2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Too Much Truck for Me

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on October 30, 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Short-Bed Problems

August 25, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Look, I'm with you guys. I don't get short-bed pickup trucks. But when I needed to transport a motorcycle and our 2014 Ram EcoDiesel was the only thing available, I wasn't going to complain. Until now.

Weird proportions of a crew cab, short-bed truck aside, not being able to close the tailgate of a full-sized pickup truck behind a normal-sized motorcycle is kind of...sad. It's also a little nerve wracking, especially when you're bombing down one of L.A.'s dismal freeways only to look in the mirror and see nothing more than four ratchet straps keeping your motorcycle from sitting in the passenger seat of the Prius behind you.

But I digress.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Cupholders. Big Ones.

August 18, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

If there's one thing our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel does well it's cupholders. Seriously, check it out. I bet there's room for 800 calories there if you're drinking Mountain Dew. I love trucks.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Photos From the Road Part 2

August 6, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I'm still sitting on a few decent shots of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel from last week's trip. There's no point in letting these rot in my digital archive when they can flourish here on the web. So, without further ado, here you go.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Photos From the Road

August 04, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Last week our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel was in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. We were appreciating the great vastness and stunning beauty of the American West. We rode bikes, fished and rafted.

Here are a few shots of the Ram along the way. And other good stuff.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Makeshift Bike Rack

July 17, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

It's possible you remember the makeshift bike rack I built for our 2014 Chevy Silverado a few months back.

Because I'm driving the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to Wyoming next week and taking bikes I needed something similar. Problem is, the Ram's 5.5-foot bed isn't long enough to accommodate bikes using the one slot it offers for holding a 2x6 board vertically. That slot is between the wheel wells and the tailgate so the bikes would need to face backwards, and they're too long for that.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Needs a Bumper Step

July 16, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

What's missing in this shot of our Ram's bumper?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Well-Lit Entry

July 15, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This is a shot of the courtesy lights on our 2014 Ram 1500. They come on when you unlock the doors and as you can see they do a pretty nice job of lighting up the area around the truck.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Tire Rub

July 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel's tires rub the wheel wells. It only happens in certain situations, at full steering lock when passing over a bump. In other words, it happens every time I pull out of my driveway, which doesn't have an aggressive transition.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Adding Diesel Exhaust Fluid

July 09, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

As Kurt pointed out the other day, our 2014 Ram 1500 is in need of diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF. It's the stuff that's sprayed into the exhaust to help clean up the emissions.

With the DEF gauge firmly in the red zone, I figured I would fill it up a little since I was driving it all weekend. I opened the manual to see how much DEF I'd need to add. I've never done it before so I don't have a reference point to start from. Are DEF tanks big? Small? I have no idea.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: DEFinitely Low

July 07, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

That's the DEF gauge, and as you can see, we're running low on the stuff. DEF is an acronym for Diesel Exhaust Fluid, which broadly, is used to help reduce emissions for the diesel power plant in our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Fuel Economy Update for June

July 03, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

In the month of June, our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel spun an additional near-1,200 miles onto its odometer and consumed 56 gallons of diesel fuel. That equates to 20.8 miles per gallon for the month.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Small but Useful Storage Space

July 02, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This compartment in the center console of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is not large. As you can see, it's barely deep enough to accommodate a box of delicious orange Tic Tacs.

Some might see this as a major oversight, since everything in a full-size truck must be full-sized right? Not so.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Not Sure About the Shifter

June 30, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I've always liked the idea of alternative shifters for cars. Rather than have a giant lever taking up all that space on the console, why not make it a switch like everything else so you can put it anywhere that's convenient? Sure it takes some getting used to, but eventually you're glad to have the extra space.

I'm not so sure it works as well for trucks.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: You Write the Caption

June 27, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Now that we have our new commenting system is place, let's test it out with a caption contest.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Should We Lose the Step Bars?

June 26, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The soundtrack to this 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel update is the song "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" by The Clash. That's what it comes down to really. Should those massive chrome side step bars stay or should they go?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Motorcycle Transport

June 11, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

I used the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to haul my motorcycle to a track day at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada recently. I've said before how much I enjoy driving this truck, with its almost ridiculously smooth ride, sweet diesel engine and comfy cabin.

But, as with our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, I wish our Ram's bed was longer.

This time I actually have a legitimate reason for it. It even involves some Harley-Davidson-riding dirtbags, just to make the story more interesting.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Behind-the-Scenes Conversation

June 9, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The following is an actual reenactment of a conversation between me and EIC Scott Oldham in the hallway of Edmunds world headquarters. As both of these guys are somewhat gruff, former east-coasters, it works better if you read it with a slight Jersey accent.  

Me: "Hey Scott, how you doin'?"

Scott: "Don't wreck my truck."

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Glad It Has a Sliding Rear Window

May 29, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The sliding rear window on pickups is an often forgotten piece of utility. Most people think that having a truck bed means always having more than enough room to haul things. But that's not always the case, especially with the shorter beds that are so common on extended cab and crew cab trucks.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Capless Fuel Filler

May 28, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has a capless fuel filler, but you'd never know it from the picture above. The little green insert may look like the worlds lamest fuel cap, but in reality it's a throwaway piece the dealer was supposed to remove and toss aside as part of the pre-delivery inspection.

What's it for? It's part of the fuel tank sub-assembly, which arrives at the assembly plant with the filler neck in place. This little cap is there to prevent material from going down the neck and into the tank during shipping, handling and final assembly at the plant.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: An Unfamiliar but Important Gauge

May 19, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

This unfamiliar gauge in our new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is an important one. Much like the diesel fuel gauge, if the DEF goes to 0% the truck won't start. So what is it?

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Versatile Backseat

May 14, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Our long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has one flexible backseat. Check this out.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Tiny Manual-Shift Buttons

May 12, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

The buttons to manually shift the eight-speed automatic transmission on the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel are super small. They're the least manly thing in what is otherwise a pretty ballsy truck.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Hotter Truck Than a Ford Raptor?

May 1, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We're often in the market to buy cars just as they are hitting dealer lots, or even slightly before. As you might expect, this makes the cars harder to find and harder to get deals, too.

We wanted to get a 2014 Ram 1500 crew cab with an EcoDiesel V6 for our long-term fleet. There are V8-powered Ram 1500s all over the place but the new diesel engine is another story.

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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Introduction

April 30, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

With the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado nearing its one-year anniversary in our long-term test fleet, we knew it was time to start shopping around for a replacement. We love the Silverado's comfort and do-anything utility, so whatever came next had to fill some pretty big shoes.

Enter the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Last year, the Ram received a healthy refresh to its exterior and interior styling, and the frame was strengthened and lightened. These changes allowed the Ram to sprint away with an "A" Edmunds rating, while its competitors from Chevy, Ford, GMC and Toyota all hung behind with "B" grades.

Not only is the Ram our favorite half-ton, but it also received a brand-new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine option for 2014, making it the only pickup in the half-ton class to offer diesel power. Good for 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, it's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends the power to either the rear or all four wheels.

We wanted to be one of the first owners of a Ram with the new diesel, so we searched far and wide to find a truck that worked for us. We finally found one in Laramie trim, and traveled to Newark, California, near Silicon Valley to pick it up.

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