10 Most Unreliable Pickups

In recent decades, trucks have become more of a daily driver than they are used for work-related tasks. Admittedly, many consumers still need their trucks to work hard, but they also need to be able to eat out with the family on weekends. Nothing is worse than getting into a pickup truck that should have been reliable only to find out it has a reputation for breaking down at the worst possible times. Almost every truck manufacturer has had some bad years that should be avoided at all costs as they are some of the most unreliable trucks on the market.


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10/10 2006 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 – 55/100

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Front and side view of a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500

The Dodge Ram has been one of the most popular work trucks in the world for years, but like all other truck manufacturers, it had some years of production that weren’t all that great. That may be one of the reasons Aries went out on their own in 2011, but that’s part of it. The 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 had a reliability rating that just broke the halfway mark, coming in at 55 out of 100. The good news is that the reported problems were not related to the engines, but rather to the powertrain components and transmission.

9/10 2001 Toyota Tundra – 52/100

A parked 2001 Toyota Tundra
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Side and partial front view of a 2001 Toyota Tundra

The Tundra has gained a lot of following over the past decade because Toyota is a great truck that can handle tough work days and mingle with the daily commuters heading out for breakfast. However, in 2001, the Toyota Tundra was only ranked 52nd out of 100 in reliability. The owner’s main concerns were transmission slippage and failure, cooling system problems and O2 sensors requiring premature replacement.

Related: The Fantastic History of the Ford F-100

8/10 2008 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon – 47/100

A parked 2008 Chevy Colorado
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Front and side view of a 2008 Chevy Colorado

The Chevrolet Colorado was designed to replace the popular Chevy S-10. At first it looked like it was going to be an upgrade. Unfortunately that was not the case, because the 5-cylinder in-line engine was not all it was intended for. The truck has a noticeable shutter when driving and the unique engine has to work overtime to get the truck up to speed. Numerous complaints were filed against the 2008 Chevy Colorado and 2008 GMC Canyon, causing the reliability rating to drop to 47 out of 100. Owners state that the engine had major problems, as did the cooling system designed to maintain operation. temperatures at an average level.

7/10 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra from 2005 – 40/100

A parked 2005 Chevy Silverado
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Side and partial front view of a 2005 Chevy Silverado

The 2000s were not a great time for the Silverado or Sierra because the trucks’ reliability was not up to expectations. 2005 was the worst year, not just because of one or two minor problems. In fact, there are so many problems with the truck reported by consumers that the truck only scores 40/100 for reliability as rated by Consumer Reports. The engine and transmission both have minor issues, as do the cooling systems designed into the trucks. Braking issues are also common, and when you add up all the electrical issues the truck would have, it really is a truck to avoid.

Related: The 10 Most Epic Classic Pickup Trucks of All Time

6/10 2004 Ford F150 – 20/100

A parked 2004 Ford F150
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Front and partial side view of a 2004 Ford F150

Any Ford enthusiast can honestly say that the Triton engine is one of the worst ever made. Any year of Ford that has this engine in it should be avoided like the plague, especially the 2004 Ford F-150. Consumers have made enough complaints about the 2004 F-150 that it gets a low 20 out of 100 for reliability. The main problems begin with spark plug ejection, warping of the heads, rear axle failure, and stalling and failure of the torque converters in the transmission under load, even with loads as simple as getting up to speed from a standstill.

5/10 2003 Mazda B Series – 19/100

A parked Mazda B-series truck
Mazda USA

Front and side view of a Mazda B Series pickup truck

Mazda trucks are not among the vehicles that top many buying lists, especially in the early 2000s. In 2003 and 2004, the Mazda B-series truck had more problems than its owners could handle, earning it a reliability rating of 19 out of 100 from Consumer Reports. According to the complaints against the truck, it would be difficult to find anything impressive about it. The main problem areas mentioned are the cooling system, the transmission and clutch mechanisms and everything related to the engine.

Related: 10 Things Every Purist Should Know About The Nissan Hardbody

4/10 2013 Ram 1500 – 15/100

A parked 2013 Ram 1500
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Front and side view of a 2013 Ram 1500

In 2011, Ram went into business on its own, ending its longstanding partnership with Dodge. The first few years were a struggle for the truck, but recently it is at the top of its class. However, in 2013, reliability was so low that people shied away from the Aries for years afterward. The Consumer Reports rating for the 2013 Ram 1500 was only 15 out of 100, making it one of the worst trucks on this list. Common problem areas were cylinder heads breaking and cracking, fuel system issues, and four-wheel drive issues.

3/10 2020 Jeep Gladiator – 15/100

Jeep Gladiator Sandrunner
Stellantis

Shot from a Jeep Gladiator Sandrunner in the desert

Jeep is one of the major off-road vehicle brands on the market, but not when it comes to the Gladiator. Even though it’s fine in most situations, there’s never a guarantee that the 2020 Jeep Gladiator will return home. Consumer Reports has given this year and model a low 15 out of 100 for reliability because current and past owners have filed serious complaints. They state that while the engine has plenty of power, the propulsion system is likely to fail. The other major problem areas are the electrical system components and suspension.

Related: 10 fun facts to know about the Dodge Lil Red Express

2/10 2008 Ford F-250/F-350 – 6/100

A parked 2008 Ford F250
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Side view of a 2008 Ford F250 King Ranch

When consumers buy a truck, they expect it to drive as advertised and be reliable for at least the first 100,000 miles, if not longer. The 2008 Ford F-250 and F-350 gave buyers much less than that. The general consensus is that only 38 percent would ever repurchase the truck due to its low reliability score of 6 out of 100. The only good things reported about this truck are the paint and electrically controlled systems. The engine, cooling system, minor transmission issues, electrical system, and drivetrain receive a score of one out of five.

1/10 2004 Nissan Titan – 1/5 customer satisfaction

A parked 2004 Nissan Titan
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Side and partial front view of a 2004 Nissan Titan

The Nissan Titan doesn’t have enough data on Consumer Reports’ file to give the truck a reliability rating, but when it comes to customer satisfaction, it scores 1 out of 5, with only 41 percent saying they’d buy back the Titan. This makes a strong case for being on this list. The engine has no other problems than you would expect from a truck, but the rear driveshaft has been reported as a serious and consistent problem. As soon as the axle oil leaks out, the rear locks up, causing a hefty repair bill. It has also been reported that the truck makes excessive engine noise while driving, making it difficult to drive the truck for extended periods of time.

FAQ

Q: What is the most unreliable truck?

While Ford has been one of the best-selling trucks for years, the Triton engine found in the early 2000s was a big mistake. Along with those trucks, the 2008 Ford F-250 and F-350 only had a reliability rating of 6 out of 100, making them the most unreliable trucks on the road.

Q: Which truck has the fewest problems?

Over the decades, the Honda Ridgeline should be the truck with the fewest problems. It’s certainly not one most people would expect, but take a look at what some current and past owners have said about it, and you’ll understand why it should be at the top of everyone’s list.

Q: Why is the Ford Triton engine so bad?

Apart from the basic problems of all engines, the Ford Triton engine has a habit of spewing the spark plugs out of the block. The reason for this is the short thread design the motors have, which reduces the distance the plugs are screwed in. This makes it easy for an engine’s compression to push out the plugs, creating an engine that needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

Q: Which trucks are the easiest to maintain?

Arguably the easiest and cheapest trucks to maintain are the older Ford, Dodge and Chevy, which were produced with simple designs. Long before computers and electrical systems took over, the engine was simple enough to work on and common enough to find parts for.

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