Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

3.0L Diesel V-6 for Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee

Debuting for the 2014 model year, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel became the first factory direct ½ ton diesel to be offered in the U.S. in more than a decade. In a surprising move, Chrysler declined Cummins offer to provide a 5.0L V-8 for the Ram 1500, choosing instead an Italian made 3.0L V-6. The 182 cid engine is produced by VM Motori, a company with whom Chrysler has shared a relationship in the European market since the mid-90s. Chrysler acquired the engine manufacturer completely in 2013, which required FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) to buy out General Motor’s substantial share of the company. Truck buyers have shown nothing but support and praise for the EcoDiesel, which received a record 8,000 orders within a mere 3 day period following its launch.

Though it packs 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, the EcoDiesel is not necessarily the powerhouse of the Ram 1500’s engine lineup. It does, however, come with the ability to tow up to 9,200 lbs and haul just over 1,600 lbs. The EcoDiesel’s most notable feature, and likely its claim to instant fame, is its EPA certified fuel economy ratings. Two wheel drive models originally came with a 20 city, 28 highway mpg rating while four wheel drive models were rated at 19 city, 27 highway mpg. For the 2016 model year, Ram increased these ratings with an "HFE" version of the engine, pushing fuel economy to a maximum 21 city, 29 highway mpg for two wheel drive trucks. Prior to the EcoDiesel’s introduction, Ram’s Pentastar V-6 was the company’s fuel miser, but at 25 mpg highway, there seems to be little reason to even consider the gas engine if fuel economy is your primary concern.

Managing the EcoDiesel’s power and contributing to its impressive fuel economy is an 8 speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission engineered by German company, ZF. It features an extremely low 4.71 1st gear ratio and a relatively high 0.67 overdrive, which translates into outstanding torque at low speeds and low revs at highway speed. Adding further to the efficiency of the Ram 1500 diesel is the air-ride suspension and active grille shutter systems. At highway speeds (under ideal conditions), the truck actually lowers itself by 0.6 inches to reduce drag, and the grille shutters open or close as necessary to maintain the perfect balance between engine cooling and aerodynamic efficiency. The EcoDiesel's electronic rev limiter is set to 4,800 rpm, though up-shifts occur around 4,000 rpm under full load.

The EcoDiesel is considered a low emissions engine thanks to the usual horde of emissions aftertreatment equipment. A diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) minimizes carbon monoxide while a diesel particulate filter (DPF) collects and extinguishes any soot coming from the engine. A selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system is also standard in order to reduce emissions of nitrous oxides; the system requires the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Fortunately, the EcoDiesel has a relatively large, 8 gallon DEF tank and a dash mounted gauge that displays the tank’s fluid level in real time. Should owners neglect to keep fluid in the tank, the truck will not restart (once shutdown) until at least two gallons of DEF are added to the tank.

The EcoDiesel, like many modern vehicles, uses an electronic service monitoring system to identify owners when the engine is in need of an oil change. Fuel filter and water separator service are scheduled at 30,000 intervals, unless a biodiesel blend greater than B5 is used. While the engine is B20 compatible, maintenance will be required more frequently, primarily due to concerns with fuel dilution.

3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 Specs

Manufacturer:

VM Motori (now owned by Fiat-Chrysler), produced in Cento, Italy

Configuration:

60 degree V-6

Head/Block Material:

Aluminum cylinder head, CGI (compacted graphite iron) engine block

Displacement:

3.0 liters, 182 cubic inches

Compression Ratio:

16.5 : 1

Bore:

3.27 in (83 mm)

Stroke:

3.60 in (92 mm)

Valvetrain:

24 valve, chain driven dual overhead camshafts (DOHC)

Injection:

29,000 psi high pressure common rail, up to B20 biodiesel compatible

Aspiration:

Intercooled, water cooled variable geometry turbocharger (VGT)

Oil Capacity:

10.5 quarts with filter (8 quarts for Jeep applications)

Gov. Engine Speed:

4,800 rpm

Horsepower:

240 hp @ 3,600 rpm

Torque:

420 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm

Fuel Economy:

4x2

Intro: 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway
2016 HFE: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway

4x4

Intro: 19 mpg city/27mpg highway
2016 HFE: 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway

• The 3.0L EcoDiesel made the Ward's 10 Best Engine List for three straight years: 2014, 2015, and 2016.

• Oil changes are required as indicated by the engine's oil monitor system, but should not exceed 10,000 miles or 1 year for engines operating on standard diesel or up to B5 biodiesel fuels. For engines operating on B5 - B20 biodiesel, oil changes should not exceed 8,000 miles or 6 months.

• Fuel filter changes and draining of the fuel water separator is recommended at 30,000 mile intervals for engines operating with standard diesel or up to B5 biodiesel fuels, and 20,000 mile intervals for engines operating on more than B5 biodiesel.

• The engine's PCM monitors the diesel particulate filter (DPF) storage capacity and will reduce engine power once the filter reaches 80% of its maximum capacity.

EcoDiesel Recall - Exhaust Fumes in Cabin

Up to 3,000 2014/2015 model year EcoDiesel equipped Ram 1500 pickups were recalled due to complaints regarding diesel exhaust fumes present in the cabin. The duration and persistence of the problem has varied – some owners report intermittently experiencing the unpleasant smell of diesel exhaust, while others claim the frequency of occurrence and strength of the smell has made driving the vehicle nearly unbearable.

After investigating claims made by owners, FCA determined that the cause of the problem was a cracked and/or leaking exhaust coupler unique to two wheel drive pickups with the 3.0L EcoDiesel. Ram’s parent company has since voluntarily issued a recall on affected trucks, which they claim is limited to approximately 3,000 units. FCA has stated that there is no safety concerns connected to the problem.