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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm curious as to how long (in terms of minutes of driving, or number of start/stops) a person has to get their butt on the highway once the 80% EVIC message shows up.

My day yesterday with the Ram was a little stressful: got my very first 80% EVIC message on my way to work and dropping off kids. It was a very short commute, but I had to stop it to drop off kids, then start again, then park it for the day (couldn't be late for work). It never really had a great chance to warm up, and it was about freezing temp. BUT, after work I hopped in to head straight to a highway, and got only about 2 blocks and the thing flashed 90%!!!! :eek:THAT is when I started to sweat, as I was still trying to get to the highway. Was this thing about to go in limp mode at that rate? Would I make it? What the heck? This was NOT fun for a diesel newbie.

I did make it almost to the highway before the EVIC said regen was started, and then once on the highway the % dropped steadily and went away as I read it should. But if I only have like 20 mins of driving warning to get to a highway when this 80% message comes up, this truck has got to go - that's just not feasible sometimes....so your experiences will help me know what to expect going forward :)

PS: I am aware that one can install a scanner to help know more about what is going on and possibly avoid these situations, but I don't yet want to go down that road. So I'm just curious how a typical owner can manage this without any extra equipment...

Thanks as always!
 

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I guess it depends on how you drive the truck. I tow 2 different trailers with mine about 70% of the time and lots of freeway miles 30-60 at a time when I use it. i have NEVER seen an EVIC message in almost 2 years and 26,000 miles of service. I assume it does what it needs to do while I am driving it normally

MY 2 cents
 

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You do not need to get on a highway to do a regen. If you get the message (I'm at 15,000 miles and haven't seen it yet) just keep driving. The regen is just dumping extra fuel into engine and out exhaust pipe to burn off soot in filter. The truck will normally do a regen before the 80% warning but if you do a lot of short runs and never let it finish it will warn you. You can tell it doing a regen by watching your instant fuel mileage - it will drop into mid teens for 10 to 15 minutes.
 

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First of all, I do recommend having a monitor, I'm using Edge CS2 (It is too pricey but glad I have it). This way, you won't get caught in this situation and I now suspect, it may save you engine/coolant issues. I explain later.

Once you set up the setting, you can monitor your soot level, after a full REGEN, it usually drops to 9 percent, and it will climb slowly. The system won't do a REGEN, until you hit 65 percent. However the REGEN won't start, until your coolant, oil, are normal temperatures, if very cold and you do short drives or don't have a winter cover, the condition won't be met. I also monitor all my EGT's, EGT3, EGT4 need to climb to 1100 to 1200 F temperatures for a successful REGEN.

The average REGEN distance is about 90 KM (metric) in the city, on the highway about 200 to 600 KM, depending on load, towing, etc.

If you fail a regen, you get fuel wash. If you fail lots of regens, you get lots of wash, and lots of dilution, and if you drive your truck in town to work every day you probably get going just fast enough to start a regen, and then fail it A LOT. This dilution can give you premature wear and failure. Too much water will make the oil cloudy and/or milky and will need to be changed.

It is important to understand what going on with your diesel, as it may have an effect on your ownership of the truck. In line of the info presented, I was moved to switch from cheap diesel to Shell Diesel V-Power, if not available you may want to look at additives.

Here some info, that may help you to understand diesel from online sources.

• Water: Presence of water may be from condensation or may be indicative of a coolant leak. Water is reported as a percentage. Too much water will make the oil cloudy and/or milky and will need to be changed.

• Fuel Dilution: Measurement of fuel in the oil. Reported in 2%, 4% or >6%. Small percentages of fuel may be from excessive idling. Excessive fuel may be from a mechanical problem that needs to be corrected. Excessive fuel will reduce the lubrication properties of the oil.

• Anti-Freeze: A chemical test is done to determine percentage of glycol in the system. Any amount of glycol is abnormal. Glycol contamination may result in filter plugging, overheating and overall internal engine wear.

OIL CONDITION

• Fuel Soot: Reported as % of weight. Soot is what makes diesel engine oil black. Soot needs to be controlled. Excessive soot can shorten engine life and will be very abrasive.

• Oxidation: Occurs when oxygen molecules join with oil molecules. Oxidation will make the oil thicker than normal and lose lubrication. It will be accelerated by high oil temperatures and glycol contamination.

• Nitration: Occurs in all engines, but is generally a problem in Natural Gas Engines. Nitrogen compounds from combustion thicken the oil and reduce lubrication.

• Sulfation: Sulfur is present in fuels and affects engines. Fuel sulfur oxidizes and combines with water to form acid during combustion. Acids corrode all engine parts.


Further info from another online...

Here's some basic information concerning the self cleaning (regeneration) of the Diesel Particulate Filter:

Active = fuel is injected into the exhaust stroke strictly for the purpose of increasing exhaust gas temperatures (EGT's) in order to get to the temperature necessary to burn the soot out of the diesel particulate filter (DPF).

Your truck will regenerate (active) when the DPF soot level reaches 65%. This will likely occur every 100-300 miles. You will only see the notice on the EVIC if the soot level reaches 80-90% due to uncompleted regens.

Active self-regeneration occurs when there is not sufficient heat in the exhaust to convert all the carbon being collected in the DPF. Exhaust temperatures are raised by injecting a small amount of fuel upstream of the Diesel Particulate Filter.
The resulting chemical reaction over the DOC raises exhaust gas temperatures high enough to oxidize the carbon from the filter. This is all done without any operator intervention.

Passive = the engine is working hard enough under its own power that the EGT's are hot enough to keep the regeneration of the DPF in process, there is no extra fuel burned as it is not necessary.

Based on my observations, you will not see EGT’s hot enough for passive regeneration at unloaded highway speeds. The EGT’s are actually quite low when cruising on the highway unless you are towing a heavy load,are carrying a full payload, or driving hard.

The truck's programming will make many repeated attempts to regenerate the DPF, from a high soot mass level of 65% down to <10% when a cycle is complete. If your trip is too short and the engine is then shut off, or the truck is put in park with the engine idling, an active regeneration process stops (at whatever soot level the DPF is at). The next drive cycle when the DPF again reaches 65% soot mass the whole process starts all over again. If you are going on a road trip the complete cycle will happen many times over...up to 65%...regen...down to <10%...over and over again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Seiko for that excellent info! Wow! I think I'm understanding the dynamics of how this system works.

So in a nutshell, first: it seems that I shouldn't be particularly worried about how long it takes me to get to the highway per se when the message pops up on EVIC - the important point is that I keep driving once the notice indicates that the regen has actually started on my EVIC - I should still head to the highway to make sure it completes and doesn't hit 100% and go to limp mode, and do my best not to put it into park or shut off unless absolutely necessary. As long as I keep driving (towards the highway) it will likely continue with the regen and the DPF level should not climb any further?? Although I have various concerns, my biggest worry was while I was driving to get to the highway - I didn't want it to go to limp mode.

Second: my truck may or may not be able to even start any regen process (I'm talking about the one it does between 65% and 80%, where I get no notification) during my short daily commutes in winter (never warms up enough). Which is GOOD in the sense that I'm not getting failed regens and fuel wash, but BAD in the sense that the DPF will get clogged especially fast. And if the truck actually does warm up enough to start a regen (again, unbeknownst to me), I inevitabley keep shutting it down in the middle - I'm thus not getting the DPF level reduced very much and I'm also getting fuel wash, etc.

So I'm not sure what to do exactly during daily driving, except that I know I should let the regen finish if the EVIC says it has started. The "shoulder season" here in Calgary is not quite cold enough to put on a winter cover (even though I have one), but also the truck doesn't warm up enough with every trip, and my trips aren't long enough to likely complete a regen anyways... I suppose I might just have to take a look at the oil, or do more frequent changes..?? (Or get the scanner - I do have a worry about warranty though - I get the feeling my local dealership will be a giant PITA if they found out and I wound up needing any warranty work...)

Thanks for all the valuable info!!!
 

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My truck has 48,000km on it and has only had one regen. The one I had stated 80% COMPLETE, then 90% COMPLETE, then 100%. At no time was there a threat of going into limp mode. As for the info that it adds fuel into the system for regen, that is completely false. This is not an old Cummins diesel. The EcoDiesel is designed to add DEF to the system for regen purposes.
 

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How does DEF (which is mostly water) help burn off the soot? It's to turn the NOx into nitrogen and water. IT takes fuel to burn the soot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes good question - it seems people disagree on this?? And if the Ram ISN'T using diesel fuel during regen, then why does the fuel economy drop (caused by something else??). I kind of want to know, because if I (due to my short daily commutes) wind up failing a lot of regens, I'd like to know if there actually is a risk of contaminating the oil with fuel ("fuel wash") or if it's just wasting DEF ??
 
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