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 core 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 (65)

  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.

    • Darcy

      Darcy here again… been driving my truck over a year with no power! The waste gate diaphragm comment may be a lead for me but otherwise I’m still flabbergasted!
      Thus sucks, I have no plumbing leaks, and I’ve brought it to a few shops with no luck…. hate to bring it to the dodge dealer but without any other options I guess I have no choice… still getting codes telling me my shift position sensor is an issue.. but I hAve 2 and have changed them out then rebuilt one and still no power….. maybe time for a new truck! But I can’t sell this thug running like this…. it’s not fair to pass thi problem on… especially because I’m the guy everyone brings their broken junk to for repairs
      I welcome any comments or advice
      Thanks in advance

  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

      • Luke

        Hey Steven, This is Luke. I’ve been reading the forum s that you posted on the 2005 Dodge Ram trucks with a loss of power. I’m having the same problem and I’m stuck 1400 miles away from home with a load on back. This thing has no guts at all. Can you please send me the link on the YouTube video for finding and replacing this filter (Wix 24003) which no one even seems to know anything about it.. I can’t see it on the fuel rail. Please direct me to the proper location of this filter. Thanks in advance.. Luke..

        • Leo Beeman

          I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9 Cummins Diesel 6 speed standard shift. My Cummins Engine surges like a gas engine that has bad plugs. I drove 250 miles today towing a boat with pickup camper with it surging practically all the way. At 1900 rpm 59mph sometimes it would run perfect. Then when I pushed on accelerator for more power it would start surging again. It would then be hard to find the right spot for perfect performance. I had a diagnostic computer put on it and the mechanic said it didn’t throw any codes. I had changed fuel and air filter before I took this trip.
          Does this standard shift have a throttle positioning sensor?

  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.

    • semih coskan


  15. tim buescher

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

  16. Eric

    have an 05 cummins 24v losses power after couple hours of hauling and can’t here turbo working when does this.acts like it’s over heating and shuts down.have to let sit a few minutes than takes while to get it started again,but runs fine again for little while after get it restarted.while in park can rev it up and sounds weak takes rpms a minute to drop back down they just bounce around till back to steady idle.juss figued id start askin around make sure it ain’t any easy fix before payin shop a couple grand to fix it

    • jon

      My truck does exactly the same thing. If you have located the problem i would appreciate a note with details. Thinking its just too old. Need new truck but unemployed due to poor market conditions. Thanks in advance

  17. I have a dodge 05 5.9 3500 with 5″ exhast straight through, 66/80 turbo, 4″ cold air, stage 3 transmision, gt bullydog programer. around 28 miles in the ride i get a over boost check engine no power. help

  18. Michael Miller

    I’m having the same problem..lost of power I got an engine code p-0483 and it said it was the fan clutch….change it out and it still doing the same thing…and the engine code still on…is there any answer

    • Darcy

      I still have the issue, I’ve learned to live with it, but no towing that sucks…
      It’s almost like there’s a fuel restriction, my issue surfaced when I changed my transmission.
      I had the clutch fan code too, and some referencing the tranny shift power module or something like that. It has to be something stupid that everyone is overlooking.
      Will someone please solve this issue please.

      • you have no power at transmission from trans relay causing trans not to drop into first gear nor interface with ecm. check for voltage and ground and tran from relay. Prolly non coming out of tipm.

      • Don Petty

        Thank you, Iwas pressuretesting, fuel rail, fuel line on a 5.9l Cummins. After I read this post I did a manifold pressure test, reading -.27 psi so I figured that was cutting out the turbo. Boom! replaced air filter and fuel filter (even tho it was fine at 12.3psi). ALL the power is there! Burning rubber! Turbo screaming power! Thanks man, I was so worried it was gonna be the Lift pump, haha!

  19. derek

    I put a new turbo on and the turbo leaks after a 45 minute drive the turbo quits and engine light comes on..I let it sit overnight and it turbo works again with no engine light but still lags up until 30 to 40 mph

  20. Tommy

    Hey I’m TOMMY2001 and I have the same problem on my 98 dodge 5.9 and I’m replacing the ejector pump because I think it’s the computer board on the pump so I’m going to replace the ejector pump. It’s expensive 1,500.00 but I’ll let everyone know tomorrow. U wi some and u loose some but what the hell.

  21. Chad Harrison

    Same problems as stated above. My truck is an 06 Laramie 3500 Crewcab Automatic Transmission/floor shifter on 4×4 with 131k miles. Bone stock and my air filter look exactly like the one pictured…..So I just bought a S&B Cold air set up. Installing Now with fingers crossed.

  22. Brad

    My issue was air leaks with the hoses…make sure connections are secure and proper…..fixed the no power issue…..did not have shifting issue
    2005 Ram 2500 5.9 99k miles

  23. lee

    05 5.9 blowing serious oil out blowby tube misses at an idle but clears up when fueled no codes

    • lee

      lee again 05 runs outta of fuel at half a tank started this at same time truck began running bad

  24. Jackie sims

    A 2004 2500 6cylinde in Line Dodge. At hallf throttle smoke bad and will not except fuel

  25. I have an 06 Dodge cummings. Never had a towing problem until this weekend. Towing trailer 9K lbs. No problem going up hill, however later that afternoon, stalled when I attempted to pass someone (on a straight rode), RPMS jumped up to 3,000 but would only do 50 mph. Without trailer no issues….the following day, was pulling a boat, 3klbs), was okay for about an hour. I pulled over to fix something shutting off the engine. When I restarted, the RPM’s went to 3,000 and would not accelerate past 40 MPH. Had my buddy pull the boat, and the truck performed beautifully…any ideas.

  26. Darcy

    My problem started when I changed out the transmission, it’s still there today it’s been 2 years…
    I have 4″ exhaust from the turbo back… NO catylitic converter to plug off, I have no intake leaks or other obvious issues to speak of.
    Remains a mystery to this very day, definatly something spooky!
    If you guys have anything else to add, I’m looking forward to it…

  27. Scott Little

    I have a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 with 5.9L Cummins engine….about 150,000 miles. After many years of perfect service, it was suddenly very hard to start and had very little power under any load. The lack of proper engine power also caused the automatic transmission to shift erratically. I replaced the main fuel filter, it was covered in a black deposit! Slight improvement. I replaced the air filter. It looked just like the one pictured at the beginning of this article, all crumpled up and sucked out of shape. No change in the problem. I removed the fuel pump module from the fuel tank and found the real problem. The two screens on that unit were both clogged totally with black gunk. I removed the plastic screen on the bottom of the module and cleaned it thoroughly. But the other screen is a wire mesh thing that is embedded in the bottom of the cup-shaped lower part of the module. I could not figure out how to get that assembly apart so I just used a clipped-off acid brush and brake cleaner to scrub all the black stuff off that wire screen and flush it all out of the “cup”. That solved my problems perfectly. The engine now develops full power and will do so for any sustained period I desire.
    I got access to the fuel tank module by cutting a 13″ x 13″ square hole in the bed of the truck, which I later repaired using screws and a homemade steel frame that supports the cutout piece. For me that was easier than dropping the tank.
    This black stuff might be “diesel algae” which has plagued other diesel engines I own in the past. But I did not find large blobs of it in the fuel tank as I have on my tractor and track loader. Anyway, I added some “fuel saver”, an antimicrobial agent to the fuel tank.

    • Robert M.

      Thank you for your input Scott. I am having a very similar issue and am going to change the FCA tomorrow and then if that doesn’t change anything, I will be looking to the lift pump.

  28. Roger shannon

    I have and 04 dodge 5.9 L Cummins put a new fuel pump on it Injectors and still will not go over 2000 rpm

  29. tony

    i have a 2001 dodge ram 2500 with a 5.9 cummins it will ideal but wont rev up what could be wrong with it? i replaced the fuel pump in the tank and replaced the fuel injector pump and the computer..dont know what else to check hope you can help.

  30. Kareem

    Nice piece. I would also like to add one more note though. If you visit a web page such as you should come across a lot more news on this exact same subject. This post has a lot to say concerning subjects of interest to almost anyone who might be searching the Internet for additional facts on the very same topics you talk about here. Highly recommended that you check it out.

  31. Chip

    Thank you for this post! I’ve never seen an air filter do this before either, but mine had also. Reading you post saved me $$$$! Thank you! I like you was thinking everything else. Never thinking to look at the filter gauge! It was also trying to tell me!

  32. Jose de Leon

    So It looks like I am having the same issue as the one described,but I even went to the extreme of removing my S&B filter and running it with out it and it did not help the issue at all. I really notice the issue when the ambient temp is below 60 degrees. When it is hot outside it does not do this, if it does it is not noticeable enough for me to complain about it.

  33. dave

    2000 frightliner mt 45 with a Cummings 5.9 24 valve wont go over 25 every time it try to shift it downs shifts to the 1st or 2nd gear changed turbo main harness trans harness (red) power and grounds all good to grey harness all fuse good ant ides

  34. Robert Sayles

    I was experiencing same power loss as explained by the technician in this article. I’ve always maintained clean air filter since my 2003 Ram 2500 5.9 was new and was experiencing power loss with new air filter. Truck was not setting any codes. However, I was told by an old diesel “guru” back in 2003 not to mess with fuel “filters” until they failed because of how difficult bleeding them would be and potential for leaks (like old dieseltractors). So, as of January 2022 (130,845 miles) I had never replaced original fuel filter. I guess ignorance truly is bliss. After watching some utube videos on replacing fuel filter on 2003 5.9 Cummins I decided it was worth a try. Long story short, I drained fuel filter bowel,pulled out original fuel filter, cleaned fuel filter bowel, installed new fuel filter (Wix) and my power loss issue was resolved. The truck runs great again. Hopefully this information is helpful to someone.

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