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2016 Ram Laramie owner is raising a stink over his truck's bad odor

The owner of a 2016 Ram Laramie is asking other members of a Ram forum for help. He says that his truck smells like an animal has died in the engine compartment. He is hoping someone can help him solve it.

The owner of the 2016 Ram Laramie crew cab says he has only 1400 miles on his new truck and it has a terrible odor. ColoradoRamming asks members of the Ram forum if they have ever witnessed anything like it and could they ever get the smell to go away. “For the last four or five weeks, there is a horrible dead animal smell that is apparent in the cab of the truck after the engine gets warm. The smell comes through the vents, and is less apparent with the recirculation on. It is currently at the dealer for the 2nd time for this problem. The smell is awful outside the truck too, and I've been able to isolate it to the front passenger corner near the coolant bottle. When I park the truck in the garage, it fills the whole garage with the smell. A search of this site revealed many other owners with similar problems. It seems the dealers were replacing the hoses, flushing the coolant system, and sending people on their way. My dealer acknowledges the smell exists, but reports the operation of the truck is completely normal and there is nothing wrong. Chrysler is involved at this point, but have not been any help yet.”

One driver said he had a similar problem. He said, “Have your dealer open a Star Case Inquiry and have them inspect your rubber coolant hoses by removal. It's rare nowadays but possible you got a set of hoses that may be reacting with the coolant. When this happens it smells something horrible. I had this with one of the trucks I drove.”

Another owner named Burla has heard of the issue on other trucks. “One cause of musty smells is the air conditioner condenser. I can't tell you how many vehicles I have treated for this in my last job. Sometimes the vents need to be taken apart, sometimes you can cure it by shooting a treatment up the condenser. This happen because of bad condenser designs. Chevy's are notorious for this, but all makes are susceptible. This would be Rams fault.”

Another driver named Chopper suggested that ColoradoRamming do a thorough check of the truck. “Check above the wheel well liners, maybe something crawled up there and bit it.”

ColoradoRamming assured the others that he had already checked it. “I put the truck on a rack and pulled the wheel liners down, air box out, front bumper off, blower motor out, and looked everywhere I could get a flashlight to. No insulation torn up, wires chewed, nesting material anywhere. No animal. Truck is garaged, and not a single sign of rodents in the garage.”

It appears ColoradoRamming may get some help soon. A Ram customer service person has joined the forum conversation. Kori posted “Yikes! I'm really sorry to hear about this. Can you PM your VIN so I can take a look at the case you have open?”

It will be interesting to see if they can solve ColoradoRamming’s problem. How frustrating to have a brand new truck that truly smells! Let me know if you have heard of a way to solve this.


Rebel name "St… (not verified)    March 16, 2017 - 8:41PM

2016 Rebel terrible with dead animal stink. Same exact story as Coloradoramming. Dealer twice. Took one of the guys out for a drive and was asked to hit the recirc button because the smell was too bad for him. 4K miles and getting worse. No answer from service dept.
11 vehicles (almost $400K) from the same dealership. Done with FCA/Ram/whatever.

Dan Hufty (not verified)    September 16, 2017 - 9:56PM

Same with mine. Purchased new 2017 Ram Big Horn Crew Cab. At about 4,000 miles, the cab started smelling like a dead animal or nasty mildew foot odor smell. I keep my truck very clean. Can't get this smell to go away. Distracting.

Dan Hufty (not verified)    September 16, 2017 - 9:57PM

Same with mine. Purchased new 2017 Ram Big Horn Crew Cab. At about 4,000 miles, the cab started smelling like a dead animal or nasty mildew foot odor smell. I keep my truck very clean. Can't get this smell to go away. Distracting.

Rebel named "Stinky" (not verified)    September 18, 2017 - 10:37PM

"Stink" 2016 ram rebel gone. No fix for the stink. Went for a power wagon with 6.4. No stink but $$$. Actually have a truck worth something now.

Carl (not verified)    November 15, 2017 - 4:29PM

I"m having the same smell problem on a 2014 Big Horn Ram..Bought the truck new. Started smelling around 17000 miles. I hope someone figures it out soon.

Just Fed Up (not verified)    February 2, 2018 - 1:05AM

I’ve had this dead animal smell on 2 vehicles. One was a new 2014 Ram work truck and the other was my 2014 Ram personal truck which I bought new. The stink starts in the first 5000km. I found out that it is the anti-freeze reacting with the sulphur in the hoses. Smells like a dead animal mixed with a sweet chemical smell. I’m from Alberta and let’s just say that driving with the windows down in the winter doesn’t really go over so well. Dealer kept saying there had to be a dead animal in the engine. Well the smell kept getting worse over the period of several months and there was no dead animal. They kept telling me I was crazy and nothing was wrong. They tried shampooing the engine but it didn’t help. Then they replaced all the hoses and flushed the system and once again no luck. Eventually I just gave up. The smell was so bad that it was causing sinus and chest infections. I drove it into their shop and opened the hood and the service rep sitting in his kiosk started gagging. In the end I had to trade it off. Dodge refused to admit there was an issue with the truck but a few months after I traded off the truck( because Dodge head office wouldn’t recall it) I was called by the dealer and told that they couldn’t fix the issue and dodge ended up taking the truck back from them. In the end I had to eat the depreciation but the dealer got me into 2014 Laramie Limited (which sadly came with its own set of issues). Fast forward a few years... I traded into a 2017 Ram sport and I’m noticing the gross smell starting again. I think it’s time to give up on dodge for good.

Ron (not verified)    August 29, 2018 - 11:42AM

We live in a rural setting and have this same smell problem on every vehicle we buy, new or used. I finally discovered that mice crawl into the fresh air intakes, always located up high near the base of the windshield inside the engine compartment. I secure some 1/4" by 1/4" bird screen over the opening with duct self tapping screws, and this solves the problem. I don't know why the auto manufacturers wouldn't do this as a preventative measure - when mice start hanging around inside you're venting system, it's only a matter of time before one of them get killed by the fan. The odor from this is unbelievable.
Good luck to those who who are affected by this!

Michael Kelly (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 8:23PM

2018 RAM promaster after running in high Texas temperatures my headliner right behind the driver and passenger seat smells real bad like a dead animal unit has only 4 thousand miles. I don't expect help from RAM they don't care waiting on back ordered ignition switch now.