Ram EcoDiesel Years to Avoid

If you are considering buying a powerful, fuel-efficient engine, Ram EcoDiesel is definitely a good choice. Ram started using EcoDiesel engines in 2014 in some select Ram trucks and SUVs. Dodge Ram trucks are a well-known name in the pickup truck industry, and the popularity of its EcoDiesel engines is at another level.

EcoDiesel engines are special powertrains because they use less fuel but provide high horsepower and towing capacity. The engine uses advanced modern technology that allows it to produce more power while using less fuel.

However, all the Ram EcoDiesel model years are not equal. Some model years have major mechanical problems and low reliability. To avoid potential problems and hassles, you should avoid EcoDiesel’s bad years.

Here are the 03 Ram EcoDiesel years to avoid:

  • 2014 Ram EcoDiesel
  • 2015 Ram EcoDiesel
  • 2016 Ram EcoDiesel

These model years have many problems, and they are not very reliable. So, you should avoid the above model years at any cost.

3 Ram EcoDiesel Worst Years to Avoid

Ram EcoDiesel’s 2014, 2015, and 2016 model years have the most problem counts, according to the user report. So, it would be wise to avoid these model years.

2014 Ram EcoDiesel

Ram introduced the new EcoDiesel in its 2014 Ram 1500 truck. Generally, most of the engines or other components in the new model contain some issues, and the 2014 EcoDiesel is no different. minor problems are sometimes considerable, but the 2014 Ram EcoDiesel has some major issues.

This model year has 14 recalls, most of which are related to engine problems. The EcoDiesel engine has a transmission pairing issue, and the transmission acts abnormally with the engine.

Sometimes, the transmission abnormally shifts out of drive while in motion, RPM without acceleration, transmission bumping during acceleration, or brake releasing. Apart from this, some 2014 EcoDiesel experienced cracked EGR system and crankshaft position sensor malfunctioning issues.

2015 Ram EcoDiesel

Like the previous year, the 2015 Ram EcoDiesel also has many problems. This EcoDiesel engine has 17 recalls, and the most common problems are engine, fuel system, gearbox, and electrical issues. Many owners reported that they are facing similar problems with the 2015 EcoDiesel even after the repairs.

This is because some of the 2015 EcoDiesel problems occur without any major causes. As a result, mechanics fail to fix the problem properly, and after repairing a problem, it reappears again.

This model year also includes malfunctions of the GPS and Uconnect systems, failures of the radio system, and different warning lights on the dashboard without any reason.

2016 Ram EcoDiesel

The 2016 Ram EcoDiesel has some improvements. However, this model year also has 11 recalls. According to NHTSA, three problems of this model year need to be considered. This model year suffers from SCR catalyst system failure, which requires a lot of dollars to repair.

Some other problems with the 2016 EcoDiesel engines are issues with power door locks and rear tailgates, airbag malfunctions, shifter linkage problems, and cruise control problems. Compared to the 2017 Ram EcoDiesel, this year is not safe to buy.

Ram EcoDiesel Common Problems

Ram EcoDiesel engines have been popular since their first model, but some model years have had significant problems that cannot be ignored. The Ram EcoDiesel has five major problems and a few minor problems.

The major problems include:

  1. Fuel injection system problems
  2. Cracked EGR cooler
  3. Turbo Failure
  4. Glow plug problems
  5. Oil cooler system malfunction

Some minor issues with EcoDiesel engines are TIPM, timing chain, and exhaust problems. Let’s discuss these problems and their solutions elaborately.

1. Fuel Injection System Problems

Fuel injection is a common issue with EcoDiesel engines after 100,000 miles. As diesel engines release a lot of particulate matter, they require regular maintenance. Poor maintenance is the main reason for EcoDiesel fuel injection problems.

Ram engine manufacturer claims that the new engines are free from fuel-related problems. But it is not properly correct in practical situations. A lot of complaints prove that fuel-related problems occur in EcoDiesel engines after 100,000 miles.

This problem affects the worst model years of Ram EcoDiesel. Routine maintenance, fixing the fuel line, and replacing the fuel filter in a timely manner are the only ways to avoid fuel-related problems in the Ram EcoDiesel.

2. Cracked EGR Cooler

Many users reported cracked Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooling systems and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) failure problems. The EcoDiesel engines come with an internal cooling system. Cooling system failure, cracked EGR valves, and antifreeze leaking are the most common issues with EcoDiesel engines.

These problems severely affected the 2014 and 2015 Ram 1500. Most reports show that old EcoDiesel engines are mainly affected by the EGR system failing issue. However, the new EcoDiesel hoses and poor cooling quality have left customers dissatisfied.

In a few cases, the software update and cleaning fix the EGR cooling issue. But most of the time, replacing the EGR valve and other components is required to fix the cooling problem.

3. Turbo Failure

EcoDiesel engines contain many defective parts that cause turbo failure. Some engines suffer from oil seal leaks, compressor damage, worn-out bearings, malfunctioning turbine wheels, and sticky VGT.

These problems ultimately cause the turbocharger to fail. Fixing turbocharger problems costs around $400 to $4,000. Therefore, the turbocharger problem in the Ram EcoDiesel engine is considered a major problem.

4. Blown Glow Plugs

NHTSA reported that some Ram EcoDiesel engines have starting issues. According to the users, when they turn the ignition key, a brief clicking sound occurs, but the truck does not start. The Ram truck’s starting problem typically occurs because of damaged or blown-out glow plugs.

White smoke from the exhaust pipe is the major symptom of blown glow plugs. Generally, Ram glow plugs last around 90,000 to 120,000 miles, so they should be replaced after 100,000 miles.

However, some problems cause the glow plugs to fail prematurely, including:

  • Unstable power supply
  • Damaged wiring
  • Uncontrolled voltage supply
  • Engine overheats

5. Oil Cooler System Malfunction

Overheating problems are common in many EcoDiesel engines. The problem mainly occurs due to ineffective coolers. EcoDiesel’s oil cooler started failing quickly because of poor or inappropriate design. If the engine was not maintained properly, the oil cooler started to fail at 20,000 to 30,000 miles.

When the cooler gets cracked, it overheats the entire cooling system and causes oil pollution. As a result, the oil temperature rises too quickly. The lifespan of the EcoDiesel engine will reduced due to oil contamination and overheating.

The oil cooler is cracked by the corrosion with time. Proper maintenance prevents the corrosive elements from accumulating in the oil cooler. If any leak develops, re-coring can fix the problem. However, appropriate maintenance and care is essential for EcoDiesel engines.

6. TIPM Issues

The Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) broken is not a widespread Ram’s problem, but cannot be ignored. Some of the Ram EcoDiesel suffer from this problem. A faulty TIPM causes several problems including, AC system not working, power windows malfunction, coolant fans stop working, etc.

So, if the TIPM is broken, take your Ram truck to a professional technician. A technician can fix the TIPM correctly by replacing the faulty parts.

7. Timing Chain Slipping Issues

Some Ram EcoDiesel have timing chain failure issues. Ram tried to fix the problem in their 2022 model year by replacing the piston and valve timing intervals.

But still, some users complain about issues with the timing chain slipping. Unusual sounds from the engine indicate this problem. Although the timing chain issue is not very common in EcoDiesel engines, the problem is essential to discuss. Because repairing the timing chain issue is very expensive.

So, if you experience unusual sound, engine starting issues, or vibration while accelerating, inspect the timing chain and take the vehicle to a mechanical shop before it is too late.

Best Year for Ram EcoDiesel

Although Ram EcoDiesel’s older engines have many problems, the later model years are highly reliable. Ram EcoDiesel 2000, 2001, and 2002 model years are highly reliable years. The 2017, 2018, and 2019 EcoDiesels are also considered to be the best year, but they are medium reliable.

After so many problems with 2016 finally Ram introduced the 2017 EcoDiesel with many improvements. The 2017 Ram EcoDiesel comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission and smoother riding suspensions. 2018 Ram EcoDiesel also comes with some major improvements.

In this model, Dodge fixes emissions and few other problems that make this EcoDiesel more reliable and efficient. Then 2018, 2019, and 2020 also continue the improvements, and 2021 comes as one of the most reliable EcoDiesel engines.

According to many owners, the 2021 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 is the more powerful, quiet, and efficient workhorse. The 2021 EcoDiesel provides 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. This powerful engine also offers 12,570 pounds towing capacity and 2040 pounds payload capacity.

The 2021 EcoDiesel fuel economy is 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. This is a solid combination of great power output and fuel efficiency. That’s why the Ram 1500 EcoDiesels are so popular. So, avoid EcoDiesel’s worst model years and consider buying the best model years.

The Ram EcoDiesel best model years are listed below (From most reliable to medium reliable):

  • 2022 Ram EcoDiesel
  • 2021 Ram EcoDiesel
  • 2020 Ram EcoDiesel
  • 2019 Ram EcoDiesel
  • 2018 Ram EcoDiesel
  • 2017 Ram EcoDiesel

Ram EcoDiesel Maintenance Schedule

As maintenance is very important for EcoDiesel engines, I mentioned the maintenance schedule for the Ram EcoDiesel engine here.

The maintenance tips and schedule for Ram EcoDiesel are:

  • Engine Oil: Use high-quality engine oil mentioned in the owner’s manual. Change the engine oil every 10,000 miles or 12 months.
  • Fuel Filter: When changing the engine oil, replace the fuel filter also. However, if there is no damage or failing sign in the fuel filter, you can use it for at least 30,000 miles. But must replace after 30k miles or 30-36 month.
  • Differentials: Change the differentials after 20,000 miles.
  • Transfer Case Fluid: Change the transfer case fluid every 30,000 to 65,000 miles.

Follow the maintenance schedule strictly to avoid any EcoDiesel problems.

Why is Ram Discontinuing the EcoDiesel

In January 2023, Ram discontinued the production of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel engine. The main reason behind the EcoDiesel discontinuation is that Ram is focusing on electric vehicles, like other automakers.

Former Ram brand CEO Mike Koval Jr. (2021-2023) says Ram is focusing on electrification and expects to launch a battery-electric Ram 1500 RamCharger in 2025. As a result, the market demand for used Ram EcoDiesels has increased.

The people who love diesel engines want to buy the best EcoDiesel. If you are also wanting to invest in a used EcoDiesel engine, identify the best and worst one. Some Ram EcoDiesel model years have numerous problems and recalls, so you should avoid them.

As the 2014-2016 Ram EcoDiesel are very problematic, they put on the avoid list. If you are on budget, you can consider on 2017-2019 Ram EcoDiesel engines. These model years are reliable and less problematic.

If you have enough budget and you want better technology and features, buy the 2020-2022 Ram EcoDiesel engine. However, before buying a used EcoDiesel engine, hire a skilled mechanic for proper inspection. Investing a small amount in a skilled mechanic can save you a lot of bucks in the long run.

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