Dodge Ram trucks can run for up to 300,000 miles with proper care, but you’ll need to replace its wear components before they break down and cause problems to keep your truck safe, comfortable, and efficient for that long.
Spark plugs, wheel bearings, and shock absorbers can make it to around 100,000 miles before they need to be replaced, while others (like your brake pads) should be changed sooner.
Some components like your clutch and fuel pump are designed to last the lifetime of your truck, but may need maintenance at specific intervals to keep them from failing before then. Changing out your fuel filters and the contacts in your starter are two examples of projects that can prolong the life of these components.
While your Dodge Ram is a notoriously rugged vehicle, nothing is built to last forever. As tough as your truck is, the day will come when you need to replace specific parts to keep it running safely and comfortably.
That’s why we’ve listed the most common wear items on Ram trucks below. Use this guide to help plan out what aftermarket parts you’ll need and order them before the ones in your truck fail—so that your truck can spend more time on the road and less time on jack stands.
Your Ram’s brakes take a lot of punishment—especially if you frequently use your truck for off-roading. Most Ram models need their brakes replaced every 30,000 to 70,000 miles, depending on your driving habits (off-roaders and people who routinely start and stop in city traffic will want to replace them more often than those who more regularly cruise for long stretches on the highway).
The OEM tires on Ram trucks are built to stand up to a wide variety of environmental challenges, but like everything else, they’ll wear out with age—the rubber will eventually stiffen and the tread will wear down.
If your Ram’s tires are over six years old, you should replace them no matter how much tread is left. If they’re under six years old but the wear bar is higher than the tread left on them, you’ll want to replace them as well.
As the battery in your Ram ages, the lead acid can solidify and won’t hold a charge as easily. Misusing your battery by leaving electronic systems running while the engine is off or only driving your truck for short distances can also cause it to die prematurely.
Cold can also be a factor—so for best results, keep your battery on a trickle charger in cold weather or during long periods where you aren’t using your truck. Even so, you’ll want to replace the battery in your Ram every four to five years, assuming you take good care of it.
Your Ram’s spark plugs are what allow you to start the engine smoothly and consistently, by creating the spark that ignites the air and fuel in the engine. The length of time your spark plugs last will depend on the material they’re made from—older Ram trucks often have nickel plugs, which should be replaced every 35,000 miles or so, while post-2013 Ram trucks usually have iridium plugs that can last up to 100,000 miles before wearing out.
Wheel bearings need to absorb all the forces created by your daily driving maneuvers, including steering, braking, and accelerating. That puts a lot of friction on these bearings—which will eventually cause them to fail (along with the dust and dirt that makes its way into their lubricant over time).
Most Ram trucks have sealed bearings, which protect the lubricant from contamination much more effectively than older tapered bearings and help them last longer. Still, you should put in new bearings every 100,000 miles or so.
Ram 1500 bearings are quite affordable, though, so as long as you are on top of the warning signs, wheel bearings are a minor and inexpensive repair when needed. If you let it get to the point of failure, however, you may start to experience handling problems and performance issues that could eventually become a safety hazard while driving.
Knowing when to replace the shocks and struts in a vehicle as versatile as the Dodge Ram can be tricky, because Ram trucks are designed to be driven in a wide range of different styles and environments. If you’re off-roading on a weekly basis and going over varied terrain, it’s safe to assume your suspension will wear out long before that of a Ram owner who only commutes on city streets.
Generally though, you should start keeping an eye on your suspension at about 50,000 miles. If your suspension system makes it to the 100,000 mile mark, err on the side of caution and replace it no matter what.
You might think it’s funny that we put alternators on this list, since they aren’t commonly thought of as wear components. Still, they break down frequently enough in Ram trucks that you should know when to spot the signs of an oncoming alternator failure and replace yours beforehand.
While some Rams have alternators that make it past 150,000 miles, they commonly start to wear out around the 80,000 mile mark. Your alternator might be about to fail if you notice trouble starting your truck, flickering lights, or other electrical issues.
While some claim that starter failure is an eventuality, that’s not exactly true. The starter in your Ram should last for the lifetime of the truck—as long as you replace the contacts every 100,000 miles. While its true that the starter itself can fail, this simple bit of maintenance is normally enough to prevent that (significantly more expensive) problem from occurring.
Replace the fuel filter every 40,000 to 80,000 miles on gasoline-powered Ram trucks like the 1500, and replace it every 10,000 to 25,000 miles if you have a diesel-powered Ram like the 2500. Ignoring this can make your fuel pump fail, which will give you trouble when starting your truck and can cause the engine to sputter or stall.
All vehicles (even those with automatic transmissions) have a clutch that connects the transmission to the engine. While there is no specific interval at which you should replace your clutch, this vital component can start to wear out around the 100,000 mile mark in most Dodge Ram trucks.
Replacing Wear Items Helps Your Ram Stay Rugged
Ram trucks commonly run for up to 300,000 miles if you’re smart about maintaining them and replace wear components on schedule. Use the guide above to make sure you get the most from your truck and keep on ruling the road.
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