Ram 1500 extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans

Find out why an extended warranty could make sense for you

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    Fun fact: In 1994, Chuck Norris’ famous on-screen hero Walker, Texas Ranger traded in his 1993 GMC Sierra for an all-new Dodge Ram extended cab.

    Today, a Ram 1500 still represents a big upgrade for many truck owners, just like it did for Walker 30 years ago. Unfortunately, Rams aren’t known for having the best reliability, so you might be considering an extended warranty to protect your purchase.

    We’ll break down what your options are, how much they might cost you and whether they’re worth it in the long run.

    Key insights

    • Ram 1500 trucks come with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty from the factory. That’s pretty much the baseline for a manufacturer’s warranty, so additional coverage has a strong appeal.
    • The lowest price quote we got for a three-year bumper-to-bumper plan on a 2023 Ram 1500 was $1,353. That’s significantly cheaper than the average cost of an extended warranty.
    • Ram, as a brand, ranks below average for reliability, and many consumer reviews mention major issues with 1500-series trucks, some of which come back after being repaired.
    • An affordable Ram 1500 extended warranty could add peace of mind and insurance against repair bills once the factory warranty runs out.

    Ram 1500 extended warranty coverage

    Extended auto warranties are an optional, paid “extension” of the factory warranty your Ram 1500 comes with. For context, all Ram trucks come with the following warranties from the factory:

    • A three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers the vast majority of parts on the truck that aren’t regular wear-and-tear items (like brake pads and wiper blades)
    • A five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty that covers your engine, transmission and drive axle(s)

    These factory warranties follow the truck, not the owner. So, if you buy a two-year-old truck with 21,000 miles on it, you should still have one year or 15,000 miles worth of the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty left.

    » LEARN: What voids a car warranty?

    It’s also worth noting that auto warranties only cover defects, not damage. If your exhaust manifold or cam sensor fails — both common issues on the 1500, according to RepairPal — your warranty would likely cover the repair bill since those parts failed on their own.

    But, if you damage your suspension going off-road or overwork your transmission by towing beyond the truck’s rated capacity, the repairs wouldn’t be covered under warranty since the parts failed due to an outside cause.

    » MORE: What does a car warranty cover?

    When it comes to where you can buy an extended warranty, you typically have two options:

    1. You can buy the “official,” Ram-backed extended warranty from a company called Mopar.
    2. You can buy a plan from a third-party warranty company, with the added benefit of being able to take your truck to any ASE-certified mechanic (not just the dealership).

    In either case, you’ll generally get the most value by purchasing whichever plan offers comprehensive, exclusionary protection (often called bumper-to-bumper or Platinum plans). That’s because Platinum plans cover 90% or more of the parts on your truck. Less comprehensive Gold, Silver and Powertrain plans may be cheaper, but they tend to cover fewer parts per dollar.

    A ConsumerAffairs investigation found that most drivers surveyed couldn’t afford to pay cash for a $1,000 repair bill, and 13% of respondents simply had no way to handle a bill that large — even with credit.

    » LEARN: What to know about manufacturers’ extended warranties

    How much does a Ram 1500 extended warranty cost?

    To help you set expectations for what a Ram 1500 warranty might cost you, we collected a few quotes for a 2023 Ram 1500 that was just out of its factory warranty. The lowest quote we collected was $1,353. The highest was $3,717.

    These quotes were for six-year/75,000-mile plans that effectively added three years/39,000 extra miles to the end of our sample truck’s factory bumper-to-bumper warranty. All plans had a $100 deductible.

    If you decide to buy an extended warranty for your Ram, shop around and get quotes from multiple warranty companies so you know you’re getting a good deal.

    In general, quotes for extended auto warranties vary based on the coverage offered, your vehicle, your deductible and other factors. For example, a base 2023 Ram 1500 with zero miles will typically have cheaper extended warranty options than a 2020 Laramie Longhorn or Limited with 50,000 miles.

    For context, the average cost of an extended warranty is around $2,500, so some of the quotes we collected for our hypothetical 2023 Ram 1500 were very affordable by comparison. That doesn’t always mean they’re a good value, though.

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    » LEARN: How to choose an extended car warranty

    Is a Ram 1500 extended warranty worth it?

    So, is an extended warranty even worth it on a Ram 1500? Very possibly, and we can explain why.

    Most of the time, an extended auto warranty is more likely to be worth it if either:

    1. Your vehicle has a bad reputation for reliability.
    2. The cost of your warranty is less than you expect to spend on repairs.
    3. A big repair bill could really hurt you financially.
    4. You don’t mind paying a few thousand dollars for some peace of mind.

    Since points three and four are up to you, we’ll focus on the first two.

    » MORE: Is an extended car warranty worth it?

    In terms of reliability, Rams tend to rank average to below average. In its vehicle dependability study, J.D. Power ranked Ram 17th out of 29 car brands for overall dependability, while Consumer Reports ranked it 15th out of 30 automakers.

    As for the Ram 1500 specifically, Consumer Reports gave the 2023 model a 3 out of 5 predicted reliability rating, and RepairPal gave it a 3.5 out of 5. The former outlet cited major issues with in-car electronics as the biggest concern, and it’s worth noting that these parts would not be covered under a powertrain warranty. However, they might be covered under a bumper-to-bumper plan.

    » MORE: Ram maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

    Many ConsumerAffairs reviewers have reported having multiple issues with their Ram 1500s, some of which were allegedly fixed under warranty, only to fail again a short time later.

    “It was my dream truck. Well that quickly turned into a nightmare,” wrote Joshua, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Colorado. “The PCM went out. Still under warranty. The mechanic has had my truck for over 2 months. Gets a new pcm and that one is bad. Now saying he has no idea if or when he will get a new computer. … So now I have a paper weight that is costing me a ton of money!”

    It was my dream truck. Well that quickly turned into a nightmare.”
    — Joshua, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Colorado

    Robin, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer in North Carolina, wrote: “I decided on a 2022 Ram 1500 quad cab. 7 miles on it when I went to the dealership. I was so excited when they handed me those keys after I signed the papers! I drove off the lot Saturday evening, took my wife to dinner, drove the truck to work. On Sunday I started the truck and the check engine light came on.

    “They told me it was a cylinder 4 misfire due to an injector being stuck in the open position so they replaced it. I got the truck back Tuesday. I drove to the grocery store and home. Wednesday, I got up and went to run an errand. I started the truck and the check engine light was on once again.”

    So, while the data suggests that Ram 1500s are only slightly below average in terms of reliability, the volume of stories from our readers mentioning serious issues with newer Ram trucks could be a sign that extended warranty protection is a good idea. The likelihood of needing repairs combined with the low prices we encountered for Ram 1500 extended warranties means you might wind up ahead by purchasing a protection plan.

    » LEARN: Pros and cons of extended auto warranties

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    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. RepairPal, “Ram 1500 Problems.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
    2. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Slumps as Rate of Deterioration Increases, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed March 20, 2024.
    3. Consumer Reports, “Ram 1500.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
    4. RepairPal, “Ram 1500 Reliability Rating.” Accessed Aug. 17, 2023.
    5. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed March 20, 2024.
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