What Are The Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Cummins?

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To further help the start of their new lineup, the Dodge Ram, which was a pickup truck released in 1989, the company also added the Dodge Cummins to the lineup, which not only helped the company increase the sales of the lineup but due to its short supply was very lucrative however seeing the success of the engine, the company decided to ramp up the production of the engine.

Starting from 2007, the Dodge Cummins 6.7 hit the market and offered turbo and double the original horsepower. While the engine wasn’t anything record-breaking when it came to power, its torque was higher than anything in the market and had a decent 160 hp, making it stand out from many less powerful engines.

In this article, I will discuss the best and worst years for Dodge Cummins and rank them accordingly.

Best Years for Dodge Cummins:

  1. 2019
  2. 2018
  3. 2020
  4. 2017
  5. 1989
  6. 1990
  7. 1994
  8. 1995

Worst Years for Dodge Cummins:

  1. 2004
  2. 2002
  3. 2003
  4. 2011
  5. 2005
  6. 2001
  7. 2006
  8. 2007

I’ll now try to discuss each model in more detail and I am going answer some most commonly asked questions about these models.

List Of The Best Years For The Dodge Cummins: What Years To Buy

The best years for the Dodge Cummins have a lot of great performance and little to no issues.

#1 Best Year: 2019 Dodge Cummins

I am placing the 2019 Dodge Cummins in the first place because this engine offers a lot of durability and has little to no problems, which lead to happy owners and long life for your car.

This engine model offers increased torque and a lot more towing power than the traditional engines, which makes it a solid choice when given a choice between the two.

In the few years that the engine has been out, it has been impressing customers and getting praise from everyone on how reliable it is and the sheer amount of power it provides. It is very capable and something you should consider.

#2 Best Year: 2018 Dodge Cummins

Taking a step back from the 2019 engine, you get the 2018 Dodge Cummins, which is yet another powerful and capable engine, so I decided to place it in second place. The 2019 model could get a leg up on it with a few slight refinements and upgrades.

Otherwise, this is also a solid contender for the top of this list as the engine offers 900 pounds-feet of torque all in 6 cylinders, which is exactly what people who require diesel engines need to haul large cargo.

#3 Best Year: 2020 Dodge Cummins

One of the more recent models on this list, the 2020 Dodge Cummins engine, takes 3rd place on this list as it is also a very capable and sturdy engine that offers a lot of power and torque.

Along with being very powerful, this engine is also very efficient and offers a staggering 17.6 MPG, which is impressive. At the same time, customers complained about the engine’s noise after a year or so.

This problem is relatively easy to fix and is nothing too major.

#4 Best Year: 2017 Dodge Cummins

Going back a few years from the last model and one spot forward, the 2017 Dodge Cummins is another reliable and durable engine that can handle all of your towing needs and be efficient while doing it.

Capable of generating 900 pounds-feet of torque, the 2017 Dodge Cummins is more than enough to handle anything you need towing, pushing 350 hp on manual transmission and 385 hp on the 6-speed automatic.

Unfortunately, there are no 8-speed automatics present with this model.

#5 Best Year: 1989 Dodge Cummins

I placed the 1989 Dodge Cummins at 5th place because it was the first model of the engine lineup, which built the reputation of the series and gave it the respect it deserves.

When Dodge released this engine with their new lineup of a pickup trucks, their sales saw a good boost as the diesel engine allowed them to have a lot of torque and a lot more power which the people needed for towing.

#6 Best Year: 1990 Dodge Cummins

Going one year further, the 1990 Dodge Cummins comes up, which is very similar to the previous model in that it helped sell the trucks it was placed in and offered a lot of power, capability, and much-needed torque for towing.

While the engines today are 6.7 and more powerful, the 5.9 versions of these were extremely reliable apart from being a bit outdated, still hold up to this quality and give their cars a long life.

#7 Best Year: 1994 Dodge Cummins

I am placing the 1994 Dodge Cummins at 7th place due to having a small number of transmission problems in the turbocharger.

While this was no real deal-breaker, it still prevented me from giving the engine a higher place on this list, which is a shame considering the 160 hp and the 400 torque the engine offered. While this is not much in today’s time, it can still get the job done.

#8 Best Year: 1995 Dodge Cummins

Ending this list with yet another good engine is the 1995 Dodge Cummins. I decided to place this at last place because the engine was slightly underpowered and received some complaints from the NHTSA.

Other than that, its owners have praised the engine for lasting more than 200,000 miles and having an increased amount of torque from the previous model to 430, which is not enough by today’s standard but was a lot in the time was put out.

List Of The Worst Years For The Dodge Cummins: What Years To Avoid

You can expect some things when getting the worst engines of the series. Stalling, dying, and Sludge.

#1 Worst Year: 2004 Dodge Cummins

I am placing the 2004 Dodge Cummins in the first place due to the sheer amount of complaints and issues raised against it by owners.

The engine was so bad that every car it was installed in was declared a bad model and year for the lineup. It is the most complained engine on this list and deserves to be top.

This engine had a very common and bad habit of stalling and dying while driving, which is annoying and can lead to dangerous situations. The engine wouldn’t just stall while driving but would do so at idle too.

Along with a tendency to fail, the engine gave a ticking sound and suffered from blown gasket heads and losing oil pressure. NHTSA also had close to 200 complaints about the engine, which is why it deserves to be at the top of this list.

#2 Worst Year: 2002 Dodge Cummins

Complained by the NHTSA more than a hundred times and have a variety of different problems, the 2002 Dodge Cummins had so many problems that I just had to place this year at 2nd place.

Engine failure was common, and this was due to the massive amount of oil sludge that it would generate. The engine always gave off the noise and had various other problems such as fluctuating RPMs, blown gasket heads, and loss of oil pressure.

Many of these problems would persist to further models.

#3 Worst Year: 2003 Dodge Cummins

The 2003 Dodge Cummins was yet another bad year for the engine as it was affected by 100 complaints by the NHSTA and various other issues reported by customers, which placed it at 3rd place on this list.

The idle was rough, and the engine would knock constantly. At low idles or just randomly, the engine would stall. Oil sludge was also a very concerning issue afflicting the engine.

Engine failure was once again very common in this model, and it would be for the next one as well.

#4 Worst Year: 2011 Dodge Cummins

Taking a huge jump forward, you have the 2011 Dodge Cummins, which is one of two 6.7 Dodge Cummins engines on this list, and worst of the two as this engine had a plethora of different issues, which made me engine as a whole in 4th place.

With the lifter and cam, issues like the camshaft would stop working entirely. The engine shook extremely hard and would rattle constantly.

Engine stalling was still not fixed, and instead, the car would shut off while driving which can cause very dangerous situations.

#5 Worst Year: 2005 Dodge Cummins

The next year after the infamous 2004 model, the 2005 Dodge Cummins continued the same line of bad and borderline defective engine work that I just had to place at 5th place on this list.

Engine stalling, once again, is a major concern when talking about this engine, with engine failure falling suit. The engine would turn over but not start and gave out a ticking noise constantly, all while it would knock from the bottom end and be rough at idle.

#6 Worst Year: 2006 Dodge Cummins

I am placing the 2005 Dodge Cummins engine at 6th place because it slightly increased the rarity of the issues affecting the previous model and reduced some of the problems but still had so many issues that it was hard to let it go.

The engine suffered from dropped oil pressure and still tended to stall, being rough and noise at idle and dying while driving. The engine would knock at the crank and had a habit of overheating.

#7 Worst Year: 2007 Dodge Cummins

The 2007 Dodge Cummins continued the trend set by the 2006 model to reduce the number of problems and increase the rarity of the issues that were left.

While it is succeeded in doing so even further, it did not do so completely, which is why I decided to place it at 7th place.

Unsurprisingly, the engine was still stalling and would die while driving. The engine would knock, and the oil was low in pressure, preventing proper circulation.

#8 Worst Year: 2001 Dodge Cummins

Taking the last spot on this list is the 2001 Dodge Cummins engine, which has the least complaints but still has a good amount of varied problems, which is why I placed it here.

The engine has difficulty starting and has a habit of stalling and dying, especially when being driven. The engine also has a massive oil sludge buildup, which eventually destroys the engine.

All of this is accompanied by a sudden drop in oil pressure and oil leaking from the rear main seal.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Dodge Cummins?

1. DPF Clogging

The Dodge Cummins had a bad habit of getting its diesel particulate filter clogged. This resulted in a direct loss of power, along with a long crank and various engine faults, which forced the car to operate in reduced power mode.

This is due to the build-up of pressure as the gases cannot escape. This issue also affected the turbo to run poorly as well.

2. Turbocharger Failure

The earlier models of the 6.7 Dodge Cummins engine suffered more from this problem, but it can happen at any year as the turbochargers take a lot of strain and abuse when being used.

While Turbocharger failure was quite common, there were various other issues, such as leaking oil seals, worn bearings, Sticking VGT Parts, and damage to the turbine wheel and the compressor.

3. Head Gasket Issues

The 6.7 Dodge Cummins also suffered substantially from this than their 5.9 counterparts. This is due to the 6.7 Dodge Cummins’ raw power, which caused a lot of high cylinder pressure.

This directly resulted in the head gaskets failing and overheating coolant mixing with oil, leading to sludge and white smoke forming. These are all very damaging and infuriating issues that you must avoid.

4. EGR Cooler Problems

Diesel trucks, in general, have a lot of issues related to the EGR, and the Dodge Cummins is no exception, especially the 6.7 version, which had its valve and cooler be the source of the brunt of the problems, and this would only increase with higher mileage.

Deleting the EGR system is a solution but poses many legal issues, so customers were forced to carry out regular maintenance to tone down the issues.

5. Fuel Dilution Issues

Due to the design choices of the 6.7 Dodge Cummins and the lack of a 7th injector, small amounts of fuel would start to stick on the cylinder where the fuel can mix with the oil.

While the issue is common in many diesel engines, it was very prominent in the Dodge Cummins and had too much fuel dilution.

The amount of so much crossed many state limits of 5% fuel dilution. This issue was also quite hard to figure out and required oil analysis and changes to figure out and avoid, respectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is 5.9 Or 6.7 Cummins Better?

The 5.9 and 6.7 Dodge Cummins engines are specifically made for different purposes, so while one may be better for you, it may not be better for someone else. The 5.9 Dodge Cummins is simple and reliable.

Due to its older design and inception, it is easy to operate and understand but lacks the power of the 6.7 Dodge Cummins, which has a lot more power but is more complex. If you want power, buy a 6.7, but if you want reliability, the 5.9 is superior.

Q2. How Much Is A New Dodge Cummins?

If you are in the market for a new engine want to buy the latest Dodge Cummins on the market, then get ready to pay for a lot as the new Dodge Cummins can be bought separately for anything between $20,000 to $30,000 and can be even more or less depending on various other factors such as where you buy it.

I recommend you just buy a new car and save yourself any installation trouble for this price.

Q3. What Is The Strongest Cummins Engine?

While the QSK95 is Cummins’s strongest diesel engine ever since I am talking about the realm of cars, I think it is safe to say that the Dodge Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel is by far the strongest car engine the company has ever made which is capable of producing 400 hp and 1000 torque which helps the models it is fitted in deliver best in class towing capabilities and quality performance as well.

Q4. Who Owns Cummins Now?

Concerning the Dodge Cummins, these engines are the product of a joint venture with the Chrysler Group LLC and Cummins UK, which has a multi-year contract to make the engines.

The Cummins brand is its own, with the company being a major corporation in the UK dedicated to making quality diesel engines that are efficient and long-lasting. 10% of the company was owned by Ford back in 2013, but the shares were bought back themselves.

Q5. How Long Do Dodge Cummins Last?

The Dodge Cummins is a reliable engine that the company prides itself upon for having it is so long-lasting.

The average Dodge Cummins engine should last you around 300,000 to 400,000 miles, but you can easily extend this lifespan even further via regular maintenance and servicing.

The 6.7 version will last a bit less, making the 5.9 version more long-lasting and reliable.

Conclusion

The Dodge Cummins is a quality engine that can stand the test of time and offers a lot of power and performance, giving traditional engines a run for their money.

The best and worst years for Dodge Cummins include the 2019 engine as the best one overall for having no problems, while the 2004 engine was filled to the brim with issues and annoying problems.

While many models suffered from stalling and various other issues, you should be able to identify which models you should avoid and get the best diesel engines on the market.