles. Regardless of which truck you choose, you can trust both to offer 15 or more years of service. 

Despite sharing a similar average lifespan, the Ram 1500 costs considerably less to maintain on a yearly basis.

With an annual maintenance cost of $691, the Ram 1500 costs $97 less than the $788 yearly maintenance of the Ford F-150.

The Ram 1500 once again offers more money-saving potential when it comes to fuel economy.

Depending on trim level, the 1500 is capable of up to 29 highway mpg, while the F-150 has a standard 19 city/26 highway mpg across all trims. 

While the Ford F-150 may offer a lower starting MSRP, the Ram 1500 offers better overall value for money in the long run.

Related: How Long Do Ford F-150 Last? (Solved & Explained)

Ram 1500 vs Chevrolet Silverado

With a life expectancy of 200,000 miles, the Chevrolet Silverado falls short of matching the 250,000-mile lifespan of the Ram 1500. 

However, the 13 years predicted longevity of the Silverado makes it a more than respectable alternative. 

On top of having a shorter predicted lifespan than the Ram 1500, the Chevy Silverado also costs slightly more than the 1500 in yearly maintenance.

With the Silverado and 1500 costing $714 and $691 in annual maintenance cost respectively, the difference between the two trucks is $23.

The Chevrolet Silverado once again falls short when looking at trim packages.

With 10 impressive trim levels, the Ram 1500 is unmatched in terms of customer choice.

While the 3 trim levels on the Silverado cater a wide enough array of needs, the 1500 has a clear advantage. 

A respectable and highly capable truck in its own right, the Chevrolet Silverado is ultimately the inferior option in most categories. 

Ram 1500 vs. GMC Sierra 

The GMC Sierra boasts an impressive advantage over the Ram 1500 in the longevity department. With an average of 300,000 miles, and several consumer reports of reaching 400,000 and even 500,000 miles.

While the Ram 1500 has an impressive life expectancy on its own, the Sierra has been proven to be capable of lasting up to three decades. 

Although the GMC Sierra offers a longer service lifetime, it also comes with higher yearly maintenance costs.

With the Sierra and 1500 costing $727 and $691 in annual maintenance cost respectively, the difference between the two trucks is $36.

One advantage that may put the Ram 1500 ahead of Sierra is a much lower entry-level cost.

With an MSRP of $37,000, the Ram 1500 costs nearly $10,000 less than the GMC Sierra.

You may also be interested in our article: 11 GMC Sierra facts & statistics

How Reliable is a Ram 1500?

The Ram 1500 is a heavy-duty truck capable of taking on any terrain and distance with ease, and if you’re in the market for one, you’ll be happy to know that this truck doesn’t fall short in the reliability department. 

With a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5 on RepairPal, the Ram 1500 ranks as the 1st most reliable out of 17 in the full-size pickup category. J.D. Power gives a respectable, although slightly lower 3 out of 5.

If you’re looking for a capable and reliable truck, you can’t go wrong with the Ram 1500.

Reliability Compared to Other Trucks

ModelReliability 
Ram 15003.5 / 5.0
Nissan Titan3.5 / 5.0
GMC Sierra 15003.5 / 5.0
Chevrolet Silverado 15003.5 / 5.0
Toyota Tundra3.5 / 5.0
Ford F-1503.5 / 5.0
GMC Sierra 2500 HD3.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD3.0 / 5.0
Ram 25002.5 / 5.0
GMC Sierra 3500 HD2.5 / 5.0
Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD2.5 / 5.0
Dodge Ram 25002.5 / 5.0
Ram 35002.0 / 5.0
Ford F-2502.0 / 5.0
Dodge Ram 35002.0 / 5.0
Ford F-350 Super Duty1.5 / 5.0
Avg. Fullsize Truck 3.0 / 5.0

The Best and Worst Years of the Ram 1500

According to CarComplaints extensive database, the Ram 1500 had a rough first few years after its debut. Complaints have seen a consistent downward trend after 2014.

2014, the third year of the Ram 1500, ranks as the worst model year in the truck’s history. Owners of the 2014 Ram 1500 report air suspension failure, with an average cost to repair of $1,600 and an average of 53,000 miles when the problem occurs. 

Other reported problems during the first three years of this truck include: 

  • Engine failure
  • Faulty transmission 
  • Electrical problems
  • Interior accessory problems
  • Body/pain problems

As it stands, the 2017, 2018, and 2020 model years are the best and safest option when purchasing a Ram 1500 – these have received the fewest complaints and feature the latest upgrades and technology.

Please also read our article, Ram 1500: 16 common problems

What About Recalls?

Here is the full list of recalls:

  • 2012: 7 recalls
  • 2013: 12 recalls 
  • 2014: 15 recalls
  • 2015: 16 recalls
  • 2016: 13 recalls
  • 2017: 9 recalls
  • 2018: 10 recalls
  • 2019: 20 recalls
  • 2020: 3 recalls
  • 2021: n/a

Ram 1500 Model Year List:

Here is a full list of model years for the Ram 1500:

  • 2012 Ram 1500
  • 2013 Ram 1500
  • 2014 Ram 1500
  • 2015 Ram 1500
  • 2016 Ram 1500
  • 2017 Ram 1500
  • 2018 Ram 1500
  • 2019 Ram 1500
  • 2020 Ram 1500
  • 2021 Ram 1500

Is the Ram 1500 Expensive to Maintain? 

The Ram 1500 will cost an average of $691 a year to maintain, with an expected cost of $3,791 over a 5 year period.

ModelAvg. Annual 
Repair Cost
Frequency of
Unscheduled
Repairs (per year)
Probability of
Severe Repairs
Ram 1500$6910.213%
Nissan Titan$5550.316%
GMC Sierra 1500$7270.215%
Dodge Ram 1500$6700.217%
Chevrolet Silverado 1500$7140.216%
Toyota Tundra$6060.318%
Ford F-150$7880.315%
GMC Sierra 2500 HD$9120.318%
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD$9360.319%
Ram 2500$1,0700.319%
GMC Sierra 3500 HD$1,1210.318%
Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD$1,1090.419%
Dodge Ram 2500$1,0750.223%
Ram 3500$1,0790.321%
Ford F-250$1,2410.422%
Dodge Ram 3500$1,0790.227%
Ford F-350 Super Duty$1,2950.425%
Avg. Fullsize Truck$9360.318%

You may also be interested in our Ram 1500 maintenance cost guide.

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

Ram 1500 brake pads usually last between 25,000 and 65,000 miles. Unsurprisingly, braking and driving habits are the biggest factors in the longevity of the brakes.

How Long Do the Tires Last?

Ram 1500 tires up to 4 years, which means an average of 50,000-60,000 miles given the 15,000 miles driven per year. 

Factors affecting the longevity of your tires include roadway conditions, driving/braking habits, temperatures, and frequency of driving. 

How Long Does the Transmission Last?

The transmission on the Ram 1500 is built to last all the way to 150,000 miles.

How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?

Ram 1500 spark plugs are built to last between 30,000 and 40,000 miles before needing replacement.

What About Insurance Cost?

The average insurance costs for a Ram 1500 is $149 per month or $1,776 annually.

Please also read our article: how long do Ram 2500 last

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Ram 1500

  • Avoid aggressive driving, use smooth acceleration and braking
  • Keep up with scheduled maintenance
  • Wash regularly including the underside of the vehicle
  • Check engine oil once every 2 weeks and top up fluids regularly
  • Check your tire pressures and fluid levels habitually
  • Keep vehicle weight down (don’t overload your vehicle)
  • Consider rustproofing treatments

Resources 

https://www.edmunds.com/ram/1500/2020/cost-to-own/

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Ram/1500/

https://repairpal.com/reliability/ram/1500

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/ram/1500

https://www.ramtrucks.com/ram-1500.html