The Many Steps to Diesel Success

When I was a small boy I was live baggage on family trips from the Northeast to visit the grandparents a thousand miles away in Indiana. There were no Interstate highways – just the promise of the Pennsylvania Turnpike with its four smooth concrete lanes and many child-pleasing tunnels. The rest of the way was two lanes, small towns, and diners with steamed-up windows. Constantly in the way were highway trucks, only lately powered by weak-but-economical six-cylinder Diesel engines making 160 horsepower. Drivers knew what was next on their routes,…

Ram 2019 Introduction

2019 Ram Heavy Duty Truck

Looking back at Issue 104 in the “TDReview” write-up on the 2019 Ram I see that I made the comment, “I expected more industry ‘buzz’ about the Ram/Cummins 400/1000 power rating.” Perhaps my comment was just a little too early in the cycle of press stories. Because, yes, the press did react to the new 2019 Ram Turbo Diesel. What did the writers have to say? First: The Truth About Cars First, on February 28 there was the website, The Truth About Cars and their story “2019 Ram HD First…

Brake Fluid Expose

DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Brake Fluid (And are probably still afraid to ask) by James Walker Without a doubt, changing brake fluid is at the absolute bottom of most owners’ lists of “fun things to do with their trucks.” Unfortunately, this mystery fluid is also one of the most vital components of all of your truck’s safety systems, yet it can be neglected for years and years at a time. Heck, there are some people who would not change their fluid for the life of their truck…

Dodge Ram Spring Cleaning

Dodge Ram exterior cleaning products.

Whether you want to believe it or not, your RV/trailer/camper/tow vehicle has feelings and a personality. When it’s covered with pitch, bug guts, bird doo, mud or just road grime, and the tires look like they’re about to be recycled at the local flea market, you can see the frown on its face. It’s a scientifically unproven fact that a clean truck runs and pulls better. Got it, unproven, but a clean ride does wonders for the self-esteem. Our personal truck and camper may be different from yours, but it…

Buying a Pre-Owned Ram Cummins Truck

Pre-owner Ram Cummins truck.

Last year, the new vehicle display at our local Costco featured a stunning 2018 Ram Cummins 2500 Longhorn 4×4. Upscale accessories and options lured a stream of curious consumers. The $75,800 MSRP window sticker caught the most attention. In a recent post at the TDR forum, a reader shared his search for a used Ram truck. Citing noteworthy design flaws on models he could afford, his first diesel truck quest was fraught with concerns. New truck prices have soared. The Ram Tradesman trim level, trucks like this well-equipped 2500 4×4,…

Ram Turbo Diesel Out of Fuel? Are You Sure?

We heard from a Ram Turbo Diesel owner who wrote of a situation where his 2001 truck ran out of fuel while the fuel gauge was showing 1/4 of a tank. He was fifty feet away from the fuel island when it happened, and strangers helped him push his truck up to the fuel pump. He learned to drive the truck by resetting the trip odometer and running a certain number of elapsed miles before refueling. Problem Diagnosis The problem is fairly simple to diagnose. In this case, where the…

About 2013-Current Ram Turbo Diesel DEF Systems

2013 Ram Cummmins Emissions Equipment

Background The Turbo Diesel Register editor called me a couple of months ago asking some questions about DEF systems. It seems that the folks at Geno’s Garage had been seeing an increase in phone calls related to the high cost of repairs to their DEF equipped trucks, specifically for the DEF emissions components. After our conversation, I did not give it much more thought and was going to cover another topic in TDR Issue 102. It just so happened that I was going to look at a customer’s car in…

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) for Dummies

MOPAR DEF Jug

If you own a 2013+ Ram diesel you know that you need to use diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) or you run the risk of going in to limp mode. You probably have some questions. What does DEF actually do? Does DEF go bad? Are any brands of DEF better than the others? DEF is made up of two things, Urea and de-ionized water. This mixture (32.5% urea/67.5% water) is sprayed via an injector in to the exhaust to lower the N0x emissions emitted from your diesel truck. If you decide…

When is Dodge Cummins Diesel Fuel Pressure Important?

Undoubtedly you have heard from friends or internet forums that you need a fuel pressure gauge on your Cummins Turbo Diesel or else you run the risk of damaging your injection pump. This is true, but only if you own a 1998.5 (first year of the 24-valve engine) to 2002 truck. During these four years of production, a Bosch VP44 fuel injection pump was used on these engines. The VP44 is fuel cooled and needs to have more than 5psi to maintain proper cooling. “The VP44 is fuel cooled and…