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2003 Dodge Ram 3500 4 x 4 Quad Cab SLT, Dual Rear Wheel, with Cummins Turbo Diesel (Chrysler)
2003 Dodge Ram 3500 4 x 4 Quad Cab SLT, Dual Rear Wheel, with Cummins Turbo Diesel (Chrysler)

Rob's Garage

What's wrong with my diesel pickup truck? Add to ...

Hi Rob.

I have a 2001 Dodge 3500 Series two-wheel drive pickup with the Cummins Diesel. When I try to restart the engine after shutting it off, the engine stops. Sometimes it will stall when I shift into reverse.

It will not do it every time I shift, just every once in a while. When you think the problem has fixed itself and when you least expect it, it will stall again.

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I bought the truck new in 2001 I only drive it in the summer so it has low mileage.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Gordon

Wow Gordon, I can only hope that this problem has been recent – I couldn’t imagine putting up with this since 2001!

The good news is that I have good news.

Chrysler issued a fix for this well-known problem and through my friends at Alldata; I was able to find the actual Service Bulletin. Take your pick-up into your local dealer and have them apply the procedure that relates to TSB # 18-15-00.

This involves re-programming, or flashing, the ECM (Electronic Control Module). The original program that came with your truck must be erased and replaced with updated software. This flashing will do the trick, but you will need to have this done at a Chrysler dealership as they have access to the proprietary equipment required to do the job properly.

There are a couple of other things to consider Gordon. You may be asked about the fuel you use. As you mention, you only drive your truck in the summer. Diesel engines are extremely sensitive to seasonal blends of fuel. Depending on the time of year that you re-fuel for the last time, you may be filling the tank with a winter-adjusted blend. If you try to drive in hot weather with this blend, you’ll have all sorts of problems. Although it sounds like you qualify for the re-flash of the ECM, consider the fuel you use and also consider a diesel fuel stabilizer that can be purchased at a diesel supply outlet.

Next, make sure you replace the fuel filter and check to make sure water isn’t making its way into the fuel supply.

It may seem odd to replace mechanical bits when the vehicle is used very little, but mechanical devices need to be used. In many cases it’s harder on vehicles to sit unattended than it is for them to be used on a regular basis, and Gordon, you fall smack in the middle of this category, so you still have to apply a little TLC to your Cummins.

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