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2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I've been a long time lurker on this forum and it's helped me answer a multitude of questions including what tune to go with on my '17 EcoD. Unfortunately now it seems I might be burning some oil however I'd like your opinion before I draw any conclusions.

The truck has been awesome without any major issues other than dying and having to go to the dealer for the EGR cooler Recall. This was about a year and a half ago.

At the beginning of this year I did the GDE engine and transmission tune. What a massive difference that made!

The truck currently has 116,xxx miles on it. Oil changes at the dealer on the regular. I got a CEL about 2 weeks ago with a P0128 code and I believe the thermostat is stuck open as the truck takes FOREVER to warm up and sometimes never hits full temp. I haven't had a chance to swap this out yet due to work schedule but I've probably driven 700 miles on it since that's come on.

Today while on a short trip to Starbucks (about 1 mile there, then sat in line for 25 minutes (wife wanted it, not me) then 1 mile home). Half way back home I noticed a bunch of smoke in my rear view mirror. It was a light-ish blue color. When I got home I got out and left the truck running and could see a small wisp of smoke from the exhaust and it did smell like burned oil.

For the record I am low on DEF (getting the won't restart notice within 300 miles) but I've been this low a couple times and never noticed the smoke.

What should I look into? Thanks.

Josh

P.S. I'll throw a gopro on the back later today and go for another drive and see if I can get video of it.
 

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2021 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 6.7 L Turbo Cummins 3.73
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2,044 Posts
Blue smoke usually indicates oil consumption. White light vapor can be normal moisture from complete combustion. Lots of white can mean coolant or excess fuel not inghting. Black smoke can indicate over rich condition probably an injector or bad air intake filters.

If it is oil burning, watch your oil levels for your first clue. Causes can be many, bad piston rings, bad head gaskets, cracked head and or worn valve guides. Or at those miles, it may be time for a new engine/truck. The Ecodiesels well recorded issues is why I sold mine, and bought the Cummins 2500.

maybe you need to go out on the freeway for 100 miles at 70 mph and blow out the crud.

Hows that air intake filter look?
 

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2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just went for another drive. I didn't really see any smoke this time but it was darker out. I also leaned down and took a good whiff out of the tailpipe after I got home and tbh, it actually might be unburned fuel? I'll see if I can get my hands on one of the OBD readers that will look at the fuel corrections and see how those all look. What else should I be looking for or could this just all be because of low DEF? (I'm refilling that tomorrow). I will also be changing my fuel filter tomorrow (3D Printing the tool right now to take the filter housing off).

What fuel system cleaners/additives do you guys recommend and how often?

Thanks

Josh
 

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2021 Ram 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 6.7 L Turbo Cummins 3.73
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2,044 Posts
Just went for another drive. I didn't really see any smoke this time but it was darker out. I also leaned down and took a good whiff out of the tailpipe after I got home and tbh, it actually might be unburned fuel? I'll see if I can get my hands on one of the OBD readers that will look at the fuel corrections and see how those all look. What else should I be looking for or could this just all be because of low DEF? (I'm refilling that tomorrow). I will also be changing my fuel filter tomorrow (3D Printing the tool right now to take the filter housing off).

What fuel system cleaners/additives do you guys recommend and how often?

Thanks

Josh
This is my experience with diesels and fuel filters. This was a big Cat diesel genset that ran constantly on one of the many Alaskan bush jobs I was on. One day I can see black smoke coming out the exhaust. I tried changing the air filter first, nada. Changing the fuel filters (all 6 of them) fixed that, and the smoking stopped.

I use Diesel KLEEN additives, or Hot Shots when the other is unavailable for my fuel. Low on DEF won't cause your issues, if you get too low you'll get a CEL.

Yes a code reader is a must have these days.
 

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Most likely you are not burning any oil, but check the dipstick level and verify. You need to change the t-stat as it is stuck in a 'warm-up mode longer than normal, this will burn more fuel. The long idle can lead to cold exhaust temps and oxidation cat can load up with unburnt fuel. When you drive away and exhaust gets warm again it will lead to a big could of white/blue smoke when the oxicat lights off again. Run it hard for a minute and all the will clear up. Proper coolant temps should reduce the tendency for this situation.
 

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2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info everyone. Spa day for the truck today. I'll get everything taken care of and will report back.

From researching to seems the AlphaOBD is a good buy and I can check the fuel adjustments with it correct?
 

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2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Went and did my fuel filter (and accidentally split the little O-Ring on the yellow drain plug. Dealer wanted to sell me the ENTIRE FILTER HOLDER for $325 to replace the O ring. What a load....) Anyway, got that replaced, replaced the thermostat which fixed the issue of the truck slowly heating up and it got rid of the P0128 code so my CEL is now off. I also filled the DEF tank and checked my oil. The oil level was below the "MIN" line but I only got it changed, at the dealer, less than 3000 miles ago. I'm thinking they just didn't fill it enough? I put about a quart back in which took it just above the max line. I'll drive it and check it again in 1000 miles and see where it sits.

I drove the truck around for about 45 minutes after all this and it drives fine. Power feels great, I did a few hard pulls and didn't notice any smoke out the back. I did throw 8oz of the Hot Shots Extreme 6 in 1 fuel additive in the tank before going for a drive (tank has probably 21gal in it currently).

I'll report back in a few weeks with what I find out or if any other issues rise up.

Thanks for all the help!

Josh
 

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Always reinsert the dipstick and recheck, because the first reading will be wrong. If you live in a cold climate, get a winter front and plug her in, if colder than 15F or so. In Maine, I leave the winter front on from November till April unless heavy towing. I never let mine idle to warm up, just drive easily until coolant hits 100F. 116k miles is nothing, imho. Hot Shot Extreme is excellent!
 

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2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Always reinsert the dipstick and recheck, because the first reading will be wrong. If you live in a cold climate, get a winter front and plug her in, if colder than 15F or so. In Maine, I leave the winter front on from November till April unless heavy towing. I never let mine idle to warm up, just drive easily until coolant hits 100F. 116k miles is nothing, imho. Hot Shot Extreme is excellent!
Thanks. Yeah i just read that thread about the dipstick. Good to know.

I live in Phoenix AZ so don't need that front. Lol

Thanks!
 

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Hello,
I've been a long time lurker on this forum and it's helped me answer a multitude of questions including what tune to go with on my '17 EcoD. Unfortunately now it seems I might be burning some oil however I'd like your opinion before I draw any conclusions.

The truck has been awesome without any major issues other than dying and having to go to the dealer for the EGR cooler Recall. This was about a year and a half ago.

At the beginning of this year I did the GDE engine and transmission tune. What a massive difference that made!

The truck currently has 116,xxx miles on it. Oil changes at the dealer on the regular. I got a CEL about 2 weeks ago with a P0128 code and I believe the thermostat is stuck open as the truck takes FOREVER to warm up and sometimes never hits full temp. I haven't had a chance to swap this out yet due to work schedule but I've probably driven 700 miles on it since that's come on.

Today while on a short trip to Starbucks (about 1 mile there, then sat in line for 25 minutes (wife wanted it, not me) then 1 mile home). Half way back home I noticed a bunch of smoke in my rear view mirror. It was a light-ish blue color. When I got home I got out and left the truck running and could see a small wisp of smoke from the exhaust and it did smell like burned oil.

For the record I am low on DEF (getting the won't restart notice within 300 miles) but I've been this low a couple times and never noticed the smoke.

What should I look into? Thanks.

Josh

P.S. I'll throw a gopro on the back later today and go for another drive and see if I can get video of it.
 

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Blue (if it is actually blue) is oil consumption. Bypass all the guess work and go to NAPA or buy online from Amazon etc, an "oil analysis kit". At the next oil change, get a good clean sample in the supplied bottle. The lab report will give you a REAL and accurate report of what is the current status of the motor internals. Peace
 
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