Discover Dodge Ram 2500 Years to Avoid and Best Models to Buy

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When shopping for a used Ram 2500, you must know which model years to avoid to ensure you get a reliable truck with minimal issues.

Unfortunately, not all Dodge Ram 2500 are created equal; some have more problems than others.

In this article, we’ll help you identify the problematic Dodge Ram 2500 model years so you can make an informed decision and enjoy a durable pickup for years.

Let’s dive in and discover which year models to steer clear of.

Ram 2500 Years to Avoid

Engine Trouble: Years to Avoid

First Generation: 1992-2002

During the first generation of the Ram 2500, you might encounter some engine problems in the 1992 model. Complaints about losing power and exhaust problems were relatively common.

Issues with faulty bolts and head gasket problems were also reported in the early years of this generation. It’s essential to be cautious when buying a used Dodge Ram 2500 from the first generation and do thorough research to ensure its reliability.

Second Generation: 2003-2013

The second generation of Dodge Ram 2500 brought significant power, weight capacity, and performance improvements. However, some models still faced engine issues.

Notably, the 2012 and 2013 models experienced more problems than other years in this generation.

These issues include variable geometry turbo causing limp mode, reduced fuel mileage, transmission failures, fuel dilution, and clogged diesel particulate filters.

Dodge Cummins engines, specifically the 6.7L, are known for having rail injection problems in 2013. This can lead to fuel leakage, which can cause further damage to the engine.

Some of these models also experienced back pressure and overheating issues, which can escalate if not addressed promptly.

Third Generation: 2014-2023

When you reach the third generation of the Ram 2500, the 2014 and 2015 models stand out as years to avoid.

The 2014 Ram 2500 has been reported to have engine problems such as knocking and seizing, mainly due to engine wrist pin issues. These issues sometimes lead to sudden engine failure, increasing the risk of accidents.

In the 2015 model, some owners reported similar engine issues, including losing power and experiencing other performance-related problems.

The 6.4L V8 engine, in particular, has been known to struggle with overheating when towing heavy loads or driving on challenging terrain.

While the recent 2021 and 2022 models have fewer complaints, it’s crucial to be vigilant about potential engine issues, especially for used Dodge Ram 2500s.

Transmission Issues

Automatic Transmission Problems

Some Ram 2500s with automatic transmissions, such as the 47RE and 48RE, have experienced hard shifts and jerky acceleration issues.

These problems may be caused by fluid leakage or premature wear on clutch packs and drive belts. Monitor your transmission fluid levels and have it serviced regularly to prevent these issues.

Manual Transmission Concerns

There have been reported cases of gear failure for Ram 2500 trucks equipped with manual transmissions, such as the G56 or NV5600.

High-output engines can be particularly demanding on these transmissions, leading to potential failure. To keep your manual transmission running smoothly, use the appropriate fluid and maintain it according to the recommended service intervals.

Ram 2500 issues

Steering and Suspension Problems

Death Wobble

The death wobble is a notorious issue mainly affecting the 2013 Ram 2500. It causes your vehicle’s front end to shake violently, making it extremely difficult to maintain control.

This problem can be dangerous, so it’s crucial to be aware of it when considering a used Ram 2500.

2015 Ram 2500 Steering Issues

For the 2015 Ram 2500, steering issues are also a concern. Some owners have reported problems such as difficulty steering, which could lead to unsafe driving conditions.

Check the steering and suspension components of the truck if you’re considering a 2015 model.

Remember to take your time evaluating any used truck, paying extra attention to potential steering and suspension issues in the Ram 2500. Being cautious can help you make the best decision for your needs.

Towing and Hauling Concerns

Towing Capacity

When considering a Ram 2500 for towing, knowing the towing capacity for different models and years is important.

Some Ram 2500 models, like the 2012 Dodge Ram 2500, have had reported issues with not covering the advertised mileage. You want a truck that can handle your tow needs without compromising performance.

Handling Heavy Loads

A vital aspect of a Ram 2500 towing experience is its ability to handle heavy loads effectively.

While some Dodge trucks have proven durable and reliable, TST (tow stress and torsion) could arise when towing heavy trailers or tractors.

Make sure your chosen year and model can withstand the demands of your towing requirements.

Electrical System Failures

Cold-Start Issues

During the 2015 and 2013 models, you may face cold-start problems due to a faulty connection in the electrical system.

Smoke and Electrical Problems

Unfortunately, some Ram 2500 trucks have experienced smoke and electrical problems, which can potentially lead to fire hazards in severe cases. Addressing these issues as soon as you encounter them is essential for your safety.

The Best Ram 2500 Years

According to my search results, here are some of the best years for the Ram 2500, based on various factors such as reliability, performance, and owner satisfaction:


This generation of Ram 2500 trucks is known for its powerful Cummins diesel engine, comfortable ride, and high towing capacity. These years also feature updated interiors and improved fuel efficiency.


The latest Ram 2500 models offer a smooth and quiet ride, impressive towing capabilities, and a luxurious interior with advanced technology features.


These model years are also popular among Ram 2500 enthusiasts, thanks to their reliable Cummins diesel engines, sturdy build quality, and strong towing capacity.

Please note that these are just some of the best years for the Ram 2500, and there may be other model years that are also highly regarded by owners and experts. Plus, there could a bit of confusion with comparing best and worst years for Dodge Ram 2500 versions.

It’s always a good idea to do your own research and consider factors such as your budget, intended use, and personal preferences when choosing a used Ram 2500.

Ram Models Comparison

Ram 1500 VS 2500

When comparing the Ram 1500 and Ram 2500, you’ll notice some key differences between these two trucks.

The Ram 1500 is more suitable for daily driving and lighter towing, while the Ram 2500 is designed for heavy-duty work.

  • Ram 1500 pros:
    • Better fuel economy
    • Smoother ride
    • More affordable.
  • Ram 2500 pros:
    • Greater towing capacity
    • More powerful engine options
    • Better for off-road activities

However, it would be best to be cautious when shopping for a used Ram 2500, as specific years like 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016 have been reported to have more problems.

Ram 2500 VS Ram 3500

As you move up in the Ram truck lineup, the differences between the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 become more pronounced. The Ram 3500 is primarily built for even heavier-duty tasks than the 2500.

  • Ram 2500 pros:
    • Better ride quality compared to 3500
    • More cost-effective option.
  • Ram 3500 pros:
    • Superior towing and payload capacities
    • Stronger diesel engine options
    • Dual rear wheel configuration for added stability

When considering your needs, consider how much towing and hauling capacity you require and the importance of ride comfort and fuel efficiency.

Remember that the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 may have a long bed option, providing extra space for large loads. Remember, only some pickup Rams are good, so read Ram 3500 years to avoid versus the good ones!

FAQ about best and worst years for Dodge Ram 2500!

Is the best engine in Ram 2500?

The 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel engine is highly praised for its power and reliability. It offers an outstanding balance of performance, fuel efficiency, and towing capacity, making it a popular choice among Ram 2500 owners.

Problematic years for Ram trucks?

Avoiding the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 models of Dodge Ram 2500 is recommended. These models had many problems, like exhaust system malfunctions, faulty transmissions, and engine failure.

Most reliable Cummins years?

The most reliable Cummins years are generally from 1989 to 1994, known as the first-generation Cummins Rams. These models showcased impressive torque at 400 lb.-ft., making them a popular option for 250 and 350 series pickups.

Years to avoid for 5.7 Hemi?

Though the 5.7L Hemi engine is known for dependability, the Ram models from 2009 to 2012 featured the 5.7 Hemi had some issues with the cylinder heads, camshafts, and valve train components.

These are considered as bad years for 5.7 Hemi and it’s advised to be cautious when considering these model years.

Top Ram 2500 years for reliability?

The 2019, 2021, and 2022 models of the Ram 2500 are praised for their reliability, making them some of the best trucks in the auto industry.

With improved design and performance, these models continue Ram’s commitment to durability and excellence.


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