Top 5 Problems for Dodge Ram 1500 & Chrysler Town & Country 2009-17

Posted by Candy Lai on

Today, let’s talk about the common problems for Dodge Ram 1500 year 2009-17 and the Chrysler Town & Country.


<Common problems you shall pay more attention>

#1 The TIPM system problems

When you open the hood, you will see the Total Integrated Power Module, so called the TIPM down in the right corner.

The TIPM usually is responsible for controlling the electro parts and function.

Such like the blow motor, the fuel pump, the power window, and the wiper blades on and on.

You can imagine it plays an important role to control all the electro devices.

However, as you can see the box itself is not very sealed and you can even see directly the wires down below the fuse very easy.

So over time, the moisture is very easily to get into the TIPM box.

Once so, some funny things will happen, such like your wipers go on and off automatically.

Our suggestion is to check the fuse box periodically to make sure there is no any corrosion or dust on the fuses.

If any lucks, the TIMP box has the corrosion, depends on the serious level, you may need to consider of replacing the TIMP unit.

#2 The 3rd brake light leak

Similar to Ford F150 car owners, few car owners ever had the 3rd brake light leaking problem.

Typically the water will sip from the top of light and get into the back seat bottom.

This leaking problem will lead to the water coming inside your back seat bottom.

You’ll find there is water stain and the back seat bottom is wet.

Which is supposed not happened but the reason to cause so is the 3rd brake light has the original design flaw.

The dealer normally will replace the 3rd brake light with the brand new one if your car is still under the warranty.


 (the 3rd brake light)

(The water got into the back seat floor)

#3 The Cruise Control on/off button does not work properly        

Some Ram 1500 car owners occasionally will encounter the situation that the cruise control button doesn’t work as they want.

Not saying it completely doesn’t work, but every 3 time out of 100 times it may quit its job.

Though it’s not a very serious problem but it does is annoying especially to the people who usually commute on the highway.

They will specifically need this cruise control function on their road drive.

If you search on the forum, you will know it’s caused by the wire which connected to the button getting loose.

The fixing way is to open the socket, replace the switch and replace the wire underneath the cruise control button.

This is not a too difficult job. BUT, remember to pay attention not to mess the air bag which is seated next to the button.

Engine Oil Filter Adapter Gasket Jeep Wrangler Dodge Charger Chrysler 5184294AE - #HJ-35187-OILGS


#4 More failures about cooling system        

Before we discuss the most common problem of RAM 1500, I’d like to mention about the cooling system.

In the whole Dodge RAM truck cooling system, there are couple parts which are prone to fail.

Ex, the water pump is tended to leak for some reasons and the radiator cap may wear over time just like every vehicle.

Then is the radiator which the seal may fall off sometimes.

Our suggestion is to have a regular check on these components to make sure the cooling system can work well.


#5 The oil filter housing headache


Next, let’s see the most common problem happened to the Jeep 3.6L VVT engine is the oil filter housing leaking.

The excess oil will come out of the housing and leak down to the engine.

Very common situation is we over torque the bolts and cause the crackdown.

The proper torque will be 160 ponds (Nm); over torque with too much torque will cause the crackdown of the housing.

Before we talk about the symptoms of failed oil filter housing, let me quick recap its function.


<Engine Oil Cooler Function>

The major job of the engine oil cooler is to lower the temperature of the engine oil.

With the air passing over the cooler, it allows the engine oil to remain proper temperature with the metal square cooler to maintain the oil viscosity and the engine operation.

Meanwhile, from the picture, you can see the little circular holes which are for the oil feed lines.

These oil return lines will constantly drain that oil back into the radiator.
While the oil is being sent back to the cooler, it is being cooled with the metal square cooler which is in contact with flowing air constantly.


The average cost for a RAM 1500 engine oil cooler replacement is around $200 to $300.

In which the cooler housing costs around $135-$150 and the labor cost is around $65-$150.

If you have opportunity to learn about the whole replacement, you will feel the labor cost we mentioned is really worthy.

The whole replacement process will need to dissemble the air hose, the intake area, unplug all the connected tubes and wires, remove the bolts from the intake and the manifold.

(the oil cooler dissembled process)

(to remove the cover)

(Dissemble the intake area)

(finally can see the oil cooler)

(remove the manifold)


<Why Dodge engine oil cooler failed?>

The major reason to cause the RAM 1500 engine oil cooler failure is the plastic oil cap off the hole, which cause the cooling fluid to leak out the cooler in seconds.

Once the cooling fluid is drained, the cooler loses the function to cool down the temperature.

The overheating light then will appear on the dashboard when the cooling system is completely dry.

When the situation gets worse, it may also damage the whole engine.

To solve this design flaw, Dodge did the modification on these seals in 2014 to make sure no more plastic seals popped out problems.

Also, the filter itself tends to leak potentially so you may see the fluid stain near the metal part.

Some are because there are cracks down the filter.

And some are because the filter is over torqued during installation.

Especially the type of RM1500 coolers is the kind that tied in with the engine’s cooling system.

Once the filter is leaking, this device will affect whole cooling system immediately.

Without the filter’s filtrate, the dirt and gunk then will contaminate the coolant.

Earlier you can find out the leaking filter, easier you can solve the problems.



(The fallen seal will cause the oil leaking)


Since now we know the engine cooler failure reasons.

Next, I’d like to give some reminders about the failed oil filter symptoms in case you sense any of these symptoms; you will know how to handle it.


<The symptoms of a bad Engine Oil Cooler>

#1 Leaking oil puddle on the ground

The most common sign is the leaking oil.
Whenever there is the oil paddle under your vehicle, check the car at once.
Normally the leak stem may come from the cracked oil pans, aged gasket or seals.
Then remember to check the engine oil cooler adapter which connects oil lines.
These components like seals, oil lines and gasket will eventually wear out.
Also, check the cooler seals and the plastic oil cap which we just mentioned earlier.

#2 Oil in the cooling system
normally an engine oil cooler should last as long as your car and the engine.
However, when you feel the engine temperature is rising, the engine power is losing, the engine is misfiring, or the exhausted emission is increasing and is in dark color, better visit the mechanic soon.
The reason to cause the oil get into the cooling system is the oil pressure raised by the bad oil cooler.
When the oil pressure is higher than cooling system pressure, it then forces the oil to get into the cooling system.

#3 The coolant is leaking out
Here we want to take the Chrysler Town & Country minivan as example, as this car use the same engine oil cooler as RAM1500 truck.
One of our repair shop friend shared this photo with us.
From the picture, you can see clearly the coolant and oil is leaking out all over the cooler.
In order to fix this problem, the mechanic needs to DIY an oil vacuum machine to dry the oil, clean all the mess, change the manifold gasket, and install the new oil cooler.

Overall speaking, oil cooler seldom fail except for any kind of leaking.
The oil cooler oil lines, seals, plastic tap or the oil cooler core eventually may wear out and cause the leaking.
Or just as we mentioned, the leaking coolant also will damage the cooler.

So, whenever you note any of these symptoms, or, when you see the check engine light or temperature warning light will be on to remind you to visit the mechanic right away.

(oil & coolant is leaking out)


<Related Reading>

6 Common 42RLE Problems Which Transmission Repair Shop Can Fix Your Jeep Wrangler

Ways to Longer Camshaft Variable Valve Timing VVT Gear Lifetime

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