Yes, it’s summer, but it wasn’t until recently that we found that winter report tucked between the seat cushions of Guffman, our 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie long-range 4×4. So we figured we might as well share with our staff in Detroit how the truck spent the colder months in Michigan, where the truck is based.
When we ordered Guffman, we did not check the box for the grille cover and block heater on the Ram 2500 HD. That’s because the truck would live in Detroit, not Yellow Knife, and our oil never turns into Jell-O. But because diesels give off less waste heat than gasoline engines (that’s part of their efficiency secret), and because the owner’s manual recommends covering the grille at subzero temperatures – and also because we tested a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax that came with such a cover – we called Mopar and ordered a $ 120 grille cover.
Compared to this Silverado’s cover, this one seemed easier to fit, using hooks on elastic loops to hold the top and bottom, and rigid felt-covered tabs that squeeze between the center grille and the trim. or headlights to fix the sides. Another point of differentiation: Ram’s cover has four flaps that you’re supposed to leave open (tucking them under) until the temperature drops below 0 degrees F.
When temperatures were in our teens, we would typically wait 45-60 seconds for the glow plug to warm up sufficiently on a cold start outdoors, and then we felt noticeable warmth from the air registers by the time the Ram had traveled the 1.2 miles to our freeway entrance. Without the cover, a bit of highway driving was usually required to circulate the heat.
No sooner was her radiator covered than Detroit editor-in-chief Alisa Priddle took Guffman to her homestead near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where winter temperatures regularly drop to single digits. She liked the air conditioning system to warm up quickly, adding, “The heated steering wheel and seats also do their job so well that we had to turn them off shortly after they burned everything out.” She also praised the electrically folding mirrors that make it easier to get into her garage and essential steps to help occupants with shorter legs. But she noted that her long-chested husband’s head brushes against the sunroof trim even with the seat fully down. Tall people should remove this $ 1,095 option.
One of the aforementioned Silverado’s advantages over this Ram (and the Ford F-250 Power Stroke) is a permanent 4WD feature that lets you engage all four wheels without binding on dry pavement. The Ram’s 4H mode causes noticeable hold in corners whenever the snow and ice thins, and with our truck’s Firestone Transforce HT tires, which require 70/80 psi front / rear inflation pressures, do not grip very well in snow and ice (Tire Rack customers rank them 5.2 out of 10 for winter / snow performance), all drivers reported needing to engage the 4×4 even to climb aprons snowy driveway. If Guffman made Northern Ontario his permanent home, a set of Blizzaks would be a good idea, and for Detroit, when those tires wear out, we would replace them with a set of Michelin Agilis CrossClimate tires, the replacement respondents would like to see. Top rated Tire Rack for winter / snow performance, at 8.9.
In other news, the Ram’s owner’s manual calls for the first oil change / tire rotation / inspection service at 15,000 miles, which coincided with a visit to Memphis, where service was carried out promptly for $ 144.77. Our only complaint: the various inspections did not allow us to notice that there were only a few kilometers left for our fuel filter, because the on-board computer requested its replacement when we returned to Michigan. Our local dealer billed one hour of labor to replace this $ 85 filter, totaling $ 252.26. Appalled at this load and after swapping out many fuel filters on gasoline vehicles, we searched online for the procedure and swapped it out. Trust us, this is not an hour you want to spend.
And now that the snow has indeed melted, the flowers have bloomed, and it is midsummer, Guffman has resumed his work. There are trees that need to be shredded for mulch and a lot of junk to be hauled to the landfill, after all.
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Learn more about our long-term 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 4×4 Cummins: