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Mopar Certified
Mopar Certified, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
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Experience:  24 Year Chrysler/Dodge Certified Specialist
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My Diesel keeps sputtering, losing power, and shutting off?

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My Diesel keeps sputtering, losing power, and shutting off?
Hi, thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-What year is your Dodge?
-What model is your Dodge?
-How many miles are on your Dodge?
-What type of engine is in your Dodge?
-What have you already tried?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
2004 Ram 2500 Quad Cab, Cummins Diesel, 97000 miles

I haven't tried much yet. I figured I would look at fuel filter. I am also wondering if it's my fuel pump. However, I am not sure how to determine if it's the pump. Suggestions
Thanks for the additional info.

Has your check engine light turned on?


The first thing that comes to mind would be either a plugged up filter or a bad lift pump. The lift pump is responsible for supplying the main injection pump with a steady flow or fuel so if the lift pump quits then the main pump starts starving for fuel.

The easiest test to do, is to remove the top of the filter bowl and have a look at your filter. If it is black, it needs changing., While you have the top off you can check the level of fuel in that bowl. It should be full. If it is not full, then that would be a sign of a bad lift pump.

Try the filter first, and let me know if there is any difference or you need further info.

I hope this information is helpful and let me know if you need further assistance with this.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The check engine light is not on. That is what I was assuming. A couple of follow-up questions:

How often should the filter be changed?

What size socket is needed to remove filter cap (I measure about 1 1/8", but not sure if its requires standard or metric (28mm) socket)?
Yes, 1 1/8 is what I use for this.

The recommended interval is 15K miles or 24K Km.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I changed the fuel filter. After changing it took a few tries to start the engine. I drove around the block. It sputtered one time and has been idling fine in the garage. I am not sure if problem is fixed or not yet. How can I tell?
The only way to know for sure is just to drive it some more. It will either continue to sputter, or it won't. If the sputtering stops, then it looks like a fix, if not, then you will have to test the lift pump and see if it is working.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Is is natural for it to sputter a little immediately after replacing?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Is is natural for it to sputter a little immediately after replacing?

The fuel reservoir is full of fuel. It still sputters. Is this still the fuel pump?
There can be a small amount of air trapped in the lines after a filter replacement so it can sputter right after the change. If it is still doing this after driving many miles, then the problem still exists by the sounds of it and further testing of the fuel system will be required.

Also scanning the computer for potential fault codes would be beneficial.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What is several miles? I let it idle for approx 15 min and then drove around block again. It idled fine, but sputtered / stalled as I drove around block. Do I need to let run longer?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What is several miles? I let it idle for approx 15 min and then drove around block again. It idled fine, but sputtered / stalled as I drove around block. Do I need to let run longer?

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No, any trapped air would be gone after that amount of time, so you will need to have the fuel system tested as well as the fuel injectors themselves.
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