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2018 Ram 1500 Owner is Frustrated He Can't Turn the Music Totally Off!

With all the new communication and navigation systems built into modern vehicles, one 2018 Ram 1500 owner is frustrated that he can't turn the music or radio off in his truck. He reaches out to a popular truck forum for advice in how to best mute the blaring music.


Sport is very upset over what he sees as a huge flaw in the Uconnect system. Sport has a 2018 Ram 1500 and he is unable to totally turn off the music. Sport articulates the problem well. “First... it doesn't matter if the head unit needs to remain on for updates etc. That is not an answer to the actual problem. Which is this: There needs to be a "Music OFF" button. See the difference? "Head unit OFF" vs. "Music OFF." I don't care about the first one. But the second one needs to exist because it is crazy that it doesn't. Why does it matter when there's already a "Mute" button? Thanks for asking. Here ya go:
1. At the end of a trip, I want to turn off the music/radio and have it stay shut off next time I start up the truck. If somebody wants to have music blast when they restart, then don't turn it off. See how easy? (And don't say "Just turn down the volume before you shut off the truck." I like zero music when I start my truck, because I still like hearing the engine cold start. Duh.)
2. Do this: Mute the music/radio. Make a handsfree phone call. End Call. Music comes back on at the same insanely loud volume you had to put the call at, to hear over freeway noise. That's fine, so long as I chose to let it automatically mute when I made the call. But as an alleged adult, I should be able to make the decision myself to turn the music OFF before a call and have it stay off when I'm done.
3. How about navigation? When I'm driving at some multiple of the posted speed limit, it's not safe to fiddle with the touch screen to adjust the Navigation Voice so I can hear it over the music. And I can't turn the music down without turning everything down.
Solution to all this nonsense: Have a simple OFF button for music (including media/aux/radio/sirius) like every car has had since the dawn of time.
Come on, RAM. Just fix this. Details matter. They chip away at an owner's love for an otherwise great truck. I accept that designers can't foresee every situation. But I spent a few minutes laying out a case here. Just one button on the screen. Or, even better, an update to the Settings menu that lets you remap the physical MUTE button to be a Music OFF button.”

Similar Complaints

Apparently, Sport isn’t the only one who finds this frustrating. Nevada says he has found the only way to fix it is to eliminate the radio. “It’s amazing other brands allow the music to be turned off, but FCA doesn’t. The only way right now to do this in an FCA product is by replacing the stock unit with an aftermarket unit. That’s what I’m planning on doing.”

Jack, from Ontario, says that Sport is absolutely right about this. “I have to say I agree with SPORT on this. It annoys me the most about this truck. I don't want the radio coming on when I start the truck.”

Dawg, from Pennsylvania, says other automakers have it figured out and wonders why Ram doesn’t. “This volume thing sucks too. You have to wait until the VR voice is actually speaking to adjust the volume. Can't set it independently at a fixed value and have it always be that way. The variable volumes as I move from radio to media is also annoying....which is why there needs to be an off button. Even my new Pilot, which has obnoxiously difficult to use on-screen touch buttons only for interacting with the radio/media...etc...has an "Audio Power" on-screen button where it can be turned off completely while NAV/Phone and other interactive audio functions still work.”

Innovative Suggestions

Another, from Minnesota, has a clever idea to try to eliminate the music. “For those that don't want the music - Here's a thought, it's not "off", but it at least it keeps functionality. Set the music source to something you don't have connected, like the USB. It's what I do and while it’s not off, at least it isn't playing anything.”

Sport tried it and it still didn’t solve the problem. “That is exactly what I did, switched to usb with no sticks inserted. It immediately switched itself to the FM Radio at full blast. It's alive and it MUST MAKE NOISE.”

Doc, from Michigan, doesn’t mind the radio situation but doesn’t understand why FCA doesn’t solve the problem. “It would seem to me the question is why didn’t the engineers program an on/off switch? I don’t know jack about programming but would guess that would be a simple update if FCA wanted it. So why don’t they?”

Badger, from Idaho, agrees. “I just turn down the audio to nothing so when I get in the truck the radio isn't blasting. I agree with others, would love to have just an on/off for the radio.”

No one from Ram Cares joined the discussion on the forum. Ram doesn’t build the radios, a supplier does, but it would seem that Ram must provide the specifications. Hopefully, they can fix the situation with a software update, or at least remedy the problem in future models.


Chris S Ebert (not verified)    September 25, 2018 - 6:00PM

How do you adjust the volume and not see the volume level #? 2018 Ram 1500. Having to wait until the volume #'s go away is distracting.

Jeff (not verified)    October 15, 2018 - 12:36PM

I agree and also find this no radio off situation completely annoying. I honestly don't believe I would have purchased this truck had I known this ahead of time. I also think a knob for shifting is stupid too. And FYI if you aren't aware? Anyone anytime can roll your truck away if you leave your doors unlocked.

Steve Rice (not verified)    August 22, 2022 - 6:39PM

In reply to by Jeff (not verified)

I don't think this "radio won't turn off "problem is just Dodge trucks. I believe this is a problem with ALL Dodge and Chrysler products with Uconnect. I own a 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T. The only thing I don't like about the entire car is that the %*$&#*$^*&$@# radio won't turn off... ever!
I think that if there is someone who understands the workings of the Uconnect system and they could come up with a software fix or even a physical switch with wires, where you isolate the radio so that it doesn't come on all the time, they could make some serious sales!

Larry (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 11:39AM

I don't care who builds the radio's Ram is responsible for this huge mistake. I totally agree with Jeff if I had known about this I would not have purchased a Ram. When I mute it just to shut it up does Ram make sure there is no pull on the battery?

Kenneth Heide (not verified)    June 25, 2019 - 9:13AM

I can't shut the woman off who tells me the speed limit everywhere I drive. Better yet, it getting louder and still can't find the control to silence her or at least turn it down. It comes on over my music really LOUD! Help!

Tripper (not verified)    October 4, 2019 - 11:18AM

Not being able to turn the radio off sucks and I will not buy another Ram because of it , trading this on in ,

Silver (not verified)    March 13, 2020 - 10:24AM

I agree there should be an OFF button or OFF option to keep the darn radio off until I want it on. I am not sure I would have purchased this rig either.
In my wife's chevy we have a problem with the radio has to be on in order to hear directions from the navigation voice. But you can't turn up the nav voice without turning up the radio voice.
I don't want to have to replace my radio but maybe that is the only option other than replacing the rig which may be easier and cheaper.

Bob (not verified)    March 31, 2020 - 9:10AM

This is so annoying. I`ve many many vehicles but never never have ever seen such nonsense. I`ve been searching high and low trying to figure out how to power off the radio. Happy to hear it isn`t just my lack of techie knowledge. Stupid system.

Rob (not verified)    April 26, 2020 - 7:53AM

Well, you can. I did it by accident. Instrument panel screen actually says “music off” on my 2018 Powerwagon. Six weeks of silence - perfect! Hit touchscreen yesterday somehow turning back on- ugh. Back to “music muted”. Dodge needs to answer. If it has a programmed message “music off” there has to be a process to do it. Does anyone at Dodge pay any attention to their customers?

Carol Moyer (not verified)    June 7, 2020 - 9:59AM

We have a 2018 Ram 2500 diesel that has the 8.4" screen, the navigation system was not working properly, only has 6,640 miles on it.
Took it to dealer and they tried to reprogram, after a day and a half Chrysler decided they need to give us a new radio. A month to get one. Husband went to get into truck this morning batteries are dead. The radio screen is not blacked out it is saying update needed error code 20. I am so mad that I would love to drive this up someone's.
Could this be trying to update even though the truck is turned off??? Hate that you can't turn the radio off, just mute.

CWR (not verified)    December 20, 2020 - 7:43AM

I have heard that Dodge Ram has an agreement with Apple and Google to set the media system to stay on so that suggestive music adds and other can be sent to the radio anytime it is on.
Apple gets paid everytime a song is played from apple music.
If you have an iphone you have a music app that is connected to apple 24/7. Regardless if you have an apple music account Apple will send music to your Ram media player when you start the vehicle or anytime you hit the media button and try to play music from another media source. Apple will send suggested music to your Ram Media Player.
I canceled my apple music account. I went to settings for Music app and turned off every option to stop all auto play from Music App and Airplay as it will also go through your apple watch to your media player.
When I go to media player and play another source such as youtube, the music or video from youtube will start up and stop. Music from my old Apple music account will take over and start playing and the source shown in the control center on my iphone is Apple music app and Apple airplay app. This is a violation of privacy in my opinion.

Vose (not verified)    March 14, 2021 - 5:09AM

Radio off is easy to achieve with this workaround. If you do not have anything plugged into the Aux jack, select the USB input and set to Aux; problem solved. I actually do this myself in lieu of turning the volume all the way down. It allows me to use all other features unless you select the radio again or select an input where media content exists.

Sarah Sovereign (not verified)    March 25, 2021 - 9:11AM

Borrowing a 2018 ram 1500 from another department. It would make a great work truck, great for showing prospective clients around a jobsite, were the conversation not constantly interrupted by the damn vehicle!

I've turned the music down to 2 before shutting the truck off. No point, still jumps up to 8 when key is turned. People who use this kind of truck for work often need to travel an hour to be at a jobsite at daybreak. Ignition and idling sounds are one thing, but perky radio tunes at 0430 are a sure way to piss off neighbors and spouses.

Wouldn't buy this truck for this reason alone. Replacing the radio with my own is a small relative cost, but the inconvenience would make me look at other trucks; I also wonder what other "innocent features" of this vehicle would end up being intolerable down the line.

BoneCollector (not verified)    October 18, 2021 - 9:20AM

I just purchased a pre-owned 2018 RAM 1500 and this issue with not being able to turn the music off, I just recently discovered after owning the vehicle for two months. It is THE MOST annoying thing about the truck. The radio is the ONE THING we interact with on a daily basis and each time we enter or exit a vehicle. IT SHOULD HAVE A POWER ON/OFF button. That said, an equally annoying issue, again about the radio, is that the brightness of the screen itself is NOT adjustable. It remains very bright and can become distracting when driving in certain areas. There is a blank screen option that blacks out the entire screen but at times I want to see the screen but just not at the high level of brightness. I wish I had discovered these things before purchasing. Nevertheless, RAM should do a radio recall and replace the entire thing! That would be the RIGHT THING to do.