Truck Trend Garage: Frequent Change Oil Light On A 2008 Dodge Ram 1500

Alex Steele
Sep 21, 2009
Question: I've got a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 5.7 MDS Hemi. The change oil light comes on every 2500 miles. I asked the dealer about it the first two times, but he just said it is sensor-based and varies according to your driving. I drive mostly flat highway miles, at the speed limit, with no load. I don't see why the oil, which Dodge requires to be synthetic, needs to be changed so often, but I also don't want to void the unlimited lifetime powertrain warranty.
Photo 2/2   |   2008 Dodge Ram Front View
Answer: I'm still scratching my head over a lifetime powertrain warranty. Nothing lasts forever. Just a reminder: You must reset the oil change reminder following each service. The procedure reads as follows: "Turn the ignition switch to the ON position, but do not start the engine. Slowly depress and release the accelerator pedal fully three times within 10 seconds. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position. If the change-oil indicator illuminates the next time the engine is started, repeat this procedure." Yes, changing the oil every 2500 miles after a clean drive is unnecessary. The Dodge service schedule for your truck shows 6000-mile oil change intervals. The same condition you're experiencing has been dealt with by Chrysler Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) #08-013-08 REV. A. It's a fix for "Oil Change Monitor Alerts Prematurely," which involves erasing and reprogramming the Powertrain Control Module with the latest software revision. The only problem is that this TSB applies to the 2007/2008 Wrangler, Durango, Aspen, Grand Cherokee, and Commander--not the Ram. But I have a strong feeling that 2008 Rams will be added to the list in the near future. Before that happens, ask your Dodge service department personnel to do a reprogramming. They may be able to compare the software version installed in your control module with the latest available, online. If they are both the same, don't bother reprogramming. Otherwise, a newer version may fix the problem. If that gets you nowhere, have the technician check with Dodge tech support. Worst-case scenario would be to wait for updated programming. In the meantime, schedule your service the old-fashioned way.
How To Reach Alex
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage—visit Alex Steele at

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