Last post on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:31 AM
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Engine, Exhaust, Diesel, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan, Wagon
This topic is for diesel car and truck owners who have not been able to find satisfactory information in the forums dealing with their particular vehicles (please use SEARCH on left of page before you post here).
#121 of 166 Re: help [muncy]
Jun 01, 2008 (6:29 pm)
My 1990, 7.3 had problem starting. (Ran great after it got started) it would smoke (white) when it finally started. Had strong diesel smell. Filter change made no difference. Finally I found a very very small fuel leak in a return hose near back of engine. Replaced hose and it has started great for over a year now. Another possibility is bad glow plug/s. 1 or 2 bad glow plugs can cause hard starting also. (I am no expert. Just sharing my experiences)
#122 of 166 Re: help [orchiddj]
Jun 02, 2008 (5:32 am)
how can you tell which glow plugs are bad with out changung all of them
Jun 02, 2008 (1:48 pm)
It's best to change them all, like spark plugs. They wear out.
#124 of 166 Re: help [muncy]
Jun 05, 2008 (3:41 am)
On my 1990 the glow plugs are easily removed like a spark plug. (My book says on some models you have to remove valve covers to get at them) it probably would be best to replace them all. You can test by pulling the glow plugs and connecting to a battery. The end will ďglowĒ also it will get very hot. It only takes a few seconds for them to heat up. If any do not heat up they are bad.
I would test before replacing. I almost just replaced mine. After testing found all were good and that was over a year ago.
#125 of 166 Re: help [orchiddj]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jun 05, 2008 (9:26 am)
I've read that they should be replaced somewhere around 100,000 miles, give or take.
Jul 03, 2008 (11:02 am)
I have a 2004 Dodge Diesel. I bought it for towing a 35-foot travel trailer. I talked to several Dodge owners before I bought mine that were towing travel trailers and they always said they get 18 MPG towing. Mine only gets 10-11 MPG. After two years I decided to put in the Bully Dog chip and I didnít see a difference. Last year I added the K&N filter and I still didnít see a difference. This year I had them change the muffler and I still donít see a difference. I also went by the onboard MPG calculator and I now realize that with the chip itís no longer accurate. I will re-check my MPG again but calculating it by hand.
The big question is why am I not getting 18 MPG? Is there something I am missing?
Is there that much of a difference between engines? It does have a lot of power to tow the trailer. This last week towing the trailer I hand calculated the MPG and it was 10.2 MPG. The onboard computer showed 13.
#127 of 166 Re: Gas mileage [wisdodge]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 03, 2008 (1:13 pm)
Probably you are relying on anecdotal information from other owners, and anecdotal information can be very tricky to confirm. For instance, maybe one day one time in ideal conditions someone got 18 mpg, and then they presume to declare this the standard for the truck. Also if you have a different rear end ratio, or dual tires, this can have a big effect. And then there is the matter of what type of terrain you drive in, vs. the report from the other owners. So a guy in Kansas with a 3:55 ratio rear end is going to perform a lot better than someone in Colorado with a 4:10 rear end.
Your reports on chips and K&N and fancy mufflers only confirms my skepticism that while these things might make the car run better they are not likely to increase fuel mileage.
#128 of 166 Re: Gas mileage [wisdodge]
by kcram HOST
Jul 04, 2008 (7:05 pm)
In additio to Shifty's reply, it's also important to ask what year those other Rams are. The old mechanical 12-valve engine (used until December 1997) was phenomenal on fuel... my 1996 3500 extended cab dually 4x4 had no problem getting 24 mpg empty with the 3.54 axle. My 2005 3500 Quad Cab 4x4 dually requires a lot of effort to get 20 mpg with 3.73s under the same conditions.
kcram - Pickups Host
#129 of 166 Re: Gas mileage [Mr_Shiftright]
Jul 05, 2008 (8:59 am)
4:10 ratio here, '92 Ford F350 dually, Int'l 7.3 diesel.
When I do mileage checks, I fill the tanks to the very top, so I have a consistent starting point.
I was wondering also if there was a difference in mpg in various states based on their fuel mixture or something. I pulled my 37' RV from FL to NM recently. In the hilly area of FL I was getting 11mpg when towing a lot of weight - which was pretty much consistent in the flat and hilly areas in FL over many years. The further west I went the worse the mpg got, with a low of 7.3mpg in western TX and across NM (I-10). I didn't think the short times I had to downshift for hill climbing would have affected the mpg. The hill country N of San Antonio and then west for a while required more downshifting (9mpg area), compared to W. Tx and NM, which seemed flatter with fewer steep hills/mountains.
I used to get 18mpg consistently in combined traffic (city/highway) until a few years back (16mpg). It's hard for me to imagine any p/u truck getting 18mpg towing a big rig.
#130 of 166 Re: Gas mileage [cayadopi]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jul 05, 2008 (10:46 am)
Well it's no accident that places like Texas are good for wind generators. Headwinds can really knock down mileage on a towing rig.
I kind of agree with the other posters---in the final analysis, fuel mileage on this or that diesel truck is kind of "genetic"--it's going to get what it was built to get and driving habits are probably the best way to get any improvements.