Am I doing things right with my truck?

Am I doing things right with my truck?

This is a discussion on Am I doing things right with my truck? within the RAM 1500 Diesel General Discussion forums, part of the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Forum category; OK, people, I'm kinda of a newbie on this whole Diesel thing. I bought my 15 Eco big horn quad cab in Aug, 15 and ...

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Thread: Am I doing things right with my truck?

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    RAM Rookie chill68's Avatar
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    Am I doing things right with my truck?

    OK, people, I'm kinda of a newbie on this whole Diesel thing. I bought my 15 Eco big horn quad cab in Aug, 15 and have 67,000 on it now. I change my own oil and fuel filters but I let businesses do the other, like tranny fluid and coolant and what not. My question I guess is( been a gear head all my life, muscle cars in particular) I don't really know a dam thing when it comes to all this mumbo-jumbo re-gen stuff and all the talk. I put diesel in the dam thing and drive it. I don't use a jacket in front of the radiator( in iowa, gets kinda cold in January) I have done nothing tune wise, and I myself, have only seen this re-gen screen thing one time, and that's when I was coming back from a Vikings game when it was 20 below in Dec. 16 and that's when it came up and then the service engine soon( or whatever screen it was) and then the electronic throttle control screen. made it all the way back home, but then it went into limp mode and had to take it to dealer next day and they said all it needed was a software up date. That's when I lost my 33-34 down the highway at 70 mph. that was before I was on forum and didn't realize that's when the cheat devices or whatever was wiped off with update. Now, I have never had a problem with it since, that was right at 30,000 miles and I myself have never seen the re-gen screen since then either. Am I doing anything wrong or is truck running right or what? A lot of this stuff I read you guys talking about, I don't have a clue but I haven't had any problems either, knock on wood. I've been interested in a tune, but at same time, why, cause the thing runs as it should, I put diesel in it and go.

  2. #2
    RAM Silver Member howie12's Avatar
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    I will tell you my 2 cents worth, but I think it is technically correct. First I do not have a tune and plan on getting rid of the truck for a new one this summer at about 80,000 miles. I have not had a lot of problems but a few emissions issues that the extended warranty took care of.

    My truck runs fine and I am happy with it. A tune or some method to eliminate the EGR is clearly better for the engine if you plan on running the truck for years and years and high mileage. However, if you do this you will be illegal in the eyes of the EPA and not meeting emissions regulations. Every state has a different view of this and how they enforce things. California is so aggressive you cannot buy the GDE tune there. If you do not delete the EGR you will have to replace the intake manifold since it will plug with soot somewhere between about 70,000 miles and 150,000 miles depending upon how you drive and the luck of the draw. You will also likely need to clean or replace the MAP every 50,000 or so miles again depending upon how you drive. Easy to do and threads on here with good pics. Probably takes 30 minutes the first time you do it.

    I don't believe a tune makes any difference to the life of the lower end of the engine. Many people comment on the soot in the oil with the EGR functioning and they are correct that there is more soot in the oil. However, the level of soot in the oil and the size of the soot particles that hurt an engine's lower end is well documented and oil analysis has confirmed virtually no untuned engines have soot levels in the oil that are recognized as harmful. EDIT-when changed at the recommended interval and the vast majority show the oil good for a few thousand additional miles.

    Due to the emissions issues you will see most, if not all, call themselves euphemistically "offroad" tunes.

    IF you were to buy a tune it seems to me fairly obvious that the GDE folks that many talk about here are the most technically knowledgeable and offer a good product with great service at a fair, but not inexpensive, price.

    SOme talk of better engine performance and response with tunes others say not so much. I don't know but for my use I am perfectly happy with how my truck runs.

    All the best,
    Last edited by howie12; 06-06-2019 at 11:38 AM. Reason: added clarification
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    RAM Sr Member Jinx's Avatar
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    Cat and some other major oil analysis companies include the Cummins C11 test which determines the contamination level cause by the EGR system it tests for sludge and abrasives ect caused by EGR.

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    RAM Professional Ramfam's Avatar
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    Well I deal in both. I have worked with both gasser and diesel engines. Main difference is combustion and emissions. But there the same principle. Except with the diesel engines they like heat and compression for combustion. This breaks oil down faster and EGR doesn't help. As the same for excessive regeneration. The computer fires extra fuel in exhust stroke and recalibrate turbo to force more heat into exhust to build heat to DPF and brings temperature up to 1,200+°F. But it can't start regeneration till temperature is at least 600°F. This was probably you're issue with limp mode when it was cold. And I would use the cover in colder temperature. And excessive regeneration or disruption in mutiple regeneration is partly blamed for bearing washout do to unburned fuel in oil. I do also use additives in fuel and oil. This is to help oil break down and add lubrication to fuel systems. And I clean EGR defuser every 20K Miles. Just take it out and use some cheap carb and choke spray on it. And have not had to replace my MAP sensor. And my oil is changed every 7,500 miles and fuel ,air every 15,000 miles. And use hotshot oil every 3rd oil change. So far except the problem I've had with AEM tune the truck has clocked 112k miles issue free.
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    RAM Rookie cerdman's Avatar
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    With normal driving conditions and no tune, the regeneration screen shouldn't ever come up. Under certain circumstances it does however. My only experience in 221,000 miles was 1 time somewhere around 100,000 miles. It was winter time in South Dakota and the interstate got shut down due to a blizzard. I slept in my truck and it idled in 0 degree temperatures for probably 6 hours. Since I was still unable to travel I held it around 2500 rpms and watched the percentage go down to a reasonable number over several minutes.

    Welcome from a fellow Iowan.
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    RAM Rookie chill68's Avatar
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    Assuming there is a topic on EGR diffuser(or I can google it too, one of the best ideas for working on things) I have no idea where it is or what it looks like but I'm sure I can figure it out. I too, change my oil, every 7500 (Shell Rotella) miles as I went to 10k the first time and my god, that stuff was blacker than the Ace of spades and stunk to high heaven. I figure, I bought a bumper to bumper extended warranty from my credit union when I refinanced in January of last yr, (6 yr or 120,000), so I'll take the money and drive to 120 and get rid of it. its at 67k now, so I should get 3 more trouble free yrs, and then trade for a new one. I can't complain, been a great truck, just isn't getting quite the mileage it did before they gave it the software update. Although one thing I have noticed in last week or 2, when I leave drive way in the morning, it seems like I been hearing a bit of a knock when first taking off getting up to speed, but then I don't hear it rest of day, example, leaving work or drving around town if I have an errand or 2. Just every morning last week or 2.

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    RAM Professional HYDREX's Avatar
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    Honestly I think the #1 thing you can do to make your truck last, is read the owner's manual. It tells you how long that you should let it idle prior to shut dow, depends on how it's driven before shutting off. Another item, winter front is required below 32F. Some years were given a winter front. My dealer said that they had a few problems with intercoolers icing up, if no winter front. I think it's wise to do your own oil changes and fuel filter changes.I only had my dealer change oil once, they overfilled it by at least 1 qt. I had to pump out a quart. The frustrating thing, I brought them a 2.5 gallon jug of T6 and a gallon of T6 + Mopar filter. They also warned me about my "tuner" in the center console, which was actually a code reader.
    17 CC 4X4 Bighorn Ecodiesel GDE Hot Tune, 08 Arctic Cat 700 Super Duty Turbo Diesel ATV

  9. #8
    RAM Rookie chill68's Avatar
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    that's one thing I have done, is went through most of owners manual. Dealer talked to me about the front heater shield if you wanna call it that, but I declined it. Funny thing is, I just found out about the heater block plug in this last winter(nobody ever told me they had one) and I couldn't find it. but, I just start the truck, let it run for 5 seconds or so, and do the same when shutting it off. I didn't know your suppose to let it run for a amount of time when starting or shutting it down. that's news to me!

  10. #9
    RAM Jr Member justind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howie12 View Post
    SOme talk of better engine performance and response with tunes others say not so much.
    GDE Hot Tune makes a noticeable performance difference. I came from an Ecoboost truck which has way more get up and go to a stock EcoDiesel. Stock performance is/was pathetic and made me want to trade the truck in because it's annoyingly slow for daily driving. After GDE Hot Tune the truck has acceptable performance, obviously not Ecoboost get up and go but way better than stock. Anyone who claims they didn't notice much of a difference performance wise from a hot tune vs stock either doesn't actually have a hot tune or there's an issue with truck/tune. If you want performance proof you can dino your truck before and afterwards.

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    RAM Silver Member howie12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerdman View Post
    With normal driving conditions and no tune, the regeneration screen shouldn't ever come up. Under certain circumstances it does however. My only experience in 221,000 miles was 1 time somewhere around 100,000 miles. It was winter time in South Dakota and the interstate got shut down due to a blizzard. I slept in my truck and it idled in 0 degree temperatures for probably 6 hours. Since I was still unable to travel I held it around 2500 rpms and watched the percentage go down to a reasonable number over several minutes.

    Welcome from a fellow Iowan.
    From your post I am assuming you have no tune. If that is correct you probably have the highest mileage non tuned ecodiesel we have heard about on this forum. AS you will know if you have read this forum much there are a lot of claims about the long term potential problems with a truck without the EGR bypassed one way or the other. If your truck has 221,000 miles I expect many members of this forum would really appreciate you taking a few minutes and starting your own thread describing your experience with the truck and maintenance/repair history. Give it some thought.

    All the best,

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