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Old 06-06-2016, 12:56 PM   #1
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Question Scared of Diesels with DPF

I think I have been doing too much reading on the diesel forums about problems people have with 2007 and later trucks plugging Diesel Particulate Filters. I presently have a 1998 12 Valve Cummins that I pull with but will have to get a different truck in the next year or so since the present truck runs on Waster Vegetable Oil (which is free), but is also a BEAR attractant and we will be heading frequently into bear country. Our target right now is either a 2004-2006 or a 2010+ Dodge 3500 Dually.

So I know there will be no problem pulling to and from a destination, but we plan to stay in one place (and hike) for maybe a month or two. The diesel forums say "DO NOT USE YOUR TRUCK AS A GROCERY GETTER" or you'll plug your DPF. Well if we're parked in Colorado or Florida for a month, then the truck is gonna be a grocery getter as well as transportation to and from trail heads, the beach, etc......

Has anyone experienced this type of DPF clogging or related problems when using 2007+ trucks locally while staying in one area. I think I read too much on-line and would like some real life experiences and advice. Please... Be sure to tell me if you HAVE had DPF problems.

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Old 06-06-2016, 02:13 PM   #2
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Just my experience

I owned an 07 Chevy 2500 D/A after 2 1/2 years had a problem with some exhaust sensor, it took the dealership 8 months to figure it out, so can't really say which was bigger part of the problem. Drove the truck as a daily driver and yes to and from grocery store. I now have a 2012 f350 diesel since February. 2012, that requires the def fluid. It is also a daily driver and knock on wood no problems. I could understand some of the comments if it were just driven in town and on the road occasionally. I have made no mods, nor do I run a chip on my vehicles.

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Old 06-06-2016, 05:15 PM   #3
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Have not had that issue with either the Motorhome or VW Diesel the wife drives. We do not live in the city though so the DPF gets a chance to clean itself properly. In the city in a lot of traffic and mostly short trips continuously im sure it could be an issue.

I know several people with newer diesels that do quite a bit of city driving and traffic and not had a issue with the DPF as of yet that I know of.

If you get them up to temp and up to speed every once in a while so they can regen properly my experience is they are ok.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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sooner or later there will be problems.think about a person jogging, now cover there mouth, thats a new diesel, they can not breath.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:37 PM   #5
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DPF is here to stay, and it's been out for many, many years. The early years saw poor fuel mileage and problems. They seem to have most problems straightened out.

Virtually all new diesels are DPF engines, including heavy duty trucks. That's the only way Tier IV emissions can be met. Plus the newer diesel pickups are incredibly strong pulling while getting pretty good fuel mileage.

If you have the chance to get an old diesel with low miles and no DPF, go for it. If you have to go 3 years old or newer, don't hesitate to get the DPF engine. It's just something those towing very heavy have to deal with.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:12 AM   #6
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In my opinion your concerns are valid....I compare the newer diesels to the cars of the mid/late 70's when emissions crippled them for a few years. It'll take them some time but they will get it figured out eventually. I don't mind the DEF/DPF systems from an environmental aspect as they do what they're intended to do.....I do think there has to be a better way and hopefully someone figures it out soon. I looked at getting a new truck this year and it didn't take a whole bunch of reading before I determined the newer diesels aren't for me.....I'm not paying that type of money for something that will be in and out of the shop. I decided to stick with my pre-dpf 06 for a few more years and see what happens.
Another huge concern for me is the regen they put them through to clean that filter. Diesels aren't a big fan of heat and I'm curious to see if we don't see a drop off in longevity of diesels.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:56 AM   #7
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Our coach has a DPF. In 12,000 miles it has gone into regen 4 times. If the majority of your driving is on the highway you should have little concern. If you do a lot of stop & go driving in traffic it will go into regen more often. Also excessive lugging or a lot of idling of your engine will cause soot to build up & cause a regen.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:36 AM   #8
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The biggest problem with DPF's is when it tries to go into regen, and you cut it short. The only issues I have had is the EGT sensor. I replaced it twice on my 07 Chevy in 186K mi. I just received a TSB from Ford, stating that they are extending the warranty on the EGT sensor to 120K or 11 years. They must be having issues too. We had to replace one early (35K) on a F550 at work but nothing on my personal trucks yet.

You do have a valid concern, unless you are willing to manage it properly. Industrial heavy equipment is also affected. We have had to train all of our heavy equipment operators on SOP's concerning the DPF and regen.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:00 AM   #9
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I have a 2014 Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins Diesel. I have not had any problems with it.

It has a DPF, and uses DEF. I have heard that the combination of the two emissions systems helps keep the DPF cleaner. If it has ever gone into regeneration, it hasn't told me.

The only "trouble" of any kind that I have had is that twice I have received a notice on the dashboard to take the vehicle to the dealer to have the emissions system serviced. Both times, I scanned for the fault code with my ScanTool code reader and used an internet search to find what the manufacturer specific code was. The fault was that the Selective Catalytic Reduction system was underperforming, and both times that the code popped up, I was in terrible stop and go traffic.

So what did I do? I cleared the fault codes after I had stopped, and told myself that if the same code came up that day after getting out of the stop and go traffic, I would take it to the dealer as soon as I could. It's under warranty, so I wasn't too worried about it.

The codes didn't come back, and after a day or two I had forgotten all about them. The first was more than a year ago, the second was last month. No other problems.

I went with the Cummins because it seemed to me while researching buying a truck that Cummins had been early on getting the emissions equipment into the Dodge pickups, and had worked out the kinks by the time I was ready to buy.

Keep in mind that when it comes to things like this, the people that are having problems usually don't know why they are having problems, and the dealers are also having trouble fixing them, probably due to poor support from either Fiat/Dodge, Cummins, or both. What you will almost never hear is someone like me, who is very happy with the truck, has had no real problems to speak of, and did *tons* of research before buying in order to try very hard to avoid problems.

Look into the newer Dodge Ram pickups to see if they are really having as many problems as folks say they are. I don't think so. There seems to be thousands and thousands of the newer models with diesel engines running around, and if these things were really troublesome, everyone would know about it.

Remember, no one ever gets on the internet to complain that nothing has gone wrong with their vehicle. But as soon as the "Go to the dealer" light comes on, they'll talk about it like their world is gonna end.

PS: I was pretty happy with Ford before I bought the Dodge. If I had to do it all over again, I'd be seriously considering GM, too, based on Consumer Reports repair and reliability stats that I had seen right after buying the Dodge.
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:57 PM   #10
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While most of my driving with my 2015 F359 is long distance towing, I have to occasionally do the grocery getting which does allow quicker build up of soot in the DPF. I had the dealer turn on a dash gauge that shows % DPF Full. When it reaches 100%, I take it for a 20-30 mile drive on the highway to let it do a complete regeneration as I believe it is inefficient to have repeated partial regens. In 29,000 miles, I've had no problem.
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:08 PM   #11
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2008 400 ISL My dpf had to be replaced last summer. It had to be towed to the shop. I drive mine plenty hard so it is not city driving. They did say high idle time on mine of about 15%. Hard to visualize that much but if you add start ups, traffic, fuels stops leaving the engine running or rest stops and leaving it running a bit can add up.

There was a sensor bad and they said it caused the erratic regen that led up to my failure. The extended warranty would not cover it because they say it is smog related. Based on the large dumpster full of these filters it is not uncommon. Trucks like cement trucks that do short hauls and long idles are murder according to one of the techs. It was a three day adventure and 5K out of pocket.

If you get any weird regen situations be sure to get to cummins in time to salvage an expensive part. They can do a manual regen and pull the filter for cleaning except mine had holes in it. They did two flash upgrades on my ECM which is supposed to help in the future.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:03 PM   #12
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We have had 4 RAM Dually's with DPFs. Here's our DPF history:

2007.5 - 3 DPF's, 2 SCRs, some sensors replaced, and a whole bunch of computer updates.

2011 - No DPF problems

2014 - No DPF problems. Had some DEF problems related to "WALMART" DEF. New DEF software, nozzles, SCR.

2016 - No DPF problems.

We are full timers, but stay in one area for months at a time (like winter!)
then move on. All of the trucks were basically used the same way, so I don't really think city driving is necessarily the issue. I think it was a learning curve for Cummins and the emissions.

You mentioned 2010+ model years, and I agree. Stay away from the earlier 6.7's. By now though they may have gotten those working better. The more recent model years have more HP and Torque almost every model year.

Now with all that being said, would we buy another RAM? You bet, and in fact just did!
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
2008 400 ISL

If you get any weird regen situations be sure to get to cummins in time to salvage an expensive part. They can do a manual regen and pull the filter for cleaning except mine had holes in it. They did two flash upgrades on my ECM which is supposed to help in the future.
Uh oh Same engine, same year.

What exactly do you mean by ' weird regen situation' ?

I did have what I would consider a odd regen coming home from AZ this spring, but it happened in northern Cal, and I traveled another 1800mi or so, without issues.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:24 PM   #14
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2015 F250 6.7, 30k miles so far, mostly pulling a 30' TT, NO problems and NO soot with the system.

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