Ram 2500 4th Generation (DS/DJ/D2) 2011-2018 Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Ram 2500 4th Gen

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4th Gen Ram 2500: What Owners Say

  • Owners love the high-quality interior with premium finishes that are a cut above most trucks
  • Towing and hauling abilities are excellent, especially with the potent Cummins turbo-diesel engine that delivers class-leading power and torque
  • Despite being a heavy-duty truck, owners note that the 2014+ Ram 2500 with its coil-sprung rear axle is surprisingly refined and comfortable - and certainly better than other HD trucks
  • While the available manual transmission on the diesel is welcome, owners are a bit put out that they don't have access to the full power and torque of the engine
  • Owners lament that they cannot have the Power Wagon with a diesel engine
  • There are a few too many reliability issues and too many recalls

4th Generation Ram 2500 Facelift

For the 2013 model year facelift, the 4th-gen Ram 2500 is substantially changed with many of the changes, such as a more powerful diesel engine and a stronger frame, not visible to the eye. There are plenty of obvious exterior alterations, however.

2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Front Changes CarBuzz
2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Front Changes

At the front, the old dual headlights are dropped completely, and even the base trims now have the quad headlights previously installed on only the upper trims. These now come with a clear lens for the turn signal, no longer an amber one. Flagship trims gain new projector headlights underlined by LED daytime running lights1. The grille is larger, and the new bumper beneath it now contains a cutout to accommodate it2. Said bumper's lower section is changed too, with a lower grille opening on either side in place of the previous long, continuous lower opening 3. Where fitted, the foglights on either side are now vertically oriented4.

2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Rear Changes CarBuzz
2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Rear Changes

The rear stays largely the same as before, but eagle-eyed onlookers will notice that, in line with the rebranding to "Ram" only, the "Dodge" script is removed from the tailgate logo1. On the top trims, there are new LED taillight clusters framed in silver2.

2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Side Changes CarBuzz
2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Side Changes

The profile view stays mostly the same, although some new wheel styles are evident. What's more, the changes to the front bumper1 and lights can be spotted from the side too2, as can the new taillights on top trims3.

2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Interior Changes CarBuzz
2013-2018 Ram 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Interior Changes

Inside, the updated infotainment system with its larger screen sizes can clearly be seen in the center stack1, and the air vents on either side of it have been restyled to sit in their own pods, separate from the controls below them2. The gauge cluster is new, too, with a far bigger driver-information display between the two main gauges, and the smaller auxiliary gauges also moved further apart. On the diesels, the battery-voltage gauge is replaced with one showing the level of the diesel emissions fluid3.

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain

The 4th-gen 2500 range launches with one gas and one diesel powertrain. The standard engine is a 5.7-liter Hemi gas V8 with 383 hp connected to a five-speed automatic transmission, and the diesel option is a Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six with 350 hp with a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed auto 'box is made standard on the 5.7 in 2012, and in 2013, a CNG-capable version of the engine became available. The outputs of the diesel engine are incrementally increased over the years to top out at 370 hp and 800 lb-ft with the auto 'box. However, the manual's outputs are limited to a maximum of 350 hp and 660 lb-ft. An in-between 6.4-liter gas V8 is added in 2014 with 410 hp and a six-speed auto 'box.

5.7L Natural Gas/CNG OHV Hemi V8
383 hp | 400 lb-ft
383 hp
400 lb-ft
Five-/six-speed automatic

The 5.7-liter derivative of the well-known Hemi gas V8 sits under the hood of the 2010 Ram 2500, and since its 2003 introduction, it's been refined and updated, here sporting variable valve timing and a variable-length intake manifold for more power and a flatter torque curve. In this application, it does without the often troublesome Multi-Displacement System (MDS), Chrysler's cylinder-deactivation technology. In the 2010 Ram 2500, the engine develops 383 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, mated exclusively with a Chrysler 545RFE five-speed automatic transmission and with a choice between rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. It offers respectable performance, propelling a 4WD Ram 2500 to 60 mph in little over eight seconds. The 2012 Ram 2500 has a new 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The 2013 version of this engine can also run on compressed natural gas (CNG) but is only available with the Tradesman or SLT trims; in 2016, this availability is expanded to various other cab and drivetrain configurations.

The Hemi is reliable, but early engines in the 4th-gen Ram 2500 tended to suffer quite a bit of hydraulic lifter collapse, while other valve gear-related problems, such as failing rocker arms and cam followers, also occur from time to time.

6.4L V8 Gas OHV Hemi (2014-2018)
410 hp | 429 lb-ft
410 hp
429 lb-ft
X speed automatic/manual

For buyers who want a gas engine but for whom the base 5.7 is just not powerful enough, a 6.4-liter version of the Hemi V8 joins the lineup for the 2014 model year as an additional choice, offering 27 hp and 29 lb-ft more than the 5.7. It is just a larger version of the same engine and offers buyers more power in the 2500 without upgrading to the expensive diesel. The 6.4 is an available upgrade engine on all trims that comes with the 5.7 by default, except for the Power Wagons, which switch to the 6.4 only when it arrived in 2014, with the 5.7 no longer an option. One important difference is that, unlike the 5.7, the 6.4 comes with the fuel-saving MDS that deactivates half of the cylinders under light loads. Unfortunately, this system is not always reliable.

6.7L Turbocharged Diesel OHV Cummins ISB
350/370 hp | 610/650/660/800 lb-ft
350/370 hp
610/650/660/800 lb-ft
Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

The OHV 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbo-diesel engine used in the 4th-gen Ram 2500 is a real hard-working truck engine that started life as the Cummins B Series in 1984 before being updated to become the ISB engine in 1998. It has features such as a closed-deck cast-iron engine block, common-rail high-pressure direct diesel injection, four valves per cylinder actuated by pushrods, a forged crankshaft with seven main bearings, a variable-geometry Holset Engineering turbocharger, a huge oil capacity of three gallons for optimum lubrication and cooling, and a maintenance-free camshaft drive by gear and not by chain or belt. At launch in the 2010 Dodge Ram 2500, it developed 350 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque when mated to the Chrysler 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission; with the Mercedes G56 six-speed manual transmission, torque output is capped at 610 lb-ft. It gets a standard exhaust brake to help slow down the rig if you're towing or hauling a load, and it is available with both RWD and 4WD.

For the 2011 model year, the torque output of the manual is increased from 610 to 650 lb-ft, and for the automatic, from 650 lb-ft to 800 lb-ft, with the 350-hp power output remaining the same. While the engine passed emissions legislation up to 2012 without a selective catalyst reduction (SCR) after-treatment system requiring diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), such a system is added to comply with federal regulations for the 2013 model year, while other revisions at the same time see power output increase to 370 hp with the automatic, remaining 350 hp in the manual. Torque with the manual increases to 660 lb-ft, and that of the automatic remains at 800 lb-ft.

It's a tough unit, but occasional turbocharger and head-gasket problems may crop up if it hasn't been looked after well, and because it lacks hydraulic valve lifters, you have to remember to have the valve clearances adjusted at set intervals.

2011-2018 4th Gen Ram 2500 Real MPG

The EPA does not test heavy-duty trucks such as the Ram 2500 and provides no fuel-economy estimates for it. However, many truck owners share their real-world results with various independent websites, so we can get a fair indication of what the Ram 2500 is capable of. In the consumption ranges provided, the best figures are usually achieved on the highway and the worst ones about town and when hauling or towing. With the 5.7-liter naturally aspirated gas V8, average fuel consumption hovers between a best of 16 mpg and a worst of 9 mpg. The 6.4-liter gas engine is not noticeably heavier on fuel and has similar figures as the 5.7, with most owners dotted around the 13-14-mpg mark. The 6.7-liter turbo-diesel engine fares substantially better with best and worst figures of 18 and 12 mpg, respectively. Models with a six-foot-four box have a fuel-tank capacity of 34 gallons, and models with the eight-foot box can hold 35 gallons.

EPA mpg (city/highway/combined)Real-world combined mpg*
5.7 V8 naturally aspirated gas five-speed automatic 2WD (2010-2011)N/AN/A
5.7 V8 naturally aspirated five-speed automatic 4WD (2010-2011)N/AN/A
5.7 V8 naturally aspirated gas six-speed automatic 2WD (2012-2018)N/AN/A
5.7 V8 naturally aspirated six-speed automatic 4WD (2012-2018)N/AN/A
6.4 V8 naturally aspirated gas six-speed automatic 2WD (2014-2018)N/AN/A
6.4 V8 naturally aspirated six-speed automatic 4WD (2014-2018)N/AN/A
6.7 inline-six turbo-diesel six-speed manual 2WD (2010-2018)N/AN/A
6.7 inline-six turbo-diesel six-speed automatic 2WD (2010-2018)N/AN/A
6.7 inline-six turbo-diesel six-speed manual 4WD (2010-2018)N/AN/A
6.7 inline-six turbo-diesel six-speed automatic 4WD (2010-2018)N/AN/A

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.


The only standard safety features on the 2010 Ram 2500 are automatic halogen headlights, all-disc brakes with ABS, tire-pressure monitoring, and six airbags, including side curtains. All trims from SLT and up have remote keyless entry, but it was optional on the ST. All trims but the ST had access to an optional rearview camera, so check whether this is fitted. The Lone Star/Big Horn and Laramie have an auto-dimming rearview mirror as standard, and the Laramie also adds a security alarm and rear parking sensors. The security alarm was optional on all trims but the ST. A trailer-brake controller was optional on all trims but the Lone Star/Big Horn, TRX, and Power Wagon, on which it was standard. For the 2011 model year, the Ram 2500 sheds its Dodge branding and gains more safety features, notably that trailer-brake controller, which becomes standard on all trims save the ST, on which it remains optional, while the auto-dimming rearview mirror becomes standard on all trims from Lone Star/Big Horn and up, and optionally available on SLT.

The 2012 Laramie Longhorn has a rearview camera and rear parking sensors as standard, and the entire 2012 lineup has standard stability control on all trims. All 2013 Laramie trims have a backup camera and automatic high beams as standard and gain access to optional rain-sensing windshield wipers. A backup camera becomes available on all trims, whereas it was previously unavailable on base trims. Both the Outdoorsman and Laramie trims gain auto-dimming side mirrors in 2013 as well. The 2015 Power Wagons have standard hill-descent control, and the 2015 Laramie Limited has standard rain-sensing wipers and automatic high beams. All 2016 Laramie trims have front and rear parking sensors. As per federal regulations, a backup camera is standard on all 2018 trims.

The 2010-2012 Ram 2500 fared rather poorly in crash testing, garnering only two stars out of five for the frontal crash and three stars overall. The side crash resulted in a full five stars and the 2WD scored four out of five for the rollover test, one star more than the 4WD. Things improved considerably with the 2013 facelift's stronger structure, and frontal crash was now rated a far more acceptable four stars, hoisting the overall score to four stars as well.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

2010-2012 Regular Cab, Crew Cab, Mega Cab 2WD

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

2010-2012 Regular Cab, Crew Cab, Mega Cab 4WD

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

2013-2018 Regular Cab, Crew Cab, Mega Cab 2WD

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

2013-2018 Regular Cab, Crew Cab, Mega Cab 4WD

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

4th Gen Ram 2500 Trims

The trims in the 2010 Dodge Ram's launch range are ST, SLT, Lone Star/Big Horn, TRX, Power Wagon, and Laramie. Sometimes seen as a trim, the Lone Star/Big Horn package can be applied to the SLT trim only. TRX and Power Wagon are also essentially packages for certain SLT configurations. The Regular Cab comes with an eight-foot box only, and the Crew Cab offers a choice of eight-foot or six-foot-four boxes. The Mega Cab comes with the shorter box only. The Ram 2500 was badged a Dodge for the 2010 model year, before it was rebranded as a Ram only from 2011, dropping the Dodge name and the TRX trim at the same time while gaining the Outdoorsman trim. A more luxurious Laramie Longhorn arrives for 2012, and the Power Wagon package is also made available on the ST and Laramie trims. The Tradesman trim arrives for 2013, but is basically just a renamed ST.

The below trim descriptions should be read with the understanding that each successive trim already has all the equipment listed under the previous trim, unless otherwise indicated. Keep in mind that there is a multitude of optional packages available and these changed annually, so carefully check out a used Ram 2500 to see what exactly it is equipped with.

There were a few limited editions, if not as many as were offered on the Ram 1500:

  • 2017 Night edition. Launched on both Ram 2500 and 3500 HD trucks, the Night edition features black for the grille surround, light bezels, badging, 20-inch alloys, and (optional) running boards. The only paint colors are silver, white, black, red, and Granite Crystal. Inside, it gets black leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, and power-adjustable pedals. They were only available as Crew Cabs and with any of the three available engines.
  • 2018 Limited Tungsten edition. Based on the flagship Laramie Limited, the Tungsten has everything the Limited has, in addition to special Natura Plus two-tone Frost/Indigo leather upholstery, a suede headliner, genuine wood trim, and the Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system with smartphone integration and SiriusXM Guardian. On the outside, it has black headlight bezels, color-coded exterior trim, 20-inch Satin alloy wheels, and a Tungsten Chrome grille with large RAM lettering.
  • 2018 Laramie Longhorn Southfork edition. Essentially an appearance package applied to the Laramie Longhorn, the Southfork edition adds wheel-to-wheel sidesteps, 20-inch alloy wheels, two-tone exterior paintwork, two-tone Nature Plus Frost/Canyon Brown leather seats, a Light Graystone suede headliner, metal accents, leather-trimmed grab handles on the A and B pillars, and ashwood trim.
  • 2018 Lone Star Silver edition. Essentially an appearance package based on the Lone Star, the Silver edition gets a unique wire-mesh grille, chrome finish for the mirror caps, 20-inch alloys, door handles, and full-length side steps. It came in all three engine choices and in either 2WD or 4WD, but only in the Crew Cab body.

Because there are so many model years and ever-changing trims, here are the most important annual 4th-generation Ram 2500 changes:


  • Launches as a Dodge Ram 2500


  • Loses the Dodge branding and becomes a Ram 2500 only
  • TRX trim dropped
  • Outdoorsman trim added
  • A spray-in bedliner becomes optionally available for all trims


  • 5.7-liter gas V8s get a new six-speed automatic transmission
  • RamBox bed-side compartments made available for the six-foot-four bed
  • Stability control becomes standard
  • Laramie Longhorn trim launched
  • Power Wagon package available on ST and Laramie trims


  • Facelift applied to the entire lineup
  • The stronger frame from the Ram 3500 is now used on the 2500
  • Power of Cummins turbo-diesel engine increased, and DEF system added
  • Next-generation Uconnect radio/infotainment systems fitted
  • Tradesman base trim added; it's essentially a renamed ST
  • Power Wagon Tradesman and Power Wagon Laramie added


  • Coils replace the leaf springs previously used on the rear axle
  • Auto-leveling rear air suspension made available on all trims except the Power Wagons
  • Arrival of new 6.4-liter Hemi gas V8 engine
  • Integrated fifth wheel/gooseneck trailer preparation newly available


  • Laramie Limited trim launched


  • 5.7-liter CNG V8 availability expanded to more trims and body styles


  • Sport Appearance Group package becomes available
  • Limited Tungsten edition becomes available
  • 4x4 Off-Road package becomes available on all trims
  • A five-micron cabin air filter becomes standard on all trims
  • Night Edition launched


  • A backup camera is now standard on all trims
  • Uconnect 8.4 infotainment touchscreen updated with better resolution
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot optional on Uconnect 8.4
  • Limited Tungsten Edition launched
  • Longhorn Southfork Edition launched
  • Lone Star Silver Edition launched
  • Last model year

Here is a breakdown of all the separate trims:

2010 - 2012
5.7-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline six
Six-speed manual or five-/six-speed automatic

The 2010 base ST is offered with either engine and in Regular or Crew Cab body styles. Tow hooks are standard on diesel models. Standard equipment includes automatic halogen headlights, plain 17-inch steel wheels, a Class IV hitch receiver, a manual transfer case on the 4WD, a lockable and removable tailgate, black manually adjustable and folding side mirrors, tire-pressure monitoring, front stabilizer bar, dual automatic halogen headlights, manual key entry, manual door locks, manual windows on the Regular Cab, power windows on the Crew Cab, vinyl flooring and seat upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench, a folding rear bench on the Crew Cab, a manually tilting steering column, a rev counter, an anti-theft immobilizer, air-conditioning, a 12V auxiliary power outlet, and an MP3-capable AM/FM radio with an audio jack, a CD player, and six speakers. Only the diesel ST gets the EVIC vehicle-information display in the gauge cluster as standard. The 2012 ST gained access to the optional Power Wagon package.

2013 - 2018
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

The Tradesman is the base trim for the facelifted 2013 Ram 2500 and takes over from the 2012 ST with essentially the same basic specifications. It does, however, additionally get a 3.5-inch color vehicle-information display between the main gauges and gets an updated Uconnect 3.0 AM/FM radio with a USB port, auxiliary jack, and a five-inch touchscreen. The 2015 Tradesman had access to work-grade heavy-duty vinyl upholstery, so you'll have to check whether that box has been ticked.

2011 - 2016
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or five-/six-speed automatic

The Outdoorsman is new for 2011 in all three body styles and is little more than another option package added to the SLT trim; as its name implies, it's meant for outdoor enthusiasts who like to tow, although it's available with both 2WD and 4WD. Over and above the SLT, it gets as standard the polished 17-inch alloys with oversized all-terrain tires, wheel-arch flares, two-tone paintwork, a limited-slip rear differential, tow hooks, foglights, a body-color grille surround, a 115-volt power outlet, remote engine start (automatic transmission only), an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, a ten-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, and a security alarm.

The 2013 Outdoorsman and up have power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, a seven-inch color TFT vehicle-information display between the main gauges, a 115V power outlet, and a new Uconnect 8.4A infotainment system with all the features of the previously described Uconnect 5.0, but with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, an additional USB port, voice commands, and an SD-card slot. The 2014 Outdoorsman has 18-inch alloys. 2016 was the Outdoorsman's last model year.

2010 - 2018
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or five-/six-speed automatic

The 2010 SLT is offered with either engine and in Regular Cab, Crew Cab, or Mega Cab body styles. It has everything the ST has, plus powered and heated black side mirrors, chrome cladding on its 17-inch steel wheels, an electrically shifting transfer case on the 4WD, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a front folding center armrest and business console, a sliding rear backlight, and floor carpeting. All SLTs get the EVIC vehicle-information center in the gauge cluster, which is upgraded to a 3.5-inch color display for the 2013 facelift. The 2013 SLT gets the same Uconnect 3.0 infotainment system as the 2013 Tradesman, but with SiriusXM satellite radio added. The 2014 SLT has 18-inch steel chrome-clad steel wheels.

Lone Star/Big Horn
2011 - 2018
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or five-/six-speed automatic

Essentially a package offered on the SLT trim in the state of Texas only and only on the Crew Cab and Mega Cab body styles, the Lone Star is listed as a separate trim. It has Lone Star badging inside and out. It has everything the SLT has, plus a chrome grille, quad headlights, foglights, 17-inch forged aluminum wheels, a HomeLink garage-door opener, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, and auto-dimming rearview mirror, trailer-brake control, quad halogen headlights (instead of dual), and foglights. The Big Horn is everything the Texas-only Lone Star is, but was offered in all the other states except for Texas, with its own specific badging inside and out. Other than that, it has the same standard equipment as the Lone Star, and it is also available on the SLT Crew Cab and Mega Cab body styles only.

For 2011, an auto-dimming rearview mirror becomes standard on Lone Star/Big Horn and higher trims, and for 2013, they gain a 115V power outlet. The 2013 models also get a next-gen Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system, which is similar to the Uconnect 3.0 system in the lower trims, but with Bluetooth and steering-wheel controls added, as well as remote start (automatic transmission only). The 2014 models have 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sport Appearance Group package became available for the 2017 Lone Star/Big Horn and adds a monotone color scheme in a choice of five colors.

Power Wagon
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8
Five-/six-speed automatic

The 2010 Power Wagon is essentially an option package added to the SLT Crew Cab 4WD with the six-foot-four bed and the 5.7-liter gas engine. It has skid plates under its fuel tank, front suspension, a manually shifting transfer case, electriconically locking front and rear differentials, a 4.56:1 axle ratio, a heavy-duty 180-amp alternator, rooftop running lights, and an electronically disconnectable front stabilizer bar. Like the TRX, all Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagons have tow hooks, so towing problems are something of the past, whether you need to tow a vehicle out of a tricky spot off-road or be rescued yourself. The Power Wagon is the only trim with a standard Warn power winch with a 12,000-pound capacity.

Besides the TRX's standard amenities, the Power Wagon adds Uconnect Phone to its audio system with hands-free calling and Bluetooth. Keeping in mind that Power Wagon is essentially a package and not a trim, its features are expanded to the ST and Laramie trims for 2012, adding the Power Wagon-specific equipment and features those trims don't already have. It's all a bit confusing - when it's just called the Power Wagon as if it's a standalone trim, it's basically an SLT with the Power Wagon package, but when it's applied to another trim, it's called either the Power Wagon ST or Power Wagon Laramie. So a Power Wagon is not just a Power Wagon - make sure to which trim it's applied.

The 2013 Tradesman could also be ordered with the Power Wagon package's hardware, and this is regarded as a trim called the Power Wagon Tradesman, taking over from the Power Wagon ST. The default SLT-based Power Wagon gains premium projector headlights and LED taillights for the 2013 facelift. While the 2014 SLT upgrades 18-inch chrome-clad steel wheels, the Power Wagon based on it has alloy wheels, but sticks to a 17-inch diameter and gains the new 6.4-liter gas V8 as its only engine option, regardless of it being a normal, Tradesman, or Laramie Power Wagon trim. The 2015 Power Wagons have standard hill-descent control. The 2017 Power Wagon is updated with a new grille, graphics package, bumpers, and interior to recall the 1979-1980 Macho Power Wagon.

2010 - 2018
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or five-/six-speed automatic

The Laramie, available in Crew and Mega Cab only, has everything the Power Wagon has, plus chromed side mirrors with courtesy lights, polished wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a HomeLink transceiver, woodgrain interior trim, illuminated sun visor mirrors, leather upholstery and heating for the front seats (the rear seats in four-door models are vinyl-trimmed), a ten-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, a six-way electrically adjustable front passenger seat, a heated and leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Its audio system has a 30-GB hard drive, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, voice commands, and ten speakers.

For the 2013 facelift, the Power Wagon package's hardware could be added to the Laramie trim for the first time, and the Laramie trims also gains automatic high beams and power-folding, auto-dimming side mirrors with a memory function. Rain-sensing windshield wipers become optionally available on Laramie trims for the first time in 2013, and the Laramie gains the Uconnect 8.4A system as standard. The 2014 Laramie trims all get 18-inch alloys. For 2015, all Laramies get automatic high beams and rain-sensing wipers, and for 2016, front and rear parking sensors.

Laramie Longhorn
2012 - 2018
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

The Laramie Longhorn arrived in 2012 as an upspecced Laramie to which several features have been added as standard. These include Laramie Longhorn badging, color-coded bumpers, a spray-in bedliner, running boards, a rearview camera, power-adjustable pedals with a memory function (automatic only), rear parking sensors, remote start, front bucket seats with a full-size center floor console, premium leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and navigation.

The 2013 Laramie Longhorn gets the Uconnect 8.4N infotainment system, which includes everything from the Uconnect 8.4A but adds navigation, as well as SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, while gaining real wood trim on its steering wheel. A bed-lighting system becomes standard on the 2016 Laramie Longhorn and Limited.

Laramie Limited
5.7-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic

The Laramie Limited arrived for the 2015 model year and slots in above the Laramie Longhorn by boasting everything the 2015 Laramie Longhorn has, in addition to 20-inch alloy wheels, chrome sidesteps, monotone paintwork, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, keyless start, the RamBox cargo-management system, and unique black leather upholstery.

5.7-liter naturally aspirated gas V8 or 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel inline-six
Six-speed manual or five-/six-speed automatic

The normal 2010 TRX is 2WD and the TRX4 is 4WD; the TRX is essentially an option package added to the SLT. The TRX4 has a skid plate under its transfer case. Unlike the ST and SLT, tow hooks are standard on all TRXs, not just the diesels. The TRX has everything the Lone Star/Big Horn has, plus a limited-slip rear differential and a power-sliding rear backlight on Crew Cabs and Mega Cabs.

Fourth Gen Ram 2500 Features

STTradesmanOutdoorsmanSLTBig Horn/Lone StarLaramieLaramie LonghornPower WagonLaramie LimitedTRX
Auxiliary Audio InputSOOOOOOOSS
Bluetooth ConnectionOOOOOOOOSO
Climate ControlN/AN/AOOOOSOSN/A
Cooled Front Seat(s)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/ASSN/ASN/A
Cruise ControlOSSSSSSSSS
Entertainment SystemN/AN/AOOOOOOOO
Front Head Air BagSSSSSSSSSS
Front Side Air BagSSSSSSSSSS
Hard Disk Drive Media StorageN/AN/AOOOOOOSO
Heated Front Seat(s)N/AN/AOOOSSOSN/A
Heated Rear Seat(s)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/ASN/ASN/A
Heated Steering WheelN/AN/AOOOSSOSN/A
Navigation SystemN/AN/AOOOOOOSO
Passenger Air BagSSSSSSSSSS
Power Driver SeatN/AN/ASOOSSSSO
Power Mirror(s)OOOOOOOOOS
Power Passenger SeatN/AN/AN/AN/AN/ASSN/ASN/A
Premium Sound SystemN/AN/AOOOSSOSO
Rear Parking AidN/AOOOOOSOSO
Remote Engine StartN/AN/AOOOOSOSO
Satellite RadioOOOOOOOOSS
Smart Device IntegrationN/AOOOOOSOSN/A
Stability ControlSSSSSSSSSN/A
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsN/AN/AOOOSSOSO
Tire Pressure MonitorSSSSSSSSSS
Traction ControlSSSSSSSSSN/A
Universal Garage Door OpenerN/AN/AOOOSSOSO

Interior, Trim And Practicality

Ram 2500 4th Gen Interior Overview Ram
2013-2018 2500 DS/DJ/D2 Facelift Interior View

The fourth-gen Ram 2500 is a cut above the average HD truck in terms of its comfortable, plush cabin constructed from high-quality materials. Flagship models are positively sumptuous with all the wood, leather, and metallic finishes on offer. Addressing a shortcoming of the 3rd-generation model, the Mega Cab is a properly spacious double-row truck with seating for up to six and stretch-out space, even in the rear. The Mega Cab was huge when it launched in 2010, and its rear legroom of 43.3 inches is only narrowly beaten by even the latest fourth-generation F-250 Crew Cab's 43.6 inches. However, one of the biggest factors affecting the quality of life inside the cabin is the 2014 Ram 2500's coil-sprung rear axle, which adds that bit of polish to the ride quality that other HD trucks lack.

STTradesmanOutdoorsmanSLTBig Horn/ Lone StarLaramieLaramie LonghornPower WagonLaramie LimitedTRX
Leather Steering WheelN/AN/AOOOSSOSO
Woodgrain Interior TrimN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AOON/ASN/A

2011-2018 Ram 2500 4th Generation Maintenance and Cost

The 4th-gen Ram 2500 is not the cheapest HD truck to run, and it's expected to cost around $25,500 to maintain and repair over the first ten years of its life - some $11,000 more expensive than the average for HD trucks, partly due to the 80-odd percent chance of it requiring a major repair during that ten-year period. Minor lube services happen every 4,000-6,000 miles, but consider reducing that to 3,000-5,000 miles if your truck is subjected to severe use, such as in dusty or sub-zero conditions, towing, or idling for prolonged periods of time. Under no circumstances should the intervals be longer than 8,000 miles.

Fuel filters must be replaced every 15,000 miles, air filters every 30,000 miles, the brake fluid every 45,000 miles, the fluids for the clutch (manual), transmission (automatic), and axle/transfer case every 60,000 miles, the coolant every 75,000 miles, and the spark plugs and auxiliary drive belt every 100,000 miles. We would halve all of these distances under severe use or conditions. The gas engines have hydraulic lifters, but the diesel's valve clearances should be adjusted every 150,000 miles - or sooner if they start to make ticking sounds. Don't defer maintenance, and remember the importance of fresh fluids and filters on schedule. Failing to replace the air filter until the arrival of the "service air filter" message on a Dodge Ram 2500 is looking for problems; the fuel filter may simply impede the fuel flow, but a blocked air filter can cause a diesel engine to run too hot and overheat. A dirty air filter may also be accompanied by the P0299 OBD-II error code.

Keep in mind that, from 2013, the diesel requires its DEF to be replenished every 7,500 miles, whereas pre-2013 diesels under the old federal regulations make do without the DEF after-treatment system. The DEF tank takes five gallons, and its level is indicated by a dedicated gauge to the left of the gauge cluster. DEF typically costs around $50-$65 for a 2.5-gallon container, and you'll need two of them.

4th Gen Ram 2500 Basic Service

A basic lube service should cost around $280 at a Ram dealer or $180 at an independent dealer on the gas models. A lube service and DEF replacement will likely exceed $700 and $500, respectively, on the diesel. If you are going to do the lube service yourself, you'll have to buy seven quarts of the 5W-20 oil type for the gas engine, which will set you back around $70, plus another $15 or so for the oil filter. The Cummins 6.7 has a huge oil capacity of 12 quarts and, together with the filter, the total cost comes to around $210, all in.

A set of spark plugs on the gas engines is expensive because these engines use two spark plugs per cylinder, for a total of 16 that must be replaced at a time. They would cost you around $305 to buy if you're going to do the job yourself. An air filter on the gas engines costs around $50 and on the Cummins 6.7, it's about $90.

Fourth Gen Ram 2500 Tires

Power Wagon, Laramie Power Wagon, ST Power Wagon
Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
17" x 8.0"
Spare Tire:
Big Horn
Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
18" x 8"
Spare Tire:
Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, Lone Star, Outdoorsman, SLT, Laramie Limited
Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
17" x 8.0"
Spare Tire:
ST, Tradesman
Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
17" x 7.5"
Spare Tire:
Tire Size:
Wheel Size:
20" x 8"
Spare Tire:

Check Before You Buy

Here are all the 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7/6.4 Hemi and 6.7 Cummins recalls:

  • There were a few brake-related recalls:
    • 2010 and 2011 Ram 2500 were recalled to replace a power steering reservoir cap that may allow excessive vent pressures, causing the brake pedal to return slowly after it was depressed.
    • 2010 Rams were recalled to replace a faulty brake-booster input-rod retaining clip that may fail and lead to brake failure.
  • 2010 Dodge Ram 2500s were recalled to replace a faulty Wireless Ignition Node (WIN) module that may allow the key to be removed from the ignition, even if the gear shifter is not in Park. This was the only serious ignition switch problem on the Dodge Ram 2500 worth a mention.
  • 2010-2018 Ram 2500s with a column shifter were recalled to replace the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) pin and update the vehicle's software because the BTSI may stick in the open position and allow the vehicle to be shifted out of Park without depressing the brake, causing it to roll away.
  • 2010-2014 Ram 2500s were recalled to repair a faulty fuel heater that may leak and cause a fire.
  • Various 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 power steering problems led to recalls:
    • 2010-2012 Ram 2500s were recalled the replace the steering system's left tie rod assembly, which may break and lead to a loss of vehicle control.
    • 2013-2018 Ram 2500s were recalled to replace an incorrectly manufactured steering knuckle that may fracture and lead to a loss of steering control.
    • 2014-2018 Ram 2500s were recalled for repairs to the steering linkage because the drag link may separate and cause a loss of steering control.
    • 2014 Ram 2500s were recalled to install a reinforcement bracket over the front track bar's bracket because a weld failure may cause it to separate, leading to a reduction in steering control.
  • There were various restraint system-related problems with the Dodge Ram 2500's front and rear factory airbags and Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) programming issues:
    • 2012-2016 Ram 2500s were recalled to remove aftermarket Mopar seat covers and refund owners because the covers may impede airbag deployment.
    • 2013-2016 Ram 2500s were recalled to update their ORC software, which may register a fault during rough off-road driving and consequently disable the curtain airbags.
    • 2013-2015 Ram 2500s were recalled for exactly the opposite reason - the side airbags may deploy inadvertently due to incorrect ORC programming and impact-sensor calibration.
    • 2012-2014 Ram 2500s were recalled to repair and secure the steering wheel's wiring harness, which may short out and cause inadvertent deployment of the driver's airbag.
    • 2015-2016 Ram 2500s were recalled to replace curtain airbag assemblies because inflators may rupture or their end caps may separate.
  • 2013-2018 Ram 2500s with the power-locking tailgate were recalled to repair the tailgate latch, which may cause the tailgate to open uncommanded.
  • 2013-2018 Ram 2500s were recalled to have a clogged fire extinguisher replaced.
  • 2013-2017 Ram 2500s with the Cummins diesel engine were recalled to replace a coolant pump that may leak and cause a fire.
  • 2013-2017 Ram 2500s equipped with Katla 8.5" alloy wheels were recalled because these wheels may crack and let out the tire's air very quickly.
  • 2013 Ram 2500s with the 220A alternator were recalled to replace the alternator because the original one may suddenly fail, causing a stall or even a fire.
  • 2013-2015 Ram 2500s were recalled as part of a wider recall involving over 1.4 million FCA vehicles to update the radio software that might allow third parties to gain unauthorized access to networked vehicle systems.
  • There were several recalls related to the lights:
    • A small number of 2013 Ram 2500s were recalled to have the Central Body Controller reconfigured to correct improper functioning of the premium headlights' high-beam shutter, which may cause a loss of illumination or blind oncoming traffic.
    • This controller also had to be reprogrammed in a far larger number of 2013 models with the premium LED taillights because the turn signal fails to flash at double the speed to notify the driver when there is a turn-signal malfunction.
  • 2013 Ram 2500s were recalled to replace the engine cover with a different design because the original can trap excess heat and cause a fire. The recall does not specify the engine.
  • As part of an enormous FCA recall involving nearly five million vehicles, problems with the 2014-2018 Ram 2500's cruise control that will not switch off led to a recall of hundreds of thousands of units. P1593 is a possible OBD-II error code that may accompany a stuck cruise-control switch.
  • 2014 Ram 2500s were recalled because important warning lights in the gauge cluster may fail.
  • Only 41 2016 Ram 2500s with the Cummins diesel engine were recalled to replace a defective Engine Control Module (ECM) that may short circuit and cause a stall.
  • 2018 Ram 2500s with mirror-mounted backup camera displays that may fail were recalled to have their interior rearview mirrors replaced.

If there are excess OBD2 codes that don't fit in anywhere in the relevant problems sections, they can be bullet listed here:

  • P000b on 2010-2018 Ram 2500 models is an error code for the camshaft's position in relation to the crankshaft.
  • Here are some error codes particular to the Cummins 6.7 ISB diesel engine:
    • P0087 and P0191 on a 2010-2018 Ram 2500 with the Cummins 6.7 diesel engine means there is a problem with the fuel pressure.
    • P00af is an error code particular to the 6.7 ISB diesel engine and is a turbo boost-control error code.
    • P026a means the charge-air cooler is not operating correctly.
    • P02e3 and P02e7 mean there are problems with the intake-airflow measurement.
    • P0381 is a glow-plug error code.
    • P0471 is an exhaust pressure-sensor error code.
    • P04db is a crankcase ventilation system error code.
    • P1c54 and P1c55 are error codes generated by the NOx sensors.
  • P0102 and P2281 are mass airflow (MAF) sensor error codes.
  • P0141, P014c, and P0420 on 2010-2018 Ram 2500s are all error codes associated with the oxygen sensors and relate to problems with the engine's fueling, mixture strength, fuel trim, and catalyst efficiency.
  • The evaporative emissions (EVAP) control system may produce error codes such as P0452, P0456, P0457, and P1456.
  • P0463 is a fuel-level error code.
  • P020c and P0281 on any 2010-2018 Ram 2500 indicate problems with a fuel injector or the fuel-injection timing.
  • P0308 means that cylinder number eight is misfiring.
  • P0505 is for an idle-air control system malfunction.
  • P0542 in 2010-2018 Ram 2500s indicates an intake-air heater (IAH) malfunction.
  • P1193 is an intake-air temperature (IAT) sensor error code.
  • P0520 is an oil-pressure sensor error code.
  • P0602 and P0606 are engine control module (ECM) failure error codes.
  • P0218, P0707, P0721, P0729, P0730, P0735, P0740, P0750, P0871, P0935, and P09e0 are automatic transmission error codes. P0218 means the transmission's high-temperature operation has been activated. P0707 is a range-sensor error code, and P0721 is an output-speed sensor error code. P0729, P0730, and P0735 are gear-ratio error codes. P0740 is a torque-converter clutch (TCC) error code. P0750 is a shift-solenoid error code. P0971, P0935, and P09e0 are transmission fluid-pressure error codes.
  • P0704 is a clutch-switch error code on the six-speed manual transmission.
  • P0513 is an immobilizer-key error code.
  • P061a, P063d, and P0652 on 2010-2018 Ram 2500s are powertrain control module (PCM) error codes.
  • P0699 is an accelerator pedal position sensor error code.
  • P1004 indicates a problem with the variable intake manifold's runner-valve control system.
  • P1524 on a 2010-2018 Ram 2500 is an oil-pressure error code.

2010-2018 Ram 2500 4th Generation Common Problems

Hemi 5.7- and 6.4-liter Naturally Aspirated Gas OHV V8 Engine Problems

Chrysler has been building Hemi-branded engines since 1951, and the current iteration used in the 4th-generation Ram 2500 was first launched in 2003. Although it has proven to be a robust engine, problems on the 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500's 5.7/6.4 Hemi engine include valve gear issues and these may include lifter followers and rocker arms failing, as well as hydraulic lifters locking up. All of these problems cause ticking/clicking/tapping sounds from under the valve covers when the engine is running. Any ticking sounds whatsoever on a Hemi must be treated with circumspection and properly diagnosed because it is usually a cause for concern.

Failed lifter followers or rocker arms that are ignored will damage the camshaft as well. There was never a recall, so all Dodge Ram 2500 5.7/6.4 engine camshaft problems caused by seized lifter followers and other valve gear issues will be for your account. Early engines up until around 2012 were particularly prone to hydraulic lifters locking up. Problems are brought on sooner with neglected maintenance and the subsequent formation of oil sludge and varnish. Keep in mind that hydraulic lifters may make a ticking sound on a cold start until they have filled with oil, but this should not last longer than a few seconds. Exhaust-manifold bolts are also known to break, and an exhaust leak in this area will also make ticking sounds and emit raw exhaust gasses under the hood. It is quite a bit of trouble getting in there to replace one, so you might as well replace them all and pre-empt future failures.

The Multi-Displacement System (MDS) is Chrysler's version of a cylinder-deactivation system. It can be problematic, too, although MDS trouble on the 4th-gen Ram 2500 affects only the 6.4-liter engine, as the 5.7 is not equipped with this system. A lot of what goes wrong and why is still up in the air, but MDS can operate inconsistently due to MDS solenoid failure, causing hesitant and unpredictable engine response. However, it also seems as if MDS-equipped engines suffer from more valve gear problems, and it has been speculated that the deactivated "cool" side of the V8 that is left idle when MDS operates may suffer from more oil sludge and failed valve gear components as a result. It might be a good idea to exercise the engine regularly, so it heats up properly and runs on all eight cylinders to defer these problems. Again, frequent oil changes with top-quality synthetic oil are a must.

Mileage: Most of the valve gear issues don't become apparent before 50,000 miles at the earliest. The average reported mileage for valve gear issues destroying the camshaft is around 85,000-160,000 miles. The hydraulic lifters may also lock up from around 85,000-105,000 miles. Exhaust-manifold bolts can fail as early as 60,000 miles.

Cost: Lifter followers that have failed and damaged the camshaft will necessitate replacing all of these items at a total cost that may exceed $4,000. Adding a set of hydraulic lifters increases the bill to around $5,000. Having the exhaust-manifold bolts replaced will cost more than $800 due to labor, even if the parts are only $100. Should the worst happen and you have to replace an entire engine, you're looking at $6,000-$7,500.

How to spot: A Hemi should not make any ticking, tapping, or clicking sounds at all, and any of these spell trouble. Exhaust leaks and valve gear issues all emit these sounds, so have the problem professionally diagnosed. Exhaust leaks will emit raw exhaust gasses under the hood that you will be able to smell, and the ticking will get louder if you have someone block the exhaust pipe with the engine running.

Cummins 6.7-liter ISB Turbocharged Diesel Inline-Six Engine Problems

The 6.7 ISB is considered to be one of the most robust and reliable engines available in any HD truck, and it can last for 250,000 to 350,000 miles if properly maintained. In fact, many of the problems on the Cummins 6.7 in the 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 are DPF and SCR emissions-system issues and not with the engine itself. It gained a selective catalyst reduction (SCR) after-treatment system requiring diesel emissions fluid (DEF) in 2013, and the DEF must be replenished every 7,500 miles (see Maintenance and Cost).

The pre-2013 models before the SCR after-treatment system became standard do suffer more frequently from a clogged-up diesel particulate filter (DPF) because the engine has to run on a richer mixture to reduce nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gasses. This generates more soot that clogs up the DPF. Powertrain control module (PCM) flashes can be performed to improve the situation, but it seems that no amount of highway driving will prevent the DPF from becoming clogged at some point. The 2013+ models are far less likely to suffer this problem. Unlike some diesel engines, the 6.7 ISB does not use an additional injector to spray diesel into the exhaust to regenerate the DPF, instead using the existing six injectors to inject extra diesel, causing more fuel to adhere to the cylinder walls, which dilutes the oil in the sump. This problem can be circumvented by replacing the oil frequently, taking it easy while the engine is cold, and not idling it for extended periods.

The exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) system's cooler will also eventually give up the ghost, as it does in most diesels, and because it's so expensive to replace, many owners delete the EGR system, as they do with the DPF too. This has legal implications and will cause your truck to fail its emissions test. EGR problems may be accompanied by the P0401, P0403, and P049d error codes. Problems with the DEF system on 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 Tradesman/Big Horn/SLT/Laramie Longhorn and other trims with Crew Cab/Regular Cab/Mega Cab bodies and the diesel engine mostly have to do with the DEF pump failing and are reported fairly frequently, so check the dash for error messages.

In terms of the engine itself, head gaskets don't commonly blow, but it can happen, especially if the engine is allowed to overheat. Don't continue driving and have it fixed at once because if the coolant and/or oil level drops, engine damage is close at hand. Coolant and oil mixing also quickly compromises both the cooling and lubricating systems and will ruin the engine. The variable-geometry turbocharger caused quite a few issues in the early years of the 6.7 ISB, but is mostly sorted out on the 4th-gen Ram 2500. However, on occasion, oil seals may leak, the bearings may wear and allow too much shaft play (allowing the compressor or turbine wheels to contact the housing), the VGT blades may stick, and the turbo actuator may fail. These issues crop up more in neglected engines and are the exception, not the rule. Treating your turbo well by not making it work hard when cold, cooling down the engine properly before shutoff when it's hot, and replacing the oil frequently should prevent you from running into problems.

Overall, the 6.7 ISB is a tough motor, and the mechanical failures of the head gaskets and turbochargers mentioned here are exceedingly rare in well-maintained engines. The reason we mention them is because the engine works hard in an HD application, abuse is more likely, and repairs are a lot more expensive than on lowlier vehicles. Maintenance and frequent oil changes are very important, so you must insist on a full service history when buying used. The emissions equipment tends to cause problems, as they do in all diesels eventually, but in a case of a monster engine like the 6.7, everything is more expensive to replace. Neglected and modified engines are more likely to cause problems.

Mileage: A DPF may start clogging up from 100,000 miles. When present, turbocharger problems usually start at around 120,000 miles. Head gaskets usually fail due to usage patterns or overheating, not at a set mileage. There are hardly any Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins injector problems; these are reliable and last 200,000 miles. The odd turbo actuator has failed at around 70,000 miles.

Cost: If a DPF is beyond repair, replacing it will cost between $2,000 and $3,000, labor included. The DPF itself costs nearly $2,000, and even a refurbished one is likely to cost more than $1,000. Having the EGR cooler replaced will cost around $2,700. Having a head gasket replaced may cost as much as $2,600-$3,000. A replacement turbocharger costs up to $2,000, and a remanufactured one as much as $1,500; labor will be close to $1,000 in either case. Replacing a turbo actuator also costs close to $3,000 at a Ram dealer.

How to spot: A clogged DPF will lead to reduced engine power, poor running, slow starting, and fault codes. A blown head gasket may have many symptoms, depending on the failure mode. Some include a sweet coolant smell, smoke/steam from the exhaust, low coolant and/or oil, overheating, and engine failure. Turbocharger problems will usually cause power loss, a smoky exhaust, and whining sounds.

Transmission Problems

There are some shifting and acceleration problems on automatic transmission 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 ST, SLT, and Laramie trims, like jerking, slipping, harsh shifts, or inappropriate downshifts. Many of these can be fixed with software updates, so be sure to check that a Ram shifts smoothly and has had all its software updates. An oddity that some owners have reported on both the 66RFE (six-speed automatic gas) and 68RFE (six-speed automatic diesel) transmissions is torque-converter drainback, where the transmission fluid drains out of the torque converter into the oil pan at rest. Upon starting the vehicle and shifting into Drive, the vehicle may refuse to move for a couple of seconds before the torque converter fills with fluid again and transmits drive. This is not a fault but rather a characteristic, and there is nothing actually wrong with the transmission. The delay period should not be longer than a couple of seconds. The 68RFE is prone to bucking and lurching, especially when the tow/haul mode is engaged, with owners reporting that it behaves better with the feature switched off. This can usually be fixed with a software upgrade.

The automatic transmissions seem to be tough, but there are two provisos. The first is that the transmission oil should be replaced frequently. If you do any kind of hard work with your truck, at least every 30,000 miles. The problem of burnt overdrive clutches on the Ram 2500 with the 66RFE and 68RFE transmissions seems to be the most common and is due to wear of the tracks in the valve body and solenoid failures, both hastened by dirty transmission oil. The other proviso is that the engines should be stock and not modified, especially the high-torque diesel engine, because the additional strain can bring on premature transmission failure. A properly maintained stock transmission should be durable.

The Mercedes-built G56 six-speed manual transmission available on the Cummins diesel engine is good but it has its limitations, not least the amount of torque it can transmit while remaining reliable. This is why manual Ram 2500 diesel engine's torque output is limited to a maximum of 660 lb-ft - well under what the engine is capable of and substantially less than the 800 lb-ft it develops with the automatic transmission. Modifying the engine or increasing the turbo boost will likely cause the transmission or clutch to fail prematurely, frying the clutch or dual-mass flywheel or even cracking the case around the bolt holes. Make sure the engine is completely stock and that the clutch takes up smoothly. There should be no grinding when shifting - or any fluid leaks. Don't lug the engine at high throttle openings and low revs, as this puts tremendous strain on the transmission, and don't overload your truck or exceed the maximum towing capacity. Consider replacing the transmission fluid at the same intervals as the automatic's. Treated with care and, most importantly, used within its torque limits, this transmission can reach as much as 400,000 miles without any major problems.

Mileage: Pressure-control solenoids can play up at any mileage, and the average of a widely varying range sits at about 165,000 miles. Replace the transmission oil every 30,000 miles to prevent wear-related problems.

Cost: A clutch replacement on the diesel's manual six-speed transmission costs around $2,500.

How to spot: Transmission solenoid issues on the gas V8s' 66RFE six-speed automatic sometimes result in just one gear being available and a top speed of 45 mph. A pronounced "bump" when accelerating or releasing the brake on this transmission may indicate that new transmission software is needed.

Suspension and Power Steering Problems

Chrysler has been using an electronically disconnectable sway bar on its Jeep off-road vehicles for years, and one is also fitted to the 4th-gen Ram 2500 Power Wagon models. The sway bar is connected for road use to reduce sway and body lean and disconnected for off-road use to provide maximum wheel articulation and suspension travel. The problem is that this system's electronic control unit and actuators seem to be poorly sealed against moisture ingress, and failures are common. The system will either fail with the sway bar connected or disconnected and will refuse to engage the alternate setting.

There are issues with oscillations and vibrations due to the dreaded front-end "death wobble" suspension problem on the 2011-2018 Dodge Ram 2500, whether towing or not - something that is frequently complained about in Jeep Wranglers as well. It is a potentially dangerous suspension oscillation that worsens into a wobble, especially after hitting a bump, that makes the truck shake like a washing machine at speed. It seems to mostly affect trucks with the coil front suspension with a track bar. Replacing worn suspension parts on time and avoiding non-stock tires will reduce the likelihood of the death wobble rearing its head. There isn't much else you can do about the problem, as a newly designed steering system in 2013 seems to have improved matters somewhat, and it would be unaffordable and probably impossible to replace this entire system. Rather stick to a 2013 model or newer with the stronger linkages and redesigned steering. Take note, however, that the death wobble never went away completely, and things that may worsen the known wobble and vibration problems with the 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 truck's coil or self-leveling air-ride suspension include lifted suspension via lift kits bought aftermarket, non-stock tires, and other modifications.

Finally, despite a recall on this issue, a small, if constant, trickle of tie-rod failures are reported to keep occurring, so look out for loose handling, suspension clunking, and a loss of directional or steering ability.

Mileage: Sway-bar problems are not dependent on mileage but on water ingress. The death wobble is a design issue, not a mileage issue, but typically manifests most commonly between 35,000 and 65,000 miles as suspension parts start to wear. Tie rods can fail at around 50,000 miles.

Cost: Around $1,500 for a new sway-bar disconnect control module, before labor.

How to spot: If the sway-bar system won't reconnect the sway bar for highway driving, the handling is soggy and all at sea, while a sway bar that won't disengage for off-road travel will reduce comfort and traction. There is also likely to be a dash warning alerting you of a failure, and the system will not respond to you trying to change its modes. The death wobble is an oscillation that makes the entire truck shake at highway speeds and goes away when slowing way down. Test drive any Ram on the highway too.

Uconnect Problems

Although regarded as one of the best infotainment systems in the industry, there were many early problems with Dodge Ram 2500's Uconnect's voice commands, Bluetooth, touchscreen GPS, radio reception, software bugs causing inconsistent operation, reboots, and freezes. Problems seem to mostly affect 2012-2018 Ram 2500s with the Uconnect 8.4 system with navigation sold in Canada and the northeast US. FCA tried to fix the problems, many of which apparently stemmed from the SiriusXM Travel Link feature. A class-action lawsuit followed. Test the system properly and make sure none of the symptoms are present and that the navigation works correctly. Make sure the software is updated to the latest version. Keep in mind that 2013-2015 Ram 2500s were recalled to fix a vulnerability in the Uconnect system that may give hackers access to car-control systems. Make sure the recall work has been done.

Mileage: Not mileage-dependent.

Cost: N/A

How to spot: Uconnect system that freezes, reboots, goes blank, disables audio volume, cannot pick up radio stations, won't respond to screen taps, or won't recognize USB drives.

Water Leaks

Just like its smaller Ram 1500 sibling, the 2500 commonly suffers from water leaks through its rear window, allowing the rear of the cabin and the rear seats to become waterlogged in a storm or carwash. So if you notice the tell-tale musty smell of a damp interior, look there first. Occasionally, the water leaks in through the high-mounted third brake light, and a few owners also reported the cargo light's seal failing and allowing water into the interior.

Mileage: The water leaks appear from around 43,000-50,000 miles, but they can happen as early as 10,000 miles.

Cost: You won't pay more than $100 for the rear window's seals before labor, and having the high-mounted center brake light's seal replaced shouldn't cost more than $30. Replacing the cargo light's seal is more expensive at around $450 all in.

How to spot: Water gets into the rear of the cabin in rain or in the carwash, wetting and/or staining the carpet, rear seats, and headlining.

Less Common Problems And Problem-Free Areas

Although it has not yet been escalated to a recall, some defective TRW crash sensors and airbag control units (ACUs) may cause an overvoltage to be supplied to the ACU, in turn shutting down the airbags and preventing them from deploying. 2010-2012 Ram 2500s are affected, so be sure that there are no airbag warning lights aglow on the dash. Since this is not a recall item, you will be liable for the costs of any repairs.

The Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) is a central processing module that controls a huge array of the vehicle's electrical systems, such as the ABS, horn, starter, power windows, and cooling fan. It is notorious for failing on Chrysler products of this era, though not a very common source of complaints in the 4th-gen Ram 2500. There was never a recall for it, so replacing it will be for your account. Look out for random, unpredictable, and intermittent electrical problems that may point to a duff TIPM. The TIPM itself costs in the region of $500 and with labor added, the replacement job comes to nearly $900. The bill can increase to between $1,500 and $2,000 if additional work has to be done to restore the electrical system to good working condition.

In common with some other brands, a bad smell is one of the most common problems with the 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500's climate control/HVAC - heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning - system, but the heater core/AC itself isn't the issue. Rather the evaporator and other places where water may become trapped are to blame. The system may occasionally emit a foul, mildewy smell that results from bacteria growing in damp areas where moisture become trapped, like the evaporator. Buy an AC disinfectant spray and use as directed periodically to kill the bacteria and remove the odor.

In 2017 and 2018, there was an uptick in ABS braking and brake-controller problems on Dodge Ram 2500 5.7/6.4 Hemi and diesel models, so check for dash warning lights because this item costs around $900 to replace. If the hydraulic control unit (HCU) has to be replaced as well, this will amount to around $1,500 in total.

There were various recalls for the steering system and front suspension, so make sure those recalls have been attended to. Even so, there were reports from Ram 2500 owners of failing tie rods, ball joints, and other power-steering issues, so it's best to avoid the pre-2013 models that were more prone to these issues.

While the list of problems is dishearteningly long, these systems are quite reliable:

  • Besides the recall for correcting the problem with warning lights not displaying correctly in the gauge cluster and the potentially troublesome TIPM, there were actually very few electrical problems with the 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500's instrument panel, headlights, defroster, park sensors or wires, left & right windows, driver & passenger power seats, remote starting function, or fuse box, so, when random electrical issues present themselves, always check the TIPM first.
  • In terms of the body and external fittings, there might have been recalls for the tailgate opening inadvertently, but there don't seem to be any problems with the Dodge Ram 2500's RamBox storage system or door locks.
  • While there aren't any specific problems recorded with the 2010-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 6.7's throttle or throttle pedal, some owners have complained of a slow accelerator response.
  • The 4th-gen Ram 2500 has few hub problems, but Spyntec does provide upgraded aftermarket hub conversions for owners wishing to strengthen these components.
  • The interior is quite durable, and there aren't many long-term problems with the Dodge Ram 2500's seat upholstery, carpets, or other fittings. Extra-heavy-duty vinyl seat trim was a desirable option for 2500s used for serious work.
  • There are no more recorded front or rear brake problems on the Ram 2500 than on other HD trucks.

Which One To Avoid

The ST/Tradesman trims are rather bare-bones, and they are meant as work trucks, not family transportation. For a semblance of comfort and a decent feature count for weekends away with the family, they're best avoided. In terms of problems, the earlier models had the most glaring design flaws and are especially prone to the dreaded death wobble in the front suspension/steering, which was redesigned in 2013. For this reason - and for their considerably worse crash-test results - we would avoid the pre-2013 models altogether. The 6.4-liter gas engine is more finicky than the 5.7, too, as it is equipped with MDS, which can fail and bring on valvegear problems earlier. A meticulous maintenance record, frequent oil changes, and a complete lack of ticking noises or dash warnings are recommended if you are going to consider this engine, or else you're better off with the 5.7.

Which One To Buy

For hauling huge loads and towing massive rigs, there is nothing like the 6.7 ISB Cummins turbo-diesel engine. It offers better mileage than the gas engines, and it's available with a manual transmission. It can work and haul hard, but it is critical that it must be looked after well, as all repairs are expensive. If you don't need all that torque, the simplest and most reliable engine is probably the 5.7 gas V8, as it lacks the trouble-prone MDS cylinder-deactivation system of the 6.4. As long as the engine is quiet and well-maintained, it can do hundreds of thousands of miles. In terms of comfort and convenience features, go no lower than the SLT to get a decent standard of luxuries, but one of the Laramie trims would be even better if your budget stretches that far.

In terms of safety, only 2012+ models have standard stability control. Counting in favor of the Laramie is the fact that this trim has a standard backup camera from 2013. A 2014 Laramie turns out to be the sweet spot of the fourth generation 2500, not the 2013 model, as it benefits not only from the facelift improvements, better safety equipment, better crash results, and redesigned steering/suspension, but also from the new-for-2014 coil-sprung rear axle, which gives it better ride quality than any other HD truck without sacrificing any of its hauling or towing capabilities. It's the one to have.

4th Gen Ram 2500 (DS/DJ/D2) Verdict

There seems to be a theme with Chrysler products from this era being excellent in many ways but suffering from too many problems along the way. The 4th-gen Ram 2500 is a case in point, with way too many recalls, a poor front suspension and steering design that took too long to (partially) fix, and too many engine and electrical issues compared to other HD trucks. Our guide should help you tread carefully between problem areas and select the best trim and drivetrain for you. Just make sure it has been properly looked after, and do not settle for a truck without a full service history and frequent oil changes, regardless of how attractive the price may be - especially on the expensive-to-repair diesel.

2500 4th Gen (DS/DJ/D2) Alternatives

If you're shopping for 2010-2018 Ram 2500 you should consider these alternatives
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