Dodge RAM 1500 Oil Change

You should change the oil on a Dodge RAM 1500 every 10,000 miles using synthetic oil or a synthetic blend.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
You should change the oil in your Dodge RAM 1500 every 10,000 miles (or every 12 months, whichever comes first) using synthetic oil or a synthetic blend. Your owner’s manual will specify what type of oil is best for your RAM engine. 
Oil changes are essential to keeping your engine clean and running smoothly. Scheduling regular oil changes is one of the simplest and most important things you can do to prolong the life of your vehicle. 
Changing the engine oil is a step-by-step process that must be done correctly, using the right type of oil. To set you on the right path,
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How often does a Dodge RAM 1500 need an oil change?   

You’ll need to change the oil every 10,000 miles or at least once per year—whichever comes first. 
If you exceed 10,000 miles without an oil change, this could cause serious engine damage. The RAM 1500 features an oil change indicator that monitors your mileage and engine’s operating conditions. When the oil change light ignites on your dashboard, you should have the vehicle serviced within the next 500 miles. 
If your RAM is used as a construction vehicle and spends a lot of time on rough roads or dusty job sites, changing the oil every 4,000 miles is recommended.

What kind of oil does a Dodge RAM 1500 need?

It depends on what kind of engine your RAM has. 
The 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine will take SAE 0W-20 synthetic blend oil. The 5.7L HEMI® engine uses a synthetic oil blend with a weight of SAE 5W-20. RAMs with a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine need 5W-40 full synthetic engine oil

How much does it cost to change the oil on a Dodge RAM 1500?

How much an oil change costs for a Dodge RAM 1500 is determined by whether you take your car to an auto shop or change the oil yourself.

Professional cost  

If you have your oil changed by a professional mechanic you can expect to pay between $125 and $133. Prices vary by engine size and oil type. Synthetic oil changes are more expensive than conventional oil changes, but the oil lasts longer.

DIY cost  

Changing the oil yourself will save you money. A Dodge RAM 1500 takes anywhere between 5 and 8.5 quarts of engine oil depending on which engine it’s equipped with. You can purchase a gallon of
5W-40 full synthetic oil
for around $32.99.  
If time is a factor, you might be wondering
how long does an oil change take
, and the answer is, it depends! Once you get the hang of the DIY oil change, it only takes about 25 minutes. A professional oil change takes about an hour and maybe longer, depending on the wait.

How to change the oil in a Dodge RAM 1500 yourself 

What you’ll need

  • Engine oil (in full synthetic or synthetic blend)
  • New oil filter
  • 13mm socket and ratchet
  • Strap wrench or band clamp
  • Oil catch basin (the bigger the better) 
  • Funnel
  • Rubber gloves and safety glasses

1. Park the vehicle on a level surface 

Since the RAM is a large pickup truck, you won’t need to put it on ramps to get underneath it. Just make sure it’s parked safely on a level surface with the parking brake engaged. 

2. Warm up the engine

Run the engine for about five minutes, then turn it off. The oil drains more easily when the engine is warm. 

3. Drain the old oil

The oil drain plug is located on the underside of the engine oil pan toward the passenger side.
Position the oil basin to catch the oil and remove the plug with your 13mm wrench. The oil will drain for about two to three minutes.
Once drained, wipe the area with a rag and reinstall the oil drain plug. 

4. Change the oil filter

Removing the oil filter can be tricky since it’s a little tough to access. To get a better grip on it, you can use a band clamp or strap wrench. Before reattaching the new filter by hand, rub some fresh motor oil onto its gasket to ensure a good fit. 

5. Put new oil in the engine

Remove the oil cap located on the top right of the engine. You may want to use a funnel to keep from spilling as you pour the new oil in. Secure the cap and run the engine for about 20 seconds to get the warm oil circulating through the engine. 
Wait for it to cool, and check the oil level with the dipstick to make sure you have the perfect amount in the engine. 

6. Reset the Oil Life system

You’ve successfully changed your oil (and saved a bunch of money in the process!). Now all you need to do is reset the Oil Life system on your RAM’s computer. 
Put your truck into ON/RUN mode by pushing the engine start button without hitting the brake. Press the down arrow on your steering wheel and scroll to the “vehicle info” menu on the driver display screen. 
Select the “Oil Life” tab and hit “ok” to reset the tracker. Other than periodically checking your oil level, you won’t have to worry about your engine oil for another 10,000 miles.

What happens if you don’t change the oil on a Dodge RAM 1500?

If you don’t change your oil or are consistently overdue in getting oil changes, your engine could suffer serious—and avoidable—consequences. Dirty engine oil that isn’t changed on time turns into a gritty, black sludge. When the oil running through the engine takes on this consistency, the following damage can occur:
  • Overheating
  • Engine corrosion
  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Complete engine failure
While an oil change may seem like an inconvenient expense, it’s money well spent. Regular oil changes cost far less than major engine repairs. 

Finding the right car insurance  

Keeping up with your vehicle’s
basic car maintenance schedule
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car insurance
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