2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test - New Updates
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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for February — How'd We Do After 50,000 Miles?

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on March 4, 2016

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I miss it already. I would have bought our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Crew Cab 4x4 to have for my very own if I wasn't knee-deep in college tuition payments. It's always something, but that turns out to be a very big something.

The Ram remained a popular choice until the very end, which came when its odometer rolled past 50,000 miles. There were many things to like about it, but the torque and drivability of its 3.0-liter diesel engine, its range, and the fuel economy it delivered were right up near the top of the list.

Even with its standard 26-gallon tank — the only one offered with the EcoDiesel — this truck could be a real kidney-buster if the driver wasn't inclined to make a pit stop. Our staffers drove it more than 400 miles on a tank of fuel 68 times; 500 miles or more 32 times; and at least 600 miles on eight occasions. We even squeezed 700.2 miles out of it once.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Sold to CarMax

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on February 15, 2016

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel reached its golden anniversary at 50,000 miles. This was a great truck and we loved driving it so much that we kept it an extra 10 months. But it's a new year and there are new cars to buy. Time for a trip to CarMax to size up the truck's value.

According to Edmunds True Market Value, the Ram should be worth about $30,420 as a trade-in. For reference, we paid $50,510 when we bought it in April 2014.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: 50,000 Miles Makes It the Second-Most Loved

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on February 10, 2016

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This past week we crossed the 50,000-mile mark in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. This milestone puts it at number two on the all-time Edmunds long-term list, second only to our much loved 2009 Ford Flex that left with more than 70,000 miles.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Putting the Step Bars Back On

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on February 4, 2016

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Remember when I took the step bars off our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel? I do. It was more than a year ago. At the time, it was theoretically halfway through our 12-month test with the Ram. We'd get six months with the step bars, six months without them, a pretty perfect comparison test.

Those six months lasted a lot longer than expected. Out of sheer will, desire and interest to see how it held up, we kept the Ram much longer than our regular long-term vehicles. Six months quickly turned into fifteen months and now it's finally time to put the truck back to the way we bought it.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Best-in-Class Cabin

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 2, 2016

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

After many months spent comparing our 2014 Ram 1500 to our Ford F-150 long-termers, I'm still in the Ram camp when it comes to cabin comfort, design and overall appeal. Here's why:

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Queen-Size Bed Almost Fits

by John Calderwood, Video Producer on January 27, 2016

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I'll start off by saying that I'm pretty impressed with myself for downsizing all of my earthly possessions to the point that they don't send pangs of anxiety down my chest every time I think about my impending relocation. Aside from my motorcycle and a few guitars that merit their own transportation, set aside from decade-old pots, pans, and band t-shirts I can't seem to part with, I felt like (hoped?) a pickup truck could get the job done.

Getting self-congratulations out of the way, I realized I still have to lug what's left from my buddy's house in San Pedro to my new apartment in Los Angeles's beautiful Koreatown. I put in a request for our Ford F-150 with the vehicle testing team well in advance since I know our trucks are in high demand, but no luck. It was signed out, but I did get the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Slow and Steady

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on January 21, 2016

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Want to hyper-focus on the horrible slowness of your daily commute? The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is here to help.  Thanks to the onboard drive computer, I know exactly how long it took me to slog through the Southern California freeway traffic.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update — More MPG, More DEF

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on January 8, 2016

2015 Nissan Murano

We're knocking on the door of 50,000 miles in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and fuel economy has pretty much leveled out. With tens of thousands of towing-miles and a good balance of city and highway miles, the Ram's numbers don't change much these days. And aside from the addition of some DEF, these last few months were no different.

Between November 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016, we added 5,200 miles to the Ram's odometer and made 12 trips to the pump. Mileage over those eight weeks averaged out to 23.1 miles per gallon. That brought the overall mileage up from 21.6 to 21.8, just below the combined EPA estimate. And honestly, that's excellent considering all the hard work we've done in this truck.

As the year came to an end, the Ram also chimed in to let us know it needed diesel exhaust fluid too.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: End of the Line

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on December 21, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

It was time to move some of my motorcycles around on a Friday morning and the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was definitely up to the task. With the U-Haul 5x9 ramped trailer hitched up, the errands began.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: I Want to Go Up There

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 17, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

I forget the exact reason. All I know for certain is I was driving the 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel and I wanted/needed to get to the top of this hill. But there wasn't a trail. Not on any map, at least. After a few false starts I worked my way to a likely approach point at the base, passing the usual outer-city desert detritus along the way: random discarded tires, an old couch, a broken child safety seat, bleached-out beer cans.

The somewhat well-defined single-lane dirt road terminated at a clearing where people come to shoot things. Bullet casings, shotgun shells and clay pigeon remnants were strewn everywhere, along with unidentifiable ex-items used as targets. A few impossibly large hunks of glass suggested that at least one had been a television set.

A steep rocky track led off from there to a low-level outcrop. It seemed to be a likely waypoint, so I stabbed the 4WD Lock button and pointed the Ram up the hill.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Makes a Good Dump Truck

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on December 11, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I'm currently completely remodeling my house. Blowing out bathroom walls and ripping up carpet naturally creates a lot of refuse. We usually store the debris in the covered patio until one of the long-term pickups is available. Then it's time to take a journey to the mystical land of the Orange County Waste and Recycling facility in Brea.

Or if you want to be poetic about it, the dump.

So when the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was available for the weekend, I jumped at the chance to tidy up the patio.  

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Another Holiday Road Trip With Zero Complaints

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on December 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Last week, for the second year in a row, I was presented with a choice between our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel or a four-door family sedan for an annual road trip to my father's house in Northern California. This time, I'd have a few passengers. For the second year in a row, I chose the Ram.

Great, but what exactly does that mean?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Short Bed Won't Fit a Door, But That's Okay

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on December 4, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Taking our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to Home Depot isn't exactly a new or extraordinary experience. This truck has seen all kinds of hardware store duty, but this time I found yet another item that wouldn't fit in the Ram's short bed.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Finally Something That Doesn't Fit

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on November 26, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We've fit bikes, test gear, weekend rally-race essentials, workout gear and muddy humans, rear-facing car seats, dogs, and, I'm certain, some combination of guns, mescal and three suitcases full of neatly-arranged stacks of pesos in the rear cab of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

But I finally found something that didn't quite fit.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Bike Fits in the Cab, All Wheels On

by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on November 16, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I'm a big fan of pickups. Not only do I actually enjoy driving them, but I love that trucks make it easier to haul around motorcycles and bicycles. You know, because of that bed behind the cab. But what if I want to throw the bicycle in the cab instead? Will it fit? Without taking any wheels off? Because that would be kinda awesome. And easy.

I was headed to the 80-mile Mike Nosco Memorial charity road ride in Thousand Oaks, and I aimed to find out with our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Culprit for Slow Leak Revealed

by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on November 12, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Last week, Edmunds Car Czar Mike Schmidt noticed the left rear tire on our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was running about five psi low. He added the appropriate air and figured we'd see what happened over the weekend with the truck in the hands of social media guru Travis Langness.

Come Monday, that same left tire was down four psi again. Clearly a slow leak, but a leak nonetheless.  

I took it straight to my local Allen Tire shop to see what was up.   

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Perfect Vehicle for Muddy Passengers

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 11, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

A year ago, I took our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel on a 1,200-mile road trip that ended at a Tough Mudder event in Temecula, California. Tough Mudder is a global series of obstacle-course events I participate in and as you'd expect from the name, participants get pretty filthy by the finish. Running a 10-mile obstacle course can also be pretty painful, so along with the dirt, I expected a few sore muscles by the end of the day.

So when I signed up for another Tough Mudder this year, I made sure the Ram was available. It was the perfect vehicle for the job the first time around and I knew it wouldn't let me down.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for October — First Drop Below EPA Combined Rating

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on November 10, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We put another 1,883 miles on our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in October. More than 800 of those miles involved towing, which helped drag the Ram's lifetime average fuel economy (21.6 mpg) below the EPA's combined estimate (22 mpg) for the first time in our test.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: City Life Requires Parking Helpers

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

When I parked our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel outside my apartment, the street was clear and there were no other cars to worry about. I just pulled the Ram up curbside, folded in the mirrors and walked away. A few hours later though, I found the Ram gently wedged in between two cars, owners unknown.

The Toyota Corolla behind the Ram is about six inches off the rear bumper while the driver of the Ford Escape was much more generous, leaving at least 14 inches of wiggle room. Clearly, there was some tricky maneuvering in my future.  

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Low Pressure on All Four Tires

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 5, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Fresh off of a week in our long-term Dodge Viper and in need of something more comfortable/practical (i.e. anything), I hopped in to our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel last weekend. But before I could leave the office, as if by some strange stroke of bad luck, I was greeted with a low tire-pressure warning for the second time in seven days. The TFT screen only warned that one tire was low, but all four tires read below the recommended pressure when cold.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Too Much Truck for Me

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on October 29, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Alone on the freeway before sunrise, I quickly realized that, at-speed, our long-term
2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is just a little too much truck for me. Although the Ram offers a comfortable, smooth ride, I'm just not used to managing its size and weight at higher-than-lumbering speeds.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Needs More Tie-Downs

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on October 21, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

One big decision you need to make when buying a Ram 1500 like ours is whether or not to get the unique Rambox storage compartments in the bed. They're a nice feature if you regularly need lockable storage space but don't want a tonneau cover over the entire bed.

As an added bonus, the Rambox option also adds four adjustable tie-down cleats along with an adjustable box divider. We had that option in our previous Ram 1500 and it proved useful more than a few times.

I was reminded of it this past weekend when moving an old engine block.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: The Right Choice for Full Loads

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 8, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I recently faced the decision of choosing which truck in our fleet to use to tow more than 700 miles. It was a big job, too — not just towing, but hauling. I would fill the cab with the most precious cargo on earth (my family), the bed with spare parts, tools and fuel, and hook a rally car and trailer behind. I chose our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

I had reasons.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Breezes Through 40,000-Mile Service and Recalls

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 5, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

With 41,421 miles on the odometer, we took our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to the dealer for its 40k service. It's a slightly more involved service that requires not only an oil-and-filter change, but also a fuel filter change and a multi-point inspection.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Due for Service at 40,000 Miles

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on September 30, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Shortly after our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel passed the 40,000-mile mark, the instrument panel lit up. It was due for routine maintenance. This visit called for a long list of visual inspections beyond the scheduled oil change and tire rotation.

Here is what the manual told us to expect:

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Road Tripping to a Ghost Town

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on September 21, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Once a year, a group of us leaves town for a weekend of guy-time at the Calico Ghost Town. The location was a random choice in the beginning that grew into a tradition. This year our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel got the call to shuttle us there. It was a great fit. The Ram covered all of the basics for a dudes-trip to the desert.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: DIY Door Seal Fix

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on September 14, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Many, many miles ago, our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel exhibited a bit of a fit-and-finish issue. My daughter pointed it out to me as she was climbing into the rear cab.

"This door thingy is loose," she said, pointing to the Ram's rear driver-side door seal. And so it was.

"Can you fix it?" I asked.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Sub-Par Washer Fluid Capacity?

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 7, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

The other day I climbed into our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel after Travis returned from his Tail of the Dragon road trip/Integra love fest. At some point I suspected he added windshield washer fluid, because I found a partially-filled bottle in the backseat, rolling around.

For the second time in two months I flashed back to my Toyota days in the mid-1990s, when I worked with a pair of Toyota Canada engineers who made a stink about this very issue during a winter suitability test of a 4-Runner prototype. Earlier this summer, while adding a jug of washer fluid to our 2014 Volvo S60 long-term vehicle, I recalled the entire amusing story of how they colorfully expressed their disappointment at the Toyota's inability to hold an entire 3.785-liter (1 gallon) jug of the stuff. I hadn't remembered that blast from the past in a dozen years.

I instantly wondered what had happened here. Surely the engineers at a Big Three truckmaker based in a state shaped like a mitten know all about snow, road salt, road grime and the need for the washer fluid bottle to readily devour an entire gallon container of the mysterious blue fluid in one pour. Don't they?

So I quizzed Travis about the circumstances. Had he added fluid because it was on sale or had the washer nozzles gone dry?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Even the Door Pockets Are Full-Size

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on August 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

One of the benefits of a full-size truck, especially our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, is full-size utility. I came to fully realize how much I appreciate full-size utility when I drove our midsize Chevy Colorado to Wyoming this summer. It was the same trip I took with my family in the Ram last summer.

Certain small details, like the utility of big door pockets, stood out.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Pilgrimage to the Tail of the Dragon

August 25, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Nearly a decade ago, I made my first excursion to the Tail of the Dragon. It was a point of pride for me to take a cross-country journey at some point in my life and the Dragon afforded the perfect opportunity. My air-conditioning broke in North Carolina on that trip and I traveled another 2,200 miles without A/C in the middle of August, but it wasn't enough to scare me off a second visit the following year.

I took a break from the Dragon over the last few years, crediting car troubles, cost, and time restraints for keeping me away, but this year the call to return was too loud to ignore. I've catalogued in previous updates the experience towing to and from the Dragon with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, but I'd like to talk about the road itself.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: 40,000 Miles and Running Strong

August 21, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

On the home stretch of my road trip in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, I crossed the Arizona-California border. Somewhere in that vast desert, the truck's odometer ticked over the 40,000-mile mark. We're interested in the long-term reliability of the Ram's diesel powertrain, so we've kept it longer than average, but the Ram hit this milestone after just 16 months in our fleet.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Adding DEF, Breaking Down the Cost

August 19, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

A few hundred miles into my road trip with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, the truck's DEF needle dipped into the red. So somewhere between Roswell, New Mexico and Austin, I stopped at a big travel center/truck stop/gas station that had DEF on tap.

Back home in Santa Monica, DEF pumps aren't easy to find. The closest stations to our offices are 15-20 miles away, so we've been using the various-sized boxes to fill up the blue stuff. But out on the open road where diesel big-rigs are king, diesel exhaust fluid is everywhere and when you aren't buying by the box, DEF is much, much cheaper.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Towing 5,000 Pounds for 5,000 Miles - Part 3

August 16, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If you want to go from the Edmunds office in Santa Monica to Deals Gap, North Carolina, there are millions of miles of road to choose from. Last week, I hooked up a trailer to our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and chose Interstate 10 for the journey east. I-10 crosses the southern United States and my trip to the Tail of The Dragon meandered a bit.

I stopped to see friends, took long breaks and soaked up the scenery. Once I'd reached my destination in North Carolina, I spent four days exploring local parks, blasting through local highways and eating all the barbecue I could get my hands on. Then I loaded up the trailer, said my goodbyes and headed home. I was weary and ready to sleep in my own bed, so the journey home would be much shorter.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Towing 5,000 Pounds for 5,000 Miles — Part 2

August 12, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

When we last left our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, I was using it to tow my Acura Integra across the United States. I drove 2,600 miles for the annual Team-Integra Dragon Run and unhooked the trailer immediately. I expected to spend the majority of the trip zipping through the mountains with my Integra buddies, but it turned out that the unladen Ram got quite a bit of use too.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Towing 5,000 Pounds for 5,000 Miles - Part 1

August 7, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I've spent a lot of time with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel but I hadn't had a chance to tow with it yet. Lucky for me, there's an annual car meet in North Carolina I go to and the boss gave me approval to tow my Acura Integra there. The meet takes place on a road called the Tail of The Dragon, a curvy mountain road that's a bit of a Mecca for gear heads and I'm always up for a good road trip. So I rented a U-Haul trailer and started packing my bags.

The U-Haul car trailer weighs about 2,200 pounds and my Integra is around 2,600 pounds. Add some gear and supplies and you've got 2.5 tons (5,000 lbs) behind the Ram. I'm not the first person on staff to hook a rig up to this truck but this is definitely one of the most daunting tasks it's ever had.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: July Fuel Economy Yields Worst Tank Yet

August 5, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

July was a big month for our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as it towed a trailer across the United States. The truck did a great job pulling the heavy load, but expectedly, fuel economy suffered.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: New Tires Before A Road Trip

August 3, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has 35,100 miles on the clock and it needs new tires. Okay, it doesn't need new tires, as we could probably eke out a few hundred more miles from them. But the tread is low and I'm about to go on a 5,200-mile road trip, so we decided to jump the gun and put on a new set before I hit the road.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Begging for a Truck With Beer and BBQ

July 30, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This happens almost every week. Usually on Thursday.

Phone rings. We answer it. And we regret it.  

It's a friend or a friend of a friend telling us he's moving this weekend, or his girlfriend is moving this weekend, or his girlfriend's girlfriend is moving this weekend, and he's wondering if he could borrow one of our pickups and our time.

We say no. They beg. We weaken. They offer beer and barbecue. We cave.

Sure, man. How about our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel?

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Protecting Our Truck From Hackers

July 24, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

You may have heard of the Jeep Cherokee that was hacked and crashed by two professional computer scientists?

They exposed a flaw in the UConnect infotainment system that allowed them to take control of many of the vehicle's systems, gaining access by hacking into the vehicle's cellular connection used for on-board WiFi and other diagnostic services.

After sharing their findings with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the parent company of Ram, a recall was issued to update the UConnect system to address the vulnerability.

Since our Ram uses the same UConnect system found in the Cherokee, we figured it was a good idea to install the security patch as soon as possible. I went to FCA's website, put in our Ram's vehicle identification number and confirmed it was affected. The website then showed me a step-by-step guide to downloading and installing the update myself. I also had the option to simply take it to the dealer to have them do the update.  

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Hauling Mopar Crate Axles for a Jeep

July 15, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Some of you may remember our 2012 Jeep Wrangler long-term test vehicle. A subset of you may also recall that I bought it from the company when its time eventually expired. It lives in my garage now.

We added many parts during its time in the long-term fleet, but the ridiculously tall 3.21 fuel economy-oriented axles that came with our 6-speed manual-equipped Sport 2-door remain to this day. They're OK if you stick with the stock 29-inch tires and never go off road, but we?d upgraded to taller 33-inch rubber.

I'd corrected the resulting speedometer error, but the only way to get the engine back in its sweet spot was to have the axles re-geared. But something about the 3.21 carrier makes it impossible to go beyond 3.73, which wasn't going to be enough. And a Sport's front axle housing is a lighter Dana 30 unit that isn't worth upgrading. I suffered in near-silence.

Turns out Mopar sells complete front and rear Dana 44 crate axles with 4.10 gearing and e-lockers, just like the ones that come in a Wrangler Rubicon. And they've recently introduced a huge price drop that makes trying to buy used ones off Craigslist a silly idea.

Perfect.

Why all this Jeep talk in a Ram post? The crates are sized just right to fit side-by-side in a pickup truck, so I arranged to be driving our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel when the axles arrived at the nearby dealer where I bought them.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Which One Could I Afford?

July 3, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is pretty universally loved. You'd have to get one of our editors drunk to maybe hear a meaningful criticism of the beast. I mean, the thing pretty much stranded Dan Edmunds and his daughter in the middle of the road, and left us for a few weeks to diagnose and treat the episode, but I think even he is still a fan.

This truck just does so many things right: Great ride, uber roomy and comfortable, good electronics, sharp luxury cabin. Fiat-Chrysler wouldn't need to do much to convert this package into an Escalade killer (and perhaps they may, if the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, rumored for a late August dealer preview, ever amounts to anything).

Only problem is, I can't afford a $50,000 truck like ours. Even if I could, that $50k gets me much closer to a Cayman S. Expensive truck? Relatively-not-expensive Porsche? That's an easy decision for me.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Staying a Little Longer - What Do You Want to See?

June 26, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We've had our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel for quite a while now. It's racked up more than 32,000 miles, has towed carshauled loads and road-tripped across the west. It's been praised for its comfort and criticized for not being very horny.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Retains Accessory Power For Up To 10 Minutes After Engine Shutdown

June 23, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This week I discovered another of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel's many configurable settings, this time for retained accessory power.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: RAMping

June 18, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Considering the light off-roading, the road trips and all the hauling it's done, I had a pretty basic weekend with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Basically, I drove it to a local trailhead, parked it and left it alone while a friend and I hiked in for some camping. The trailhead is close, about 30 minutes from home at a place called Henninger Flats. While I'm sure a much smaller vehicle could've done the same job, I was happy to have the Ram.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for May - Still Popular, Still Improving Combined MPG

June 17, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Even after 30,000 miles, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is still a pretty popular pick around here. In May, we added another 1,500 miles to the odometer and averaged 520 miles between trips to the pump.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Seats Still Look Good

June 16, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If you haven't heard, we're keeping our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel around for a bit longer than our standard one-year/20,000 miles test period. In fact, the Ram has a little more than 32,000 miles on its odometer, so it's a good time to see how it's holding up to the wear and tear of long-term life. Let's start with the seats.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: I Almost Want One

June 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I do not lead an exciting enough life to justify the purchase of a truck like our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I don't own a rally car or have parents living on a beautiful and remote part of the Oregon coast. If I owned our Ram, I'd mostly commute in it and occasionally use it to haul mulch, Christmas trees and Ikea furniture.

But there's no question that I could drive this truck every day and be happy.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: There's Storage Everywhere You Look

June 4, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I get it that full-size trucks are designed to feel full-size, particularly in a crew cab body style. But if you really need room for stuff plus people, the lack of indoor space is an obvious issue with any pickup, unless you're going to put a cap over the bed.

However, after another week in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, I've realized that this truck has enough enclosed storage areas to accommodate my family 48 weeks out of the year.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Real Talk From Real Ram Diesel Buyers

June 1, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Two acquaintances of mine recently bought 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickups. I was curious what led them to the decision to buy the Ram rather than other vehicles that might suit their needs. So I asked. Their responses follow.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Five Reasons Why UConnect Rocks

May 20, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I really like the optional 8.4-inch touchscreen interface in our 2014 Ram 1500. It's Chrysler's corporate 8.4AN/RA4 system that's used in a variety of other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles, but that commonality doesn't diminish its specialness.

Here are five reasons why the Ram 1500's UConnect system is superior to systems offered in other full-size trucks.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Potential Range from Here to Texas

May 19, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If you're driving a 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, your stops for fuel can be rather infrequent. In the year that we've had our truck, we've averaged 436 miles between fill-ups. The furthest we've gone on one tank is 700.2 miles, back in November when Travis Langness drove up to Northern California.

I've been wondering, though: How far can you potentially range in a Ram 1500 with the diesel engine?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for April

May 4, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel did some sitting around this month, as we only added about 1,750 miles to the odometer (we're averaging about 2,200 miles a month). I'd argue it was well-deserved rest for one of our favorite workhorses, but we still managed to work in about 400 miles of towing among the light-duty commuting. We also surpassed the 30,000-mile mark.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Overriding The Transmission for Emergency Towing

April 30, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

One particular design feature of our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel slipped under the radar when I explained why it was towed to the dealer for service two months ago. The feature in question played a critical role, however, because it has to do with how we were able to tow it in the first place.

To recap, the engine stalled abruptly while driving and rolled to a stop. In such cases the electronically-controlled transmission defaults to Park. I was subsequently unable to restart the engine, so I could not use the 8-speed transmission's electronic rotary gear selector to execute a shift into neutral in preparation for towing.

Oh, great. Now what?

It turns out there's an app for that. Or, more correctly, a rip cord.

Ram doesn't call it a rip cord, though. The term they use is Manual Park Release Pull Strap. It's all explained in the "What To Do In Emergencies" section of the 784-page owner's manual.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Oil Service, Phantom Sounds and More About the Stall Problem

April 28, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

The oil life monitor counted down towards zero, indicating that it was once again time for us to take our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel in for a routine inspection and an oil/filter change. But there was another item on the service menu this time. The Ram regional service representative asked that we time our visit so he could rendezvous with us at the dealership and see how our truck was doing after its fuel system service in late February.

We expected this. It was something he requested when it was released back to us after the work was completed. His plan was to follow-up with a visual inspection and plug in his laptop to see if any of the codes had returned.

And there was one more thing on the menu. A couple of us, including yours truly, had heard an odd, sporadic ticking sound at low speeds a few weeks back. That sound ceased after a few days and hasn't been heard by anyone for a couple weeks. It's pretty much impossible to diagnose a sound that isn't there, but we planned to mention it anyway.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Smart Storage Feature

April 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Not sure why I didn't notice that there's a cell phone slot in the console of our Ram 1500 before. After all, it works surprisingly well, even though I'm not sure that it's really designed for a cell phone at all.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: 30,000 Miles

April 24, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We try to make sure that all of our long-termers hit at least 20,000 miles during their year with us. Clearly our Ram 1500 is a popular vehicle, as it just crossed the 30,000-mile mark. In that time it's delivered an overall mileage number of 22.5 mpg, just above its EPA combined rating of 22 mpg. That's a rare feat for any of our long-term cars, especially one that has been used for towing, hauling and various road trip duties over the last year.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Chrome In the Cabin: Why?!

April 15, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I like a lot about our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I like its laid-back power delivery. I like its ride. I like that it's quiet on the road.

But I don't like its chrome interior trim. Why do manufacturers insist on doing this?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 14, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

As seems to be the case with trucks around here, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had a busy month. It covered 2,545 miles over the last four weeks with a variety of commuting and hauling responsibilities, using 105.2 gallons of diesel fuel and ticking ever closer to the 30,000-mile milestone.  

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: DEF Jam V: Running It To Empty

April 13, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

It was that time again. The DEF gauge on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel was buried in the red zone. This time I decided to let it run way down for a couple of reasons.

First, I wanted to make sure it was low enough to accept three 2.5-gallon jugs, which are cheaper on a per-gallon basis than 1-gallon bottles. Last time I pulled the trigger too early and only had the confidence to add 6 gallons. For this go-around I made sure the DEF tank was empty enough to get into the no-restart countdown messages, figuring that would ensure that three 7.5-gallon jugs would fit.

Second, I wanted to see if the no-restart countdown warning was obnoxious and dire enough to trigger an EV-style range anxiety response in the pit of my stomach. Would I be sweating it or would it be no big deal?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Sporadic Clicking Noise

March 31, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has developed a sporadic "click-click-click-clicking" noise coming from the engine bay.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Carefree Trip to IKEA Thanks to the Bedliner

March 30, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Trips to IKEA are never going to be a problem if you have a full-size pickup like our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at your disposal. Hauling away a bunch of assemble-it-yourself furniture is even more convenient since Dan Edmunds had our truck's cargo bed coated with a Line X bedliner.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Inconsistent Horn

March 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The last time I drove our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel the horn was inconsistent. If I tried to hit it lightly, nothing would happen.

If I pressed harder it would eventually work. And it seemed like once I got it working, it would become more sensitive for use for a little while after that.

This was especially noticeable when I was driving on the two-lane Ortega Highway. A car pulled over to let me and the Ram by, I tried to give him a little "honk-honk" to say thanks. Nothing happened at first, so I pressed harder and then suddenly it was like I was laying on the horn at the poor guy, as if I were mad at him.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Calming Influence

March 25, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Far too much time had passed since I last drove our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I don't know who to blame for the truck's utter lack of availability on the signup sheet, but as in most cases my index finger points straight at Senior Editor Josh Jacquot. And that damn rally car he's always towing around.

It sure didn't take long for me to remember just how much I love the big old lug (the Ram, not Josh). My ample commute home highlighted the Ram's smooth ride and superb interior.

But I'm also quite fond of the EcoDiesel engine. You see, it has a calming influence on me.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits Well

March 24, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Since I drove our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel over a weekend, it became our family vehicle and I installed the larger of my two convertible car seats in its backseat.

As still I'm relatively new to parenthood and car seats, I was surprised to find three sets of LATCH anchor points in the backseat. It makes sense, though, given that a loaded crew cab is likely to be a multi-use family vehicle. Then, I glanced at page 18 of our Ram's owner's manual, and for a second or two, thought I might not be able to use LATCH to install my car seat.

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2014 Ram 1500: Restoring the Bed With a Line-X Spray-on Bedliner

March 23, 2015

2014 Ram 1500

Our 2015 Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Colorado were close to brand new when we had their Line-X spray-on bedliners applied. But our 2014 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel has some miles on it — over 26,000 of them.

At this point its bed is full of scuffs and scratches. Not many, mind you — we're not landscaping contractors or brick masons — but enough to make us wonder how beat up it might get after the next 26,000 miles and beyond. And we can only imagine the rust we might be seeing if we were located where they use road salt in winter or had the good fortune to live in a seaside bungalow.

The water cooler conversationalists on the testing team wondered if the Line-X spray-on bedliner treatment would be a good restorative measure. There was only one way to find out.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Finally Drove It and It Was Worth the Wait

March 16, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Twenty-six thousand miles had gone by since we added the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to our long-term fleet, and I still hadn't driven our truck. Actually, I hadn't driven any Ram 1500 since the significant round of updates for the 2013 model year. So I signed out our diesel pickup for the weekend and drove it home. As others have written, this truck is easy and enjoyable to drive.

Its relaxed character reminds me a lot of our departed long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, though with a few key differences.

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2014 Ram 1500: Suspension Articulation and Ramp Travel Index

March 13, 2015

2014 Ram 1500

We've had our 20-degree RTI ramp much longer than we've owned our 2014 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel. On more than one occasion they've been in the same room at the same time but, for one reason or another, the latter was never driven up the former.

That changed last week. I finally pointed the Ram at the ramp and crept up the slope until the big 4x4 just barely began teetering. The point at which the tiniest sliver of light is visible beneath the left rear tire is where Ramp Travel Index is measured.

On the way up, the Ram passed its first test by clearing the ramp with its underhanging aero flap, a feat the Colorado didn't come close to managing.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

A significant unexpected event held down the mileage added to our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel this month. It spent nearly two weeks out of commission as the dealer and Ram's corporate engineers tried to understand why it suddenly stalled.

Some 1,171 miles were added during February, but only 511 of them can be added to the fuel log. The truck had well over 400 miles on its trip odometer when it was towed, but during the course of the investigation and repairs the mechanic and field engineer drained the remaining fuel, inspected the tank, added an unknown number of gallons and made several diagnostic and confirmation drives.

Along the way the tank and fuel were ruled out as potential contributors, but their tinkering means we have no way of determining the number of gallons that were consumed by the engine during this period. All we could do was top-off the tank when we got the truck back in order to put everything back on track for next month.

The 511 miles we can account for came in a single tank that was consumed at a rate of 22.6 mpg, which kept our Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 4x4's lifetime average at 22.3 mpg. Both figures compare favorably to its official 22 mpg EPA combined rating.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Back in Service

March 3, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel is back in our hands after an extended stay at McPeek's Dodge of Anaheim, the dealership that was closest to the point at which it stalled abruptly.

And by "extended stay" I mean 12 days.

Why so long? The Ram engineering group in Detroit got involved. But not because I asked them to — I didn't. I guess that someone who knew someone must have seen the Tweet I'd sent out while I was waiting for the tow truck. Perhaps the problem description raised a red flag.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: The Ride, It's Not Just for People

February 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is still in the shop. You can read about its misadventures here. The last time we checked it was being pulled apart. We can't believe how long it is taking.

While we wait to get our truck back in one piece, here is one of our adventures that happened before the mishap.

A lot has been said about the ride quality in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, and rightly so. It bucked the trend (see what I did there?) of full-sized trucks being rough riding, bouncy affairs and instead showed us that, with a little suspension black magic, a big truck could indeed have a comfortable, relaxed ride.

Well that's all well and good for people, but what does it mean for cargo strapped into the bed? Kinda exactly what you'd think it'd mean.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Abrupt Stall While Moving

February 19, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Everything seemed normal as I was driving my daughter to school in our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel. Well, almost normal. Five minutes earlier it had cranked an unusually long time (3 or 4 seconds) when I'd started it at home. That rather innocuous incident marked the third such occurrence in three consecutive days, so I made a mental note to tell the dealer about it at the next oil change before I backed out of my driveway and set off.

That plan abruptly changed as I rolled up to a green light and began a right-hand turn. A single-note chime resonated through the cabin, and I glanced down to find a brand new check-engine light glowing on the dash. Ten seconds later the engine died abruptly as I was slowing for the next red light.

I was gently brushing the brakes going no more than 20 mph when it happened, but the sudden loss of power brought me to a stop three truck-lengths short of the line. It was as good a spot as any for something like this to happen. This was a little-used shortcut with almost no traffic. But I was out in the second lane. I needed to move on or move over. So I pushed the start button and attempted a restart.

It was no good. The starter simply cranked and cranked until it timed-out after 25 seconds. I tried again and got the same result.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Comfortable Junk Hauler

February 17, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

After a round of home improvement projects over the last couple of months, I had a side yard full of wood scraps and other junk to get rid of. Despite not having a protective bed liner, our Ram 1500 handled the task with ease, and without a scratch.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Misaligned Trim Panel

February 10, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

This trim panel has been misaligned on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel for as long as I can remember. Hasn't changed my life at all. In fact, I still love this truck.

Click though to see what it should look like.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for January

February 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

January wasn't the most eventful month for our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel but we still managed to pile on another 1,400 miles, tow a car, haul a motorcycle and back over our neighbor's flowers.

Numbers are on the other side.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Tire Wear OK at 24,000 Miles

February 4, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

There's still plenty of rubber left on our Ram's 275/60R20 Goodyear Wrangler SR-A tires as we approach 25,000 miles. This is what the wear bars look like on both the front and rears as of this writing. Notice how much rubber remains above the wear bar. About 7/32-in of the original 11/32-in remains. In other words, there's plenty of life left in these tires.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Slow Navigation Traffic Reporting

January 27, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

I've had a lot of good experiences with our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel's UConnect system. This isn't one of them. I almost always check traffic on the 91 freeway before I jump on to travel a few exits to a place we frequent for dinner. Over the holiday I did just that. Often this check is performed with a smart phone from my driveway, which has proven reliable. This time, however, I only glanced at the Ram's nav screen.

I regretted it.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Easy Towing

January 16, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I'm not Dan Edmunds. The dude is a towing expert, all concerned with tongue weight and balance, brake gain and hitch drop. Nope. I'm not that guy. In fact, I've hardly towed at all. But I'm here to tell you that our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel makes towing easy.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Fuel Economy Update for December

January 9, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

We put only about 1,500 miles on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel in December. We didn't tow and there were no road trips. In other words, it was a slow month. Best fill (17.1 mpg), worst fill (27.9 mpg) and best range (700.2 miles) remain the same as last month.

Click through for all the details.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: DEF Jam IV

January 6, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

The DEF gauge on our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel sank into the red zone as I towed Josh's racecar southward towards home. I know what you're thinking: "Didn't they add DEF just a few weeks ago?"

Well yes, and no. Yes, we last filled the tank on October 25. And, yes, the day I added it was November 30.

But you must remember this: We put over 5,000 miles on our Ram in November alone. That's anywhere from three to five months for most people. We had driven 5,335 miles since our last DEF add, and a good percentage of those were towing miles.

Also, the DEF tank wasn't quite empty when I added my 6 gallons. The warning lights had not yet come on. I could have stretched it out another 500 miles or more. But the needle was clearly in the red, and I don't like handing over a vehicle with an impending issue to the next guy or gal.

Besides, I'd never yet added DEF to any vehicle. I was curious.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: No Need for Fake Wood

December 31, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

One of the many upgrades with the Laramie trim level of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is this "wood" trim. It's on the doors front and rear along with a few sections of the dashboard.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Confident When Wet

December 30, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Alert FEMA and the media. It rained for more than 24 hours in Southern California recently. Couple of times, actually. Yes, it's predictable and boring to discuss the weather, especially rain in the Southland, almost as predictable as the bad behavior of the wet weather drivers who live here. Nice to have the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel on days like this.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Rubber Trim Issue

December 29, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Getting out of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel the other day I noticed this small issue. The rubber door trim that insulates the rear of the cabin from wind noise and other such issues is falling off.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Door Handle Stuck

December 26, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I pulled the front passenger door handle on our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and it stuck...

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Towing a Volkswagen eGolf

December 24, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Recently we tested a 2015 Volkswagen eGolf. We test all electric vehicles with a full charge, and oftentimes, they are so depleted by the end of testing that they don't have range to get home. To get around this, we tow them to and from the track. This time we used our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as chauffer...

Before towing we had to do some quick math:

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Oregon Road Trip, Towing Home

December 22, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

With the Thanksgiving festivities behind us, it was time to prepare for the 1,040-mile drive home. But this wasn't a simple matter of loading ourselves into the cab and sliding our suitcases under a tarp in the bed and waving goodbye. Before we could set out I first had to drive across Bend to pick up a trailer.

One of my co-workers had bought a rally-prepped Subaru RS 2.5 from someone that just happened to live nearby. The transaction had been in the "deposit" stage for some weeks while he made plans to come up and get it, but then we both realized two things: I was going to be in Bend for my own reasons, and I had already signed out the 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel so I could collect the contents of my daughter's dorm room at the University of Oregon.

I stopped for more diesel fuel on the way over to grab the trailer even though I didn't strictly need it yet. A fresh top-up would isolate the non-towing miles from the towing ones in the logbook. So with "just" 372 miles on the clock the attendant added 15.824 gallons.

That works out to 23.5 mpg for a tank that included a fair bit of messing around on dirt roads, sightseeing and driving around town. Taking all three tanks together, the entire 1,513-mile trip to this point had gone down at 24.7 mpg.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Oregon Road Trip, Colder Weather in Bend

December 16, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

The second phase of our trip saw us leave the Oregon coast behind in our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel and head inland to Bend. Along the way we stopped in Eugene to pick up our eldest daughter at the University of Oregon. I also refilled it (had it refilled; pump-your-own-gas in not allowed in Oregon) with more diesel before the four of us headed farther east.

This was only our second fuel stop after 1,140 miles on the road. The first had been in Willits, Calif., some 557 miles behind us. Our friendly Eugene station attendant added 21.451 gallons, which works out to 26.0 mpg. Not bad for a tank that was almost exclusively comprised of meandering two-lane roads that hugged the coastline, wound alongside rivers and climbed over more than a few grades and hills, including a handful of trips up Dad's half-mile long 15-percent driveway.

Bend is on the east side of the Cascade Range, and when we arrived there was snow on the ground. It had snowed a few days earlier, and it was fairly cold, but not yet Polar Vortex cold. Still, this gave us the chance to appreciate a couple of cold-weather Ram features.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Oregon Road Trip, The Coast

December 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Regular readers of the escapades of our long-term test fleet are well aware of my semi-regular forays north to my parents' place on the stunning Oregon coast. This time our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel got the nod. This choice wasn't much of a choice because I had two additional objectives beyond visiting Mom and Dad and spending Thanksgiving with my wife's family over in Bend, Oregon.

I needed to stop at the University of Oregon in Eugene to load up my eldest daughter's dorm room. The Toyota Highlander could have handled that, but I also volunteered to tow a racecar back to southern California for a co-worker. How could I not? He happened to buy his rally-prepped Subaru Impreza 2.5RS from a guy that lived no more than five miles from where we'd be devouring our turkey.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Xmas Tree Duty

December 10, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 11-foot-tall Christmas tree (plus stand) didn't exactly fit in the bed of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, but as you can see, the truck got the job done.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Fuel Economy Update for November

December 4, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

November was a busy month for our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Nearly 5,200 miles were added, and about half of them resulted from a Thanksgiving road trip to Oregon I still haven't told you very much about.

The above photograph hints at what was going on, for half the time, at least. Yes, I towed a trailer containing a rally car all the way back. You can't see from here, but the bed and cab are all loaded with tires and the contents of my eldest daughter's dorm room. And the wooden splash panel on the nose of the trailer is concealing a massive steel Jobox tool box filled with a few hundred pounds of spare car parts. The car itself is packed with more tires, three packed suitcases and trash bags full of clothes and bedding.

So it should come as no surprise that I reset the Ram's worst tank this month. After all, I towed the lot from Bend, Oregon over Santiam Pass to Eugene and then south along Interstate 5 over numerous other passes until we crested the Siskiyou Summit and rolled down into Yreka, California for a stretch and some more diesel fuel.

But that new "worst" tank was still a respectable 17.1 mpg. Not bad for towing in the mountains with what I figure is about 6,000 pounds of added weight, possibly more. And the subsequent all-towing tanks that finished the 1,040-mile trip home were 19.4 and 20.5 mpg.

It would seem that diesel pays its biggest dividends to those that tow.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: 20,000 Miles in 7.5 Months

December 2, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Evidently the Edmunds staff likes our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I know I certainly do, but it takes more than one fan to reach 20,000 miles in 7.5 months around here.

At its core, the Ram 1500 is my current favorite full-size truck, EcoDiesel or otherwise. I like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine and the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 just as well. The more I drive any of them I become an even bigger fan of Ram's decision to fit coil spring rear suspension. I quite like the 8-speed automatic transmission, too, even if it does necessitate the use of a rotary shift knob. And the interior and the latest iteration of the U-Connect system are nothing less than fantastic.

For the record, the 20,000-mile mark was reached about halfway through a trip to Oregon and back that I'll be telling you about soon. I hadn't yet driven a Ram pickup on my semi-annual 2,000-mile excursion, but without spoiling too much in advance I can say the whole family has been happy with the choice.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Last-Minute Oil Change

November 28, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

It was the morning of the day I planned to head north to Oregon in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I had a story to finish and some errands to run before my daughter got out of school and we could wade out into Friday evening traffic and get going. In the midst of it all the Oil Change Due warning popped up on the truck's information screen.

This wouldn't have been a surprise to any normal vehicle owner, but we swap this truck around amongst the staff. No one prior to me had seen the 500-mile countdown clock begin issuing its notifications. I was mentally assuming 20,000 miles, so the warning at 18,490 miles was a bit of a surprise. I'd completely forgotten that Josh had taken it in for its first oil change a bit early at 8,975 miles instead of 10,000 miles, and that dealer hadn't affixed a reminder windshield sticker behind the sun visor.

So at 11:00 a.m. on a Friday I rushed over to McPeek Dodge/Ram in Anaheim to see what the service department could do for me on short notice. I was in luck. Only two cars were left waiting in front of me from the morning rush. I didn't have time to let them tackle the tire rub issue, though, so I didn't bring it up. As it was I would have to wait 90 minutes for the oil change and tire rotation I absolutely needed.

Half expecting this, I camped out in the waiting area with my laptop to get some work done, surrounded by a pair of Vipers and a couple of R/T Challengers.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Laguna Seca Track Day, Part 2

November 24, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

When we left off Laguna Seca Track Day, Part 1, I had arrived in my typical late fashion to the hotel the night before the two-day car/motorcycle track weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had performed well on the drive to Monterey, hauling my sportbike in the bed while towing my turbo Miata on a trailer.

Early the next morning it was a quick drive to the track, and that's when things got interesting.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Driver Seat Wear

November 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The front seat of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is showing some wear after 16,800 miles of service. This seat is a comfortable place to be. I spent over 400 miles in the saddle yesterday and had no complaints. And I'm not sure how this plays into seat wear, but by the looks of things, our staff is right-cheek dominant.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Laguna Seca Track Day, Part 1

November 17, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

You may recall earlier this year when we headed to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray for what some guy termed "The Greatest Event in Track Day History."

Well, this past weekend we headed up to the Monterey area for another one of these Friends of Mazda two-day car/motorcycle track weekends. But this time instead of using the Silverado as bike hauler and our long-term Vette as track car, we loaded my Honda CBR600RR into the bed of our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, while towing my turbo Miata on a U-Haul trailer.

Much adventure ensued.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Tire Rub, Revisited

November 12, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Senior Editor Josh Jacquot mentioned back in July that the tires on our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel rub the wheel wells in certain situations. Josh is probably going to try to garnishee my wages for saying this, but he's actually only half right.

How is this? Because only one of the wheels rubs. And it's the exact same situation every time.

That opening photo, of the driver's side front wheel area, shows the rub point on the fender liner, right near those two bolts. I wasn't sure what was going on for awhile, either, until I started turning the wheels full-lock both directions. The rubbing only occurs when you turn the steering wheel full lock to the right, at which point the left-side tire rubs up against the fender liner.

So the question is: Why is it doing this?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Soggy Moto Track Day

November 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

A buddy and I loaded our Honda CBR600RRs into the bed of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel last weekend and headed to Buttonwillow Raceway Park for a moto track day. Fellow Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi joined us, finally unleashing his beast of a Yamaha R1 on the track, too.

And wouldn't you know it, we got some of the rain we've so desperately needed here in southern California. 

Of all the days Mother Nature chooses to drop the watery stuff, of course it's when we're trying to ride motorcycles around a race track.

While the track day wasn't the biggest success ever for us, thanks to constantly changing conditions (it eventually started pouring in the afternoon, and we packed it in for the day), the Ram was another story.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for October

November 7, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel had a busy month, setting two new records for range and fuel economy, and adding 2,456 miles to the odometer. The two new records were achieved in consecutive fill-ups, where the Ram went 700 miles on one tank of fuel and averaged 27.9 miles per gallon on the next tank.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Northern California Road Trip Part 3

November 6, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

By day four of my road trip in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, I'd gone 1,200 miles and I was in a bit of pain. The truck didn't cause this discomfort, though. On day three, I had run an 8-mile Spartan Race in northern California then driven 500 miles to participate in an obstacle course called Tough Mudder the very next day.

If anything, the truck's excellent ride quality (combined with the ability to plug in a massage pillow) made the Ram a much better friend to me than I was to myself. So far, the truck had performed flawlessly.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Adding (and tracking) DEF

November 5, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Along the second leg of my 1,300-mile road trip, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gave me a warning on the center screen that it was time to add some diesel exhaust fluid. I noticed the gauge was low before the trip, so I pre-purchased three boxes of DEF ahead of time. At my next stop, I added 7.5 gallons of DEF and logged the mileage. Here's a breakdown of all the DEF we've added to the Ram so far.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Northern California Road Trip Part 2

November 4, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The first leg of my road trip in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was easy. I went 450 miles in eight hours without any discomfort. Day two in Nevada City, I ran errands and drove over the rolling hills near Tahoe National Forest. At this point, I was about 600 miles into my trip and things were going very well, but the most painful miles were yet to come.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: 15,000 Miles

November 3, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

After just six months in our fleet and right in the middle of my 1,300-mile road trip, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel hit the 15,000-mile mark. We took the truck in for its first service a few months back, but it hasn't required any maintenance since then.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Northern California Road Trip Part 1

October 31, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel seems to be a road-trip favorite around here. It's got a big fuel tank, excellent seats and since it's the only pickup currently in our fleet, it's the default vehicle for hauling big items. My cargo was the hood from a 1970 Chevrolet Nova and it was too big for the available crossovers in the Edmunds garage, so I signed out the Ram last weekend for a road trip of my own.

My route went from Los Angeles to Nevada City, Sacramento, Temecula and back home to L.A. Seems like a complicated route just because car part, right? That's because it was just part of the journey.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Good But Not Great Cruise Control System

October 23, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I use cruise control more than most. Don't ask me why, but anytime I have clear road ahead of me I usually set my speed and hope that no one gets in my way for a while.

After using the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel's setup countless times I've grown to appreciate it for the most part, but it has its drawbacks.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Navigation Fail

October 20, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We all know that L.A. traffic is no picnic. It's wildly unpredictable and wholly unavoidable. It isn't, however, like this. Ever.

Look closely. What you see here are surface streets in red and freeways in green. That means that the Ram's nav traffic thinks that all major surface streets (displayed in this particular scale) are jammed. Gridlocked. Every one. I've seen all sorts of weirdness on L.A. roads, but never anything like this.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Picking a City Truck

October 16, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I spent a week in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500, but unlike Josh who took the Ram on a multi-state road trip, I didn't have anywhere special to go. I took the truck to and from the office, to the grocery store and the beach, all of which are less than 5 miles from home. After seven days and only about 100 miles of driving, I decided I'd rather have our old long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado for this kind of city driving.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Moving Assistant

October 14, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

It's tough work helping a senior couple move from their home that they've lived in for over 35 years into a smaller new house. Fortunately our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was there to save the day. I honestly don't know what I would have done if I had to take one of our long-term SUVs — the Cherokee or the Highlander — for the job instead.

Here are the different ways I got to use our Ram like a truck.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Effective Seat Coolers

October 9, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

In Sacramento temperatures are hitting the high 90s. But despite that I decided to do the sundress test on our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel's seats. Meaning I was going to jump in the hot dark gray leather seat that had been baking in the sun all afternoon, while wearing a mere sundress. Hard-core, I know.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: There Should Be an Uber Truck Service

October 8, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If someone hasn't already created one, there should be a ride-sharing app for pickup trucks so you can just call one up on your smartphone when you need one! My uncle has wanted to work on his backyard shed for a long time but could never find a way to get the construction material to his home. Obviously his daily driver Corolla wasn't going to cut it and Home Depot won't deliver for such a small order.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Everyone Needs It

October 6, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I hadn't been in Sacramento 24 hours when it started. My uncle asked if I could haul some random items for him in the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. His daily driver is a Corolla so he was in dire need of something that could carry the two pieces of plywood, two tables, a bird fountain, and a potted plant that my parents gave him. That I gladly did. But then the next day, he asked if I could also do him a solid and help him pick up some plywood from Home Depot for a shed he was building. And then I wondered if this was just going to lead to more favors asked.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Dog Report

October 3, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

After 35 years, my parents are moving out of their home and needed some help so naturally I asked if I could borrow our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. So for the next week and a half, I'll be blogging about how much of a lifesaver this truck is. First here's how it did with hauling a dog.

Mya liked the truck on the nearly 400-mile trip from L.A. to Sacramento. She never zonked out completely, but she seemed cozy back there with plenty of room to spread out.

The backseat was perfect for dog hauling, what with the seatbelts that protruded from the seat making it easy to buckle her harness in and the rear-seat vents to keep her cool.

I don't think Mya appreciated the Ram's impressive fuel range, however. I only stopped once on the way up; not even to gas up but just to grab some lunch and give her a potty break. Since I was determined to get to Sacramento ASAP and the Ram didn't need a refill, I felt she could wait four hours after. And she did.

The only issue Mya and I encountered with the Ram is its height. Although she proved herself spry with our 2010 Ford Raptor, age seems to have hampered her jumping ability quite a bit.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for September

October 2, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

In the month of September, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel added 2,400 miles onto its odometer and drank nearly 120 gallons of diesel fuel. That equates to 20 miles per gallon for the month.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Power Folding Mirror Feature

October 1, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Part of my towing trip with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel entailed parking the truck in the paddock at Thunderhill Raceway. This wasn't your typical parking lot with defined spaces. It was a haphazard clusterpark of street cars, beat-down hoopty race cars, RVs, trailers, giant bro-dozers, minibikes, strollers and lots and lots of pickups.

It was there that I availed myself of the Ram's folding mirror feature.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Towing Trip Fuel Economy

September 30, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

No regular reader of our long-term updates would reasonably think that we'd go on a towing trip with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and not report the trip's fuel economy.

Hit the jump.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Towing Trip

September 23, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've towed with our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I'm usually the guy around here using our long-term trucks for towing, and if I haven't used the Ram for towing yet then its likely nobody has. Dan, maybe.

This time I towed a motorcycle engine-swapped Toyota MR2 on a steel trailer from Los Angeles to Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California, and back. It was, roughly, a 1,000-mile round trip.

How'd it go? Hit the jump.

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2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel: Rowher Flats Off-Roading

September 19, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel

Earlier this week, I took the side rails off our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. I knew I'd be doing some light off-roading over the weekend and the side rails were a minor liability. At approximately 9:42 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I headed north of Los Angeles to the closest OHV (off-highway vehicle) area, a place called Rowher Flats.

Rowher Flats has lots of staging areas and smaller courses (with varying degrees of difficulty) for dirt bikes, ATVs and short-wheelbase Jeeps, but the big, bulky Ram is better suited for the wide trail up the mountain. The Ram also has a low hanging front bumper which greatly impacts its angle of approach, so I made sure to avoid steep inclines and pointy obstacles in the center of the road. So how did the full-size pickup do?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Removing the Step Bars

September 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

A while back, Dan Edmunds asked if you, the readers, thought we should lose the step bars on our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Like many of you, my response was, "Yes."

So this weekend, to prepare for a bit of light off-roading, I removed the rails. It would give me more clearance along dirt roads. And I think they make our truck look a bit clunky. Plus, I'm always looking for an excuse to get my hands dirty. Cue the workshop music.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Parksense Foibles

September 15, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 is a Laramie, so it comes standard with a rearview camera, but front and rear parking sensors (Parksense as Ram calls them) are a $395 option.

Since I live in a crowded city and I parallel park quite a bit (yes, I've parallel parked the Ram about a dozen times over the last week) parking sensors are a bumper-saving piece of equipment that I'd opt for, but this particular system has a few issues.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Plug-In Power

September 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This simple outlet in our 2014 Ram 1500 is often one of its most useful features, at least for people who need to randomly fire up a laptop on the road.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 5, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

During the month of August, we put 2,272 miles on the odometer of our long-term 2014 Ram 1500, which required just over 100 gallons of diesel fuel. Those miles included the tail end of a road trip where the Ram was busy hauling lots of people and gear, as well as plenty of city miles in stop-and-go traffic.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Broken Interior Light. Still Broken

September 2, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Possibly you remember the broken interior light in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Last month when I took the truck in for its first service the dealer ordered the part. A few weeks later I received a notice that the part, a small bezel to locate the lamp in the seat bottom, had arrived and that it would be held until this week.

What? Held until this week? What if we couldn't get the truck there by then?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Good-Looking Gauges

August 29, 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Of the Big Truck Trio, the Silverado gauges have a cool and techy design touch, with the large speedometer and tach buttressing a bridge of four octagonal secondary gauges. Nice modern theme, with a splash of Corvette. The new F-150 forgoes analog secondary gauges altogether for a full-blown customizable 8-inch digital display anchoring speedo and tach and lightsaber-like needles.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Audio Review

August 26, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The sound system in our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is awesome. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display and the 10-speaker stereo are standard on all Laramie's. There's plenty of bass to fill the cabin, and the touchscreen interface is one of the easiest to use on the market today. On top of all of that, this thing catalogs and indexes my music at lightning speed.

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