As an automotive enthusiast with extensive experience, I've had the privilege of exploring the ins and outs of the 6.7 Cummins Diesel engine in RAM 2500 and 3500 pickups. While this powerhouse of an engine offers thrilling performance, it's essential to be aware of potential repairs and maintenance costs to make an informed decision.
Here, I'll share insights into common repairs, recommended maintenance, and associated expenses.
Annual 6.7 Cummins Engine Maintenance Cost
Maintaining a 6.7 Cummins engine is a commitment that every owner should be prepared for. As someone who has had hands-on experience with this powerhouse, I can attest to the importance of budgeting for annual maintenance costs. Let's dive into the numbers and explore some strategies to optimize your spending.
When it comes to the yearly maintenance of your 6.7 Cummins engine, be prepared to allocate a budget ranging from $850 to $1,100. This cost might appear on the higher side when compared to other full-size trucks. However, don't be disheartened; there are ways to mitigate these expenses.
One practical approach to save some dollars is by taking matters into your own hands. Routine tasks like oil changes, air filter replacements, and basic inspections can be tackled with some basic mechanical know-how. Investing time and effort into these DIY tasks can significantly reduce your annual maintenance bill.
To keep costs in check, preventive maintenance is your best friend. Regularly scheduled check-ups, addressing issues promptly, and adhering to manufacturer-recommended service intervals can prevent small problems from snowballing into costly repairs.
Common Issues with 6.7 Cummins Engines and Its Repair Prices
Being aware of common issues with 6.7 Cummins engines can save you time, money, and frustration. Whether you already own a vehicle with this engine or are considering purchasing one, it's crucial to know what common problems to watch out for and their associated repair costs.
1. Clogged Diesel Particulate Filter: A Common Challenge
One of the most prevalent issues with 6.7 Cummins engines, especially in older models and high-mileage vehicles, is a clogged Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Originally, Cummins designed these engines to minimize emissions without the use of diesel exhaust fluid, resulting in richer fuel mixture and increased soot production, which can clog the DPF.
Engines produced from 2013 onwards incorporate diesel exhaust fluid, which helps reduce the risk of DPF clogs in newer models. However, as your vehicle accumulates miles, the problem can resurface.
A clogged DPF causes pressure buildup, leading to increased heat and stress on the engine. Symptoms include power loss, longer cranking times, check engine light illumination, or the vehicle switching to reduced power mode.
Replacing a clogged DPF can be costly, with the part alone exceeding $1,000. If you seek a temporary solution, consider cleaning the accumulated debris inside the filter.
2. Head Gasket Problems: A Less Common But Significant Concern
While head gasket issues are not widespread in 6.7 Cummins engines, they are more common compared to other engine types. The precise cause remains unclear, but it may relate to the engine's high cylinder pressure.
A blown head gasket often leads to coolant leaking into the combustion chambers, resulting in white, sweet-smelling smoke. Other symptoms include coolant leaks or engine overheating.
Thankfully, repairing a head gasket doesn't have to break the bank, with the part typically costing between $100 and $200. Labor expenses can significantly impact the total cost, so consider tackling the replacement yourself if you possess the necessary skills.
3. Excessive Fuel Dilution: Protecting Your Engine
6.7 Cummins engines manage regeneration by trapping small fuel particles in the DPF to reduce emissions. While up to 5% fuel dilution is considered normal, excessive dilution can hinder the oil's ability to lubricate and protect the engine.
The absence of a 7th injector to introduce fuel into the exhaust system allows injectors to spray fuel into the exhaust stream during exhaust strokes, causing small fuel amounts to adhere to the cylinder walls and potentially mix with the oil.
While fuel dilution occurs in nearly every diesel engine, 6.7 Cummins engines seem to be more susceptible. Though it won't cause immediate damage, it can accelerate the wear of certain engine parts. Periodic oil analysis can help detect excessive dilution. To mitigate this problem, allow your engine to warm up before driving and avoid prolonged idling.
4. Turbocharger Problems: Vital for Performance
Turbocharger issues are another concern for 6.7 Cummins engines, occurring regardless of the vehicle's year. Common problems include worn bearings, sticky Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) parts, leaking oil seals, and damage to the compressor or turbine wheel.
Worn bearings represent one of the most common turbocharger problems, leading to excessive shaft play and eventual failure over time. Leaking oil seals, on the other hand, typically result from not allowing your vehicle to reach the correct temperature before driving.
Preventative measures such as warming up your vehicle before driving and idling for a few minutes before turning it off can help avoid turbocharger issues, especially in engines with over 100,000 miles.
Symptoms of turbocharger problems include slow spooling, excessive exhaust smoke, whining sounds, and decreased overall performance. Keep in mind that turbocharger replacement can be expensive, with new OEM turbochargers costing up to $2,000 and refurbished options ranging from $1,000 to $1,500.
Maintaining Your 6.7 Cummins Engine: A DIY Guide to Savings
Maintaining a 6.7 Cummins engine yourself is not only feasible but also a cost-effective choice. By understanding the costs of essential parts and fluids and considering Cummins' maintenance kits, you can take control of your engine's maintenance needs.
1. Parts and Fluids Cost
Maintaining your 6.7 Cummins engine begins with having the necessary parts and fluids on hand. Here's a breakdown of the average costs for these essentials:
|Part Name||Average Cost|
|Engine Oil Filter||$8-$15|
|Engine Air Filter||$40|
|External Transmission Filter||$25|
|Internal Transmission Filter||$40|
|Transfer Case Fluid||$30|
|Front Differential Fluid||$35|
|Rear Differential Fluid||$35|
|Diesel Exhaust Fluid||$15-$20|
2. The 6.7 Cummins Engine Maintenance Kits
While performing these minor maintenance tasks yourself can save you a substantial amount of money, investing in a maintenance kit can enhance both your convenience and savings. Cummins offers maintenance kits for a wide range of vehicle model years, spanning from 1989 to 2019.
Each maintenance kit includes a lube filter, fuel/water separator, and three-gallon jugs of synthetic oil. The choice between premium and standard kits depends on the specific products you need. Here's an overview of the online prices and parts included:
|Model Years||Online Prices||Parts Included|
|Standard parts plus frame rail fuel/water separato|
|2019||Premium: $172||Standard parts|
The 6.7 Cummins Engines Reliability
In my experience, 6.7 Cummins engines have proven to be a reliable choice for truck owners. However, like any piece of machinery, their dependability hinges on one crucial factor – maintenance.
6.7 Cummins engines have gained a reputation for reliability in the world of trucking. While they don't embark on a realm of trouble-free operation, their track record is commendable. I have witnessed these engines perform admirably, delivering robust power and efficiency.
To ensure your 6.7 Cummins engine remains dependable, diligent maintenance is paramount. Maintaining a routine for oil changes, filter replacements, and scheduled check-ups is of utmost importance. If you are like me and enjoy doing your maintenance, ensure that you only use parts and fluids that meet or exceed the OEM specifications. This not only maintains reliability but also extends the engine's lifespan.
It's important to note that the reliability of 6.7 Cummins engines can vary with age. Dodge has been utilizing these engines since 2007. While newer models rarely require repairs, the earlier versions are more prone to issues. So, if you're considering a used truck with a 6.7 Cummins engine, opt for the newer models if reliability is a top priority.
The 6.7 Cummins Recommended Maintenance Schedule
Following the 6.7 Cummins recommended maintenance schedule is not just a suggestion; it's a roadmap to engine longevity and reliable performance.
The 6.7 Cummins recommended maintenance schedule is based on mileage milestones, with the first significant one at 7,500 miles. This milestone includes crucial services like oil and filter changes, fuel filter replacement, and a comprehensive inspection of various engine components. It's essential to adhere to this schedule diligently.
|7,500 miles||Change engine oil and engine oil filter (for 2007-2012 models)|
Check diesel exhaust fluid and add if necessary
Inspect front end and lubricate if needed
Inspect CV or universal joints and lubricate if needed
|15,000 miles||Change engine oil and engine oil filter (2013+ models)|
Replace fuel filters
Replace front and rear differential fluids
|22,500 miles||Replace cabin air filter|
Inspect brake linings
Check and adjust the parking brake
Inspect drive belt, adjust if necessary
Inspect wheel bearings
|30,000 miles||Replace engine air filter|
Replace automatic transmission fluid and filter (for Aisin AS69RC transmission)
Replace transfer case fluid
|60,000 miles||Replace automatic transmission fluid and filter (for 69RFE transmission)|
Replace manual transmission fluid
|67,500 miles||Replace crankcase ventilation (CCV) filter (for 2007-2018 models)|
|75,000 miles||Replace CCV filter (for 2019+ models)|
|97,500 mile||Flush engine cooling system (for 2007-2012 models)|
Replace power steering flui
|100,000 miles||Replace serpentine drive belt|
|150,000 miles||Flush engine cooling system (for 2013+ models)|
Check and adjust valve lash (not required for models newer than 2018)
One important aspect to remember is that each service and inspection listed in the schedule must be repeated when your vehicle hits the same mileage milestone again. For example, the services required at 7,500 miles must be repeated at 15,000 miles. This repetitive approach ensures that your engine remains in top-notch condition over the long haul.