Which Dodge Cummins Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Did you know? The Cummins Engine has been powering the Dodge Ram trucks for more than Three Decades now. They offer everything a heavy-duty car needs. They are durable, reliable, powerful & consistent. But hey, there is no such thing as ultimate good. There are Dodge Cummins years you should avoid.

Which Dodge Cummins Years to avoid? Well, the Dodge Cummins years can be specified into five generations. Among them the 4th & 5th generations are undoubtedly the best. However, the 1st, 2nd & 3rd generations comparatively have lackings & you should try to avoid them.

In this article, we will discuss each generation. We will walk you through to know which one to avoid & which will be THE BEST. Not only that, we will talk about the common problems of Dodge Cummins years as well. LET’S GO!

Worst Dodge Cummins Years to Avoid:

Like we said earlier, the Cummins Engines are good. Really good. They offer excellent torque & horsepower for the trucks. Since 1989, Dodge Cummins have been offering one of the best engines for heavy-duty trucks.

But each generation has their Pros & Cons. They are different from each other & offer different advantages & disadvantages. 

Comparatively, the newer generations have an overall better performance than the earlier years. They have more quality, they are updated & they always come with something new. So, although all of them are good, you should avoid the 1st, 2nd & 3rd generations.

1st Generation: 5.9L 12 Valve Cummins (1989-1994)

The first generation Dodge Cummins were launched back in 1989. The best part is they have a 5.9L 12 Valve engine. The horsepower & torque is 160 hp & 400 pounds-ft respectively. 

They were a huge success in that period. Back in the days, they were used for agricultural purposes. The components are gear driven & they have three transmissions available. These engines have two battery models & direct fuel injection. 

They come with a price range of $1500 to $10000. Although they are less complex than the modern day engines, there are reasons you should avoid them. 

Why You Should Avoid Them

  1. They are really old. 
  2. The horsepower & torque is really low compared to the newer engines. 
  3. The ones that are available right now are rusted & unsophisticated. 
  4. Many of them experienced transmission failure.

2nd Generation: 12V 1994-1998

After the huge success of the first generation, the 2nd generation engines were launched in 1994. They came out with new designs, a couple of updates & maintained the durability of the 1st generation.

The horsepower & torque was improved. The hp was 175 & torque was 420 pounds to feet. But between 1996 to 1998, the Cummins offered some models that had horsepower increased upto 215hp. 

The body design was changed massively. There are two transmissions ( one manual &  one automatic). The second generation Cummins uses the Inline-6 cylinder engine design like the st generation. There are 11 liters of oil capacity & the governed speed is upto 2700 RPMs. However, there are some reasons why you should avoid them.

Why You should Avoid Them

  1. They are also quite old & have small cabs.
  2. The designs were upgraded, but they offer some reliability & durability as the first one.
  3. They are a bit more complicated than the previous generation.
  4. The horsepower & torque cannot match up with the 4th & 5th generation.

3rd Generation: 24 Valve Cummins ( 1998-2003)

With some upgraded features, the new generation was introduced in 1998. 

They look almost the same as the second generation. However, the engines have a better coolant. Just like the previous generation, the governed speed is 2700 RPMs. 

But the Torque & horsepower was improved. The horsepower was 245 & torque was 505 pounds per ft. They have a bigger intercooler. The third generation Cummins have two transmissions as well. 

The turbocharger remained the same as the previous one. Back in 2001 & 2002, there were two versions of engines. They had different horsepower & torque. The horsepower in those models were 235 & 245 hp. On the other hand, the torque was 460 & 505 Pounds-ft respectively. 

Why You Should Avoid Them

  1. They had the lowest number of sales.
  2. They had the most negative number of reviews.
  3. They have an unreliable injector.
  4. 53-engine blocks have been used in them. But they are thin & have the tendency of cracking easily. 
  5. The third generation Cummins cost around $3800 to $20000 which is comparatively high.

5.9L Dodge Cummins Years to Avoid:

The 5.9 Dodge Cummins engine ran from 1989 to 2007. A few years while this engine was running experienced troubles, so avoid those years.

  1. 1991 Dodge Cummins
  2. 1992 Dodge Cummins
  3. 1993 Dodge Cummins
  4. 1999 Dodge Cummins
  5. 2001 Dodge Cummins
  6. 2003 Dodge Cummins
  7. 2006 Dodge Cummins

The best thing about 5.9 Dodge is that they are equipped with a 5.9L 12 valve engine. The engine produces 160 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. 

1991 Dodge Cummins Problems

  • Doors do not shut properly. You will encounter issues shutting the door. This is a problem with the passenger side doors.
  • Problems with the steering. At idle, the wheel is more difficult to spin.
  • Faulty connections in the wiring. They have fusible linkages, which cause the connection to be weak and occasionally burn.
  • Weakly constructed frame that is susceptible to fracture. 

1992 Dodge Cummins problems

  • Charging system issues. May overcharge or take a lot of time to charge.
  • Bad Alternator, this is why your vehicle face charging issues.
  • Auto transmission issues. When the car is put into reverse or drive, the engine may stall and cause the vehicle to crash.
  • Overheating. Engine may overheat due to a bad radiator. A malfunctioning radiator prevents the cooling system from functioning properly.

1993 Dodge Cummins problems

  • Transmission failure 
  • Gear shifting issues. When driving the truck, it will occasionally go from overdrive to drive, and vice versa.
  • Problems with the electrical system

1999 Dodge Cummins problems

  • Fuel injection pump failure. On flat terrain, it performs well, when pushed up a short slope, it bucks and sputters and eventually goes out.
  • Interior accessories problems. Such as, cracked dashboard, cupholder assembly broken, issues with the seats etc.
  • Engine issues. Loss of power while driving.

2001 Dodge Cummins problems

  • This year has seen the greatest complaints on interior difficulties, with NASHTA receiving 12. Several typical faults include a fractured dashboard, a shattered glovebox, and the loss of the dash trim.
  • Issues with the body and paint. Paint begins to bubble, the main body rusts, and the adhesive for the rubber stripes begins to melt.

2003 Dodge Cummins problems

  • This year got the most issues recorded on Carcomplaints.
  • Interior issues, the dash on this year’s model is severely broken and on the verge of falling apart.
  • Heater related issues.

2006 Dodge Cummins Problems

  • The most common issue with the 2006 Dodge Cummins is with the air and heater. Blend doors do not work correctly, and the air conditioning does as well. There is no air flow from vents or other sources.
  • Suspension difficulties, encounter with the “death wobble” (rapid rotating of steering wheel from side to side)

Therefore, avoiding these year’s Dodge Cummins models would be prudent.

6.7L Dodge Cummins Years to Avoid

The 6.7L Cummins engine was debuted in the middle of 2007 and has been in production until the present day.

Though 6.7 is comparatively reliable, several 6.7 Cummins engines should be avoided at all costs. These are the following:

  1. 2007 Dodge Cummins
  2. 2008 Dodge Cummins
  3. 2011 Dodge Cummins

According to my study, the 6.7 L has few faults, but nothing is perfect. Therefore, let us study about the challenges that arose throughout the years specified.

2007 Dodge Cummins Problems

  • Steering troubles are quite prevalent with this model. Strong front end shaking, premature tie rod and drag link failure are few recorded problems.
  • Engine problems, such as check engine light on or engine failure, oil leaking etc.
  • Electrical issues, bad TIPM, engine won’t start easily.

2008 Dodge Cummins

  • This year has also seen a rise in steering issues, such as death wobble, cranking sounds, and steering box leaks.
  • Additionally, exhaust, suspension, and engine faults are recorded.

2011 Dodge Cummins

  • Suspension problems are the most prevalent issue with this model year’s vehicle such as fracture of the tie rod or death wobble.
  • Engine problems such as camshaft failure, difficulty starting, and poor speed are all prevalent.

Best Dodge Cummins Years To Buy Used

If you are looking for the best Dodge Cummins, we suggest you go for the 4th & 5th generation. They are upgraded, come with the latest technology &  provide us better offerings.

4th Generation: 5.9L Cummins (2003 to 2008)

This generation came with everything new. They had new style, design, suspension, interior & even new engine capacity.

Why wouldn’t you take them? They improved their horsepower & torque by a lot. Although it varied from years to years. The highest horsepower is 350! Worried about the lowest? Even the lowest was 305 hp.

The torque power range starts from 550 & ends up at 650 pounds per ft. They offer governed speeds of about 3000 to 3500 RPMs. They have a good engine oil capacity as well which is 11.4 liters. 

Thinking about the transmission? They have two transmissions in the later years, three for the earlier. Not only all these, they even have a bigger intercooler with 32 qt capacity. 

That is why, we suggest you go for this generation.

5th Generation: 6.7L (2008- Present) 

The Latest generation came with high horsepower, many innovations & grand looks. 

This generation can be divided into two sub generations: early years & later years. However, they have immense horsepower. Their horsepower range is from 350 to 400. 

They have great torque power as well. The range is 850 to 1000. They have a new four-door cab design as well. Between 2011 to 2019, they offered three-pedal manual transmission.  The 2500 & 3500 models have Electronic Stability Control. 

In 2014, air suspension was offered in both 3500  and 2500. The keyless ignition was available as well. Throughout the years the features kept on improving and improving.

That is why, we say that these two generations are the best Dodge Cummins years & you should take them.

5.9 or 6.7 Cummins: Which one is better?

It has been a common question & a matter of confusion as to which one is better. The 5.9 or 6.7 Cummins? Well, the answer is it depends.

 Although most of the features of 6.7 came from 5.9, there are differences. The 6.7L clearly offers more power. It’s horsepower is 385 & torque is around 900 lb-ft  compared to 325hp & 610 lb-ft of the 5.9L. 

But 5.9L provides us more reliability. It also produces less nitrogen oxide and less cylinder pressure. However, the 6.7L comes with the EGR & DPF. It also has more towing capacity. On the contrary, the 5.9L has the geometry turbo system. 

So like we said, it actually depends. Each has their own specialties. Both are good, go for the one which will specifically be best for you. 

Final Verdict

All of the Cummins Engines are good & reliable. So even if you go for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd generations, you’ll have a good experience.

But like we said, the 4th & 5th are the best. That is why if you do not have any budget problems, you should avoid them & go for the 4th & 5th Generation.

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