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I Wonder or How do I........Tutorials Ever Wondered if you could change your own oil, install that CAI, or how to find out if there are any Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) on your truck? Well this is a Table of Content for our future Knowledge Base and should help to answer those questions.




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Old 08-28-2010, 12:52 PM
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Default Engine oil life monitor

Hello all. I am a newbie to the forum.
Just bought a RAM 2500 HD 6.7l Cummins in Feb. 2010. Odometer just passed 10k.

I have a question that is as yet unanswered: On the Cummins diesel, the owner’s manual states that once the engine oil life indicator shows the “change engine oil” message, the oil should be changed. What it doesn’t explain is this: how long can I safely continue driving with that message on? Is it 10 miles, 250, 500 or should I shut down & call for a tow truck? I realize that this might sound ridiculous on the surface, but what should I do if, for example I am traveling in the boonies hundreds of miles from a dealership? I spoke to a lady in my local service dept. and the only answer she could give me was “do not under any circumstances exceed 7,500 miles between oil changes”. That is no answer at all. If the monitor comes on for example at 3,000 miles, is she suggesting that I stretch it out all the way to 7,500? Unbelievable.

According to the manual, the engine oil life monitor is “duty cycle based”, meaning that it decides when the oil should be changed based on most current driving conditions. I have no desire to abuse the engine, but there must be a “window”.

I remember on my old Chevy truck, the manual was essentially the same, except that it recommended changing the oil within the next 2 tankfulls of gas. That made sense. There must be an answer somewhere, and I am hoping that you can clarify this for me. I went on the Dodge website, and for the diesel, it says to refer to the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is just as ambiguous. I have contacted Dodge on the web before on another issue, and their canned answer was to contact my dealer. Geez, they are sooooooooo helpful.

BTW: The truck is a pulling machine! It especially likes to pass up Chevys & Fords on long grades with the 10,000 lb toy hauler behind. I am enjoying it a lot.
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Last edited by Mold Guy; 08-28-2010 at 01:29 PM.. Reason: Add signature
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:47 PM
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There are varying opinions on this subject. I ignore my oil change message, cancel it and change the oil every 10,000 KMs (about 6300 miles). My truck is an '07 and there is no rhyme nor reason to the operation of this message feature. I have seen it come on in as little as 800 KMs and anywhere else up to 9800 KMs. This truck tows our 30' travel trailer every weekend and often on the same road for 4 to 5 hours at 120 KPH. I do not idle it and I do not let it shift into the upper 2 gears when in town. So I find the difference in the distance at which the message comes on very fictitious.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:11 PM
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I too change my oil just like I use to and ignore the warning. I went 30,000 miles one time and it never came on, LOL.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:38 PM
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I'm glad that I'm not the only one puzzled by this. This is how it was explained to me:
The engine computer uses a bunch of controls to "guess" that it is time to change the oil. Then the overhead indicator notifies the driver. After the oil change you can reset your indicator and all is well.
Here's the weird part. If you decide to change your oil before the indicator come on (like if you change your oil every 5000), the computer can't detect this. Even if you try to reset the indicator before it trips, it won't reset. This is why sometimes the indicator comes on soon after a service. Kind of annoying, so I always keep track of my mileage AND hours at oil changes.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:57 AM
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I ignore mine also. Good example, went to the dealer for an oil change. They reset everything and went home, got home (30 miles) and it was time to change the oil again .... yeah right ! It always goes off under the strangest of times, I always change the oil by 5K intervals (sometimes at 3 or 4 but never passed 5K).
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:33 PM
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I usually stay within the 7500K , the big thing seams to be if the the module is reset. To do this on your own turn the key on ( DO Not START THE VEHICAL)and push the throtle to the floor slowly three times turn the key off it should be reset.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwwpin0 View Post
I usually stay within the 7500K , the big thing seams to be if the the module is reset. To do this on your own turn the key on ( DO Not START THE VEHICAL)and push the throtle to the floor slowly three times turn the key off it should be reset.
Yes, but I don't think doing this will reset the module unless it has already tripped and displayed a message first.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:06 AM
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Correct, the module must indicate service required before the attempt at resetting it. I change mine at 5K and sometimes I won't see an indicator for 10K or it might appear at 2K, you never seem to know, I just ignore it and service regularly with oil samples taken at each change, so far with 52K on the clock all is well on the home front.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:53 PM
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Many thanks to everyone for the input. It is always nice to know that the truck has yet another useless gadget that malfunctions on a regular basis. After the post, I called Cummins and their answer was that the monitor is a Dodge feature, not theirs (Cummins). I will take up a 5 to 6k change interval and reset it just to make it be quiet.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:47 AM
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It seems to me the manufacturers put these "special indicator lights" (aka: idiot lights) on the vehicles so people won't need to read the maintenance manual. If people don't keep their own records, the machine will do it for you.
I've always kept my own book on all the work done. This way I can figure out when I need to do some work on the beast. Since I tend to keep my vehicles about 20 + years, I need my own record book. Besides, I can't remember anything longer than an hour ago.
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