Both Dodge and the Chevy owners sometimes notice bumping and clunking when steering. This might be more noticeable when driving over bumps. The cause is usually different in each truck though.
In the Dodge Ram, clunky steering is more likely due to a defective lower ball joint. Replacement costs around $300 - $400, parts and labor.
Clunky Chevy Silverado steering is probably a steering rack failure. This problem appears more often in trucks with over 90,000 miles. Silverado steering rack repair will run you up to $1,000 or more.
For the Chevy Silverado with over 130,000 miles, you might notice trouble starting. This problem may appear occasionally at first, but it typically gets worse. Excluding a weak battery, the culprit is usually the starter. Replacement will cost you around $330 - $500. Of the total cost, $90 is for labor only.
Now the Dodge Ram might make a ticking sound when starting, especially on models with over 94,500 miles. The noise often disappears after the engine warms up. These symptoms may indicate a broken exhaust manifold. Repair costs range from $800 - $900.
Burning Oil & Gas Gauge On The Blink
Sometimes, the Dodge Ram burns oil much faster than normal. In models with over 125,000 miles, this often points towards a leaky intake manifold gasket. A knocking sound may also appear with acceleration along with possible engine misfire. The cost to repair is around $200 - $300.
The Chevy Silverado has its own surprises, especially when you've filled the gas tank but the gauge still reads low. Or the needle fluctuates widely from low to full while driving. In trucks with over 120,000 miles, it's likely due to a faulty fuel sensor. You might need a full fuel pump replacement, which can cost you up to $820, parts and labor.
Water Inside And Poor Heat
The Ram 1500 rear window has been known to leak. You might notice the back seat and floor wet after a rainstorm. This is more common in trucks with over 65,000 miles. Resealing the Ram 1500 rear window costs around $150 - $250.
If your Silverado won't heat up, and you notice a sweet scent (coolant smell) inside the truck, you might have a bad heater core. Persistent window fogging and leaking fluid are other signs to watch for. To replace the Silverado heater core, you'll spend around $700 - $900.
When You Get To The Shop
For any breakdown, if your truck is still under factory warranty, the repairs might be covered. If not, ask if there has been a recall on the broken part.
When the factory warranty expires, many Silverado and Ram 1500 owners opt for an extended auto warranty. These plans pay for most unexpected repairs, so you don't have to pay out of pocket.
Joe Campanella is the Executive Vice President, Business Development for CARCHEX, a leading provider of vehicle protection and vehicle inspection services. Joe received his B.S. in Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is an Advisory Board Member for Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Maryland, and is a licensed property & casualty insurance producer in the states of California and Maryland.