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Old 06-26-2019, 04:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Newbee diesel engine questions

This past Jan/Feb I purchased my first diesel truck, a 2018 RAM 2500 Lariat CTD and I have a few questions. So far I absolutely love the truck, its easy to drive, has lots of power and is loaded with a lot of insane crazy features, but I've got a few questions. For instance, when starting the truck I turn the key part way, then I have to wait until the little coil on the dash goes out. What happens if I don't wait?

I'm mostly a "do it my self" kind of guy, except when it comes to complicated repairs, but I'm all over routine maintenance. So aside from the issues of using a lot of oil and the odd location of the filter, why is it so difficult to change the oil? Is there a better type of oil to use? Are Ram/Cummins filters the best to use? I also see that I'd have to change fuel filters, is that something the average "do it your selfer" can handle? Are there any "gotha's" of other things that I should worry about?



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Old 06-26-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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I've had two Dodge Ram pickups with Cummins ISB engines. I agree, they are great. The light on the dash is telling you the heater grid in the intake is heating up. If the engine is cold and you crank it before the light cycles, it will take slightly longer to start. Just more stress on the starter and batteries.

I also like to change the oil myself. I use Shell Rotella T6 synthetic oil in our Dodge Cummins. You can find the oil reasonably priced at Walmart. I got started using the Dodge oil and fuel filters when it was new to protect the warranty. I usually find a good price for a case of filters either on eBay or Amazon.
The fuel filter is easy to change yourself. You just have to reach a long ways or stand on the front bumper to reach it. Check out the videos on YouTube.

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Old 06-28-2019, 09:13 PM   #3
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vito is right about the grid heater, which brings up an very important point. NEVER spray anything into the air intake to aid starting. Since the grid heater is-well- hot, the intake manifold can explode, which will make your wallet cry.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:49 AM   #4
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I'll heed the warning on the starting fluid!

Thanks for the tip on Walmart oil pricing.

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Old 06-29-2019, 06:34 AM   #5
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You have gotten some great advice here. I use Costco for all on my oil purchases. Right now they have a $10 off several different brand oils.

As for fuel filters, if they are like a Cummins in a motorhome, they are not all that hard to change. But I normally pre-fill the filters using the outside holes only and then install. Cleanliness is very important. Make sure the areas around the filters are free of anything that can contaminate the filters when you are trying to install them.

As for oil changing, You can get a special valve that will screw into the oil pan allowing you to drain the oil into gallon milk jugs. There are several different manufactures to choose from. Or you can use a large oil pan like this one that I use. I like it because I can easily carry it to a oil recycling (I use Walmart) and pour it right into their use oil tank. Do your homework because prices are all over the place on this item. They also make several different sizes so choose wisely. Play it safe and use some disposable gloves. I use 5 Mil Nitrile Powder-Free Gloves I get from Harbor Freight. Also use safety glasses or goggles. Used crankcase oil and eye balls don't play well together.

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Old 06-29-2019, 04:52 PM   #6
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I had a 15 Ram dually until we got our motorhome. I would change my oil and fuel filters. There were 2 fuel filters on mine. One above the rear end and the other in the engine compartment. The oil filter is a pain in the butt to get to also.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:50 AM   #7
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WalMart brand DEF is less than $8 for 2 1/2 gal jug. Other than buying from a station with bulk that will save you $$ as well.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:40 PM   #8
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OK; I am a little late to this thread.

But have 40+ years with diesel vehicles in design and use. I and my two sons own 4 different Dodge/Ram trucks with the Cummins engine in them between us. So, from my limited experience,I would use only Fleetguard/Mopar filters on your truck.

For your oil filter I would use the Fleetguard StrataPore filter part number LF16035 these cost around $13.95 +tax. Mopar has the standard Fleetguard filter, not as good as the StrataPore filter. Not sure on the Mopar cost or part number. I would use a synthetic oil that meets the Ram requirements for their engine. Such as Valvoline, Shell and or Amsoil. Change per the interval specified by Ram for oil changes.

For your fuel filter I would also use the Fleetguard Nanonet filter which is a 3 micron filter. Part number FS53000 this cost about $68.95+ tax. Engine mounted on the driver side of the vehicle, for your year of truck this can be accessed from the top.

The rear frame mounted fuel/water separator filter, this is a Fleetguard filter part number FS20089 which cost about $54+tax. Change per the interval specified by Ram for fuel filter changes.

I would also change your air filter at the interval specified by Ram. The air filter can either be the Mopar or Fleetguard brand. Fleetguard part number is AF-27684 and cost about $27.95+ tax. Please do not use an aftermarket air filter on your truck. The Ram/Cummins air filter will support up to 400 HP/1000 lb-ft of torque. This is what is being shipped in the High Out put Ram trucks for 2019.

I purchase all of my filters from Geno's Garage which is a dedicated supplier of parts and filters for the Dodge/Ram trucks.

Good luck and enjoy!

Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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