Dreaded Check Engine Light

Modern vehicles are typically great, but they are also complex, computer-controlled, and sometimes have unexplained gremlins.

Thankfully I was able to clear these codes on my 2014 Ram 2500 crew cab, on the second attempt, and they’ve stayed away for the last 10 days. There were zero drivability problems, and who knows what triggered the errors. Fingers crossed.

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James Langan, December 2020

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Dodge Ram Cummins 30 month oil change interval

 

Changing the oil in my fourth generation Ram/Cummins trucks (and Toyota 4Runner) is so easy with the NoSpill Systems drain plug kit; I love them. The gallon freezer bag trick also works great to capture the oil filter, which is easily accessed through the wheel well on manual transmission fourth generation Rams.

This Chevron Delo 400 5W-40 oil had been in the engine of this 2014 Ram 2500 for 14,700 miles, many miles but not excessive based on the guidelines for the platform. However, it took 30 months to accumulate those miles because we have a few vehicles, and I work from home and don’t have a daily commute. Should I have changed it sooner? Maybe.

I’m well aware that Cummins and Ram recommend an oil change interval of six months on these trucks if the mileage recommendation is not met before. This has always seemed excessive and I’ve preferred one year as a general guide. Of course, if one is concerned about meeting warranty standards they probably want to follow the manufacturers’ rules.

Anyone want to bet against me, and take the position that the oil was excessively deteriorated, contaminated, and in bad condition because of the time-in-service? Even if someone was willing, my morals wouldn’t let me take their money. While the results are pending, based on past experiences and testing, I’m confident all will be fine. We shall see.

Oil samples submitted for analysis from both my late-model Ram/Cummins (2014 & 2017) and a 2006 Toyota V8, and other rigs I no longer own, have shown that time is not the old bugaboo that many still fear. At least not for my uses and practices.

Data from some recent samples have shown that theoretically excessive time-in-service did not damage the oil in my applications. Of course duty-cycle does matter, and if one rarely gets engines up to full operating temperature, or makes repeated, excessively-short trips, total time might be a concern. Your environment may matter too. You’ll have to be your own judge.

Stay tuned, the results from this most recent analysis, and those from previous tests, will interest many and might dispel myths.

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James Langan, December 2020

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Resources:

NoSpill Systems (Original and BEST, Made in Canada with U.S. materials! Not the knock-off.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cummins Fuel Filters

See a dealer for “fuel system service required” because the fuel filters need to be replaced? 

No thanks, I’ll do it faster, better, and cheaper myself, with OEM Mopar/Fleetguard filters I buy from Geno’s Garage.

The billet aluminum fuel filter canister cap in the engine compartment is also from Geno’s Garage.

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James Langan, December 2020

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Resource:

Geno’s Garage Dodge/Ram/Cummins parts

 

Churchill County, Nevada, Dec. 2020

A brief afternoon scouting adventure, looking for nearby overnight camping opportunities.

James Langan, December 2020

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BlueDEF Platinum

The idea behind BlueDEF Platinum’s additive package is to prevent harmful SCR system deposits and failures. Does it work, we shall see, I’ve not had any DEF problems with either of my trucks, however….
On a 2013 truck with a mere 74,000 miles, the owner of Truck Camper Adventure online magazine had a catastrophic SCR/DEF system failure on his fourth generation Ram/Cummins 3500 truck, with the dash warning that in 100 miles his speed would be limited to 5 mph!
The subsequent repair was $3,500! You can read his story and product introduction here:

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James Langan, November 2020

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Resource:

Peak BlueDEF Platinum

 

Lassen National Forest, Northern California, dispersed camping.

Beautiful autumn evening in the Lassen National Forest, Shasta County, Northern California, October 2020. Camped at a wide spot on the side of a mountain with fantastic views.

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Resources:

Hallmark Truck Campers