2013 Ram 1500 V6 Already Has Engine Problems

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Reports have surfaced that suggest the new V-6 engine slated for the Ram 1500 is already undergoing cylinder head problems that could/could not be related to its unique design and a ticking noise. Is the new Ram 1500 going to have long-term engine problems too?

2013 Ram 1500 V6 Engine Problems

The 2013 Ram 1500 V6 already has engine problems according to several different reports.

Owners are reporting to NHTSA and Allpar.com (a popular site with Chrysler technicians and product fans) that the issue is affecting all Chrysler-Fiat models that use the Pentastar V-6 engine such as Jeep Wrangle, Dodge Journeys, Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravans. This same engine will be used in the Ram 1500.

Speculation is that since the Pentastar engine’s unique design causes exhaust passages to merge into a single outlet prior to exiting the exhaust manifold that this could be causing the cylinder head issue. Chrysler denies this and says that it is really just a unique combination of rare factors which is causing the “small” issue. However, Chrysler-Fiat Doug Betts, senior vice president of quality, has so far declined to say exactly what the issue is.

Owners say that they were first alerted to the problem with a “ticking” sound coming from the engine. Specifically they thought the sound was coming from the number 2 cylinder. Shortly after, the check engine light illuminated and the dealer was contacted.

Bob Lee, Chrysler-Fiat’s chief of engineering, told Automotive news that “This one was a challenge. The good news is that it’s a very small percentage of the customers and it’s something we’ve taken care of.”

Chrysler-Fiat says that after months of looking into it, they have decided to build a “more robust” cylinder head. This is auto industry speak for “we’re making the heads stronger because the current design isn’t strong enough.”

Lee denies this and says, “if it were a design defect, or if it affected [a basic component] like the integrated exhaust, we’d have issues on everything, which we don’t.”

Further causing grief for affected is a lack of parts. Dealers, who are experiencing 500 new requests a week, had a short time ago, as many as 1,300 vehicles nationwide awaiting replacements.

While only one-half of 1% of Chrysler-Fiat’s newest V6 have experienced cylinder head problems, the engine is also only 2 years old…most people who own it haven’t begun to really stress the motor yet. Speculation is that this is a bigger problem than Chrysler-Fiat is letting on.

This is a big item for Chrysler-Fiat because the 2013 Ram with the class-leading MPG rating is going to feature the Pentastar V6, and you can bet they are going to position the Ram’s superior fuel economy rating against the Tundra. However, what good is great mileage if the heads fail during heavy use?

Here’s what we think:

  • The fact that the problem is “rare” is being used to dismiss this problem, but it’s a design issue. That’s why Chrysler engineers are re-designing the head.
  • Is it bad luck that quality problems that have plagued Chrysler for decades? Perhaps. But it’s our opinion that Chrysler has a fundamental problem in their design process. Perhaps their company culture that doesn’t emphasize quality control. Perhaps the cash-strapped automaker is cutting corners in terms of testing or the specs they pass to suppliers. Perhaps they’re just not as good at building cars. Whatever the case, this is just one more issue in a long line of quality problems that have hurt Chrysler’s image with consumers.

Whether it is a small issue (they say) or a really big design issue (our thoughts) having engine problems prior to launching a new truck is a big headache for Chrysler.

Is this just a simple fix or another big problem for the quality-plagued Chrysler-Fiat company?

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Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Anonymous says:

    what’s new? Chrysler!!!!

  2. mk says:

    My opinion, a V6 of any kind in a full sized 1/2 ton truck is not feasible and justified, let alone a Dodge product that I think has the worst reliability rating of the Big 3 and Toyota.

  3. Mickey says:

    Go back t the slant 6.

  4. […] 2013 Ram isn't doing too well so far. 2013 Ram 1500 V6 Already Has Engine Problems | Tundra Headquarters __________________ 07' SR5 DC, 5.7, TRD Toyota SS steps ARE MX cap AMP bed step DIY underseat […]

  5. Jason says:

    We owned a Tundra and within a few months the front wheel detached while driving on the highway due to a defective component. At this point the Ram couldn’t be worse.

    • Jason,

      I would say judging any vehicle on a few months of ownership is not an accurate representation of the overall quality of the vehicle. That stinks that you had an issue with your Tundra. We aren’t saying the Ram is a bad truck per se, we are merely pointing out apparent design issues with the engine.


  6. Joe says:

    Just bought a 2013 town and country and now I’m worried! It had one mile on it when I drive it off the lot. I told the guys I thought it seemed a little loud they said it actually neede a replacement part for exhaust it’s much quieter now but still fell it should be even quiter I don’t know …what should I do bring it back in … I hate going to mechanics that’s why I bought a2013 assumption was no problems for 5 or 6 years!!!

  7. Jack Brown says:

    I have owned two Tundras. The first one did ok but got horrible mileage. The second one was a total mess and I am not sure about the mileage since it was in the dealer’s shop most of the time. I bought one of the first Ram 1500’s with the Pentastar six. I have put 5600 miles on it in a little over three weeks, going to Alaska and back. God, I love this truck. And in Arkansas I see at least 50 Rams on the road for every Toyota. My neighbor has a 2012 Town and Country with the Pentastar. He has had zero problems with it. Before I bought my Ram, I went into the dealer’s shop and spoke with the lead mechanic. He admitted he had replaced four Pentastar heads, but otherwise he has seen no problems with that engine. And the replacement heads appear to be completely reliable. Chrysler did provide loaner vehicles to every customer having heads replaced. That sure is a hell of a lot better treatment than my Toyota dealer gave me. I asked for a loaner vehicle when my Tundra was in the shop for warranty work the fourth, or maybe it was the fifth, time. All I got was a weird look and the response was loaner vehicles are not part of Toyots’s warranty. So long Toyota, hello Ram.

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