Menu

1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles.

Top 5 Problems Ram Truck 1500 4th Generation 2009-17

Share on:

Top 5 Problems Ram Truck 1500 4th Generation 2009-17

Created on: 2020-04-11

Watch this video to learn the top problems facing the 2009-17 Ram 1500 truck.

Installation Video
Watch video

Hey, friends. It's Len here from 1A Auto. Today, we've got a Gen 4 Ram in our bay, and we want to go over some of the top problems that we found with this truck. Let's get started. But before we get started, make sure you click down here on this like button. And while you're at it, hit the subscribe, and ring the bell. That way there you'll be kept up with all of our latest content. And if you see something in the video that you like, or maybe you want a little bit more understanding about, leave it in the comment section below, I'd love to hear from you.

So, the first thing I wanna talk about is the brake transmission shift interlock. Let's get in the vehicle. Okay. So, let's say you just got to where you're trying to go. You put your vehicle in park. You want to push down on the emergency brake. And then at that point, you can release the brake and turn off the vehicle and get out. Unfortunately, a lot of times when people have an automatic transmission, they don't necessarily think about using that emergency brake/parking brake. It's very important to use it, especially in this situation. Inside these vehicles, the ones that have the column shifter, this one actually has a little switch shifter, but the ones that have the column shifter, inside of the column there, there's a little area that needs to...has like a mechanism inside. And what happens is when you step on the brake, it releases a little lock pin inside there and makes it so you should be able to shift. Well that pin inside there gets stuck in the open position and makes the steering column believe that your foot's on the brake, so you can just go from park, reverse, neutral, whatever you want without actually even stepping on the brake. Obviously, that's very bad and it's very unsafe for everybody. Okay. So, fixes for this would be, of course, to check the operation of that BTSI. You want to make sure that none of those pins are sticking and then it's definitely going into the shift interlock the way that it should. Of course, there are other fixes that you would have to do. There is a reprogram that you could do for the BCM on the vehicle, and that'll, of course, help things out. But if you have a mechanical failure, such as a sticking pin, more than likely, you're going to have to either get that cleaned or replaced.

All right. So, the second thing that I wanna talk about on this vehicle, and this is very common in almost all Chrysler vehicles. So, I wouldn't necessarily say it's just for the Ram 1500s once again. But this unit right here, this is called the TIPM, which TIPM basically stands for totally integrated power module. If you were to take a peek inside here, you're going to see all sorts of really great electrical stuff. You've got fuses, you've got relays, you've got all sorts of stuff in here. Everything in here controls something electrical such as maybe your wiper blades, your blower motor, your fuel pump. If you've got electric power brakes for your towing system. I don't know, power windows, heated seats. The list goes on and on and on. This right here, more than likely controls it. Unfortunately, with this particular application, it's very known to get moisture inside of this box. As you can tell, it's not very sealed. There's plenty of areas for moisture to make their way inside there. I mean, this cover wobbles all around easy-peasy. If you were to take a peek right underneath there, I can see all the wires and everything from underneath. There is no real ceiling to keep water out of here. So, if you were to go through a big puddle or even if there's just a lot of humidity and moisture in the air, you're more than likely gonna get issues in here. And if you happen to notice that your vehicle is making all those funny things, maybe you start thinking that your truck's just plain old possessed. You get out of it and for some reason, the fuel pump's still running, or maybe your wiper blades just turn on and off. You come out in the morning after you've been in bed all night and all your windows are down in the rain. That's no fun for anybody, right? So, if that's the issue, then this is where I would go, right here. The TIPM. Located right underneath the hood.

Okay. So, now, it's time to talk about a couple fixes for this. And, unfortunately, the first one more than likely isn't going to work. You can start pulling out those fuses, taking a little peek, if you see any corrosion blue or grime or anything like that in there, you could try to clean it out, maybe a little file or some sandpaper, but the odds that you're going to be able to clean out every little bit of corrosion that's in there, pretty much impossible. Also something to think about if you have corrosion in areas that you can see, more than likely you're going to have corrosion in areas that you can't see. Of course, what I mean by that is all the circuitry that's right underneath this unit where all the fuses and relays go into. If you see corrosion or something like that, where you start to get a little bit worried, unfortunately, what you would have to do is you would just have to go ahead and replace the TIPM unit. And if you were just going through that TIPM unit and you happen to see that a couple of the fuses were blown here and there, you could try to replace them. In my opinion, that's more than likely just going to be a temporary fix because the problem's going to reoccur.

The third thing that I want to talk to you about is cam and lifter failure, and that's on the inside of the engine so it's going to be a little bit harder to show you. But let's get a little bit more into it talking-wise. So, some of the symptoms for this is you might hear your engine ticking while you're driving, or even while you're idling. You're just sitting still and you can hear a little [Vocalization]. Maybe you've been driving your vehicle and you come to a stop fairly abruptly, the engine just stalls right out on you. Maybe you're shifting from forward to reverse or even from reverse to park, the engine stalls out once again. So, the most common cause for this would basically be you haven't checked your oil level in a little while and more than likely it's running a little low. There are also instances which are actually almost worse than running a little bit low, where your oil level may be overfilled. Maybe you did your oil change while you're on a little bit of an incline or decline, and for some reason, you thought your oil level was level, which it wasn't, it was at, you know, an angle. And so, you got the wrong reading. Then you get on a level surface, you go for a ride, the oil's overfull. When that happens, the pump starts pumping that oil around and it actually gets aerated inside of your engine. So, you're supposed to have good clean oil, getting forced up through that engine under pressure and it's supposed to lubricate everything. While with it being overfilled like that, as I said, it gets aerated and, of course, those aerated areas aren't going to lubricate the engine the way that it should. So, if your engine is getting hot and it's working super hard and it's not getting lubricated, what's going to happen, of course, it's going to heat up and have engine noises.

Okay. So, if your problem is just to hear a light ticking and you checked your oil level, maybe it was a little bit low or even a little bit overfilled, what I would do is more than likely I would just do an oil change real quick, get that level to the normal operating range and run it again. If the engine noise went away, you're doing all right. Just make sure you keep an eye on that oil level. Unfortunately, if the engine has been making a lot of noise for a while and it's increased to the point that your engine is actually stalling out, I'd say you're going to have more major issues. And at that point, you're either going to have to have a major engine overhaul, which is going to be costly and/or replace an engine.
So, number four on this that I want to talk about is cooling issues. On this particular vehicle, there's a whole bunch of them. They have a lot of problems with their water pumps. For some reason, they just like to leak. Obviously, radiator caps are a major thing with almost every vehicle over time. The radiators, generally speaking, your radiator will leak right along the seam where the aluminum meets onto the plastic because there should be a little seal inside there. And for some reason, the seal just doesn't hold up the way it should. And you're going to see green crusties coming right down there. If you were to look up at the engine, there's going to be some other areas that you could see. Along the firewall, if you look right up here, you can see where the heater core hoses go in and, of course, the heater core is located in the dash. There might be a leak in there. If you can't see any physical leaks, but your coolant's definitely going somewhere, that's a definite possibility. If you were to look at the radiator, you can, of course, see where the hoses go onto it. You've got clamps. A lot of times, these clamps will either rust and rot to the point they're weak, or maybe they're just kind of be offset a little bit and the hose can kind of flex around. If it can move around, it's not tight enough. So, of course, the possible fix for this would be to try to pressurize the system, make sure that it's holding pressure. If for some reason that needle starts to drop and you want to take a peek underneath the vehicle, you'll probably start seeing where fluid's leaking out from. Once you find that problem, you would want to go ahead and replace the corresponding part. Repressurize the system, make sure it's good to go.

So, the last thing that I want to talk about is right back here on the tailgate. You look down here, you've got these little actuators. Well, inside there, there's an issue that causes this not to latch in like you think it is, then you drive down the road and well, maybe your cargo isn't actually as secure as you hoped it was. Let's talk about it. So, let's say you close your tailgate. You're pretty sure it's latched in. You get in the car, you drive down the road. Well, as you could tell, this side right here isn't actually latched in. What happens is right inside this there's a little tab that's supposed to kind of stop the tailgate once it gets to the certain location that this is going to be locked in the lock position. Well, that tab's messed up in there and it just makes it so this one can't lock like it's supposed to. So, you close this, you think you're good to go, you drive down the road, your tailgate's jiggling around, you hit a couple bumps and maybe this one pops free as well. This thing comes open and all your stuff comes out.

Okay, friends, so I had a lot of fun making this video as always, and I hope you had a little bit of fun too. Maybe you learned a little bit of something along the way, and you want to leave it in the comments section below, that will be appreciated. While you're at it, hit the like button, subscribe and ring the bell. That way there you're going to be kept up with all of latest content. Thanks.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1aauto.com for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.


Everything That You Wanted To Know About Tires for Cars Trucks and SUVs

Everything That You Wanted To Know About Tires for Cars Trucks and SUVs

Tires have tons of information on their sidewalls, if you know how to read them. Watch this video to learn what it all means!

Search Videos
Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos to guide you step-by-step through your repair.

Loading...