The Dodge Ram 3500 is part of an exquisite line-up of trucks first introduced by Dodge in 1981. During the second generation, which started in 1994, Dodge officially launched the 3500 models.
The Dodge Ram 3500 is known for its monstrous towing capacity, smooth ride, and largely quiet and plush interior. It also boasts a powerful engine and has enjoyed overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and owners alike.
Given its frankly excellent résumé, one would expect that the Ram 3500 is also very durable. Well, you can’t be too sure. Thankfully, this article uncovers the truth about the 3500’s durability. Let’s have a look.
Here is the short answer to how long the Dodge Ram 3500 lasts:
The Dodge Ram 3500s, on average, will serve you for anywhere between 250,000 to 400,000 miles. However, you will only have a chance of reaching these incredible numbers if you maintain the vehicle properly. That mileage will translate to about 15 to 25 years if you drive an average of 15,000 miles per year.
How Many Miles Can You Expect From A Dodge Ram 3500?
If you own a Dodge Ram 3500, you are in serious luck, especially if you hope to use it for long. Ram 3500 models can last 250,00 to 400,000 miles as long as they are maintained properly. This is all thanks to its very potent Cummins diesel engine.
We even came across owners who have crossed the 400,000-mile mark with the 3500 and are still going strong. However, they advise paying special attention to the fuel injection pump, especially for pre-2010 models.
Overall, those numbers are not far-fetched at all; maintenance does the trick.
You should also be reading our article which talks about How Long Do Dodge Ram 2500s Last?
How Soon Should You Expect Rust On A Dodge Ram 3500?
A major weak point of Ram 3500s, especially older models, is the rusting menace. Many owners have complained of early rusts on certain parts of their trucks. Some appear in as early as one to two years.
In case you got a used Ram 3500, we advise getting rustproof or undercoating protection to forestall corrosion issues. This is particularly important if you live in a Salt Belt area because the heavily salted roads there are notorious for aiding corrosion.
Newer models have an anti-corrosion warranty that lasts for 3-5 years. Once that time lapses, it is advisable to immediately get anti-rust protection as a precaution.
How Long Do Dodge Ram 3500s Last Compared to Similar Trucks?
The Dodge Ram 3500 shares the “elite pickup truck” status with a number of other competitors. Let’s see how it fares against some of these competitors.
Dodge Ram 3500 Vs. Nissan Titan
The Nissan Titan lives up to its Greek name with a powerful V8 engine and excellent handling, amongst other features. In terms of longevity, the Nissan Titan also holds its own with an expected lifetime mileage of 250,000 to 300,000 miles.
The Ram 3500 and the Nissan Titan can both go as long as 300,000 miles with regular maintenance. However, there are more proofs of the Ram 3500 going well beyond 300,000 miles, which gives it an edge.
Our research also showed that the Ram 3500 is a lot more reliable than the Nissan Titan and defeats it in most strength-based categories.
Dodge Ram 3500 Vs. Ford F-350
The Ford F-350 features among the Ford Super Duty lineup of pickup trucks. It boasts a powerful towing capacity, sturdy structure, and stellar off-road capabilities. In addition to all that, the Ford F-350 can last upwards of 300,000 miles, as long as it is maintained properly.
The Ram 3500 and the Ford F-350 can both go well beyond 300,000 miles. According to critics, they aren’t that far apart in terms of reliability, and they both have features that make for lasting strength.
Based on the above, it would be correct to say both vehicles are pretty much equal in terms of durability.
Dodge Ram 3500 Vs. Chevrolet Silverado 3500
The Chevrolet Silverado 3500 is one of the most powerful pickup trucks on the market right now. It has a massive engine, incredible towing capacity, and can also last for as long as 300,000 miles or more. That, of course, is dependent on the level of maintenance it gets.
The Ram 3500 and Silverado 3500 have similar names as well as a similar lifetime mileage. Both vehicles have stellar endurance and longevity and will serve you for as long as you can maintain them.
How Reliable Is the Dodge Ram 3500?
Regarding reliability, the Dodge Ram 3500 gets a mixed reaction from critics. While some deem it as borderline excellent, others consider it barely above average.
RepairPal gives the 2021 Dodge Ram 3500 a reliability rating of 2.0 out of 5.0, placing it below average.
On J.D. Power, the Ram 3500 manages a quality and reliability rating of 81 out of 100. That leaves it four points away from making the list of the top 10 consumer-rated trucks on the platform.
The Ram 3500 ranks 2nd overall in reliability ratings out of 29 Dodge models on Dodgeproblems.com. It also has some of the fewest complaints, with eight from 10 model years on the platform.
Ram 3500 owners on a number of forums appear to be generally satisfied with the vehicle’s performance.
Putting all of that together, we would say the Ram 3500 is a very reliable truck.
The Best and Worst Years of the Dodge Ram 3500
The Dodge Ram 3500 has been around for long, and as one would reasonably expect, it hasn’t had a perfect run. Let’s run through some of the best and worst models of the Ram 3500 so far.
MotorBiscuit suggests completely avoiding the 2013 Ram 3500 because of its engine and suspension problems, amongst other faults.
The 2012 Ram 3500 also made Hotcars’ list of the worst Ram trucks ever built. The publication faulted the failing alternator and internal transmission problems.
On Carproblemszoo, there have been a total of 3,062 complaints across 20 model years. The 2003 Ram 3500 takes the lead with 312, followed by the 2006 and 2012 models with 308 and 274, respectively.
The most commonly reported problem is about the vehicle’s steering wheel, with 891 reports so far. Next to it is airbag-related problems, with 290 reports.
The 2015 model, which is also the last reported model on the platform, has the fewest, with just 2 complaints.
Consumer ratings on cars.com stand at a perfect 5.0 for the 2021 model from 6 reviews, making it the best model so far. The 2018 model follows with a 4.7 rating from 57 reviews. The 2020 Ram 3500 notably notched the worst rating with 3.6 from 21 reviews.
What About Recalls for These Models?
The Ram 3500 has had a myriad of issues through its several model years, which in turn has led to several recalls. Below are recalls for some model years:
- 1994: 1
- 1995: 1
- 1996: 1
- 1997: 1
- 2000: 1
- 2001: 1
- 2003: 6
- 2004: 4
- 2005: 4
- 2006: 8
- 2007: 11
- 2008: 9
- 2009: 5
- 2010: 3
- 2011: 5
- 2012: 9
- 2013: 18
- 2015: 15
- 2016: 14
- 2017: 11
- 2018: 8
- 2019: 8
- 2020: 6
- 2021: 2
The 2013 model has the most number of recalls, with 18 so far. The 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2001 models have only ever been recalled once.
Dodge Ram 3500 Model Year List
Below is a list of all Ram 3500 model years to ever hit the market:
Are Dodge Ram 3500s Expensive To Maintain?
According to RepairPal, the average annual maintenance cost of the Ram 3500 is $1,079. This may be considered expensive when stacked up against a lot of vehicles. However, within its class, the Ram 3500 is cheaper than the Silverado 3500 ($1,109) and the Ford F-350 ($1,295).
Car Edge estimates that the Ram 3500 will require about $25,844 for maintenance and repairs in the first decade.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The brakes on Dodge Ram 3500s can function for about 30,000 to 70,000 miles. It largely depends on your driving habits and how frequently you use the brakes.
As a precaution, you should also keep an eye out for signs like squeaking noises, pedal, or steering wheel vibrations, burning smell, etc.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Some Ram 3500 tires may last as long as 50,000 to 60,000 miles, while others may fold up as early as 10,000 miles. Factors that impact the longevity of tires include road conditions, driving habits, and maintenance.
One way to help your tires last longer is to report any weird changes and rotate the tires every few thousand miles.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The Ram 3500’s transmission can last between 130,000 to 180,000 miles.
Signs of bad transmission include check engine light, burning odor, leaking fluids, and bad responses, amongst others.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
Ram 3500 spark plugs can last for 60,000 to 100,000 miles. They could also fold up earlier than expected, but regular maintenance and inspection will ensure you’re always on top of the situation.
What About Insurance Cost?
Insurance for the Dodge Ram 3500 costs an average of $1,726 yearly, according to Insuraviz.
Car Edge, on the other hand, estimates $1,744 in insurance costs per year, which is $44 more than the national average.
The numbers may vary depending on the region you are from and your insurer’s rates.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Dodge Ram 3500
Below are some tips that may help keep your truck running for long:
- Carry out regular maintenance activities and have a professional maintenance plan
- Always be on the lookout for strange and abnormal signs or sounds
- Keep your vehicle clean
- Adopt a gentle driving mode