Is a 1996 Dodge RAM a good truck? Or are dodge known to have problems?

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    I just traded my 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 extended cab SLT in, and I miss it. I bought it with 8,000 miles on it in Northern New Mexico. I lived in Southern Colorado, and we have ice, snow, mud, and sometimes some sun. I put 170,000 miles on it with only a water pump, and at 160,000 a radiator.(over and above normal brakes, hoses, oil, plugs.) I had the 5.9, (360) with stainless headers, stainless 3" exhaust, 4 x18 inch tips, a Jet Chip, K+N airfilter, Ram Air hood, and Billet grill . Not only did she haul , she was running 81 mph at only 1800 R.P.Ms. and 20.3 mpg consistinlty . No rev limiter , the speedo buried at 4000 rpm, with the motor still pulling hard at 5000+. I ran two different bus and van transportation services in Colorado, so maintenance and better fuel economy was a priority with me. Coincidental, where I lived in Colorado, the number one pickup in the gas and oil fields was Dodge, followed closely by Ford. Chevy was a distant third, closely followed by Toyota. These were all 4x4 in our area. Lower down in New Mexico there were a few more Chevys and Nissan's, in two wheel drives. I have had 8 Dodge pickups since 1974, and would drive nothing but a Dodge. If you by the 96, change all your fluids, even the diff. fluids. Start fresh, and run some stuff called Z-Max, as the instructions dictate. After over half a million miles on the busses, vans, and the 5 Mopars in my family, I know it helps gas mileage, as well as extends engine and tranny life. Good luck..

    Source(s): 38 years in the automobile and M/C business.
  • Lilly
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Dodge makes a great truck. Any truck with 10 years of age such as the one you are looking at will have some slight issues. If it is a 4X4 there is a potential for some front end problems such as front u joints. make a slow turn in a full circle in both directions and see if the truck squeaks or if the steering jerks really bad. Another issue that dodge Rams have on their 4X4 trucks is that the steering gear boxes develop alot of play in them. The sector shaft in the center of it will wobble inside the gear box rather than turn in a perfect circle. This is due to something called frame flex that occurred on Dodge rams from 94 until 02. There is actually an aftermarket brace from a company called solid steel biz that can eliminate this problem if the gear box is not already shot. If the truck is a 2 wheel drive you wont have to worry about any of these problems. Dodge rams with the 318 engine run better with premium fuel. They will run with regular but hey have a considerable amount of pinging noise in the engines top end because of low valve clearance. However the noise is mostly an annoyance and does not harm the engine. Overall though Dodge is a great choice and Dodge ram trucks are great I have owned 2 a 1500 with the 318 and a 2500 with the Cummins diesel. I loved them both and neither ever left me stranded, even when they were up there in the high mileage category. Good luck and happy motoring.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes I had A 1996 Extra cab, with a 318CID engine in it. Dodge Red with two tones and Gray on the running boards, and Duel exhaust. I called it a rocket sled on wheels. It was a Very reliable Truck, I hauled all kinds of things in it. I put 185,000 miles on it before I traded it in. Never replaced Rear end, Alternator, Transmission, or Engine. The only Problem I really had Was the Radiator went after it had 165,000 miles on it. I owned it for 8 out of the ten years since it was new. I loved the fact that it never seemed to wear-out. it just kept on going, an going. I was sad to get rid of it, because it was such a good truck for 8 years. If I had not traded it in for my new Dodge Extra Cab, With a Hemi 345CID, with the Daytona Package, Ground effects, Bulging Hood, and a Spoiler. Then I would still have my 1996.

  • 1 decade ago

    I had a 1995 Ram and I thouroughly abused it on a regular basis. I am a volunteer fireman and I worked as a landscaper at the time. I regularly hauled 5-6,000# tractor on a trailer and regularly drove like a bat-outta-he** when on a fire run. The truck held up very well with one exception, I had to replace all of the rear-end bearings at 60,000 miles and from what I've heard, this is not an uncommon event for these years. Note: Mine was a 1500, 2500 & 3500 use a trememdously better DANA rear axle. This is from my experience. Would I buy one again? In a heartbeat, but beware it does cost about $500 to replace all the rear bearing at a dealer (would probably be less at a personal shop). Very good truck otherwise. (Mine was a 318 V-8 and very strong, would recommend)

    Source(s): personal experience
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  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on the truck,

    if it was well maintained, it should be a good runner.

    All vehicle makes and models have a few cars that come off the line that are "lemons"

    It seems that domestic cars do seem to have more problems than imports.

    This vehicle has obviously been around for ten years, how much longer it makes it depends on weather it had routine maintenence or not.

    Source(s): work in a dealership
  • 1 decade ago

    peersonally dodge is not a good brand i have 3 1969 dodge chargers 1 1995 RAM 350 2 new chargers and a new challanger on backorder all which have numours problems

  • 1 decade ago

    I've heard of some of the 99-03's having bad trannys, but my dad has a '96 that was a farm truck for 8 years before he bought it, and hasn't been treated very well since...deer hunting gets rough on my dad's truck...but it's been a great truck for him.

  • 1 decade ago

    Dodge is a great truck. i would rather have a ford but dodge a really well built, reliable truck. hey at least its not a toyota.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    they're great. just don't buy one that isn't over 5 years old though. they have been putting crappy rear ends in them that only last 10,000 miles...mine's already been replaced twice under warranty...must be costing them a fortune, but other than that its a great truck. i would buy one with the 318 or 360. those engines have had like 50 years to have the bugs worked out of them, they're bulletproof now.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Great truck never known them to have issues. Diesel is better running than gas in my opinion.

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