Dodge Ram Diesel Bluetec Service Requirements

Dodge’s new Bluetec diesel engines are clean, quiet and efficient.

Dodge’s Cummins diesel engines use an urea-injection system called Bluetec to reduce nitric oxide emissions. This Mercedes-sourced system doesn’t make the Cummins motor any less reliable, but it does slightly alter the service requirements. Follow the “Schedule B” maintenance schedule if using your truck for frequent short trips, idling more than 10 minutes at a time, drive in dusty conditions, tow trailers, use your truck as a taxi, go off-roading or regularly run at more than 2,900 RPM. Most trucks fall under Schedule B maintenance for one or more of these reasons.

Once a Month

Once a month check tire pressure and look for unusual tire wear, inspect the batteries and terminals for loose connections or corrosion, check all fluid levels, check all lights and electrical items, drain water from the fuel filter and check the “Filter Minder” indicator. Replace the filter if the filter minder indicates clogging. Refill the Bluetec urea tank as needed.

Oil Change

At each oil change, change the oil filter, inspect the exhaust system for leaks, inspect the brake hose for kinking or chafing, inspect the driveshaft u-joints for looseness or clunking, grease the U-joints, check the transmission, engine and brake fluid levels and grease the outer tie rod ends.

Regular Maintenance

According to Dodge, grease the front driveshaft fittings every 3,750 miles (or twice for every one oil change. Every 7,500 miles, change the oil, rotate the tires, check the spare tire for proper pressure and stowage and lubricate the outer tie rod ends. Every 15,000 include all of the above, plus replace the fuel filter, change the front and rear axle fluids, inspect brake pads and adjust the parking brake if necessary. The main difference between Schedule A maintenance program, light duty use and Schedule B’s heavy duty use program is that for Schedule A, change the oil every 15,000 miles as opposed to 7,500 for Schedule B, and skip the 3,750 mile service intervals.

Periodic Items

At 60,000 miles, perform a transmission filter and fluid change in addition to all the regularly scheduled items. From here on out, service the transmission every 30,000 miles. Flush engine coolant at 60,000 miles. At 90,000 miles, Dodge recommends replacing the accessory drive belt, checking the transfer case fluid level and inspecting the wheel bearings.

Flush and replace the engine coolant again at 101,000 miles, adjust the valve lash clearance at 135,000, best done by a qualified technician at the dealership, drain and replace the transfer case fluid and have the automatic transmission’s bands adjusted at 120,000. These are the Schedule B requirements, but periodic service requirements for Schedule A and B are very similar. As it’s better to err on the side of caution, you may want to just stick with the Schedule B requirements to ensure engine longevity.