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Dodge Ram Care and Maintenance

brnzbkbrnzbk Posts: 33
How many RAM owners out there have switched to synthetic engine oil? I just had a oil change at 3100 and I am considering going to synthetic, but I would like to hear some opinions from experienced owners.


  • inukeu2inukeu2 Posts: 23
    After 3k I changed to mobil1 10W30. It's only been one tank since and I have noticed marginal change in engine performance (02 QC SB 4.7L 4x4 5sp). I have in the last few tanks seen the mileage steadily increasing. I changed for the long term benefit. It has increased the oil pressure and decreased the engine temp from the dash gauges. I tend not to put too much stock in those kinds of measurements the accuracy is in question. So I'll look for long term differences. I did switch to a better filter ($12 Fram X2) and the oil at the warehouse club comes in a box of six for $22 (The exact amount that the owner's manual calls for). So for a grand total of $34 dollars I'm good for the next 5k miles. I'm sold. Good Luck
  • I have used Mobil1 synthetic oil in all my vehicles for years. I was sold in it when my 1987 Jeep wrangler (47K miles) broke a wrist pin and upon disassembly, the engine was so clean, it looked like chrome. The mechanic was impressed, and so was I. My ram has used Mobil1 since new, and it runs great. I highly recommend it.
  • I have been using syntheic for 5 years and never had a problem. You will see a perfomance increase and better gas milege. I have tried different oils and best one yet is Royal Purple. It's expencive but well worth it. It's designed for racing and keeps your engine temperature down by 20-50 degrees.
  • I have a 2001 Cummins powered 2500 Dodge Ram and have only one complaint - the incredibly easy to scratch exterior paint. Any suggestions about a wax or other product to help protect the cheap paint? My dealer says that the durability of the paint has dropped due to EPA restrictions on the volatile paint solvents in new vehicle paint. I question the accuracy of that answer because the paint on my otherwise wretched 2001 Outback wagon looked like new when I sold it recently. The Subaru Outback is built in Indiana and is subject to the same EPA restrictions.

    Other than the paint, my Dodge Ram is a real jewel and has become my everyday vehicle in spite of the fact that I bought it mainly as a business truck to move mobile labs in the oil field. Mileage is always over 20 MPG and recently has increased to 22 MPG. Absolutely incredible for a 3 1/2 ton truck!! If only DC could do something to improve the quality of the paint, they would have the perfect truck in my opinion.
  • My 1996 dodge ram 4x4 laramie full size in my opinion is costing me far too much in maintenance from: front end track bar to fifth gear trans. failure to heater/ac. module failure and other misc.repairs to the tune of $5000 in one calendar year
    I purchased this vehicle Sept/2001 mileage 60000 mi. currently 75000 mi.
    I am asking other owners for their input as to if this is normal and what I may expect inthe future?
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Does synthetic oil affect the warranty? Anyone get synthetic oil changes from a national chain, e.g. Walmart or PepBoys? How much is it? What kind of gas mileage improvement can I expect?
  • inukeu2inukeu2 Posts: 23
    Synthetic oil will not void your warranty. It meets and exceeds minimum standards specified by the manufacturer. Lube shops will use synthetic if you request it but you will pay quite a bit more $6/qt. Off the shelf it runs $4-5/qt. for Mobil 1 or Quaker State or Castrol. I think royal purple is a little more expensive but users swear by it. I've saved money by purchasing at a warehouse like Sams or Costco. A 6qt. case goes for $3.50/qt. and 6 qts is exactly what the manual calls for. I've had good luck with synthetics ever since I started using them. Don't expect noticable changes in mileage or horsepower but rather expect long term results that will require less repairs at less expense. Now that's not to say that I can't tell I'm using synthetics. It runs smoother and I haven't had any of the idling problems that others have posted about. Startups is probably where I notice the biggest difference. They are smoooooth.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Is there any suspension/tire modifications that I can do to my 03 Ram 1500 to give it a softer ride?

    I do very little hauling, no towing, and use it as a car 99.9% of the time.
  • It depends on the type of wheels you have. If you bought your truck with 20" wheels you'll enjoy the great look of the truck but suffer a stiffer ride. The 20's have a low profile/short side wall. This means the sidewall cannot flex as much as regular tires and you get a stiffer ride. With 17's my truck rides like a Cadillac. If you have 17's and the ride seems abnormally rough take it back to the dealership and have them check it out.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Mine has 17 inch wheels. It's a short bed regular cab, so I'm sure the short wheelbase contributes to the hard ride.

    Was just curious if they had "softer" shocks available.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    @980 miles I changed to Mobil 1 and a Mobil 1 oil filter.

    My trucks' owners manual calls for 6.0 qts., but it actually used closer to 6.5 qts. I guess the Mobil one filter held a little more.

    How often do other Mobil 1 users change their oil?
  • You might lower the airpressure a bit to try and take some of the harshness out. Shocks generally don't affect ride as much as they do bounce, or damping effect. I'm surprised the 1500 with 17 inch tires would ride that rough, but the short wheel base could certainly have an effect, especially in terms of porpoising on uneven highways.
  • Mralan, I have used mobil one in all my vehicles for the past 15 years or so, and change oil and filer on the average of every 5,000 miles. Used to do it myself till it became so difficult to dispose of used oil, so now I take all except the RV to Walmart stores where I am allowed to watch them change oil and lube the chassis. They perform this service for under 30 dollars. To do it myself costs me nearly 25 for a 6pk case of mobil 1, plus the cost of oil filter. Never had a problem in the past 3 years letting them perform this service...and I don't have to dispose of the oil/filter.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Yeah, my M1 oil change and M1 filter cost $61.00 with tax. I was looking to decrease that a little by going with a less expensive filter next time. What brand filter did Walmart use with your M1 oil change?

    My truck is running a little softer now. The dealer had over 45PSI air in my tires. Now I'm experimenting with 33 PSI from and 30 PSI rear.
  • My 2000 RAM 2500 V10 calls for Mopar ATF+3 transmission fluid. Does anyone know if ATF+4 is okay to use, my 2002 Neon uses this and is it just a newer version of the same fluid?
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    What is the story with the 7/70 powertrain warranty on the 03 2500 heavy duty Rams . I heard there ia a deductible what is it ? and what does it cover ? Thanks
  • amoralesamorales Posts: 196
    I just purchased a '03 Ram 1500 HEMI-EXPRESS Laramie quad cab with the ground effects and 20 in tires. I got the 70,000 mi warranty and the deductible is $100. Covers powertrain. Need to re-check warranty info. Love the truck. Have 220 miles so far. Am debating which synthetic to use, Pennzoil/Pennzane or Mobil 1. I live in Calif near desert where temps reach 105 deg. May start off with 10w-30 for summer and then switch to 5w-30 in winter....

    Regards to all truck loving people

    Babyboomer hot rodder since 1961
  • pizza442pizza442 Posts: 110
    Is what I read in the owners manual true ('03 SC 2wd short bed 3.7 V6 5spdM); factory fill and recommendation is 5W-30?!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Yes. The factory service manual recommends 5W-30 as well.

  • pizza442pizza442 Posts: 110
    Wow, I remember when GM tried doing that on cars for a year or two around '90 and then went back. I think it had something to do with complaints in the east about cold starting and I know it was an attempt to squeeze a little more in the was of mileage for CAFE. Trouble is 5w30 turns to water out here in the West. Would I be ok going to 10w30 in my 3.7? It won't see a temp below 60* until next October! I see that it lists 10w30 in the comparison charts in the owners manual, but only mentions actually using 5w30. If I am stuck, I will use a synthetic blend at least; just can't stand the thought of 5w30 in 90*+ weather on a 300 mile trip to Las Vegas!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The SAE temperature range specifications indicate that the maximum ambient temperature for 5W-30 use is 100 degrees F, while 10W-30 max is 120 F and the actual max temperature will vary from one manufacturers oil to another. The question is, is that a big difference.

    The real question should be, what is the actual viscosity at given temperature? It should not be assumed that any or all 10W-30 motor oils will have greater high temperature viscosity characteristics than a 5W-30.

    Example: using ASTM test method D445, the Quaker State "Higher Mileage Engine Motor Oil" in 5W-30 is rated at 12.20 centistokes at 212 degrees F, while the 10W-30 Mobil 1 Full Synthetic is only 10.0 centistokes at the same temperature. In fact, the Quaker State 5W-30 meets or exceeds any other 10W-30.

  • gmcbobgmcbob Posts: 27
    I'm trying to help my friend change the oil on his 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 w/the 5.9 liter V8. The new Fram filter (3rd one this time) keeps leaking oil after we run the engine. Has anyone out there encountered a similar problem w/this motor after a new Fram has been put on?? We're going crazy as we've already got the driveway completely soaked in oil stains.
  • loncrayloncray Posts: 301
    I've read a lot about not allowing Fram filters anyplace near a Ram truck - they're supposed to be junk. If the Frams are all from the same batch, maybe they're all bent? You ARE oiling the gasket when you put it on, aren't you? You also want to clean the mating surface on the engine really well - make sure there's nothing there to let oil out. Maybe just maybe that surface has gotten bent somehow?
  • dodger54dodger54 Posts: 1
    I just got a Ram 3500 4x4 with the Cummins Diesel 4 dr shortbox. I want to lower it by 4 inches so I can fit into underground parking lots. I dpn;t really carry heavy loads but I do pull a 5,000 pound boat and trailer. Any ideas for where to go for lowering kits? Thanks
  • loncrayloncray Posts: 301
    Best way to lower a Ram is to sell it and buy a 4x2.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I found this on a Dodge Truck newsgroup. It has a parts of a 2004 shop manual online as well as other interesting info for the Dodge Truck Line of Products.

    Paste this URL into your internet browser and take a look. Rick
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I tow a 5000 lb trailer/boat with a 95 Nissan 4X4 V6 pickup (only a few miles to the boat ramp, but it does fine and pulling the boat out is a breeze thanks to the low range 4WD, which doubles the torque at the rear wheels.)

    You definitely do not need this huge truck (Ram 3500) to tow a 5000 lb boat unless you tow it cross country. Seems to me that any Dodge 2WD full size truck with anti-spin rear differnetial would do really well with a 5000 lb trailer/boat load.
    You would have to replace the springs to lower your truck and I would not recommend this becuase you would ruin its resale value. Most of the 4WD crowd wants their truck to sit high off the ground. It is true that many people buy full size 4WD trucks only because they sit higher than 2wd ones. This is becoming quite fashionable trend here in central Florida where you really do not need a 4WD vehicle. I see people tow 16 ft boats with 4X4 crew cab diesel duallys, which is a joke. I happen to own a deuce and half Army 6X6 truck - maybe I should start towing my boat with it to make sure I can handle the load and be the attention gvetter at the boat ramp.
  • mettechmettech Posts: 28
    I change oil every 5K.. Used 5W-30 M1, but switched to 0W-40 yesterday. I "think" the 5.7 is quieter.

    UPDATE: My 03, 2500, 4X4, SLT, 5.7, 3.73, 5-speed auto has 21K miles.. Had a transmission flash upgrade 3K ago. It does not downshift as much now. Had truck weighed last month.. 6637 lbs!!!!.. Only thing in truck was a 5th wheel hitch.. Seems like a lot of weight for a 3/4 ton truck..

    My RAM is still the best new truck I have owned.. No problems as all.. Do wish I got the 4.10... $2K seems too much to change gears..

    Need more people to post reports
  • roper2roper2 Posts: 61
    I have 61k on this truck and a dodge extended warranty for 70k.Does dodge offer a warranty over 70k and beyond? thanks
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    I bought a 7 year 100,000 Dodge Maximum Care warranty for my wife's 2002 Neon R/T.
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