3.0L EcoDiesel V-6

3.0L EcoDiesel Engine Specs & Tech

The 3.0L EcoDiesel debuted in the 2014 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, where it become the first factory direct diesel engine option in a 1/2 ton pickup in more than a decade. It is rumored that FCA, who owns the Ram Trucks brand, declined an offer from engine manufacturer Cummins Inc to offer a 5.0L Cummins V-8 turbodiesel in the Ram 1500, with FCA citing that the larger engine would miss its fuel economy targets. The 3.0L EcoDiesel is manufactured by VM Motori, an Italian manufacturer and current subsidiary of FCA, in Cento, Italy. Though the EcoDiesel remains available in the Ram 1500, it was retired in Jeep Grand Cherokee applications following the 2019 model year. The engine earned a spot on Ward's "10 Best Engines" list for 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The EcoDiesel enjoyed no direct competition in the 1/2 ton diesel segment through the 2018 model year, when Ford Motor Company introduced its own 3.0L V-6 turbodiesel for Ford F-150 models. General Motors entered the segment for 2020 with a 3.0L inline 6 turbodiesel for the GMC Sierra/Chevrolet Silverado 1500 platform. The EcoDiesel is available in Ram 1500 Quad Cab and Crew Cab models (not available in a single cab configuration). From 2014 through 2019, the EcoDiesel was rated at a peak 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The engine was revised for 2020, likely due to competition from Ford Motor Company and General Motors, which increased power by 20 horsepower and torque by 60 lb-ft in addition to improving the fuel economy ratings for both two and four wheel drive models.

The 3.0L EcoDiesel comes mated to the ZF engineered "TorqueFlite 8" eight speed automatic transmission. It features a relatively low 4.71 1st gear ratio and a relatively high 0.67 final overdrive, which translates into substantial torque multiplication at low vehicle speeds and low engine revolutions at cruising speeds. The EcoDiesel's electronic rev limiter is set to 4,800 rpm, though up-shifts occur around 4,000 rpm under full load. 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 physically lowers itself by 0.6 inches to reduce drag and the grille shutters open or close as necessary to maintain a balance between engine cooling requirements and aerodynamic efficiency.

The EcoDiesel is considered a low emissions engine as the result of its collection of modern emissions aftertreatment equipment. A diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) minimizes carbon monoxide while a diesel particulate filter (DPF) collects and extinguishes diesel soot emitted 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).

2020 EcoDiesel Changes, Revisions, & Updates

For 2020 the EcoDiesel returned to the Ram 1500 lineup with a slew of changes, revisions, and updates resulting in an additional 20 horsepower, 60 lb-ft of torque, and improved fuel economy for both two and four wheel drive powertrain combinations. The changes include:

• New piston design utilizing optimized piston bowl geometry, thinner low friction piston rings, and coated skirts. The compression ratio was lowered from 16.5 : 1 to 16.0 :1.

• New piston wrist pin design with diamond like coating (DLC).

• Revised water cooled variable geometry turbocharger.

• Redesigned cylinder heads with optimized intake port geometry.

• Revised fuel injector nozzles.

• New low pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system that draws exhaust gases after they've exited the diesel particulate filter (DPF). This results in less carbon buildup in the EGR and intake systems as well as improved turbocharger performance.

• New "low slung" intercooler (charge-air-cooler) that eliminates interference with radiator.

• Improved vacuum pump system relying on both an electric and mechanical vacuum pump.

Beginning the 2020 model year, the 3.0L EcoDiesel is no longer offered in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

 

3.0L EcoDiesel Specs

Engine:

3.0L EcoDiesel

Manufacturer:

VM Motori (a FCA subsidiary)

Production/Assembly Site:

Cento, Italy

Applications/Production Years:

2014 - current Ram 1500
2014 - 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Displacement:

2.98 liters (3.0 liters nominal), 181.4 CID (182 CID nominal)

Configuration:

60° V-6

Bore:

3.27 in (83 mm)

Stroke:

3.60 in (92 mm)

Bore/Stroke Ratio:

0.902 (undersquare)

Compression Ratio:

2014 - 2019

16.5 : 1

2020+

16.0 : 1

Firing Order:

1-2-3-4-5-6

Engine Block Material:

Compacted graphite iron (CGI)

Cylinder Head Material:

Aluminum alloy

Injection System:

Direct injection (DI), 29,000 psi high pressure common rail

Aspiration:

Turbocharged and intercooled; water cooled Garrett variable geometry turbocharger (VGT), air-to-air intercooler

Valvetrain:

24 valve (4 valves per cylinder), roller chain driven dual overhead camshafts (DOHC)

Cold Start Aid(s):

Glow plugs, 1 per cylinder

Engine Oil Capacity:

2014 - 2019 Ram 1500

10.5 quarts w/ filter change

2014 - 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

8.0 quarts w/ filter change

2020+ Ram 1500

8.5 quarts w/ filter change

Engine Oil Spec:

SAE 5W-40 full synthetic diesel motor oil

Fuel:

Diesel fuel, up to B20 biodiesel compatible (alternate service conditions apply when using biodiesel)

Horsepower:

2014 - 2019

240 HP @ 3,600 RPM

2020+

260 HP @ 3,600 RPM

Torque:

2014 - 2019

420 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPM

2020+

480 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

Fuel Economy:

2014 - 2015 Ram 1500 4x2

20 city, 28 hwy mpg

2014 - 2015 Ram 1500 4x4

19 city, 27 hwy mpg

2016 - 2018 Ram 1500 4x2

21 city, 29 hwy mpg

2016 - 2018 Ram 1500 4x4

20 city, 28 hwy mpg

2019 Ram 1500 4x2

20 city, 27 hwy mpg

2019 Ram 1500 4x4

19 city, 27 hwy mpg

2020 Ram 1500 4x2

22 city, 32 hwy mpg

2020 Ram 1500 4x4

21 city, 29 hwy mpg

Governed Speed:

4,800 rpm

Emissions:

Diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), diesel particulate filter (DPF), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), selective catalytic reduction (SCR, requires the use of diesel exhaust fluid).

Engine Weight:

~ 505 lbs

Engine Dimensions:

Length:

27.3 in

Width:

28.7 in

Height:

27.4 in

Engine Oil Viscosity Requirement Change TSB

Technical service bulletin (TSB) 18-078-16 calls for a change to the original oil specification for all EcoDiesel engines built before 6/30/2016. The original engine oil specification for vehicles built prior to this date was 5W-30 full synthetic, while the TSB prompts owners and dealers to begin using 5W-40. The exact events that prompted the oil specification change are not well documented, but it may be related to complaints regarding low oil pressure and/or a loss of oil pressure under certain conditions. A reflash is also provided under the service bulletin.

Emissions Testing Defeat Device Settlement

In January of 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resource Board (CARB) alleged that Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel wielded software specifically designed to alter engine function during emissions testing, and that said software allowed vehicles to emit pollutants beyond mandated limits. In 2019, FCA settled with the EPA and CARB for more than $300 million.

The settlement required FCA to recall more than 100,000 model year 2014 to 2016 non-compliant vehicles for a software update that reduces emissions to within mandated limits. Current owners/leasees of affected vehicles may qualify for a cash payout of up to $3,075 for having their vehicle fixed under the terms of the settlement. Additionally, FCA will provide an extended warranty to owners who fix their vehicle within the time frame outlined by the agreement (10 years/120,000 miles from vehicle purchase date OR 4 years/48,000 miles after the software update, whichever is more advantageous to the vehicle owner).

There has been some debate about the software update, which many owners report has resulted in poor acceleration and increased fuel consumption.

Common 3.0L EcoDiesel Problems

Exhaust Fume Smell in Cabin (Recall)

Up to 3,000 model year 2014/2015 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 reported 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.

Oil Cooler Failures

A failure of the engine oil cooler is by far the most common and well documented problem with the 3.0L EcoDiesel. Failures are generally blamed on the relatively high temperatures that the engine oil reaches, which is magnified while towing or hauling under high load conditions. The failure results in contamination between the engine oil and engine cooling systems. Engine coolant that is contaminated with oil coats everything it touches and may compromise the efficiency of the cooling system. Engine oil that is contaminated with coolant compromises the lubricating properties of the oil. It is currently much more common to see engine oil contaminating the cooling system, and it is reportedly extremely difficult for dealers to flush and clean the cooling system properly after an oil cooler failure is detected. There are several aftermarket oil coolers on the market that address the shortcomings of the OEM unit.

Bottom End Failures (Connecting Rod/Main Bearing Failure)

Various polls and forum discussions document the occurrence of bottom end failures at relatively low miles, most of which occur before 20,000 miles with many occurring at under 5,000 miles. There's little information to support the root cause, however the consensus is quality control issues in the original manufacturing and assembly processes that may include improperly torqued components and material defects. In the big scheme of things, the occurrence rate is low, but significant enough to express concern. Fortunately, these failures are typically occurring within the warranty period and thus the owners are protected from steep out-of-pocket repair costs.

Engine Shudder

Various reflashes have been released that address driveability concerns, including an engine shudder. Technical service bulletin 09-006-15 (dated 7/18/2015) addresses an engine shudder caused by excessive carbon buildup on the exhaust valve stems. The TSB calls for both cylinder heads to be replaced by an updated design that features an improved valve stem.

Camshaft Gear Slipping

Rumors of a pressed on camshaft gear slipping and causing fatal contact between the valves and pistons first surfaced in a clip on the video-sharing website YouTube. Our own investigation has concluded that this was an isolated instance and that the problem identified in the video has not been a widespread problem or concern for the 3.0L EcoDiesel. Rather, the information provided in the video was regurgitated on various forum platforms and websites without any real evidence of additional cases. This is not to contest the possibility of such events from occurring, however we've yet to see a volume of complaints that suggests there is any subsistence to claims relating to slipping timing gear sprockets.