I purchased new a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 SRW CC Laramie 4x4 CTD after repeatedly hearing how Dodge trucks with the CTD got great fuel mileage and should last several hundred thousand miles. The truck cost several thousand dollars more for the CTD engine 6.7. I haul a NL 8'5 and pull a drift boat to the Rockies each year. This truck's exhaust system used a diesel particulate filter and was supposed to "regenerate" itself to cleanse soot from the system. I left for 4 months fishing in the Rockies and Alaska in late May of this year. The first night out the truck died in Louisville, KY. After it was towed to a Dodge/Chrysler dealership it was determined the diesel particulate filter needed to be replaced. If that didn't solve the problem the turbo would have to be replaced. The truck had 3 weeks left on the warranty and 71,000 miles. The price to replace the DPF was $1800 and to replace the turbo was $7000. If I had to pay that out of pocket rather than warranty I would have had to return home.
It took 4 days to repair the truck. The dealer had to order both the DPF and the turbo. I asked them to order both parts the morning my truck arrived at the dealer's but was told Chrysler would not let them order the turbo until replacing the DPF didn't solve the problem. They ordered the DPF, replaced it when it arrived the next day and it didn't solve the problem. Chrysler would not let them order the new turbo until they tried cleaning the old turbo. They sheared a bolt trying to remove the turbo and ended up having to replace it anyway. I suggested to them Chrysler's protocol for repairing the problem was not user friendly as I could have been on my way the second day if they had ordered both parts the first morning. They also initially said they were going to charge me for the cleaning of the turbo, something not in the standard maintenance protocols.
If you search the net for DPF problems and Dodge trucks it will soon be evident to you that Chrysler/Dodge has been aware for some time there is a problem with this generation of engine/exhaust. A class action lawsuit has been filed by dissatisfied owners of this generation of engine/exhaust. I am not a plaintiff in this suit or an attorney. For the price I paid for this truck, I feel Chrysler should have been proactive in notifying owners of the potential problem and they should have come up with a fix to the problem and recalled it. Evidently there is an after market fix in which shops (not Chrysler/Dodge dealerships) remove the exhaust and place chips in the computer telling the engine's computer to ignore certain messages it receives because the exhaust has been modified. This results in improved fuel mileage and eliminates the DPF problem. However, if you have this modification performed it voids the engine's warranty. I never got more than 14 mpg diesel which is significantly less that the previous generation of CTD. The service manager told me the after market fix improves fuel mileage and engine efficiency.
I planned on driving to Alaska then to Deadhorse via the Haul road and also frequent isolated roads near trout streams. I decided I was going to get a new truck rather than take a chance on being stranded again in the Dodge that might cost me $8800 to repair. The Dodge dealership would not give me what I was offered by the GMC dealership in Louisville for my 2008 Ram CTD. I ended up with a GMC 2500 4X4 extended cab gasser SLT. It has more cargo capacity than the Ram did.
I drove the GMC 18,500 miles to AK and back to NC. I got 11 mpg with the gasser as opposed to the 14 I was getting with the Dodge CTD. On 2 grades (1 in Colorado and 1 in Wyoming) I could tell the gasser did not have the power the CTD had. However, the GMC hauled my rig great otherwise, including all over Montana, Washington, Utah, and
Idaho. It also does great in the mountain of NC and Tenn. I do miss the exhaust brake the diesel had. Unless I needed the power of a diesel to haul my rig, I don't think I could justify paying the additional price for the diesel engine and the extra amount per gallon diesel costs in NC (it's usually 50 to 70 cents higher than regular unleaded).
Good luck with your decision and I hope you have many years of fine travel in your new rig.
I had a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 CTD SRW Laramie which hauled my NL 8.5 while pulling my drift boat. It had 71,000 miles on it. Except for having to replace a U-joint I had no problems with the truck until May. It hauled the camper and boat easily. I had all of the routine maintenance and the U-joint replacement performed at Dodge dealerships. I started on a 4 month trip May 20 of this year. On the first night of my trip on the interstate in the middle of Louisville the service engine light came on, the truck lost power, the engine died and I coasted down an off ramp. My rig was transported to a Dodge dealership the next morning and a problem was found in the diesel particulate filter. I was told they would have to replace the diesel particulate filter and if that didn't solve the problem they would have to replace the turbo. The dealership did not have either part so they ordered the filter. I asked them to order both so I would not have to spend an additional day in Louisville waiting on the turbo if changing the filter did not solve the problem. My truck had three weeks left on the warranty. They told me Chrysler would cover the cost of the repair but Chrysler would not let the dealership order both the filter and the turbo at the same time. The charge for replacing the filter at the dealership was $1800 and the cost of replacing the turbo was $7000.
The dealership replaced the filter but it did not solve the problem. They notified Chrysler to get the turbo but Chrysler told them to try cleaning the turbo and see if that corrected the problem. They were going to charge me $250 to clean the turbo but I balked at paying that because the only reason they had to clean the turbo was due to the faulty filter or exhaust system. I told them to go ahead and clean the turbo and we would decide who would pay for it later. They sheared a bolt while attempting to remove the turbo to clean it so it ended up needing to be replaced anyway. By this time in the day it was too late to order the turbo for arrival the next day. It arrived on Friday and was replaced. Chrysler's service representative told me they would have paid for the cleaning if it had been required.
I had been a member of the Cummins Turbo Diesel Registry and had known about the exhaust problems with this generation of Cummins engine. Some owners had after market fixes performed at auto shops. The fix involved removing the filter and inserting chips into the trucks computer instructing the computer to ignore error messages from exhaust sensors. This fix actually improved the engines power and fuel economy. While hauling my rig I only got 12 mpg in the Dodge CTD, not anywhere close to the 5.9 CTD's mpg. Dodge dealerships would not inform you of this fix or perform the fix. There were warnings that doing so would void the engine's warranty.
While my truck was being repaired I looked into this generation of Dodge CTD and found many other owners have experienced the same problem, the same sudden dying of the engine leaving the owner stranded. When I talked with the Chrysler Customer Service Representative (not the dealership where the work was performed ) I was told it was Chrysler's policy to not allow the dealer to order the filter and the turbo at the same time because replacing the filter or cleaning the turbo had corrected the problem in "hundreds of cases". The dealership told me they had four previous cases and replacing the DPF and cleaning the turbo did not solve the problem. That dealership had to replace the turbo every time.
It was actually to my benefit the engine died when it did. If it had died 3 weeks later I would have been out at least $8800 dollars ($1800 for the DPF and $7000 for the turbo).
I believe Chrysler should have owned up to the problems with this generation of engine/exhaust and recalled and fixed the vehicle. They know many owners of this generation of CTD have been left stranded and they should have had a repair process that was consumer friendly and not more economical for them. I left Louisville in a new gas truck and it wasn't a Dodge. During the four months I was gone I drove the haul road to Prudhoe Bay. I hate to think what the price for towing the Dodge truck would have been on that road.
The Dodge truck had more power than the new gas truck. I could tell the difference on a couple of the climbs in the mountains of Colorado. However, the new truck handled the load of my rig fine from Louisville to the Arctic Ocean and back well. I do miss the exhaust brake coming down the mountain grades but the transmission in the new truck does allow me to gear down to a specific gear. The cost of a diesel engine is several thousands of dollars more than a gasser. In NC where I live, regular gas is consistently 35 to 45 cents less per gallon than diesel. Routine maintenance costs on the diesel were also higher than on the gasser.
Note, I'm reporting what happened to me and why i made the decision to go gas and not Dodge.