New Ram 1500 Owners Report Radio Problems

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The new trend towards touch-screen, multi-informational radios is great for rapidly displaying information to drivers. That is, when they work correctly. When they don’t, like some new Ram 1500 owners have discovered, it is incredibly frustrating.

New Ram 1500 Owners Report Radio Problems

The Uconnect system on some Ram 1500’s is driving customers nuts.

For certain 2013 and 2014 Ram 1500 owners, their new truck has become a less than perfect vehicle. Their radios simply don’t work correctly and it takes multiple trips to the dealer to get a resolution. With two model years now experiencing the same rash of problems, it seems like there is either no permanent fix to this problem, or Ram is neglecting small issues like this when trying to get products to market.

What’s the Problem?

We found details about this issue on Ram forums like this 2013 model2014 models and YouTube videos that all seemed to outline the same issues. Namely, the radio:

  • Gets stuck, won’t turn off or stays on a station – no matter what you push, it is stuck
  • Inexplicably flips to auxiliary inputs, and then back to a radio station
  • Blank, black screen
  • Turns itself on/off
  • Back-up camera displays blue screen, flashes or displays lines
  • Memory system unavailable error

All of these problems are really a big nuisance for new Ram owners. This is especially true for those who drive long distances since it basically renders the radio and the sound system as non-operational.

In rare cases, we have heard 2500/3500 owners not being able to engage their “tow/haul” button — and it’s related to this issue. Apparently, the majority of the electronic items in the truck run through the radio. A non-functioning radio is more than just missing your tunes, it is a safety issue.

Current Fixes

Ram dealers have fixed these problems by using a “shotgun” approach.

They’re replacing:

  • Entire radio units
  • New media hub (Aux/USB/SD Port with iPod® mobile device integration)
  • Auxiliary cables
  • Re-flashing software to get the radio back online

What’s maddening for many of these owners is, while one of the above fixes may help one person, it doesn’t seem to help everybody. Ultimately, it seems to be a combination of these fixes that may take care of the problem. Yet, this shouldn’t be happening on new pickups.

Officially, Ram says they are working on addressing the problem.

“As technology is consistently changing, Chrysler Group LLC regularly develops system and software updates for its vehicles,” said spokeswoman Alyse Tadajewski. “Updates are designed to enrich the vehicle ownership and user experience. We appreciate the comments received … and are investigating.”

In other words, they don’t have a “silver bullet” to fix all of the problems, but they are constantly working on new updates to hopefully resolve it. That’s great in the long run, but what about the short term for Ram owners? If none of the fixes above works, they are simply out of luck.

While this issue may seem minor, when you can’t really enjoy your truck, it is a much more serious matter. It seems to us that Ram may need to slow down and sort out these bugs beforehand. Ram may say they are making big improvements in their quality annoying issues like this one will surely drag that down.

Filed Under: Auto News

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  1. breathing borla says:

    They have had several updates so far and I read much less about people having issues on several of the forums I belong to. Mine has been fine so far. I really don’t think this is wide spread issue from what I am seeing. That said I have read about people having issues and having radios replaced and it would suck to be one of them.

    For how much new technology Ram has in these things I think they are doing decent from what I have read. Keep in mind they sell 4 times as many trucks so you’ll naturally read about more issues than the tundra.

    Simple solution, if you want a more basic truck with less chance for issues especially if you drive it until the wheels come off this is where the tundra shines and you can’t go wrong for buying one. If you like all the bells and whistles, features, options, newest technology then give the ram a try, it’s a hell of a nice truck, rides awesome, has a ton of power, and mine has been trouble free for 25k miles so far which is all you can ask. I will shop the tundra 5.7, gm 6.2, and ram 5.7 next time around so far.

    Just my .02 from a tundra guy having an out of body experience in a Ram, lol.

  2. Randy says:

    Yep I have followed the perils of “infotainment” systems for some time, about 6 years now. Motorweek reported many of the problems in your article for their long term test of the Ram.

    For me the Ram problems are almost a duplicate to the problems in my 2014 Tundra JBL Entune. Sometimes it works sometimes not. I probably know more about the problems and some of the partial resolutions than anyone else, including Toyota. It is ashamed Toyota has not yet taken an extreme serious approach to resolving the issues, because I know of dozens more that have similar problems. So far the engineers have a blind eye to these problems.

    In my opinion the Tundra JBL Entune is not the QDR I was expecting from Toyota. The quality is just not there and much of the time it borders on non-functional. Very frustrating to say the least. In that regard both the Ram and the Tundra are “again” very similar; they both dropped the ball.

    Yes I absolutely love my Tundra and Yes it is the best half ton made. I can do marvelous things in it that are impossible in the Ford – like drive it in the rain. Every component, part, and parcel in my Tundra is 100% “perfect” except for the JBL Entune.

    • LJC says:

      Toyota nor RAM are totally to blame for these woes; the info-pain-ment — I just made that up 😀 — system is acutally developed/produced by a supplier. Where the fault lies in both Toyota and RAM is allowing these unreliable systems for making this far into production.

      This is a large subject and with that, google “Capability Maturity Model”. You will find that it is possible to develop reliable computer systems, it just comes down how much effort and expertise goes into them–you get what you pay for.

      I’ll stick to my fairly old fashioned radio, $80 Garmin for navigation, and tow-haul button 😀

  3. Mario says:

    No system is perfect. Took 5 stereos and 1 iPod interface to find the problem with my 08 tundra. Haven’t had any problems with my ram yet. The extra bells and whistles in the ram got me this time. Was hoping the 14 Tundra would have been a lot more than a new dress and heels…

  4. CT says:

    I’ve been reading about these problems with the Uconnect since the 2012 CY refresh, but it has been swept under the rug by Ram the media. It’s about time Ram got called out on this.

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