How to Add Coolant to Ram 2500 Diesel: Step by Step Guide

If you own a Ram 2500 Diesel, you’re already aware of its impressive power and reliability. To ensure your trusty truck continues to run smoothly, it’s crucial to maintain its cooling system. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of adding coolant to your Ram 2500 Diesel, using simple language and practical instructions.

Ram 2500 Diesel cruising on a scenic dry road

You might wonder why adding coolant is such a big deal. Well, the coolant plays a critical role in keeping your Ram 2500’s engine at the right temperature.

When it comes to your truck’s engine, too hot or too cold is not a good thing.

So, let’s dive into the world of coolant and make sure your Ram 2500 stays in tip-top shape.

Does Your Ram 2500 Need Coolant?

Signs Your Ram 2500 Needs Coolant

Before you grab the coolant, it’s essential to know if your Ram 2500 actually needs it. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Engine Overheating: If you notice that your engine’s temperature gauge is creeping into the red zone, your engine might be getting too hot.
  • Warning Lights: Modern vehicles like the Ram 2500 have clever warning lights on the dashboard. If you see a temperature warning light, it’s time to check your coolant.
  • Steam or Hissing Sounds: If you see steam coming from under the hood or hear hissing sounds, it could be a coolant leak.

If you experience any of these warning signs, it’s time to check your coolant levels.

Determining the Coolant Type

Now that you’re convinced your Ram 2500 needs coolant, the next question is: what type of coolant should you use? Ram 2500 trucks usually have specific requirements, and it’s crucial to follow them.

You can typically find the recommended coolant type in your Ram 2500’s owner’s manual or under the hood. It’s essential to use the correct coolant type because it helps prevent corrosion and ensures proper cooling.

Here’s a handy table summarizing common coolant types for Ram 2500:

Coolant TypeDescriptionKey CharacteristicsCompatibility
Ethylene GlycolCommon and suitable for most Ram 2500 models.– Excellent heat transfer properties – Protects against freezing and boiling – Effective corrosion protectionCompatible with most vehicles
Propylene GlycolUsed in some Ram 2500 trucks, check your owner’s manual.– Lower toxicity than ethylene glycol – Less harmful to the environment – Typically considered safer for pets and wildlifeCheck your vehicle’s compatibility

Always check your owner’s manual or consult with a Ram dealership to confirm the correct coolant type for your specific model and year.

Locating the Coolant Reservoir

Before you can add coolant, you need to find the coolant reservoir or overflow tank. Knowing where it is will save you time and frustration.

Where to Look: In most Ram 2500 trucks, the coolant reservoir is easy to spot. It’s typically a translucent plastic tank located near the engine. If you’re having trouble finding it, consult your owner’s manual or seek professional help.

Steps to Add Coolant

Now, let’s get to the practical part: adding coolant to your Ram 2500 Diesel. Follow these steps carefully to ensure a smooth process.

1. Preparation

Before you start, make sure you have the following:

  • Safety Gear: Safety first! Wear protective gear like gloves and safety glasses to prevent skin and eye contact with coolant.
  • Coolant: Have the recommended coolant type ready. Refer to your owner’s manual for the right one.
  • Funnel: A funnel can help you pour coolant into the reservoir without spilling it.
  • Cooling System Pressure Tester (Optional): This tool can help you check for leaks in your cooling system before adding coolant.

2. Locate the Reservoir

As we mentioned earlier, find the coolant reservoir in your Ram 2500. It usually has a cap labeled “Coolant” or “Engine Coolant.”

3. Open the Reservoir Cap

Caution: Never open the coolant reservoir cap when the engine is hot. Wait for it to cool down completely to avoid burns or injury.

  • Once the engine is cool, slowly twist the cap counterclockwise to remove it. Be prepared for a slight hiss as pressure is released. This is normal.
Insert dipstick in coolant reservoir to check level

4. Check Coolant Level

With the cap off, take a look inside the reservoir. There should be markings indicating the minimum and maximum coolant levels.

5. Pouring Coolant

Use a funnel to pour the coolant into the reservoir. Pour slowly to prevent spills. Stop when the coolant level reaches the maximum mark.

Pro Tip: Mixing coolant with water is sometimes necessary, especially in cold climates. Check your owner’s manual for guidance on the right coolant-to-water ratio.

6. Reattach Cap

Once you’ve added the coolant, carefully screw the cap back on by turning it clockwise. Make sure it’s secure.

7. Monitor Coolant Level

After a few drives, recheck the coolant level to ensure it’s still within the recommended range. If necessary, add more coolant.

Safety Precautions

Adding coolant is a straightforward task, but it’s essential to prioritize safety:

  • Protective Gear: Always wear gloves and safety glasses when working with coolant.
  • Cool Engine: Never open the coolant reservoir cap when the engine is hot. Wait for it to cool down completely.
  • Children and Pets: Keep coolant out of reach of children and pets. It’s toxic and can be harmful if ingested.

How Much Coolant Does Your Ram 2500 Need?

Now, you might be wondering how much coolant your Ram 2500 Diesel requires. The exact capacity can vary depending on the engine type and year model of your truck.

To find the precise coolant capacity for your Ram 2500, check your owner’s manual or consult a Ram dealership. They can provide you with the specific information you need.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: How often should I check my Ram 2500’s coolant level?

A1: It’s a good practice to check your Ram 2500’s coolant level regularly, ideally every few months or when you’re doing routine maintenance. Additionally, inspect the coolant level if you notice any signs of overheating or a warning light on your dashboard.

Q2: Can I use any coolant, or does it have to be the specific type mentioned in the owner’s manual?

A2: It’s highly recommended to use the coolant type specified in your Ram 2500’s owner’s manual or under the hood. Using the correct coolant ensures optimal performance and prevents potential damage to your cooling system. Mixing different coolant types can also lead to problems.

Q3: What do I do if I can’t find the recommended coolant type for my Ram 2500?

A3: If you can’t find the recommended coolant type in your owner’s manual or under the hood, consult a Ram dealership or contact the manufacturer directly. They can provide you with the precise information you need to ensure you’re using the right coolant for your specific model.

Q4: Can I add coolant to my Ram 2500 when the engine is warm?

A4: No, it’s not recommended to add coolant when the engine is warm or hot. Wait for the engine to cool down completely before opening the coolant reservoir cap. Adding coolant to a hot engine can result in hot coolant spraying out and causing burns. Safety should always be a priority.

Q5: What should I do if my Ram 2500’s coolant level keeps dropping even after adding coolant?

A5: If you continue to experience a loss of coolant, it’s essential to address the issue promptly. This could indicate a coolant leak or a more significant problem with the cooling system. It’s advisable to have your truck inspected by a qualified mechanic to identify and fix the underlying issue.

Q6: Can I use tap water to dilute the coolant in my Ram 2500?

A6: While it’s possible to dilute coolant with tap water, it’s not the best practice. Tap water can contain minerals and impurities that may be harmful to your cooling system over time. If you need to dilute coolant, it’s better to use distilled water, which is free from contaminants.

Q7: Is it normal for the coolant reservoir to be slightly pressurized when I open the cap?

A7: Yes, it’s normal for the coolant reservoir to be pressurized when you open the cap. This happens because the cooling system builds up pressure as the engine heats up. When you remove the cap, you might hear a hissing sound as the pressure is released. Just be cautious and wait for the engine to cool down before opening the cap.

Q8: Can I use a cooling system pressure tester to check for leaks before adding coolant?

A8: Yes, using a cooling system pressure tester is a useful method to check for leaks before adding coolant. It allows you to pressurize the cooling system and identify any leaks, which can save you from wasting coolant and help pinpoint potential problems in the system.


Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to add coolant to your Ram 2500 Diesel like a pro. Regularly checking and maintaining your coolant levels is a small yet essential step in ensuring your truck runs smoothly for years to come.

Remember, safety is paramount when working with coolant, so always take the necessary precautions. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to keep your Ram 2500 in peak condition. Happy driving!

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