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I recently traded in my vehicle for a 2018 Ram Bighorn Cummins 2500 Megacab 4x4.

First diesel truck.

Daily Driver -25-60 miles a day

Boise Idaho.

4 seasons

(Mid March - Early June-Spring) 60-80F

(June-Early - September-Summer) 75-110F

(September - Mid November-Fall) 65-45F

(November - Early March-Winter) 40-0F


Seasons - What do I need to know about running a diesel in various times of the year?


Idling - Good for the truck or not? I have heard 10-15 mins max. True? Better in cold temps vs hot temps?


Short trips - I often go to gas stations for quick purchases, leave the truck running or shut it off? I also often go to a taco truck for lunch or other places around town that are a 10-15 min drive, leave it running if it’s going to be a short take out order or shut it off? Also are short 2-5 mile trips frequently bad for the truck?


Temps - Turbos, Trans, Engine, etc.. what do I need to watch out for? Where should I be running normally? And Towing?


Towing - I will be towing a 29ft long 5000lbs (full tanks) trailer 4-5 months a year. Idaho has steep declines, what can I do to aid my truck in descending a hill? I understand this is relatively low weight for a 2500 but still what should I avoid?


Turbos - Not only is this my first diesel, but also my first turbo. What can I do to make sure the turbo will last? What do I need to do maintenance wise for the turbo to keep to spooling up every time?


RPMS - Stock Truck, what should I idle at without a trailer? Tow flat/incline/decline at?


High Idle - What does this do for your truck? When should you use it and are there any downsides?


Exhaust Brake - When should I use this feature? If I am correct the “full” activates as soon as you let off the gas and the “auto” setting only activates once you hit the break? I have read multiple accounts of people saying to always use the EB, what is the pro/con of this statement?


Cold Weather- What are the best things I can do for my trucks longevity in cold weather? I have read using the EB is bad when the road conditions are slick, but any other tips for cold weather starts, driving, maintenance, or overall life (truck/money) savers?


Warm Weather - I live in an area where during the summer it can get high into the triple digits. Any advice on how to treat a Cummins in the sun?


Products - What are some good products I can get to assist my truck in it’s hopefully long and hard working life?


General tips for maintaining this amazing engineering?


Please don’t be biased to the brand, looking for honest opinions and how to best treat my Ram Cummins 2500.
 

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Just drive it and enjoy it. You dont need to do anything special. Your highway driving is more than enough to offset all your other short trips and idle times. You won’t even know 5k is back there, nothing special required for that low weight.
Use your exhaust brake at least once a week is usually recommended. Dont use anytime the roads are wet or slick.
Letting your turbo cool down before shutoff is recommended. About 1 min for light driving. Few mins for hard driving, maybe 5 mins tops for towing. Your wont blow it up if you forget but it does help with longevity.
 

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Good looking truck... Also, good to see some more locals on here...

Run it strong and hard all year round, and plug the block heater in when the snow starts falling... If you want to. I'm over near Twin Falls/Shoshone area, never had a no start due to cold on any diesel as long as you keep some quality fuel treatment circulating to prevent gelling and cover the grill to help with the wind chills....

The majority census says to use the EB often to keep the VGT actuator operating to prevent seizing from carbon build up... Not sure of the specifics, but Full EB is certainly more aggressive and typically on a decline or 80mph coast to a near stop will brake in every gear..
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Letting your turbo cool down before shutoff is recommended. About 1 min for light driving. Few mins for hard driving, maybe 5 mins tops for towing.
That and service the truck per the manual. Don't worry about much else.
 

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Rear Admiral Rickard Onmi
2018 Ram 3500 CCLBSRW
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Welcome , and you are over thinking it. after pulling hard, let her cool down for a minute or two before you shut her off. your turbo is cooled with oil and coolant, i let my EGTs get to 390, but most people don't even do that. Run your exhuast brake as much as possible to keep things open in her, this was a bigger problem in 12 and older trucks due to the increase EGR use on those, your truck is significantly less likely for this to be an issue. plug the truck in when it's under 30, get a cold weather front if she didn't come with one, and run a timer on your block heater to save you money, 3 hours is all the heater needs to run, anything more then that the gains are minuscule. Keep up with the factory suggested maintenance program, and you'll be fine.
 

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Living in Colorado, we have very similar climates. In the winter, I let my truck idle until the water temp is about 100 degrees. It usually takes about 5 mins. I do this because I only have a mile of two lane road before I hit the interstate.

In the summer, I let it idle a minute or two to get oil circulating before hitting the throttle. I do this with all my gas engines, too. I really don't mess with the high idle as the truck will do it automatically when it needs it.

I always use my exhaust brake. Full EB during city driving and when towing and auto EB on the highway.

If you're keeping it stock, you really don't need to worry about temps. The trans temp is the most boring to watch as it hardly fluctuates.

As far as products to help the Cummins, I run a bottle of injector cleaner/lubricant every 5-6 tanks or before we head out on a trip while towing the fifth wheel.

Other than that, enjoy your truck and don't worry about it much.
 

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My EB disengages in any gear at approx. 1100 RPM with the 68rfe tranny. When in tow haul mode it has more aggressive downshifts and usually keeps the EB on and rpm above 1100rpm until you are nearly stopped. You can also downshift the tranny manually keeping it above 1100 rpm to keep the EB engaged. With our 10k trailer descending long grades I seldom need to brake keeping them cool and extending pad life. Don’t let it over rev downshifting manually and enjoy your new ride!
 
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