First Oil Change on the Ram 1500 Hemi 5.7

Hello there readers. It hasn’t been to awful long since my last posted update on here but on Tuesday August 15th, 2017 I decided it was time to get the factory oil out of the truck and swap in some good synthetic oil and a better filter than OEM.

I have done a lot of reading and research on this before I made any purchase or decision to do the oil change myself. I will cover most of my mindset here not just for you but for future reference and information as well as maybe any issues that could potentially pop up at a later date.

Let us start with this. When I leased my truck the dealership gave me three free oil changes and tire rotations as a “nice” gesture. They did the same for my wife’s Durango also and we have used two of them. While they are free and a good value their service along with availability and speed lack what works for more working people these days. Not to mention my trust level with my truck. I am taking the best care of this thing as I can and doing something myself helps me mentally know it was done and done right.

Next was the decision and research on what oil I wanted to use and why. Also which filter is good to use with synthetic and for protection to get the metals wearing through the motor trapped effectively. For this I went to the wonderful world of the internet of course. Where else can you find some actual valuable knowledge? Yes we all know everyone has an opinion on what is the best, worst, and even ugly because like butt holes everyone has an opinion.

Wading through various sites, videos, and forums for days or weeks I made the decision to stick with an oil that Ram (Chrysler/Fiat) recommends per their warranty. However, I went with the best that was available for the brand and level of viscosity per the owners manual. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5w-20 was the one I landed on. As for the filter it seems Royal Purple is the go to as a top filter and used the one designed for my specific engine the #1048. Alright so with the decision made I went to Amazon to make the purchase since not all items I chose are locally available.

Items arrived and it was time to make an evening free to do the task at hand. Well here is where it got tricky. In Fiats infinite wisdom they made the access to the filter very tight and awkward to access. Once you get to the filter there is little room to work with and/or get a filter wrench or strap in there to turn the filter loose. From the factory the filter is put on by a machine super tight and is a bear to get loose. Needless to say I wanted to do this project quickly and figured it wouldn’t take that long and be more or less easily done.

I had purchased a filter plier type wrench and had a regular metal filter wrench as well to get it off. Ha! I tried both of those to no avail. The plier type started to slightly dent the canister so I stopped. Called it defeat for the first night as I was exhausted anyway from a long day of work and a concert we attended the night before. Figured I would go to the net for information on tips and look for a different type of tool to get the filter loose.

Tuesday. Oil change attempt #2 in the evening after work. I got a filter strap wrench from a friend near by and while it also dented the canister more it worked. I loosened it and then let it cool down some more before changing it. The rest of the process went seamlessly well sort of. As I mentioned above the filter location is crappy and many have tried tricks to help prevent a mess when changing it. I tried the gallon baggie over it so I could capture the oil as it loosened and whatever else would come down once it was off. Well, that didn’t work so hot no pun intended there. The oil was collected in the baggie but it started slipping down as it filled and while twisting the filter off at the same time it tweaked the bag even more and made the oil seep out onto the outside causing my grip with one hand to be less than ideal.

Once the filter was off the next problem was how to get it out of the tight spot easily and without a mess. No such dice for me with that. I dropped the baggie and the filter. Baggie ended up on the garage floor as did a 1/4 quart of oil and the filter landed on the suspension and then the floor of course spilling out all over. Oh well. Got the new filter on and started cleaning up the spilled oil on the truck itself and me.

New oil in the truck, new filter on. Everything looking good but then while cleaning up near the new filter I noticed it fit differently than the OEM factory one did. It was a little smaller in diameter and did not fill to the outside of the filter cup to the truck. It had me baffled that maybe I had the wrong filter but everything I checked said I didn’t. Finished clean up and took pictures of the new filter and made posts on forums for advice and peace of mind. No one had any information on this and also voiced their confusion, also said how did it compare to the factory size otherwise and if it was leaking. No leaks and when the truck was started there were and are no issues at all.

I then reached out to Royal Purple on Wednesday and asked plus sent photos of the situation for them to see and verify. I got a quick response and he also verified the correct filter was bought and used. I will paste in his reply below for information.

Hi Brian,

Thank you for writing back with that information. Our Royal Purple Extended Life Oil Filter #10-48 cross references with and is our recommended replacement for the OEM Mopar 04892339AA oil filter that you removed from your 2017 Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi engine. The reason why you are seeing this clearance on the filter mount is because our 10-48 oil filter is not as wide as the OEM Mopar 04892339AA oil filter. This is not uncommon to see from manufacturer to manufacturer a difference in the height or outside diameter (width) between the filters that cross reference with each other because of there being so much filter overlap on applications.

The main concern is making sure that the filter has the same thread size, the gasket dimensions match up, and that the by-pass valve pressure rating is in range of the manufacturer. Our Royal Purple Extended Life Oil Filter #10-48 has the same thread size as the OEM Mopar 04892339AA oil filter and best matches the gasket dimensions and by-pass valve pressure ratings of the OEM oil filter.

Functionally there is no issue using our smaller Royal Purple 10-48 oil filter in place of the OEM Mopar 04892339AA oil filter. Our Royal Purple Extended Life Oil Filter #10-48 will still be a step above the Mopar 04892339AA oil filter. Our Royal Purple Extended Life Oil Filters use a 100% screen-backed synthetic micro-glass media that provides superior filtration while keeping flow restrictions low.

Thank you for inquiring about Royal Purple, and have a great day!

Best Regards,

Cody Bartkowiak

Automotive, Technical Support


With what he replied with I will let it go and see what I decide to go with next time. It wasn’t bad overall and the next time the process should be quicker and easier hopefully besides clean up which I think will always suck with the oil filter aspect. The location is the killer here. The other part was the seven quarts in the pan to dispose of.

I have a Harley oil pan that contains the oil so I can take it somewhere to dump it. It was half full and no way this oil was going to fit unless I tipped it upright and went in the out spout. Had my wife hold the funnel and I started dumping it in. The pan it was in was full and as I poured into the Harley pan it was spilling everywhere. Fun times. Got it all done and garage floor cleaned up.

Looking back it was a challenge yet fun fulfilling experience and feel accomplished with it and that in the end is what matters not to mention that the truck is now well protected with a great quality oil and filter.

Because I like to add photos to all my posts there will be several added to the bottom here shortly after this posts. Thanks for reading and if you have any comments, tips, or anything feel free to send them my way.







3000 Mile Update and 4 Months in…

Good morning everyone.

It has been a little bit since I was on here telling you all or really maybe only myself about this truck so far. That’s okay I want this for reference as stated in the very beginning so I and you can see if Ram is worth buying or leasing. Plus more importantly staying with long term.

As the topic for today’s post notes I passed 3000 miles as of yesterday. It has been in my possession for 4 months already. Started off racking up the miles fast but as much as I love driving the truck this far I need to pay attention to and remember that there are a limited number of miles I am allowed to drive the thing in the 36 total months.

The weather here in Iowa has been HOT and dry. I also own a Harley-Davidson Street Glide that was finally paid off last month and I love to ride. Whenever I can I will be riding it and it serves many purposes in regards to this topic. It is cheaper in gas. Better gas mileage of course. It’s a blast to ride. It’s paid off now and finally it saves me mileage on the Ram!

The last month or so has been very busy on our home front which is a good thing. We had a week vacation where we did a lot of little things around our area and had a travel day to the NE part of the state. The truck sat in the garage for almost three weeks straight maybe driven twice for a quick to and from. Otherwise no need to move it. A lot of miles were saved last month and that is awesome cause who knows when the snow will fly or for how long winter will last and saving some of those miles will help later on.

Don’t have a lot of updates on any issues or any changes since it has been sitting. No new rattles or noises. I am still pleased with the truck. It was given a quick wax/sealant again with Meguires fast wax. Wanted to see how it would last and be overall. It just rained here and it beaded well but of course it was the first water it has seen so far. Will wash it after the weekend rain and go from there.

Weird to think there is only roughly 30 months left with the truck already. If I count down this way it will go quick if one looks at it by years it seems longer. It will go quick no matter what.

Oh, and one last thing that is important to note here is my son recently got his permit. We have been starting/teaching him on our Dodge Durango so far. He is having issues with its length and sensitivity. There is no way he is ready to try the truck yet and even he is nervous about it. Not to mention he knows how anal I am about it anyway. They grow fast and before long he will be in his own vehicle (hoping a small truck to start with) and then graduating from high school.

That basically sums up this update this time. Fall is around the corner and will be driving the truck a lot more very soon and am also going to take it in pretty quick for the first oil change however I am contemplating just doing it myself more so cause I am already not a fan of the dealers work and ethic. Long story maybe for another post.

Thank you all for reading if you have and not to mention staying loyal to my random blogs. Have a great weekend. Pictures of my Harley and mileage shots will be added below.








One month update

Good evening followers. Today it has been one month since I got the 2017 Ram 1500. It went fast for sure and feels like the newness has not quite wore off yet. Surprising cause I thought it would. Wanted to give some up updates and thoughts.

One things I will start with is miles. This is a lease and when I signed the paperwork 30 days ago I agreed to 15,000 miles a year or a total of 45,000 for the three years when it gets turned in. This is an issue for anyone in a lease really. The salesman and I discussed this and we agreed that the mileage we picked would work. As of today I am at 1610 miles. Went roughly about 1568 miles in one month. 35 months left… if I keep that pace up I will be at roughly 52,500 miles give or take. Guess I will be policing my driving little more to save miles when I can. If I don’t then $0.20/mile will add up to a lot.

It will help that we live closer to things than we used to and school is now out for the summer. Other than sports for kids and going to and from work it will hopefully be easy to keep better track and pace at racking them up. Also getting more two wheel time on the Harley will help to and from work pending weather of course.

Modifications. In the last month I have taken the badges off. Cleaned it my way but need to really clay it and give it a good wax on one of my days off. Would love to give it a ceramic coating to help protect it the best but it is seriously pricey. Yesterday I got the front windows and visor tinted. Got to have this done. Only other thing left that I feel is a need is a rubber bed mat to help protect the bed. Would love to have a spray in liner done but still am not convinced that I will keep this truck yet. Did purchase some floor mats off of Amazon but I was in a hurry for some dumb reason and trying to save money at the same time since they are not cheap. I ordered a quad cab set not the crew cab for which I have. FRUSTRATING!!! What I ordered was the Mopar factory rubber slush mats. Today they were sent back and I ordered Husky liners instead since they have better coverage but cost more. Lessons learned in the end though.

Since the annoying noise I had coming from the back is now more or less stopped. Thank goodness. It will rear its head every once and awhile and all it takes is a little tap on the rear of the center console and it stops. There are other noises I hear now and again that annoy me and I’m not sure why really. Well that’s not entirely true. With my Ford F-150 I got used to certain noises that it made. The 2012 and 2014 both had door rattles and rear window rattles. The 2014 was a little better and the rear window got fixed when it was taken out for body work and re-set back in.

Why the noises get to me in this new truck is probably higher expectations for interior quality and a brand new truck of a different make than what I have had the last seven years. Hoping to have this truck prove it is better in all ways and that it’s worth maybe buying at the end or getting into another one. Not convinced as I said above. However, there is a long ways to go so we will see. It could also have to do with the newness not wearing off so I am extra sensitive to each noise and bump. Not used to this trucks manors and how it drives on everything or in all weather yet.

Part of my issue is also my OCD. I am very anal and want everything perfect and when I find an issue or problem it nags me and I end up obsessing over it until it’s either fixed or taken care of in some manor. Examples are the annoying noises. The tint I had done yesterday had to be fixed today due to an issue with the visor strip having bubbles and looking not like I wanted. The tint though I paid for and it should be done and to my expectations. The company had great customer service and had no issue fixing anything with a smile and a hand shake each time.

The other issue is as stated the newness. Once the truck isn’t “new” to me anymore I more than likely wont notice as much or be as critical. Well at least I hope this is the case anyway. Only way to know on this is with time, or the saying is time will tell. With all of this I feel bad for my wife. She is awesome though cause she deals with my complaints and issues and will always help me when she can. Today alone I called her twice to share my frustrations with things. Thanks babe!

One month in. 30 days down. 35 months to go. A lot of days to see what this truck has in store for me and my family. Many seasons to perform well I hope. Overall still at this point I am pleased. Love the looks of it. The performance is getting better and better and even gas mileage is slightly going up as the engine breaks in. It is feeling more like my truck and about have it where I want it for the lease limits that I am able to change. All of which can be switched back easily if need be.

Oh, one last thing. Not sure if it was mentioned in my previous blogs or not but somehow all of my vehicles have been given a name. Yes you can admit you talk to your vehicle and therefore it needs a name. Usually men call their calls a female name and females give it a males name. Betsy is a common name for some odd reason. With this said my daughter kept asking me what the trucks name was or did I pick a name yet. One night in the garage as I cleaned it up my wife and daughter were in there and we picked a name. After some Google searching for something related to the color red it was determined it shall be named “Blaze”.

Blaze take care of us and we will treat you well.

Thank you all for reading and I will be back to update here in a few weeks or less.




Ram 1500 1000 miles in the book

Good morning my blog readers. The two recent posts were quick and simple. Should have spent more time on that but as life goes sometimes there is less time than needed to work on something. So far I am enjoying this because I am able to put all my thoughts, concerns, and ideas down and have them for reference to when and what. Hard to believe that a thousand miles have already gone by.

Where do I begin today? First off I still can not believe I have this truck. Didn’t think a deal would be worked out and didn’t think it was the right time but I wanted to make a change for some financial reasons but it wasn’t necessary either. When the salesman said they were making deals he wasn’t wrong so I had that on my side. It was a long night and when you get something this big it can take time to set in. Beginning to feel like it has.

As I drove off of the lot that night with a little over 42 miles I had no idea how long it would take for me to add up each mile and also knowing I have to be careful as I can only use 45,042 in the 36 months I am renting it basically. At the same time I am going to enjoy those miles and see if this Ram is worth while. If it ends up being a good truck then I will either lease another or move on to something else. As a side note the 2019 model will be a make over on this truck so it will be exciting to see what happens there.

The truck is very nice. Rides well. Has great power which one would hope with this engine and gearing (3.92). Gas mileage at this point is hovering between 16.5 and 17.0 hopefully it gets a little better but it is a heavy truck so am not to worried about it overall. There are a few things that I really love about the truck and a few things that will take some adjusting to.

Things I love.

  1. Air cooled seats.
  2. Seat comfort.
  3. Overall styling and looks of the truck.
  4. Color scheme and options I picked.
  5. Key less entry.

Things I am not sure about yet.

  1. Feeling comfortable with size when pulling in and out of garage with the front bumper and tow mirrors.
  2. How well the leather/vinyl will hold up on the seats.
  3. How the interior is black but the pillars and headliner are tan.
  4. Some of the interior rattles and noises that are happening.
  5. Wind noise coming from the doors.

In regards to those two lists above I am sure there will be more added to each or a couple moving from love to not sure and vice versa. It is all part of owning a vehicle and of course I am being super critical especially since I am keeping written tabs on it. Maybe I am being my own worst enemy here. Time will tell.

In these miles I can definitely tell the motor is opening up. The transmission is still shifting kind of oddly when coming to a stop and when taking off from a stop. If it hasn’t decided what gear to use it will rev up higher than needed. Wondering if there will be some updates needed when I take it in for the first oil change. Have read that the updates can take a few hours to accomplish so that is neat.

Let’s discuss those noises I brought up. Wind noise is becoming somewhat apparent in the front doors. It isn’t horrible yet but more noticeable than my previous truck. My biggest pet peeve currently is a rattle that is coming from the center console. It was getting so so annoying three days ago that I could literally no longer take it. After I got home from work I had my wife come out and jump in the back and see if she could isolate where it was coming from.

We took off and within a couple of blocks she was able to pin point the noise coming from the center lower console in the back below the vents. All she had to do was lightly place her foot against it and silence! It was a relief believe me. That night I went over the console and looked on the internet for ideas and possible fixes. There were problems with some of the consoles on older trucks for the lids not closing properly but mine are tight and there is no squeak coming from the top parts. I used some rubber weather stripping just in case to see.

The next day though the noise was back but slightly less abrasive. I reached back and tapped the same spot and it quit. I can not figure out what the noise is coming from and can’t see inside of it. The dealer is going to have to be the next option to see if they can isolate it. Sounds like something is lose and tapping on something. Either the vents tubes are not connected well or the cigarette plug is loose inside. If it isn’t making noise it’s so blissful. At this point the noise is still coming back.

I have washed the truck at least four times. Gave it a spray wax once so far and couple spray detail waxes. I like my vehicles clean and done my way also as noted before. It needs to have some clay bar done on the hood and other spots, probably should all over. Then a good coat of sealant. This is only my second red vehicle I have owned. Want to see how well I can keep the paint in great condition.

That is about it for now. Plan on keeping at least weekly updates on the truck from here and for sure after the first oil change in a couple months or less. Let me know if you have any comments, ideas on some solutions, or whatever with this blog. I truly appreciate the time you take in reading this. Hope you all have a great week.

Pic below is after I had cleaned it and went to the local dam to take a few pics a couple of weeks ago.




First mental debate for Ram 5.7 Hemi

Been awhile and have been wanting to get back to this so I can move on to the next blog post I need to get to.

Okay, so as with almost every new vehicle one gets the dealer will typically fill the tank full for the buyer. Of course I wouldn’t accept the new truck without this. I am pretty particular if you had not noticed and want the best deal and perks one can attempt to get.

I rolled out that night with a full tank and at a little over 100 miles later I started wondering what would be the best gas to use for this engine. Keeping in mind one doesn’t buy this type of vehicle for “good” gas mileage but wanting great performance and somewhat decent miles per gallon. Based on research from the internet including forums these Hemi engines take a few thousand miles to loosen up and the gas mileage can improve so we shall with that.

Alright so the topic here really is octane! Yes I read the owners manual. I wanted to make sure I follow the guidelines of what they recommend since they develop and built it. The manual states that the truck performs best and with adequate fuel mileage with 89 octane but 87 is acceptable with 5-10% ethanol. This is where it gets complicated with where we live.

In Iowa we no longer have 89 octane. They changed the fuel (oil) being piped into our state several years ago and taking the octane down to 85 or lower and use ethanol to increase it back to 87 or higher. Also ethanol is a huge production item in this state. Yeah we grow corn and it’s used. The current fuel options near where we live are the following. 87 plain. 87 with ethanol. 91 with ethanol. Those with ethanol have 10 percent unless you buy E85 or E15. I have never used either of the last two in any vehicle. My last truck was alternative friendly and the E85 was to boost the power and be obviously cheaper but gas mileage severely suffered and I never wanted to see how bad.

After hours and days of research I had to fill up and decided to go with my stand by of 91 octane but my research continued. Need to mention here that I prefer to only use top tier gas. There are apps out there for gas prices but there are also ones to find pure gas and top tier. When we travel there isn’t always the option to use the best but I try to pick a station that has high traffic.

On the forums and internet there are facts and many opinions. One has to weed them out and determine what is the most accurate. Not easy to always decide what is a smoke screen and what is actual truth from someone who has the education and knowledge. The common answer on there was to use 87 non-ethanol all day long and I wouldn’t notice a difference and be just fine. Therefore, I decided another route was to reach out to Ram customer service via phone and by email to see what they would advise and if one would get the same answer.

Two things I want to say here. Amazingly when I called them via phone on the customer line there was only a short hold and a English speaking female here in the US answered. She was polite and could tell she was reading something scripted with her answer but it was expected. Her response was 87 should be just fine and premium is more pricey but the decision to use that would not harm anything and usually just has more cleaning agents to make it better. Okay and the next answer…

I emailed customer service the same night as the phone call. There was an auto reply within an hour saying it was received and would get a response basically asap. The next morning I had an email from a rep saying pretty much the same thing. He did add if I used 87 it could ping and that is okay unless it got really bad then try another grade of fuel. I’ll call it even.

Those of you reading along are probably thinking. Really? This is what you concern yourself with and worry over. Yes I did and do. Maybe it is the OCD I have or anal tendencies to make sure like I said in the beginning of this new blog that I prefer to make smart decisions and buy right when I can.

So there’s that. Yesterday the new truck turned over 1000 miles! Holy cow! Just kidding. Next time we will discuss the first thousand miles and the issues that have arisen since the night of pick up and if this truck is growing on me or if I have any regrets of making a brand move…

Below is a picture of our gas options here but not the places I buy gas from. Where we get gas the ethanol is in the premium also and there is also 87 ethanol free.

Image result for 87 87 91 gas pump

Image result for casey's gas pump



2017 Ram 1500 Impressions/Issues

Hey there. I have gained a new follower so thanks for reading my blog and about my new truck. As I stated in my previous post I will be going over how I feel about the new truck so far. Any issues I have had and some of the small things I have done to it to make it more my own. Keep in mind it is a lease so I am limited with what I can do to it.

May 2nd 2017. Day 2 of official possession and I had to start my ways with it. One thing that any dealership does is do a delivery “detail” for the buyer. RIGHT!!! In the first blog post about this I mentioned “more about that later” on detailing. Well now is the later so let me share with you my experience and my OCD with cleanliness.

One of my first jobs was in the summer of 1995 working at a detail shop cleaning interiors. It was a good job then. I was 14 so I took what I could get and a friend owned the business. Learned a lot but never got my hands on the exterior buffers. They were so much more dangerous then with wool pads and high speeds. Paint burn was easily done. To this day I still want to learn how to do it.

Since that summer and with all my vehicles I have learned ways to keep them looking as best as I can on my time and budget. For the record hand waxing sucks big time. Also I said I am anal. Here is why that is. I can not stand people touching my windows. No finger prints or smudges. I use towels on top of my rubber mats to soak up wetness in the winter so it doesn’t roll off onto the carpet. Only use good quality microfibers and detail sprays or cleaners.  No one eats in my vehicles either. Crumbs are debris and food over time makes the vehicle smell horrid. Now, I will run and grab McDonalds or the like and take home though. Sure that smell sticks in the vehicle for a day or so. Gross.

After work on the second day I came home and cleaned up the interior. Vacuumed it. Washed all the interior windows cause they did not obviously. Wiped down the dash and also organized the glove boxes and center console. Placed towels on the carpet mats until I can purchase the husky mats I want for the front and back. The next step was de-badging the trucks emblems. Take off the black RAM 1500 letters, Hemi emblem, and the 4×4 on the back tail gate. I told my salesman I was going to take them off and he said go for it. No it was not in writing but I have a fix if it becomes an issue. I saved all the letters and emblems and will attach a sheet magnet to them and put them back on.

While I was going over the truck with my hands and eyes in the day light I could see if there were any concerns I should have or anything wrong with it. I noticed two paint imperfections but nothing I wanted anyone to mess with and the second thing I found was under the rear bench seat there is an led light that shines on the floor passenger side was not working. Took me awhile to figure it out but traced the wires back up and they were not in the connection at all. Appeared the black or negative side had broke from the factory. There were two connections for some reason. I fixed it myself. All is well.

I also took off the factory antenna and put on the short version I had from my F-150 but when I am driving it it whistles at interstate speeds. Working on solutions for this. One is another shorter rubber version because I tried some shrink tubing over the base and it did not fix it. Must be the ball at the top and the aerodynamics of this truck causing the wind to cross it differently.

May 3rd 2017 day 3. My day off and after completing the morning routine took it to the car wash and then home and spent several hours cleaning down the outside of it. Cleaned the wheels, windows, and paint was spray waxed for now. Doing this process is therapeutic for me. Relaxes and lets me know my truck better.

So far I love the truck. Still have some reservations in the back of my mind of how it will fair in quality over all to the Ford F-150’s I have had but only time can tell at this point. The ride it better. The interior is far better. Doors shut better. So for now there are more betters and hoping less negatives than in my mind. It is growing on me each day as well.

Think this about sums up the first few days so far. I believe in the next post I will cover the driving of the vehicle and my first dilemma that I went to the forums with.

Will attach photos below later on of the debadge and the wiring issue I fixed.




2017 Ram 1500 Sport is leased!

Going strong tonight. Hopefully you all have read the first edition to this new series and are up to speed on the current progress. This will be just as long more than likely. I have been contemplating this new blog since getting the new truck. Hoping it serves me and you a purpose. That being is a lease worthwhile for me, is this a good solid truck. Are Rams superior to other manufacturers, and does one buy at the end of the lease or turn in the key and run. We shall see.

Since the day of leaving the dealership I was in a waiting phase for the red one to come in on the transport truck and when I had asked the salesman when it would be in. His answer was any day but there was no certainty to an actual date. This of course left me with idle time to think, do research, and of course hit the forums. Forums are a wealth of knowledge. I will admit more people go onto them with issues and negativity so they can complain or really to hopefully find solutions from people all over the world.

One of my ticks I have is research. For some god knows only why reason when I want to get something or have bought something I research the shit out of it. Not always because I want to find a better deal but to make sure I am making a wise decision short and possibly long term and if there are any issues/problems are they resolved and how. Google is our friend and our enemy. People can leave bogus info anywhere they please. You have to take what you read with a grain of salt at times and find out first hand for yourself hoping not to be burnt in the process.

I left the dealership on April 20th 2017 and for the next two weeks I searched the net, read blogs, and forums to find out any and all information I could on the Rams. Wanted to ease my mind on their quality. Had heard of transmission issues. Anyone who sees a Ram knows they rust easily and quick on the rear fenders above the tires. I drove through the dealership lot twice looking to see if it had shown up and not been contacted. Emailed the salesman a couple of times because while I was looking/building a Ram on the actual Ram site things were not making sense.

Building the truck as it was coming I could not get the lease payment to come even remotely close to what he had thrown out there to me on a whim. Granted it was a whim and no actual black and white displayed. However it seemed the numbers were not adding up and I was beginning to have my doubts overall if this was worthwhile or even possible. The unknown can, has, and will always stress me out so this wasn’t a fun waiting experience.

Through all the looking, adding/subtracting, and waiting. I was wondering when this truck was going to land in their lot and hoping it wouldn’t be sold to someone else but I had no money holding it and there was no for sure we would take it and on top of it all my wife was not really down with all of this either so there was another barrier to cross when the numbers were laid out.

May 1st, 2017. Was at work that morning and thought screw it I am going to send another email to my salesman and ask if the truck was in yet or if had any idea when. About an hour or so later I got a response saying yeah he thought he saw it in the lot when he got into work that morning and would email me back asap. Asap meant 7 hours later really. As I was walking into my house after work I received an email saying yep the truck was in and just had its PDI completed. I responded in my asap saying “I am on my way”.

I was at the dealership within 20 minutes. Don’t live that far away, maybe 5 miles. Walked onto the main sales floor and asked for my salesman. He came out and greeted me. Went to get the keys and we began the walk to the back lot so we could locate where it was parked. Once we got to it, it was exactly what I had hoped it was. Looked perfect of course it was brand new but meaning it was exactly how I was wanting it to be. Got into it and went to take it out for a test drive. Needed gas though so that’s where we went to first. Once we stopped up the street for gas I stepped out and sent a couple of pics to the wife since she was at work still. She actually said it was sharp looking. Progress? We shall see.

Took the truck on a good test drive and brought it home to show the kids and look it over. All went well with both of those. I wasn’t too worried obviously. Going back a few minutes though as we were leaving the dealership lot the salesman said today was a good day to buy a vehicle. I asked why? He said even though it is May 1st it was actually their last day of April since April 30th was on a Sunday they could use this day as the last day of the month. Plus since we had established a work relationship he wanted to be honest and say at their morning meeting they were told they were short on their sales quota for the month by 20 vehicles and 7 of them being trucks.

As of 5 p.m. when we were leaving the lot I was the only one looking at a truck and he said they were making crazy deals today. Ones he hadn’t seen before. I asked would a lease deal be the same and he said yes. Gave me a story of one of the deals earlier in the day. I wondered in my head is he pulling my leg here or do I have a chance? Once again have to see to believe these days.

As we were pulling back into the lot I said okay lets start the game and get some numbers. Went through the routine. Handed over my current insurance card, license, and registration on the F-150. Off he went to begin paperwork and asked if my wife could fill out the app for financing the lease or stop by. I was texting her anyways and asked if she would swing by. She HATES dealerships and the whole buying process and does not like spending hours upon hours going through the whole thing. I got her to come by and told her it would only take a few minutes. She got there did what was needed and left to go home. At this time it was like 6 p.m.

It was going to be a late night and not go well from the feel and sense of things going through my head. We needed to have dinner and go through our routine at home. However, this was taking over and knew it wouldn’t end well later on at home. Weird how one can tell things before they happen.

Here we go… when the salesman and I had talked brief numbers on April 20th he thought since I was only paying for the part of the truck I was leasing the payment would be in the $300ish range. Now in my head I am thinking holy crap that would be a decent savings per month for us and a new truck on top that could work. Yeah you read that right. He said in the $300 dollar range. This is where the dilemmas started in my head and the math from the internet did not make any sense.

I figured if could get it under $400 I would call it a win and could more than likely get the wife on board as well. We had also looked on line to see what my trade in would be worth and with all options and mileage listed it came out to a tad over $23,000. Sweet! Here are some quick hard core numbers for reference now and later on. I owed at that time $22,050 on the F-150 and my current payment on it was $526.60. Now you can see while I did have some equity in it and going to a lease isn’t always the smartest thing. I was looking at the overall savings per month and never being upside down on another vehicle payment. This is where I am hopeful this blog helps me go back and look after three years if it was wise and worth it.

I need to side note quick here. I had done one lease prior on a 2006 Nissan Maxima. No issues and only had the car for a year and traded it in for the Frontier (back to a truck). I do not recall if I suffered from that or not now it was back in 2007.

Alright so back to now. After my wife left the salesman and I moved on with the game of numbers hardcore. Well I should say the sales manger and I. At this particular dealership it works a little different. The salesman does all the leg work with the customer and begins the paperwork but then it gets turned over to the sales managers in the tower to bring the numbers out to the table with you and the salesman sitting there.

Boom! The sales manager comes out and says my truck that I am trading in is real nice and in great condition (yep no shit). This particular manager we had to deal with on the wife’s Durango and he is annoying plus has a story for everything etc etc. Alright so he lays out the sheet in front of me in their four square scenario. They offer the $23000 for my trade in and took a few bucks off the new truck price and with first months lease payment it would come to….. over $717 a month!!!! WTF man!?!?! Not at all what we had discussed or guessed. Even my salesman eyes were wide and he said he did not expect it that high.

The manager gave me a line on how much a payment is on a lease for 30000, 40000, and 50000. Granted the sticker price on this new Ram 1500 sport was over $53000 there was no way I was going to pay that much a month for a lease let alone go UP in payment cost from my current truck. Hell to the no!

He asked what I did for a career again and more blah blah and said hold on let me go see what he can do. Off he went. There was small talk with my salesman and he agreed it was too high and he totally wouldn’t expect me to take that deal in anyway. Manager comes back and says okay think we got it better. Next offer…

They have now up’d my trade in value from $23000 to $28000 and brought the monthly payment down to $580 something. Nope still to high and higher that I was currently paying. Keep track here folks this is long and we literally just went down over $130 a month in one back to the tower scenario. Also remember the salesman told me they were making deals today and hadn’t sold the number of trucks needed. The manager walked away again when I said no it was to high still. Next…

A few minutes went by and a different or maybe even more senior sales manager comes out and shakes my hand and introduces himself. He states that this deal he has may not make sense but work with him and he will lay it out. Go for it man, lets see what you got now.

Third offer is now offering $29000 for my trade in and a few dollars off the truck either way the numbers go its taking money from somewhere he said so they just add it to the trade. I can’t recall the exact number we were at monthly but I still said to high and no. He asked where I wanted to be and I said around $400 a month and we both agreed we were a ways away from that. We are approaching 630 p.m. and I am getting texts from the wife asking how much longer and her saying I had told her it wouldn’t be an all night deal. I didn’t want it to be but I also didn’t know it was going to play out like this.

Alright he goes off and come back (same new manager) one last time.

Fourth and supposed final offer which was only good for that night and until 8 p.m. when the bank closed was approaching $30,000 for my trade in and a monthly payment of $496 and some cents. Yes readers are now down over $200 a month since we began the game. I had to go before I ended up divorced and at this point I am thinking this is going no where and it isn’t worth a savings of $30 a month.

They told me they needed a final answer by 8 that night and as I was walking out my salesman agreed it was to high and not what he had expected again. Understood my situation and stature on things. Said to let him know also either way. Off I went to home.

Once I got home, the wife and I had a private conversation that needless to say did not go well and can’t say wasn’t expected or did I blame her for her stance on things. All was fair and understood. I emailed the salesman and said thanks but we had discussed being under $400 earlier in conversations and there would have to be a better deal so this wasn’t looking good. At this point it was 640 p.m. and everyone was starving. Decision was made to run out to eat. Got to Pizza Ranch (poor choice) but it was quick. Stay tuned to the next part. On the way out the door the salesman emailed me back and said he went up and spoke with the second manager and they would come down another $20 to $476 a month but that was all they could do cause the general manager of the store wouldn’t let them go any lower. Out the door we went to eat.

Half way through dinner about 715 p.m my phone was ringing. It was the second sales manager asking if I had made a decision. Mind you we are 45 minutes away from their bank closing and the dealership closing. I told him I understood where they were but I know they are hungry and if this doesn’t work out then we could try again down the road. He said he would go down to $446 a month and bottom out as is. I told him give me 5 minutes and I will get back to him.

At the dinner table we discussed it and it was flying like rocks do and making it awkward for everyone. Wife finally said. “Get the payment down to a hundred less than we are paying now and do it and be done with it, obviously they are hungry and either they want the sale or they don’t!”. Okay then, I called the manger back to his direct line and made my final offer. He said he could not go that low which would be $426.60 but he could go to $431 and something. I again asked for 5 minutes to get back with him. I went and took that back and with not so easily agreed words it was accepted. Called the manager back and said “you have a deal”. In the mean time my salesman has no idea this is happening.

Backing up a second here. In between phone calls with the second manager my salesman had emailed me and called me asking for a status. At one point I told him to call me back in exactly 5 minutes and in another email said call me asap after I made the deal. Here is where it got complicated after the phone deal was made. I asked the manager if we could come in the next day and sign and pick up the truck, he advised no it had to be that night for the deal to be done for the bank or really their quota.

This, This did not go well. This meant we all had to go to the dealership and I didn’t even have my truck it was at home. So off we went to the dealership with my wife saying “5 minutes” is all I am staying. She wanted to sign and leave. I felt bad. On the drive there my salesman called me back and I told him to meet me in the showroom in two minutes we were almost there.

Pulled into the lot and walked in. Salesman greeted us and said he had no idea what all had transpired but said we would get the paperwork completed and be out soon. Ha right! He got things rolling once it was done with the manager and got the paperwork to finance office. He then left with the new truck to get it gassed and cleaned. Mind you it is now 8 p.m. The time they close. Finally got back into finance and started signing papers. Payment ended up at $432 and something a month and I made the first payment that night. Also as a way to buy their good reviews they gave us three free oil changes. Uh thanks?

After all the papers were signed we had to go home so everyone could finish their night and not to mention get the F-150 ready for trade in. Take off the tool box and empty some things out. My son and I knocked that out and left for the dealership at like 9 p.m.

Once back at the showroom everyone was gone or leaving. There were two other families working deals however. One did buy a Ram truck also. It took another hour and a half before the truck was ready to go and we had everything out of the trade in truck. Again wife not pleased with time and our son having school the next day. Left the dealership for home at 1015 p.m.

Recap. Overall this process took over 5 hours total and went from over $717 a month down to $432 for a three year lease 15000 miles a year. Three free oil changes. Will have to back and look at the paperwork to know for sure but ended up with trade value around $33000 or more. Can look at it either way. More added to trade in value or them taking $10000 off the new truck sticker. Hoping my residual ends up well. Salesman said they were hungry and they were. Also was advised it was a $4000 loss on their end to meet their monthly numbers. Who knows if that is true or not.

Left the lot with around 42 miles on the odometer and in the next segment I will cover my initial impressions. Issues I had from day one and things I have done to it so far. Below is the picture I took after it was pulled into the delivery bay on that night. Thanks for reading!