Ram EcoDiesel Reliability – Are EcoDiesel Engines Worth It?

The American auto industry has made an abundance of trucks lately. Some are great for huge loads, others for driving all day and thrive when taken off-road. Given the importance of pickup trucks to our lives, drivers must have the correct one that serves them best and meets its purpose. Ram trucks are a well-known pickup in history and the Ram EcoDiesel reliability made it stand out from the crowd. Everything comes down to choosing reliable brands.

Ram became its particular brand in 2009 after being launched by Dodge’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The market size makes the truck’s third-most-popular vehicle in the United States. After only the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado.

Put everything you’ve learned about diesel engines in the past out of your mind. EcoDiesel is the future; with higher specs and better efficiency. This article focuses on the features of Ram EcoDiesel that make it stand out from other pickups.

What Is EcoDiesel

EcoDiesel is a one-of-a-kind powertrain that gives you more horsepower and torque while using less fuel. It’s an improved technology that increases both power and output.

Since 2014, the EcoDiesel diesel engine has been used in Ram Trucks and Jeeps. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles first used the phrase for two cars. First was the VM Motori L630, the North American version of the A 630 DOHC 3.0L engine in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The other was a 3.0 Iveco diesel engine with four cylinders in a line. It was in the Ram ProMaster.

Ram EcoDiesel Reliability

Ram’s EcoDiesel design follows a review of fuel economy and emissions restrictions. The study helps to reform the car industry and increase performance. Moreover, this model only gets better over time. Read further to see how Ram EcoDiesel engines stood up over the years. Their generations show how the Ram EcoDiesel reliability keeps improving each year.

Ram EcoDiesel Reliability #1 – First Generation

The engine began as a concept built by VM Motori, an Italian diesel engine manufacturer. In partnership with General Motors (GM) for a proposed European Cadillac. The engine was made available in the Chrysler 300C and the Lancia Thema in Europe in 2012. When GM sold its stake, Fiat made VM Motori a wholly-owned subsidiary. Fiat was designing engines for Ram and Jeep vehicles in North America then. In January 2014, Fiat Chrysler became a new business company.

Ram EcoDiesel Reliability #2 – Second Generation

In March 2014, Ram fitted EcoDiesels into their 1500 model pickups. They were surprised by how well the vehicle was received and how much people wanted it. These were the first EcoDiesels that were sold in the U.S. and Canada. Even though it was a full-sized pickup, the fuel economy was remarkable.

From 2014 to 2019, this model of the EcoDiesel was a choice for the Ram 1500 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the first half-ton pickup in the U.S. for a long time. In the late 1970s, there were a few half-tons with diesel engines. GM sold these trucks in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ram EcoDiesel Specs

  • 3.0-liter V-6
  • 240 horsepower at 3,600 revolutions per minute
  • 2000 RPM torque is 420 lb-ft
  • It gets 20 miles per gallon in town and 28 miles per gallon on the highway (varies by car and engine tune – which you can learn more of in our guide on how many miles per gallon).

Ram EcoDiesel Reliability #3 – Third Generation

FCA announced that the 2020 Ram 1500s (5th generation) would have a new EcoDiesel engine. The Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiators also come with this new engine. This model has 80% new parts, including a new turbocharger, new cylinder heads with better intake ports, and an updated combustion system. Its new high- and low-pressure exhaust gas cuts down on the loss of turbo power.

Over the last generation, horsepower increased by 8 percent, while torque went up by 14 percent. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel towing capacity can pull 12,560 pounds and carry 2,040 pounds.

So far, people have liked the new EcoDiesel. “The EcoDiesel impresses with its quiet and confident tone, steady power, easy responsiveness, and smooth acceleration,” Autoblog said. Consumer Reports show that the Ram 1500 is still reliable in 2022. The EcoDiesel engine used the least gas out of all the 1500 models tested.

Ram EcoDiesel Specs

  • 3.0L V-6
  • 260 horsepower at 3,600 RPM
  • 480 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 RPM
  • It gets 21 mpg in town and 32 mpg on the highway (differs due to vehicle and engine tune)


The Dodge RAM

The Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee introduced Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel in 2014. It’s the first diesel option for half-ton Dodge Rams since the early 2000s. The Ram’s EcoDiesel engine has 260 hp and an eight-speed automatic transmission for a comfortable ride.

Overall, the Dodge RAM is a truck you can depend on. Like with any other car, you can avoid trouble by staying away from certain model years. Dodge Ram 1500 years to avoid are 2003, 2010–2013 (5.7-liter V8), 2014, 2015, or 2016.

2003 Ram EcoDiesel Problems

The 2003 Dodge RAM 1500 is often criticized for having a cracked dashboard. Even if it’s just a matter of looks, it gets so bad quickly that the dashboard cracks.

2010 Ram EcoDiesel Problems

Most problems happen when the engine turns off while driving. The amount of power to MPG is low. Other cars from the same year can do more than the standard 5.7-liter engine. It’s not good enough for a truck that’s supposed to be able to pull a lot of weight.

2014 Ram EcoDiesel Problems

The 2014 Ram has trouble with the new EcoDiesel engine. The first release of something always had the most problems, and this one was no exception. RAM issued 14 recalls for 2014 Ram EcoDiesel problems, most of which were related to the engine. Many owners have said that the transmission acts up in different ways. These problems include cold starts, noisy low speeds, shifting out of drive while driving, and transmission bumping.

2015 Ram EcoDiesel Problems

This model has been called back for problems with its electrical, transmission, engine, and fuel systems. The failure of the new EcoDiesel engine platform is still at the heart of these problems. The GPS/UConnect system, radio, dashboard warning light, and display on the RAM all get a lot of bad reviews.

2016 Ram EcoDiesel Problems

EcoDiesel issues increased in 2016 Ram EcoDiesel problems and led to 11 recalls. Trucks with power locks have problems with their tailgates and latches when they don’t work. This RAM had to deal with extra problems, such as airbags, cruise control, and a linkage for the shifter.

The Ram EcoDiesel reliability is important for people who want to haul big loads. It can move 12,560 pounds with its 260-hp, 480-lb-ft engine. The truck can pull more weight than the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The engine also lets you go farther on a single tank. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets good gas mileage, especially on the highway. On the road, Ram owners can expect to get an average of 32 mpg.

The Parts Of The Ram EcoDiesel Engine

The engine is built around a CGI block with 60-degree cylinder banks. The engine block bedplate is strengthened with four 14 mm bolts per main and eight 12 mm bolts. CGI blocks are big, but reinforced cast iron blocks are even bigger. Inside the engine are crankshafts made of forged 4140 steel, connecting rods made of cast iron, and pistons made of cast aluminum.

The engine also has aluminum DOHC heads with 4 valves and an oil squirter in each cylinder to cool the pistons. There are 24 valves in all. Each cylinder has two valves that let air in and let the air out. A roller-finger follower runs each valve on the camshaft. A roller timing chain drives the exhaust camshafts. Through a gear-to-gear mesh, each exhaust camshaft drives the intake camshaft. Low-voltage ceramic glow plugs make it easier (with a bit more context into how many spark plugs does a diesel have) to start up and reduce pollution (one per cylinder).

MultiJet II high-pressure direct injection is used in the 3.0L EcoDiesel. This model of Fiat has fuel injectors with servo valves that can handle up to eight fuel injections per cycle. The exhaust camshaft runs this pump on the right (passenger) front engine cover. So, they raised the fuel rail to 29,000 psi (2,000 bars). The exhaust camshaft runs this pump on the right (passenger) front engine cover.

Water cools the center of a Garrett variable geometry turbocharger (VGT). It stops oil from cooking and makes the unit last longer. A turbocharger with intercoolers that move air to cool is in the back valley of the engine.

Is The Ram EcoDiesel Reliable

CNET gave the 2020 EcoDiesel a score of 9.1. The company also gave the car a score of 9.5 out of 10 for how well it worked. The 3.0L EcoDiesel is $4,995 better than the 5.7L Hemi V8 that comes with the truck. The EPA says the engine gets about 22 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.

Ram says that its V6 is a “remarkably quiet, powerful, and efficient workhorse.” The engine in the 2021 Ram EcoDiesel is a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 that can pull 12,560 pounds and has 480 lb-ft of torque. It also has 260 horsepower. The weight it can carry is 2,040 pounds. The new EcoDiesel engine looks like a good deal.

Kelley Blue Book says, “The new Ram diesel engine is more powerful, can do more, and is a better deal.” There’s nothing better than that. When you compare the cost of the EcoDiesel to those of the competing engines, it’s a win-win situation for you.

Is It Worth The Money

Ram EcoDiesel’s reliability shows that it can last longer than engines that run on gasoline. Ram offers a basic warranty of three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of five years or 100,000 miles. The 1500 EcoDiesel gets 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.

Ram says that the diesel V6 is a very quiet, very capable, and efficient workhorse. Compared to other trucks, you will get your money’s worth with all of these features. The 2020 Ford F-150 can pull up to 11,500 pounds, while the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado only weighs 9,300 pounds.

Your 1500 EcoDiesel should last a long time if you keep up with maintenance, fluid levels, and general care. Several owners say that it has between 200,000 and 300,000 miles.

Trucks can be made to fit your needs. Ram has a lot of sets and packages that work with EcoDiesel. At any speed, the eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission shifts as it should. It can pull a trailer, is quiet inside, and looks tough on the road.

Ram EcoDiesel Problems

Since 2014, there have been clear problems that limit Rams EcoDiesel reliability and cause parts to break. The models from 2014 and 2015 seem to be the least reliable and most hit-or-miss. In 2016, they changed the model to make it more reliable. Also, the problems that made Ram EcoDiesel unreliable were fixed through longer warranties and product recalls. The usual problems are,

  • The oil cooler breakdown.
  • The EGR cooler breakdown.
  • The coupler is letting out exhaust fumes.
  • The gear on the camshaft is loose.

Ram EcoDiesel Problems #1 – The Oil Cooler Broke Down

Oil coolers cool the oil that moves through the EcoDiesel’s parts. When oil gets too hot, it breaks down and stops being able to grease moving parts. If the temperature goes 20 degrees above the recommended range, the oil will only last half as long. An oil cooler keeps the oil at the right temperature and keeps the engine from getting worn out.

The 3.0 EcoDiesel can pull 12,560 pounds, which is a lot. The oil cooler can break if you are towing a lot of weight or going through a mountainous area. Even if it has never pulled anything before, this can happen. The most problems were with Ram EcoDiesel cars from 2014 and 2015.

In 2016, they fixed a lot of problems, including the 2014 Ram EcoDiesel problems. Also, coolant can get into the oil, which can cause a lot of wear and tear on the engine. Because of this, oil pollution is a more common reason for a full cooling system flush.

Signs Of A Broken Oil Cooler

  • The engine being overly hot.
  • Oil in the coolant
  • Inadequate performance
  • When the oil cooler leaks oil or coolant
  • Exhaust blackens.

Solutions for 3.0L EcoDiesel Oil Cooler Replacement

The good news is that the problem was so common that Ram extended the warranty on the oil cooler for pickups from 2014 to 2016. The oil cooler needs to be flushed along with the rest of the cooling system. The OEM filter was hard to change because it wasn’t well made. Diesel IQ recommends adding an aftermarket cooler. The better choice is the CFT Performance Oil Cooler.

Ram EcoDiesel Problems #2 – The EGR Cooler Break Down

In October 2019, FCA recalled 108,000 EcoDiesel Rams because the EGR coolers could break and cause problems with the flow of exhaust gases. EGRs, send exhaust back into the intake system. This reduces pollution from the exhaust. EGR cools down the hot exhaust gases before they go into the cylinder charge.

The cracks let coolant leak into the engine bay, which is a common 2014-2019 Ram EcoDiesel problem. Also, 2018 Ram EcoDiesel problems cause the infotainment system to break. A broken EGR cooler can start a fire and affect how well the car runs in other ways.

If the cooler stops working, the vehicle may start pumping the hot exhaust gases back into the engine, which can cause the engine to overheat. FCA said that the EGR cooler might let coolant out of the engine through small cracks.

Signs Of An EGR Cooler Break Down

  • Cracks in the EGR cooler are signs that something is wrong.
  • Coolant getting into the engine from the EGR cooler.
  • Engine overheating
  • Exhaust gas leaks (hissing or tapping noise from the engine – you can learn more about it in our guide on gas leak in car)
  • The engine check light is on.

Ram EcoDiesel Problems #3 – The Coupler Letting Out Exhaust Fumes

One of the recalls for 2014 and 2015 Ram EcoDiesel problems is exhaust couplers that leak and make the inside of the car smell like diesel. Also, the exhaust pipe from the turbo is joined to the DPF system by a flex pipe or coupler. The ventilation system pulls the fumes from the engine into the passenger area.

Again, some owners say the cabin smells great, but others say the smells are awful or make them sick—couplers that aren’t well-made break when hot exhaust fumes heat them, which causes leaks. Furthermore, when connection bolts aren’t tightened enough, there can be small leaks in the exhaust.

Late in 2014, Dodge changed this coupler and called it back. A new coupler connected the turbo and the DPF system in Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesels. That freed them from problems like these. In 2015, FCA called back the engines made in 2014 and 2015.


Ram EcoDiesel Problems #4 – The Gear On The Camshaft Is Loose

A standard timing chain is used in the 3.0 EcoDiesel. The timing chain, ties around the sprockets on the camshaft. It makes sure that the intake and exhaust valves open and close at the right times. If the timing chain slips or jumps, the valves won’t open or close right. It leads to missed timing, bad performance, misfires, and other problems. When pistons and valves hit each other because of slippage, this needs to be fixed.

The passenger head gears on the exhaust side are held together by one long bolt. Heat and stress make metal expand and contract, which causes gears to slip. The gear will slip until the pistons and exhaust valves collide. When the timing was off, the exhaust valve blew through the piston, breaking the piston, wrist pin, and connecting rod.

Signs Of Loose Gear Camshaft

  • Misfires in the cylinders
  • Rough engine
  • Engine squeaking
  • The engine will not turn over.

Even though this is called a common problem, it is not as common as it seems. Due to all of these problems, a lot of people on the Internet have lied about how trustworthy they are. We’ve seen it happen in cars with as few as 70,000 miles and as many as 150,000 miles so that it can happen at any mileage. Ram’s trucks keep going above and beyond the competition, setting new standards for pickup.

Final Thoughts On Ram EcoDiesel Reliability

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has a few small problems, but it also has a lot of good points. Ram trucks have good body stability, good safety for passengers, and good electrical systems, which makes them good trucks to buy. Overall, the Ram EcoDiesel reliability is top-notch, especially for newer models. Ram 1500 drivers can count on their trucks to do the job perfectly.

Ram EcoDiesel Reliability Essential Knowledge

  1. The Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel engine was released in 2014 and was the first diesel engine option for half-ton Dodge Ram’s since the early 2000s.
  2. The 3.0 EcoDiesel was manufactured by VM Motori in Italy and produced 240hp and 420lb-ft of torque from 2014-2019.
  3. The 3.0 EcoDiesel faced competition in 2018 from Ford’s 3.0 PowerStroke and in 2020 from Chevy/GM’s 3.0 Duramax.
  4. The four most common problems with the 3.0 EcoDiesel engine are oil cooler failure, EGR cooler failure, leaking exhaust couplers, and slipping camshaft gear/timing chain.
  5. Oil cooler failure is caused by increased oil temperatures, which can be accelerated by towing heavy loads or towing in mountainous regions.
  6. EGR cooler failure is caused by hairline cracks in the cooler, which can cause coolant leaks and engine fires.
  7. Leaking exhaust couplers cause diesel exhaust to enter the cabin of the truck and are due to poorly manufactured couplers.
  8. Slipping camshaft gear/timing chain can cause poor performance, misfires, and even catastrophic engine failure.
  9. The most problematic systems of the 3.0 EcoDiesel engine are the emissions systems, and 2014 and 2015 models are the least reliable years available.
  10. Proper maintenance can ensure the longevity of the engine, but heavy towing should be avoided, and catastrophic engine failure may still occur despite proper maintenance.

Ram 1500: Facts You Need to Know Before Buying

  1. The Ram 1500 has a long list of unpleasant problems, largely affecting the 2013, 2014, and 2016 model years.
  2. The 2016 Ram 1500 is considered the worst fourth-generation model due to transmission and engine failure issues, with repair costs being high.
  3. The 2014 Ram 1500 model also suffers from transmission and interior problems, as well as power steering and suspension failures.
  4. The 2013 Ram 1500 model has issues with interior accessories, engine, steering, and electrical problems, as well as reported brake problems.
  5. Despite these problems, the Ram 1500 is largely reliable, and you can find a good example in the used market.
  6. Ram 1500 can last for 200,000 to 250,000 miles with proper maintenance and care.
  7. To maintain the Ram 1500, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, which includes regular oil and filter changes, brake lining replacement, and inspection of the front suspension, tie rods, and engine air filters.
  8. The average yearly maintenance cost of a Ram 1500 is $691, lower than the full-size truck average at $936.
  9. The Ram 1500 is a durable full-size pickup truck offering great value for its robustness and toughness.
  10. It is important to inspect the Ram 1500 thoroughly before purchasing, especially the 2016, 2014, and 2013 model years, to avoid unexpected and possible trouble.

FAQs On Ram EcoDiesel Reliability

Here are some popular FAQs:

Are Ram Trucks Reliable

Transmission problems and poor interior design plagued the second and third-generation vehicles. The 2014 and 2015 models appear to be the most hit-or-miss and least reliable years. A few design changes performed in 2016 considerably improved its reliability. 4th and 5th generations are dependable. There are no transmission concerns, and the interior quality is far superior to that of a similar Ford from that year.

When Did Dodge Start

The first Dodge automobile debuted on November 14, 1914, and by the end of the year. Dodge was the third best-selling carmaker in America a little more than a year after it began production in 1915.

First Dodge Ram

The Dodge Ram produced the first version of pickup trucks between 1981 and 1993. Although Dodge had been making trucks since 1917, the first pickups to bear the Ram brand didn’t appear until 1981 on Dodge models.

Are Ram Good Trucks

The Ram 1500 is indeed a great truck. Choose from V6, V8, and diesel engines to meet the finest powertrain for your needs. There is a wide range of towing and hauling capabilities in the Ram, as well as a smooth ride.

The Worst Year For Dodge Ram 1500

The 2015 Ram 1500 has the worst reliability rating, according to Consumer Reports. Although engine sluggishness was still widespread, many engines now had more serious flaws. The turbocharger might fail, and some engines required a complete rebuild when the cylinder heads needed to be replaced frequently. Compressors, air struts, and intake systems were all common sources of complaint among drivers. When a fuse blew, the suspension was stuck in one mode of operation until it could be serviced.

Best Dodge Ram Years

In terms of pickup trucks of the fourth generation, the 2017 model year of the Ram 1500 has shown to be the most reliable and trouble-free over decades. There are no transmission concerns, and the interior quality is far superior to that of a similar Ford from that year. You should be fine if you get a 4th/5th generation truck.

Are Ram 1500 Reliable

In terms of Ram reliability, the 2022 Ram 1500 dominates its segment. The 2020 EcoDiesel received a 9.1 overall rating from CNET. The business also gave the vehicle a 9.5 out of 10 for performance. The 3.0L EcoDiesel is a $4,995 improvement above the truck’s standard 5.7L Hemi V8. According to the EPA, the 1500 EcoDiesel achieves 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Remarkably quiet, incredibly capable, and efficient workhorse, says Ram about the diesel V6.

Who Makes Dodge Ram

It was in 2009 that Chrysler, Dodge’s parent corporation, opted to make RAM a particular brand for their trucks. That’s why the company differentiates between Dodge pickups made before and after 2009. It complies with emissions regulations in many states. Thanks to its diesel oxidation catalyst, exhaust filter, and selective catalytic reduction.

What Diesel Engine Does Dodge Use

The Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel trucks engine has been used in the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks since 1989. It produces up to 400 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of clean diesel torque. This powerhouse helps RAM deliver best-in-class towing. Eighty percent of Ram Heavy Duty truck customers buy their truck with the Cummins Turbo Diesel.

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