Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-13-2019, 03:45 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Adiredneck's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Classic
Vicksburg & Cambridge , Mississippi / New York
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 375
Images: 7
Ram/Cummins DEF Failure

I know many forum members like myself are using Ram 2500s and 3500s with the Cummins turbodiesel engines as our tow vehicles. They are a great vehicle and powertrain, and I love the way mine tows my 27FB Classic, buuuttttt... They have a serious Achilles Heel: The DEF system.


My DEF pump died on the way cross-country a couple weeks ago, and turned the trip into a real adventure. The problem is not that a DEF malfunction makes the truck unsafe or unusable; the issue is that, once a problem is sensed by the OBD system, the truck disables itself to 5 mph max with only 150 miles notice. For those of us who do long journeys with our Airstreams, this usually leaves us stranded a long way from home - as we were. And good luck finding a dealer to fix it or getting the parts in under a week! It is a ticking time bomb under the hood of every Ram/Cummins (and, I believe that Ford and GM diesels have a similar disabling software setting) - and an expensive one, even if covered under warranty.


For those interested in the details of our "adventure", they are chronicled under a different post:



http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...re-195427.html


Love the truck - hate the DEF system!
__________________

__________________
"Hot meals, cold beer, dry bed & flush toilet - everything I look for in a wilderness experience..."
Adiredneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 04:49 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,132
Put a tuner on it.
__________________

__________________
2018 International Serenity 27' FB
Michelin 16” tires
Hensley Arrow hitch

Tow Vehicle: Ram Laramie 2500 crew cab, Cummins 6.7 Turbodiesel
Countryboy59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 04:55 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Adiredneck's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Classic
Vicksburg & Cambridge , Mississippi / New York
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 375
Images: 7
I am leaning strongly in that direction, Countryboy59. I support their stated objective of making diesels more environmentally friendly; but the 150 mile disablement must've been the brainchild of company executives and government bureaucrats - none of whom has ever towed cross-country. Even with full warranty, this adventure cost me $2500 out-of-pocket. If I have this happen next year, after the truck turns 5 years old, just the part cost for the DEF pump was over $1500. I see a full "delete" in my truck's immediate future...
__________________
"Hot meals, cold beer, dry bed & flush toilet - everything I look for in a wilderness experience..."
Adiredneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 04:57 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiredneck View Post
I am leaning strongly in that direction, Countryboy59. I support their stated objective of making diesels more environmentally friendly; but the 150 mile disablement must've been the brainchild of company executives and government bureaucrats - none of whom has ever towed cross-country. Even with full warranty, this adventure cost me $2500 out-of-pocket. If I have this happen next year, after the truck turns 5 years old, just the part cost for the DEF pump was over $1500. I see a full "delete" in my truck's immediate future...
The tuner can be used only in an emergency, to get you home. 😎
Countryboy59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 04:58 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
wulfraat's Avatar
 
2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,336
Images: 1
I've got a similar DEF system on my 2017 GMC Duramax. I support it. Lots of different things can shut down your truck. You could say the same thing about your fuel pump, injectors, master brake cylinder, ECU, various warning harnesses, MAF, etc. etc. these trucks have many single points of failure.

DEF system, EGR & DPF are great things - small price to pay for not totally and utterly destroying the environment and quality of air that we all breath by spewing out unfiltered diesel exhaust gases and related particles.
wulfraat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 05:16 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
Adiredneck's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Classic
Vicksburg & Cambridge , Mississippi / New York
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 375
Images: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
I've got a similar DEF system on my 2017 GMC Duramax. I support it. Lots of different things can shut down your truck. You could say the same thing about your fuel pump, injectors, master brake cylinder, ECU, various warning harnesses, MAF, etc. etc. these trucks have many single points of failure.

DEF system, EGR & DPF are great things - small price to pay for not totally and utterly destroying the environment and quality of air that we all breath by spewing out unfiltered diesel exhaust gases and related particles.



I agree with their purpose and intent, but why not a 1,000 mile limit for disablement? That is my heartburn issue. At least give us time and space to get to our destination or back home. A DEF failure does not affect the driveability or safety of the vehicle. As for the other possible mechanical malfunctions - all part of the suspense and adventure of travel. But don't strand me on the side of an interstate because of some bureaucrat's arbitrary decision...
__________________
"Hot meals, cold beer, dry bed & flush toilet - everything I look for in a wilderness experience..."
Adiredneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 05:20 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
wulfraat's Avatar
 
2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,336
Images: 1
Yup - agree with you on the distance for limp mode. 150 miles is nothing.

I suspect an update will come along to extend that after enough customer complaints.
wulfraat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 05:30 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
Adiredneck's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Classic
Vicksburg & Cambridge , Mississippi / New York
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 375
Images: 7
I hope so. Central Pennsylvania is not exactly the wilderness, and yet we would've been stranded there for over three weeks if I had not taken drastic action. Imagine the DEF cutting you off somewhere out west or on the Alaskan highway...
__________________
"Hot meals, cold beer, dry bed & flush toilet - everything I look for in a wilderness experience..."
Adiredneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 07:19 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiredneck View Post
I agree with their purpose and intent, but why not a 1,000 mile limit for disablement? That is my heartburn issue. At least give us time and space to get to our destination or back home. A DEF failure does not affect the driveability or safety of the vehicle. As for the other possible mechanical malfunctions - all part of the suspense and adventure of travel. But don't strand me on the side of an interstate because of some bureaucrat's arbitrary decision...
Make your own choice. Less is more.
Countryboy59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 10:17 PM   #10
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,558
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
Unintended consequences. I suspect that you can thank the "rollin' coal" crew for the draconian limitations on operation without DEF systems functioning. Bureaucrats who don't understand that control systems can be effectively bypassed at least during the part of the year when inspections aren't required were horrified by sewer-pipe exhausts belching black soot.
__________________
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2019, 10:35 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 30' Flying Cloud
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 84
We also had the DEF pump on our Ram die in San Antonio. We took it to a nearby Ram dealer when the check engine light came on and they told us the problem. They also told us it would take weeks to get the parts. We drove on, all the way to San Diego with no problem. It used no DEF the whole way, but never went into limp mode. In San Diego the dealer replaced the pump and the second one also didn’t work so they had to replace it again. They had the truck over a month, but fortunately most of that time we had flown back to Alaska for Christmas. The dealer finally got everything working. There was no cost to us - it was all under warranty. I’m curious how you ended up paying $2500 - that must have been ancillary costs? The DEF pump problem itself should be covered by Chrysler even when out of warranty as an emissions component.
AKNate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 02:10 AM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
Night owls's Avatar
 
2018 26' Flying Cloud
Hemet , California
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 54
I'm just curious how many miles you guys had on your trucks when this DEF pump failure took place. My 2017 has 25,000 miles and have plans for quite a bit of travel this summer. Just curious.
Night owls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 05:16 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
DewTheDew's Avatar
 
2017 27' Flying Cloud
Frederick , Maryland
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Unintended consequences. I suspect that you can thank the "rollin' coal" crew for the draconian limitations on operation without DEF systems functioning. Bureaucrats who don't understand that control systems can be effectively bypassed at least during the part of the year when inspections aren't required were horrified by sewer-pipe exhausts belching black soot.
As a government bureaucrat I can assure you that they are not ignorant, just restricted in what they can do about it.
DewTheDew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 05:52 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Hans627's Avatar

 
2009 25' FB International
2018 27' Globetrotter
Hanover , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKNate View Post
We also had the DEF pump on our Ram die in San Antonio. We took it to a nearby Ram dealer when the check engine light came on and they told us the problem. They also told us it would take weeks to get the parts. We drove on, all the way to San Diego with no problem. It used no DEF the whole way, but never went into limp mode. In San Diego the dealer replaced the pump and the second one also didn’t work so they had to replace it again. They had the truck over a month, but fortunately most of that time we had flown back to Alaska for Christmas. The dealer finally got everything working. There was no cost to us - it was all under warranty. I’m curious how you ended up paying $2500 - that must have been ancillary costs? The DEF pump problem itself should be covered by Chrysler even when out of warranty as an emissions component.
What is the year of your RAM. Just curios. Thx!
Hans627 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 09:41 AM   #15
Rivet Master
 
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,132
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewTheDew View Post
As a government bureaucrat I can assure you that they are not ignorant, just restricted in what they can do about it.
And that’s a good thing. There’s got to be a balance.
Countryboy59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 10:03 AM   #16
Rivet Master
 
tjdonahoe's Avatar
 
2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiredneck View Post
I know many forum members like myself are using Ram 2500s and 3500s with the Cummins turbodiesel engines as our tow vehicles. They are a great vehicle and powertrain, and I love the way mine tows my 27FB Classic, buuuttttt... They have a serious Achilles Heel: The DEF system.


My DEF pump died on the way cross-country a couple weeks ago, and turned the trip into a real adventure. The problem is not that a DEF malfunction makes the truck unsafe or unusable; the issue is that, once a problem is sensed by the OBD system, the truck disables itself to 5 mph max with only 150 miles notice. For those of us who do long journeys with our Airstreams, this usually leaves us stranded a long way from home - as we were. And good luck finding a dealer to fix it or getting the parts in under a week! It is a ticking time bomb under the hood of every Ram/Cummins (and, I believe that Ford and GM diesels have a similar disabling software setting) - and an expensive one, even if covered under warranty.


For those interested in the details of our "adventure", they are chronicled under a different post:



http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...re-195427.html


Love the truck - hate the DEF system!
...never had any problems with either one of ours.....all diesel manufacturers use it
tjdonahoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 10:09 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
tjdonahoe's Avatar
 
2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiredneck View Post
I hope so. Central Pennsylvania is not exactly the wilderness, and yet we would've been stranded there for over three weeks if I had not taken drastic action. Imagine the DEF cutting you off somewhere out west or on the Alaskan highway...
Happened many times with big trucks.....and a refer loaded with veggies...and fruits....
tjdonahoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 11:12 AM   #18
2 Rivet Member
 
2019 30' Classic
Wherever I may roam , America
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiredneck View Post
I agree with their purpose and intent, but why not a 1,000 mile limit for disablement?
150 miles is pretty bad for the reasons you described.

My GMC 2500 appears to be better at that, though I haven't run out of DEF yet or had a malfunction.

It gives several warnings before running out.

From the manual:
Quote:
If these warnings are ignored and
the DEF tank becomes empty, the DIC message displays:

EXHAUST FLUID EMPTY REFILL NOW - 805 KM (500 MI) UNTIL 105 KM/H (65 MPH) MAX SPEED.

The displayed mileage will decrease as driving continues. A warning light
also comes on.

When the mileage countdown is zero, the DIC message EXHAUST
FLUID EMPTY REFILL NOW - TRANSITIONING TO 105 KM/H (65 MPH) MAX SPEED displays. A warning light and a chime also
come on. Vehicle speed will be reduced to a maximum speed limit of 105 km/h (65 mph).

After the transition to 105 km/h
(65 mph) is complete, the DIC message displays:

EXHAUST FLUID EMPTY REFILL NOW - SPEED LIMITED TO 105 KM/H (65 MPH) –
120 KM (75 MI) UNTIL 89 KM/H (55 MPH) MAX SPEED.

The displayed mileage will decrease as driving continues. A warning light and a chime also come on.

When the mileage countdown is zero, the DIC message EXHAUST
FLUID EMPTY REFILL NOW - TRANSITIONING TO 89 KM/H (55 MPH) MAX SPEED displays.
A flashing warning light and a chime also come on. Vehicle speed will be reduced to a maximum speed limit of 89 km/h (55 mph).

After the transition to 89 km/h
(55 mph) is complete, the DIC message EXHAUST FLUID EMPTY REFILL NOW - SPEED LIMITED
TO 89 KM/H (55 MPH) – 120 KM
(75 MI) UNTIL 8 KM/H (5 MPH) MAX SPEED displays. The displayed
mileage will decrease as driving continues. A flashing warning light and a chime also come on.

When the mileage countdown is
zero, the DIC message EXHAUST FLUID EMPTY REFILL NOW - TRANSITIONING TO 8 KM/H
(5 MPH) MAX SPEED displays.
A flashing warning light and a chime also come on. Vehicle speed will be reduced to a maximum speed limit of 8 km/h (5 mph).
To summarize that:
Run out of DEF:
- you get 500 miles before dropping to 65 MPH
- you get an additional 75 miles before dropping to 55 MPH
- you get an additional 75 miles before dropping to 5 MPH

A total of 650 miles of DEF-less driving before you run into the crippling limit of 5 MPH. That's pretty good.
johnparris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 11:22 AM   #19
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 30' Flying Cloud
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
What is the year of your RAM. Just curios. Thx!


Ours is a 2014 and it happened around 35k.
AKNate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2019, 12:33 PM   #20
4 Rivet Member
 
SilverWind's Avatar
 
2017 25' International
1968 17' Caravel
Los Osos , California
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 422
My RAM service rep told me that DEF pump failure is often attributed to bad or contaminated DEF. I've read the same on various RAM forums.

We never use DEF other than MOPAR DEF purchased from a RAM dealer and always top it off with a 2.5 gallon container when the DEF level reaches half. RAM dealers have been given strict temperature guidelines for storing DEF, never let it get over 85F for sustained periods. We always keep our receipts.

2016 RAM 2500.
__________________

SilverWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DEF question - 2016 RAM 2500/3500 Owners With 6.7L Cummins Diesel AIRHEDS Tow Vehicles 31 11-10-2016 06:43 PM
RAM Diesel DEF / DPF immobilization RivaHaven Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 31 11-11-2015 09:08 AM
Dodge Ram 4x2 Cummins rp709 Tow Vehicles 0 01-21-2012 10:05 PM
To Cummins or Not to Cummins?? Help!! On the brink! big_john Tow Vehicles 33 03-23-2010 08:20 PM
Will 2000 Dodge RAM 2500 with Cummins 5.9L tow A/S well? idahosafari Tow Vehicles 23 03-11-2004 02:34 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.