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Old 09-30-2012, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Excessive oil loss 5.9

I just purchased a Dodge Ram 2500 5.9l Cummins with 104,00 miles in August from a private party. First thing I did was service the engine, coolant and transmission. I have had no issues at all until this last week.

I was parked on a hill with the nose of the truck pointed down hill. My low oil light came on. I gave it some fuel and it went away. So I had parked the truck in my back yard on a level surface and pulled my dipstick after leaving it sit overnight. To my amazement I had no oil on my dipstick. I added 5 quarts of oil to get it to proper level. I searched everywhere for an oil leak. I found none. The only thing I've noticed is a smokey haze coming out of my blow back tube and little oil. I have not seen any oil where I park either. Also I've had no loss in power or any performance issues.

This is the first diesel truck I have ever purchased for myself. I have drove them for work for years. Maintenance has all been done by dealers on work trucks. I'm stumped! Wondering if anyone has had this problem or know someone who has? Thanks
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you have a pre-purchase exam done by a mechanic? That would have given you a good start point for later repairs. IMO, 5 quarts is a lot of oil to be losing and I would not feel comfortable driving around like that. You would not want to ruin an expensive engine. I would probably take it to a professional diesel mechanic for a proper diagnosis. I know there are a lot of "Do it yourself" stuff on the internet, and you can probably fix it yourself after you find out the problem. It may be your turbo.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No, I kick myself in the for not doing it. I inspected the underside of the vehicle. Checked everything as normal. I wouldn't of suspected any issues at the time nor did the test drive lead me to thinking anything was wrong. I'm just hoping this doesn't turn into a $2,000 plus issue. Crossing my fingers!
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yup, it your truck now. Things don't always go as perfectly as we wish. If you get to the root cause of this, you may be able to fix it yourself. I have found the diesel engine to be much different than the gasoline engines as far as common problems and the cost to fix the problems.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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5 quarts low on engine oil in a month or 2 is a ton. How many miles since the last oil change?

If it really used that much oil & you have no oil leaks, there must be a cloud of blue smoke following you around!


Did you confirm the engine oil level after the previous oil change?
How is the engine blow by? Remove the oil fill cap at a idle. There should be no or very little vapors coming out & no pressure.

I would be watching the oil level on that truck like hawk until you figure out what is going on. Check it every morning, cold. Also check all the other fluid levels also.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbremount View Post
Yup, it your truck now. Things don't always go as perfectly as we wish. If you get to the root cause of this, you may be able to fix it yourself. I have found the diesel engine to be much different than the gasoline engines as far as common problems and the cost to fix the problems.
You are deffinately right. Things don't always go perfect. I have 3 friends who own 2001 Dodge Cummins. Same exact truck in black. It's funny. All of them are stumped too. I do realize the truck is going to cost more to repair and it's a whole different animal. I just haven't seen anything to lead me to believe anything is wrong other than vanishing oil.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by StealthDiesel View Post
5 quarts low on engine oil in a month or 2 is a ton. How many miles since the last oil change?

If it really used that much oil & you have no oil leaks, there must be a cloud of blue smoke following you around!


Did you confirm the engine oil level after the previous oil change?
How is the engine blow by? Remove the oil fill cap at a idle. There should be no or very little vapors coming out & no pressure.

I would be watching the oil level on that truck like hawk until you figure out what is going on. Check it every morning, cold. Also check all the other fluid levels also.
There is no blue smoke at all following me around. I confirmed engine oil level immediately following oil change. I had added 12 quarts as per oil owner's manual. There is absolutely no pressure coming out of the oil cap. I even tried taking the cap off and letting it sit on top loose. It just rattled around. It didn't try to push off.

My friend who has a 2001 Cummins is an Amsoil dealer. He and another friend of mine who is really familiar with diesel engines think it may have something to do with my oil. I had purchased the Conoco Phillips GUARDOL 15W 40 synthetic blend diesel engine oil. They both have said they do not care for blends or conventional oil. My friend who sells Amsoil obviously runs Amsoil oil. But my other friend runs Mobil 1 full synthetic oil.

I'm going to drive it this afternoon about 45 minutes on the highway. I have discussed in depth with my friends of things that could be wrong. We really don't feel the rings should be leaking as I would have a blue cloud of smoke following me around. The other thing we have thought would maybe be the valve guides.

Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate it!
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Have u been over revving it and what not....These motors can burn up a lot of oil if your are balls to the wall. And yes ive seen where one had to add 5 quarts to the motor bcuz of hi revving the motor.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I really haven't drove it like hell. More so I have been driving it like an old man. I tow a 17' boat and trailer and have drove it on a few few hour trips. Now ten years ago I would drove the hell out of it. In regards to the Turbo it seems like it is working just fine.

Another thing that I have noticed is sometimes if I'm not getting on the gas the truck will almost get somewhat jerky when you are at very low speeds and not giving it much fuel. Driving like a Grandpa. But when you are on it, it is non exsistant.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm going to try to go with a full synthetic oil change this week and go from there. And keep a very close eye on the fluids.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanadave View Post
There is no blue smoke at all following me around. I confirmed engine oil level immediately following oil change. I had added 12 quarts as per oil owner's manual. There is absolutely no pressure coming out of the oil cap. I even tried taking the cap off and letting it sit on top loose. It just rattled around. It didn't try to push off.

My friend who has a 2001 Cummins is an Amsoil dealer. He and another friend of mine who is really familiar with diesel engines think it may have something to do with my oil. I had purchased the Conoco Phillips GUARDOL 15W 40 synthetic blend diesel engine oil. They both have said they do not care for blends or conventional oil. My friend who sells Amsoil obviously runs Amsoil oil. But my other friend runs Mobil 1 full synthetic oil.

I'm going to drive it this afternoon about 45 minutes on the highway. I have discussed in depth with my friends of things that could be wrong. We really don't feel the rings should be leaking as I would have a blue cloud of smoke following me around. The other thing we have thought would maybe be the valve guides.

Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate it!


If you did in fact lose 5 quarts & you are not leaking it out, it's going out the tailpipe. Engine oil does not evaporate!
It's not uncommon for the cat converter to mask blue engine smoke.


It's excellent that you have no blowby. That tends to mean the engine rings are ok.
It could be that the turbo seals are leaking oil.
Remove the air intake tube to the turbo. Check for dust in there, plus the shape of the turbo fins & check the turbo for shaft play.

Then I would remove the turbo outlet silicon boot. Check for oil in there.

If all that checks out, then removing the exhaust pipe or elbow at the turbo output. Check for oil or greasy film in there.
Start the engine to see if any blue smoke is coming out.
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2004.5 Dodge SB QC 2500 2wd Cummins 600/6spd manual/3.73 LSD

ATS 3K/5K Twin turbos. DDP 50HP tips, F1 valve springs, ARP headstuds.
SBC Dual disk 3250. Smarty. Glacier Diesel intake plate, air horn, fuel & filter system.
MBRP S.S. muffler. BD short shifter. Brakesmart tow controller.
BD exhaust brake. Pullrite 24k Superglide.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What kind of oil you use has nothing to do with it disappearing; Amsoil and synthetic isn't some magic potion that doesn't get burned. If there is no leak, it's obviously getting burned in the combustion chamber or it could go into the coolant via a leaking headgasket.

My opinion, it's internal. Swapping to synthetic or some Amsoil isn't going to cure it. My 07 burns a ton, probably the same amount as yours does roughly. I just keep adding oil...I'm not going to tear into it unless it's terminal.

I'm personally not a fan of Amsoil
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