Ram 3500 Problems: 12 Common Issues (Explained)

Looking for a reliable, good-quality truck? The Ram 3500 might be just what you need. However, this vehicle does come with its fair share of problems and issues that can affect performance and reliability.

Before we dive in, make sure you’ve read our article about how long the Ram 3500 lasts.

Along with these problems, the Ram 3500 also has some good qualities that make it a great truck.

This article will explore both the good and the bad of the Ram 3500, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this is the right truck for you.

Some of the common issues include engine troubles, transmission problems, electrical system issues, and more.

Typical Features of a Ram 3500

The Ram 3500 is a heavy-duty truck that is available in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive.

It has a towing capacity of up to 19,780 pounds and a payload capacity of up to 7,350 pounds. You can see much more here about how much each Ram model can tow.

The Ram 3500 also comes standard with a 6.4-liter V8 engine that produces 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque.

This truck is also available with a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine that is more fuel-efficient and powerful than the V8 engine.

Overall, while the Ram 3500 has some common problems, it is still a good truck.

It has a lot of great features that make it a good choice. With that said, let’s look at some issues to look out for.

1) Ram 3500 Engine Troubles

One of the most common issues with the Ram 3500 is engine trouble. The engine may have trouble starting, or it may stall unexpectedly.

There have also been reports of the engine making strange noises, such as knocking or ticking sounds. In some cases, the engine has caught on fire. The company has dealt with these issues by issuing recalls and service bulletins.

2) Body Paint Problems

Another common issue with the Dodge Ram 3500 is body paint problems. The paint may peel or chip off easily, and in some cases, it may even rust.

This can be a major problem if you’re trying to keep your truck looking its best.

The company may also offer to repaint your truck for free, but you’ll have to deal with an extended period of downtime while they finish the repairs.

3) Steering Problems

The steering on the Ram 3500 has also been known to be problematic. The steering wheel may vibrate, or you may experience issues with alignment.

These problems can make it difficult to control your truck and can even put your safety at risk.

You mostly see these issues with the early models of the truck.

4) Ram 3500 Transmission Problems

The Dodge Ram 3500 may have transmission trouble. This can manifest in many different ways, including hesitation while shifting gears or difficulty accelerating smoothly.

In some cases, you may even experience complete transmission failure, which can be very costly to repair.

5) Turbocharger Failure

This type of common failure is often seen in the Ram 3500. The turbocharger may stop working, which can take a toll on your engine. One would mostly see this issue on the Ram 2012 model.

Oftentimes, the failure is due to a clogged oil filter or low oil levels.

You can avoid this problem by regularly checking your oil levels and changing your oil filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

6) Electrical System Issues

The electrical system of the Ram 3500 may also have issues. You might experience problems with your headlights or turn signals, for example. Electrical system issues often result from damaged wires or connections within the system.

If you notice problems with your electrical system, be sure to get them checked out and fixed right away. One of the best ways to maintain your Ram 3500 electrical system is to have it regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic.

7) Ram 3500 Brake Problems

Brake problems may happen in the Ram 3500. You may notice that your brakes are making noise or not working as well as they should. In some cases, your brakes may even fail.

This can be a major safety issue, so if you notice any problems with your brakes, be sure to get them checked out right away.

8) Diesel Issues

The Ram 3500 may also have issues with its diesel engine. Some owners have reported fuel leaks, poor performance, and engine failure as a result of these problems.

The diesel filter can get clogged, which can cause all sorts of problems.

It can result in extra work for the engine and generate more heat.

9) Cylinder Head Gasket Damage

This problem occurs when the cylinder head gasket is damaged from excess heat. It can lead to serious engine damage and even complete failure.

It can cause coolant and oil to mix, which can lead to engine damage. You can deal with this problem by regularly checking your engine’s coolant levels and replacing the gasket.

10) Suspension Issues

The suspension of the Ram 3500 may also be problematic. You might experience issues with your shock absorbers, for example, which can affect how well your truck handles.

In some cases, the suspension may even collapse completely. This can be very dangerous and is often caused by wear and tear.

11) Overheating

Overheating can be another issue with the Ram 3500. This can lead to reduced performance and even engine failure if it’s not addressed in a timely manner.

There can be many different causes of overheating, including low coolant levels, dirty cooling fins, or clogged radiator hoses.

Make sure to keep an eye on your truck’s temperature gauge and address any overheating issues as soon as possible.

12) Structure With Large Models

The structure of the Ram 3500 is designed to be very strong and durable, which is great for those who need a truck that can handle a lot of weight.

However, this also means that the truck is quite large and can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.

If you’re not used to driving a large vehicle, it might take some time to get used to the Dodge Ram 3500.

Overall, while there are certainly some downsides to owning a Ram 3500, this truck still offers plenty of great qualities that make it a good choice for many drivers.

Pros and Cons

When it comes to the Ram 3500 people like this big truck for many reasons.


It’s a hard-working truck that can tow a lot and haul a lot. It’s also comfortable to drive, even when it’s fully loaded. Customers have noted it is quiet and capable of pulling large trailers.

Some drivers love its power and performance. Customers also like the fact that it comes in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive models.


  • Large size can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Engine troubles can be costly to repair.
  • Overheating can be an issue.
  • Diesel fuel leaks
  • Some customers have reported issues with the truck’s electrical system and faulty transmissions.

After weighing all of these factors, you can decide for yourself whether the Ram 3500 is the right truck for you.

What Do The Reviews Say?

Cars.com has the following customer review,

“This vehicle has exceeded my expectations in every way. Fuel mileage has been better than expected, surprisingly quiet ride, as well as a good ride for a one ton pickup.”

A review on Edmunds.com proclaimed,

“If your looking for the best high tech truck that is as comfortable as a luxury car that can pull a house take a look at Ram trucks they checked all the boxes for me. “

Resale Prices

Overall, the Ram 3500 tends to have above-average resale prices. This is likely due to its good reputation for reliability and excellent performance.

  • A 2018 Ram in outstanding condition that retailed for $39,442 may now trade in for about $36,432.
  • The same model in rough condition may trade in for $33,209.
  • According to CarEdge, the Ram 3500 may show a 43% depreciation after the 5-year mark.

For the best chance at a high resale value when you’re ready to sell your Ram 3500, make sure to take good care of it and address any issues as soon as possible.

Maintenance Tips

To get the most out of your Ram 3500, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance.

This means checking the engine oil and coolant regularly, changing the air filter as needed, and keeping up with any other maintenance tasks recommended by your truck’s manufacturer.

It is a big truck so you’ll also need to pay extra attention to things like tire pressure and brakes.

Whether you’re an experienced truck owner or a first-time buyer, taking good care of your Dodge Ram 3500 will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable driving experience.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a reliable and powerful truck, the Ram 3500 is a great option to consider.

While it does have some drawbacks, such as its large size and potential for engine troubles, this truck is still a good choice for many drivers. So if you’re looking for a truck that can handle heavy loads and challenging terrain, be sure to check out the Ram 3500.

GO BACK: Problems per Ram model.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.