No Power | 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 | 5.9 Cummins Diesel

Cummins Diesel With No Power – 2005 Dodge Ram 2500

2005 Diesel Dodge Ram 2500

2005 Diesel Dodge Ram 2500

Customer complaint was severe lack of power and performance on this 05 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel 5.9 Cummins. Other concern was poor shifting. I took the truck for a test drive as I graphed the data with my Snap-on Modis. There were no noticeable power or performance issues under light load. As I stepped into it about 3/4 throttle or more the issue that the customer felt would show it’s face. If you jumped on the throttle the truck would get up and go and then suddenly just fall on it’s face. The low power seemed to lag a little bit after revving up. If you got on the throttle hard and held it there the power would be there, suddenly drop off, but the rpm would stay up even though all the power was gone. It really felt like loss of fuel or an excessive exhaust back pressure issue.

2005 Dodge Cummins Scan Data | Turbo Boost Pressure Loss

2005 Dodge Cummins Scan Data | Turbo Boost Pressure Loss

I continued my test drive while I analysed the data I was graphing. Another thing I noticed was if I backed off on the throttle after I would lose power for a few seconds, I could get back into it and have my power again for a second before it would suddenly lose it again. Very strange feel to this one. To me, it really felt like the turbo would just quit working. I also noticed the transmission shifting issue that the customer told me about but I was pretty sure it was all related to the power issue.

2005 Dodge Cummins Scan Data | BARO Pressure Dropout

2005 Dodge Cummins Scan Data | BARO Pressure Dropout

Back at the shop I went over all the graph data I captured. I also noted that there were no engine codes. The three things I wanted to check after my test drive was to see if I maintained fuel pressure, had turbo boost, and no excessive exhaust back pressure. Going over my scan tool data PID graph data I could see all of this. I didn’t even need to do any hands on testing yet. Looking at the exhaust back pressure data PID indicated that I did not have an exhaust restriction. My fuel pressure sensor also confirmed that I did not lose much fuel pressure at the time of the abrupt power loss. The turbo boost pressure sensor showed a dramatic loss of pressure at the time of power loss. Now I have a place to start.

Was the PCM cutting the turbocharger? Was the turbo just going bad? Why would the PCM cut back the turbo charger? Did the PCM even have much control over the turbocharger on this truck? A lot of questions

Dodge Diesel | Plugged Cummins Airfilter

Dodge Diesel | Plugged Cummins Airfilter

that needed to be looked at. Looking over some more scan data I captured, I noticed that at the same time I loss power, my BARO pressure also dived. The BARO reading is normally pretty flat lined as outside air pressure doesn’t change very much very quickly. What would cause my BARO reading to drop out? Well a bad air restriction between the air intake and BARO pressure sensor would. I checked the air filter…….. Not often you see an air filter that is plugged bad enough to cause driveability issues as severe as this truck. Another one in the books.

Leave any questions or comments below. Thank you.

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Comments (23)

  1. James

    Thank you for posting this! My 05 has been doing the same thing. I was worried it was a fuel filter or a lift pump, but I wasn’t getting any errors. I went out and checked my filter box and my filter looked worst than the one you have posted and it was sucked up into the top of the housing.

  2. Kyle

    My truck is doing the exact same thing but I have a brand new air filter any ideas?

  3. kelly

    im having loss of power under loads and no codes,i switched to a k@n air filter and still having the problem

  4. mike

    Hi Travis..I have an 05..started having towing issues..use to pull good on hills now shifts down..LOW power loaded. Pulling 25psi and nuclear 1300/1400 or so, then I back out of it. No probs felt unloaded..lots of pwr. Still egts getting a bit high but cool right down, level at about 8-1000 degs at 120kms flat strech, and can spike my psi to 29/31 when i get on to it from the stop. I found a leak in the diaphram of my w/gate actuator..not too bad of a leak bad enough that I tried a mity vac and wont draw a vac. but do you think that this little bugger is wasting that much air at high load to loose approx 5psi of the boost?

  5. Danny

    Dewitz diagnostics thumbs up.03 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel loss of power at 2500 rpm.Your scan tool was right on the money with its graphing.I was having the same exact problem.Turned out to be a plugged air filter.Thanks

  6. Angel Nuno

    I have a similar issue, I replaced the air filter and threw on a cold air intake, brand new fuel filter. And still loosing power, yesterday was about to get on the freeway and truck shutdown, later that day truck shutoff again at a stop sign. Sometimes I lose power and sometimes the truck shuts off

  7. Angel Nuno

    Mr. Dewitz I replaced my air filter and put a new cold air intake, also put a brand new fuel filter on my 05 ram 2500, but I’m still loosing power, sometimes my truck shuts off on me while im the freeway or at a stop, it is not throwing any codes…..don’t know what could be

  8. I have an 05 cummins,just replaced the transmission with one out of an 06,the tranny was sitting in the snow and was pretty wet when I started the change out,

    After the swap I took it for a test drive and seem to only have half power, it behaves like I have a plugged air filter, but that’s not the case.
    It’s still driveable, just lacks the power to pass or tow.

    I’ve been reading up all over the interweb, and nothing seems to address my specific issue.

    Do you have any advise on how I should proceed?
    Please reply with the email address below.

    Thanks in advance for your time.

  9. Steven

    Having same issue as Angel Nuno, but noticed turbo isn’t working now. Has anyone figured out what is going on?

    • Michael Straney

      Steven what year is your truck, I have an 06, and I am experiencing loss of power above 1600 rpms, and no turbo boost, you mentioned filter and the fuel rail assembly I don’t see it. Would it be possible for you to post a picture?


  10. John

    I am having same issue. Thought was turbo now has new one didn’t fix. So used same scan tool as you did. Found rail pressure was good. Put fuel pressure on to check pump it was weak. Put new pump on. Still no help. Took ether sprayed around all hoses and around cooler did not make truck rev up any. Take it have no leek. But take any help. Thanks

    • Steven

      Ok I have fixed my problem , for now will update if any different, spoke with an old school diesel cummins mechanic and there is another type fuel filter that needs to be replaced and once I replaced this filter started working fine, gained power back and engine light went out and turbo charger started working again part no wix 24003. It is about 8 inches long and sits on rail. Watched YouTube video on it and you can just replace the filter inside but did not. will let yall no if have any more problems!

      • Brian Schmidt

        Can you send the link of the video? I am not finding it online. Thank you much

  11. David

    Is this second filter outside of rail log? Don’t see it on 05 3500

  12. Brad

    Thanks Steven. Issue just came up this morning. I will try that after I check my Air Filter.

  13. Much the same here on my early 2004 had new injectors done 5 years ago have driven very little since then towed light trailer over steep grade in Alaska towed great but coming into town noticed the torc converter was stuck open and cummins working hard at stop lights. Rebuild of transmission done upgrades on some parts. Drove fine 500 mile break in then towed light trailer immediately dropped fuel economy- then on grade it was working very hard power losses rpm gauge sticking at 12-1500 not shifting to get the power I’m used to… I’m at a loss for a cummins expert here in rural Alaska – I’m going to check the k&n and look into these fuel filters

  14. Aubrey

    I had same problem with loss of power, checked my intake manifold with soapy water at idle, sure enough, had an air leak around the main intake manifold gasket, replaced gasket and still got a leak, thinking head might be pitted, will look at that next.

  15. tim buescher

    My name tim I have 03 5.9 .I have high ET’s but steel have good boost @ 35psi

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