2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Long Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2009 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 Long Term Road Test

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Audio & Technology

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Radio Seems Fine

May 26, 2010


Last week Doug had trouble with the radio and displayin our 2009 Dodge Ram.Over the past week I've put400 miles on it. Istarted it at least30times. Iturned the radio display on and off twice that many times.I even fumbledaround with the dimmer switch, assumingthat played a role. Despite my poking and prodding, theRam didn't miss a beat.

We will continue to monitor the issue, but the radioseems fine now.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 29,400 miles

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Radio Silence

May 20, 2010

On the way into the office one morning this week, I pushed the volume on/off switch on the Ram's head unit and nothing happened. The display was dark and the audio system was silent. I pushed the switch several more times to try to get the radio to come back to life before I came to the conclusion that I'd have to make my commute in silence.

At least I could catch up on a few phones calls while stuck in traffic, so I dialed a friend. And before I could hit the speaker option on my iPhone to comply with California's hands-free law, I was startled by a sound coming over the truck's speakers.

While the audio wasn't working, the Bluetooth system was since I'd previously paired my phone. Before I heard a ring, my friend's voice mail greeting came blasting through the speakers (as captured in the video below). But the radio display was still blank and I couldn't view his name and number on it, per usual.

By the time I got to our offices the radio display was coming back to life, although it was dim. And when I jumped back into the truck at the end of the day, the display was working normally.

If I had to choose between making phones calls and listening to music, I'd always chose tunes over talking, especially at the end of a long day.

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Beep, Beep, Beep...

December 03, 2009


See the tailgate facing the ground? It houses a back-up camera and that camera is also facing the ground. What's more, the parking proximity sensors see the tailgate when it's in the down position. As you might imagine, this combination conspires to make some funny things happen inside the Ram's cockpit.

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Time Change

November 02, 2009

2009 dodge ram time change

Yesterday, I decided to tackle changing the clock in our long-term Dodge Ram. It was a pleasantly quick and easy process. No RTFMing needed.

I just tapped the clock display on the radio's main screen and up popped the screen pictured above left. Tapped the "daylight savings" virtual button once and it moved the clock to standard time just like that (above right). I hit the "save" button, and was done with it.

Did you change your car's clock yet? Was it easy?

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 12,774 miles

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Navigation Fail

October 15, 2009

Two weeks ago the family and I made a trip up the coast to Lake Lopez which is just outside of San Luis Obispo on the central coast. I programmed the destination into the nav system which then proceeded to be mightily confused. Specifically, it wouldn't highlight the route or show a list of turns. In other words, it wouldn't navigate.

I bought a map.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Essential Tech

September 01, 2009

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I usually tend to think having both rear parking sensors and a backup camera on the same vehicle is overkill, but in the case of the Ram, the combination feels like necessary equipment.

Last night, I had to make a run to a grocery store that has tight parking spaces in a cramped, crowded underground structure. The Ram's backup camera showed me what was behind me, but given the mammoth size of the truck's bed, it wasn't always easy to get a sense of how far I was from that threatening pillar or that adjacent car. Enter the parking sensor, which chimed in with an enthusiastic squeal or two if things began getting uncomfortably close. It took all the stress out of parking such a large vehicle.

Which tech features do you consider essential for modern driving?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 6,468 miles

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Are you Sirius?

August 19, 2009


I was born and raised a city girl. I grew up in a big three-story house that didn't even have a lawn. We had no use for any kind of truck.

Perhaps that's why it's such a novelty to me. But I LOVE driving pickup trucks!

We haven't had a truck in our fleet in a while, so it took a little time to get used to how high it sits. Driving out of the parking garage I kept thinking I was going to scrape the ceiling. But the Ram fits just fine.

Someday I'll give you a treat and post video bloopers of me trying to climb into the cab. There's no step.

I couldn't figure out how to use my iPod in it. There is an Aux port but I lost my Aux cord a long time ago. I searched in the glove box and found some strange looking cables but none of them were for the iPod. Then I noticed the USB port. I plugged in my iPod but it wouldn't recognize it.

I tried to tell Sync the voice-recognition system my problems but it wouldn't listen. So, I did what I always do when I have an audio-related question. I ran to Brian Moody for help. He says the USB port is for loading music onto the hard drive or for uploading photos. It won't recognize my iPod. He recalls us having a short-term test Ram for a while that had an iPod connection. So, there must be a way. We may have to get a special cable. I listened to Sirius satellite radio instead.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: How's the Stereo?

August 07, 2009

car-of-the-week-banner.jpgLT Ram 025.jpg

It may seem odd to even consider the audio system in a beefy full size truck like the Dodge but chances are Ram owner will spend plenty of time behind the wheel. Nothing makes the hours and miles of a Texas sized road trip slip by faster that a good sound system. Here's what you get with the Laramie

The standard audio system on the Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie is a 506 wattsurroundsound unit. It includes 9 Alpine speakers plus a subwoofer, USB and aux connections, an internal hard drive, single CD/DVD player and it's satellite radio ready with 12 free months of service.

How it Sounds -

Bass is deep and tight and mids add a nice well rounded sound. Electric guitar with distortion soundsespecailly good. Unfortunately, the highs are just too overpowering and aresometimes shrill. Highs are also where distortion creeps in and on the whole everything simply sounds over boosted -- sort of like Tom Cruise cranking up the EQ on his parents stereo in Risky Business. The good part is that the subtleties of certain tracks are more noticeable - background horns, sampling or scratching come to life on this system. The down side is that some subtleties should remain subtle. For example, trackswith a lot ofreverb cansound far too echo-y. Listen to anything like rock, rap or even pop for any length of time and it starts to feel rather taxing. Thankfully it's all anchored by clean, deep bass and taking the treble adjustment down a few clicks helps. Overall sound quality is a good solid B.

How it works -

The Laramie's audio system does a lot and that means many screens and menus to accomplish a given task. While listening to music via hard drive, CD, DVD or even memory stick, the tracks are listed on the main screen and you can jump right to a specific track by just touching it. The touchscreen is a good idea but the screen is too small -onlya few trackscan show at one time. Plus,the interface is a combination of thoughtful features and datedgraphics.However,a real high point is a small key pad that lets you punch in the exact radio station number without having to fumble through presets or twisting a dial endlessly. This is especially nice when it comes to satellite radio. Redundant steering wheel mounted controls on the back of the wheel are excellent too and that's been the case for a few years now with Chrysler products. In terms of function, this systemgets a B+.

Brian Moody, Automotive Editor

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Easy Bluetooth Pairing

July 21, 2009


Hands-free Bluetooth pairing isn't anything new. But Dodge does it right in the Ram. It's intuitive, simple to execute and works the first time. And you don't have to stop.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ about 3,400 miles

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