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VM Motori, oil, map, and GDE tune MPG

Tmckinney20

New Member
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2022
9
2
Truck Year
2018
I was reading about the lubricity issues with our eco diesel and decided to contact VM Motori directly. We all see FCA cannot be trusted. After a substantial conversation with the VM Motori guys behind the scenes on several occasions, it has been brought to my attention FCA has told us to put the wrong oil in our motors. A few years ago, FCA said to change to 5W40 diesel… well we did, but the representatives in Italy at VM Motori said they use 5W40 and 5W60 European oil in their engines in Europe, NOT the American HD diesel oil. They said it is too thick, causing mechanical issues and a drop in the mpg because the engine had to work harder. We have all read the engine failures!!

Over the past year and 40K miles, since I bought my 2018 ED, here is what I have done and learned. Including changing from HD Diesel oil to European as VM Motori suggested.

I installed a GDE tune. Slight increase in throttle response and towing, which is an added improvement. MPG increased about 2-3 from 20-22 to 24-26mps. Nice added bonus.

Then I began cleaning the MAP sensor at each oil change (5K, not the suggested 10/12K like FCA said). The clean carbon-free map sensor provides a greater reading to the computer, which gave me an extra few mpgs. As you drive it will clearly and slowly begin to drop because of the carbon build-up around the sensor. It takes a T-40, about 5 minutes to remove, clean, and reinstall. With both of these changes, I now run the turnpike between 26-28mpg.

Now for the big improvement. I began using the 5W40 Synthetic European oil (MS-12991) as VM Motori representatives said. MS-12991 same number as FCA calls for, just not categorized as “HD” but used in small diesel applications all across Europe. I have changed it three times over the past 17K miles. Instantaneously BIG difference, guys! The engine warms up better and works less to become just as efficient as before. Oil pressure comes up faster, engine oil temp and pressures are the same and it still idles, runs, tows, and navigates highway speeds as expected. I run between 65-70 mph. The European oil has increased the mpg by 2. I now run the turnpikes between 29-31 mpg without question. I have calculated it manually and using the dash computer. These numbers do not lie. It is basically a straight and level 80-mile drive one way that gives a very sound estimate for my trials. I run it weekly.

Don’t take my word for it. Do as I did. Do your own research. Look at the makes and models of European cars that run the VM 3.0 and the fluids they use. Skip the FCA world, FCA many mastered the Cummings but not the ED. FCA seems to consistently trip over its own feet when they are not backpedaling to get out of trouble. Go to the manufacturer and read their engine history, specs, and current application for the little motor. I was impressed. I truly believe if we follow their guidelines, we will see many miles out of our trucks.

Mine is a 2018 ED Laramie 4WD stock wheels and tires.

Other than this rear headliner water leak issue, I really have enjoyed this truck.
 

Gtblakely

New Member
Feb 27, 2019
9
0
Truck Year
2016
where are you purchasing your oil?

Also is you headliner water problem from your third brake light?.....if so i solved that by using a windshield seal flowable silicone around the third brake light..stopped it good
 

Tmckinney20

New Member
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2022
9
2
Truck Year
2018
where are you purchasing your oil?

Also is you headliner water problem from your third brake light?.....if so i solved that by using a windshield seal flowable silicone around the third brake light..stopped it good
I buy the oil from the local parts house. I use Valvoline 5w40 European Synthetic.

I replaced the third brake lamp assembly with an OEM Mopar lamp assembly. It did reduce the water flow, but not completely. I need to check the sunroof drains now. I was hoping to fix it without taking the headliner out. Still getting a damp liner after replacing the third lamp.
 
Last edited:

Gtblakely

New Member
Feb 27, 2019
9
0
Truck Year
2016
I buy the oil from the local parts house. I use Valvoline 5w40 European Synthetic.

I replaced the third brake lamp assembly with an OEM Mopar lamp assembly. It did reduce the water flow, but not completely. I need to check the sunroof drains now. I was hoping to fix it without taking the headliner out. Still getting a damp liner after replacing the third lamp.
my drains were also clogged and not hooked up right ( that one is on RAM!) after fixing that i still had dampness and like you I replaced the third brake light ( once again - so original plus two replacements) but this time I sealed it as i said earlier with a flowable silicone for windshield sealing and have had no more dampness or water intrusion into the cab.....knock on wood
 

GearHead

Active Member
Sep 13, 2016
357
122
Truck Year
2014
I was reading about the lubricity issues with our eco diesel and decided to contact VM Motori directly. We all see FCA cannot be trusted. After a substantial conversation with the VM Motori guys behind the scenes on several occasions, it has been brought to my attention FCA has told us to put the wrong oil in our motors. A few years ago, FCA said to change to 5W40 diesel… well we did, but the representatives in Italy at VM Motori said they use 5W40 and 5W60 European oil in their engines in Europe, NOT the American HD diesel oil. They said it is too thick, causing mechanical issues and a drop in the mpg because the engine had to work harder. We have all read the engine failures!!

Over the past year and 40K miles, since I bought my 2018 ED, here is what I have done and learned. Including changing from HD Diesel oil to European as VM Motori suggested.

I installed a GDE tune. Slight increase in throttle response and towing, which is an added improvement. MPG increased about 2-3 from 20-22 to 24-26mps. Nice added bonus.

Then I began cleaning the MAP sensor at each oil change (5K, not the suggested 10/12K like FCA said). The clean carbon-free map sensor provides a greater reading to the computer, which gave me an extra few mpgs. As you drive it will clearly and slowly begin to drop because of the carbon build-up around the sensor. It takes a T-40, about 5 minutes to remove, clean, and reinstall. With both of these changes, I now run the turnpike between 26-28mpg.

Now for the big improvement. I began using the 5W40 Synthetic European oil (MS-12991) as VM Motori representatives said. MS-12991 same number as FCA calls for, just not categorized as “HD” but used in small diesel applications all across Europe. I have changed it three times over the past 17K miles. Instantaneously BIG difference, guys! The engine warms up better and works less to become just as efficient as before. Oil pressure comes up faster, engine oil temp and pressures are the same and it still idles, runs, tows, and navigates highway speeds as expected. I run between 65-70 mph. The European oil has increased the mpg by 2. I now run the turnpikes between 29-31 mpg without question. I have calculated it manually and using the dash computer. These numbers do not lie. It is basically a straight and level 80-mile drive one way that gives a very sound estimate for my trials. I run it weekly.

Don’t take my word for it. Do as I did. Do your own research. Look at the makes and models of European cars that run the VM 3.0 and the fluids they use. Skip the FCA world, FCA many mastered the Cummings but not the ED. FCA seems to consistently trip over its own feet when they are not backpedaling to get out of trouble. Go to the manufacturer and read their engine history, specs, and current application for the little motor. I was impressed. I truly believe if we follow their guidelines, we will see many miles out of our trucks.

Mine is a 2018 ED Laramie 4WD stock wheels and tires.

Other than this rear headliner water leak issue, I really have enjoyed this truck.
Man I had to read this three of four times before I could formulate a response.
First and foremost, 5w-40 is just as thick in Europe as it is in the U.S. Just because your bottle says HD Diesel oil in 5w-40 it is not "thicker" than an automotive oil of the same weight. The difference is the additive package, detergent, ZDDP package, viscosity enhancer, etc. the base oil may be different, Base 5 for most synthetics. I will agree a lower viscosity oil (5w-30, 0w-30) will allow the engine to work less against internal parasitic losses. However the lower viscosity has to be replaced with added lubricity packages or higher Base oils (synthetic) as well as higher volume pumped oil to maintain surface tension to stop metal to metal contact. Additive packages are the be all and end all to performance of the oil that you use.

Second, your engine oil may use a lower Base oil or lower lubricity additive package if your fuel adds some lubricity of its own. Presently ULSD in the U.S. has less sulfur than European diesel, sometimes on the order a factor of 4 (less than 15ppm vs. 60ppm). As well the cetane number is higher in Europe, diesels version of octane rating.

Third. the claims of greater fuel mileage using this oil or that oil are reminiscent of the oil claims back in the 70's and 80's when there where massive differences in oils. Many not compatible with each other. At that time some of the claims were true some hypothetical, I remember Mobil 1 from the day claiming greater mileage, did not prove out for my vehicles, due to it being a total synthetic. In laboratory and real life engine testing the only way to get verifiable, repeatable increase in fuel mileage are from lower viscosity oils. Read the new gasoline engines recommended 0w-30 viscosity oil. This path also requires measures stated above as well a change in engine component materials. Tri-metal babbit bearings to aluminum bearings, chrome moly rings, stainless steel valves, hyperutectic pistons, etc.

Forth, the Euro oils you are recommending are automotive, read gasoline engine, oils with a completely different additive package than diesel engines require. Most automotive oils will not stand up in diesel applications, resulting in catastrophic failure of an engine. For many years the ZDDP package in diesel engie oils if it passes into the exhaust will kill the catalytic converter of a gasoline engine, yet the lack of ZDDP package in gasoline engine oils will cause major component failure in a diesel application. That is not to say that something may be found to replace the ZDDP package, chemistry is that way.

With that all said I use Rotella T6 5w-40 HD diesel oil and have used Valvoline Premium Blue in 5w-40, which has changed its formulation to cover diesel, gasoline, CNG engines with one formula. I use Oil Analysis on all my diesels (3) and the results are fairly similar except for one parameter, iron. All my diesels have shown a slight increase in iron in the oil after two cycles of oil changes with the Premium Blue. It is a good oil, is recommended by Cummins, but it's additive package is different from Rotella T.

I will agree that a greater increase will occur with proper regular maintenance of the MAP sensor. The EPA mandated emissions controls contribute to a fouling condition of the MAP sensor. Regular timely maintenance will allow any engine to fulfill its designed function. In newer engines you may not see any difference in fuel mileage or performance, but when I was driving a Chevy 1 ton van (mid 70's to 80's) to transport my professional racing motorcycles I would see a 1/2 mile per gallon drop in fuel mileage when I hit 3,500 miles, which was when I changed oil. So your blanket statement to quality, viscosity, appropriateness of oil for Europe and U.S. may not wash along with your experience with fuel mileage and engine performance. I can place my diesels with your experience as my wife's 2015 Jeep GC Overlander just changed oil at 211K miles, my 2014 RAM 1500 is at 179K miles, my 2014 RAM 2500 is at 259K miles. My wife's Jeep warms up twice as fast as my 1500 and the 2500 warms up fast as well, nature of the beast.

I agree that for the most part RAM can not be trusted as it seems that they are engineering by committee, I began using Rotella T6 5w-40 in my RAM 1500 upon purchase, a year before RAM/FCA changed oil recommendation, based upon my oil knowledge and experience. I changed each of me diesels upon purchase for the same reason. My GDE tune gave me the largest consistent mileage increase of anything that I have done to improve my engine performance. I noticed a drop in mileage this summer at the same time I noted a howling noise that I localized to the rear differential, upon inspection the pinion shaft bearings were bad and the carrier bearings were on the way. Yes I changed rear diff oil at 50K intervals and used the proper viscosity oil for the posi-trak (along with the front diff and transfer case). Once I completed the repair my previous fuel mileage returned.

Question? Is your oil pressure direct reading or from the dash? The dash reading is a computer computation of what your oil pressure should be based upon water temp, oil temp, engine rpm, and the oil viscosity programed into the ECM as a standard.

Enjoy your truck.
 

Tmckinney20

New Member
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2022
9
2
Truck Year
2018
Man I had to read this three of four times before I could formulate a response.
First and foremost, 5w-40 is just as thick in Europe as it is in the U.S. Just because your bottle says HD Diesel oil in 5w-40 it is not "thicker" than an automotive oil of the same weight. The difference is the additive package, detergent, ZDDP package, viscosity enhancer, etc. the base oil may be different, Base 5 for most synthetics. I will agree a lower viscosity oil (5w-30, 0w-30) will allow the engine to work less against internal parasitic losses. However the lower viscosity has to be replaced with added lubricity packages or higher Base oils (synthetic) as well as higher volume pumped oil to maintain surface tension to stop metal to metal contact. Additive packages are the be all and end all to performance of the oil that you use.

Second, your engine oil may use a lower Base oil or lower lubricity additive package if your fuel adds some lubricity of its own. Presently ULSD in the U.S. has less sulfur than European diesel, sometimes on the order a factor of 4 (less than 15ppm vs. 60ppm). As well the cetane number is higher in Europe, diesels version of octane rating.

Third. the claims of greater fuel mileage using this oil or that oil are reminiscent of the oil claims back in the 70's and 80's when there where massive differences in oils. Many not compatible with each other. At that time some of the claims were true some hypothetical, I remember Mobil 1 from the day claiming greater mileage, did not prove out for my vehicles, due to it being a total synthetic. In laboratory and real life engine testing the only way to get verifiable, repeatable increase in fuel mileage are from lower viscosity oils. Read the new gasoline engines recommended 0w-30 viscosity oil. This path also requires measures stated above as well a change in engine component materials. Tri-metal babbit bearings to aluminum bearings, chrome moly rings, stainless steel valves, hyperutectic pistons, etc.

Forth, the Euro oils you are recommending are automotive, read gasoline engine, oils with a completely different additive package than diesel engines require. Most automotive oils will not stand up in diesel applications, resulting in catastrophic failure of an engine. For many years the ZDDP package in diesel engie oils if it passes into the exhaust will kill the catalytic converter of a gasoline engine, yet the lack of ZDDP package in gasoline engine oils will cause major component failure in a diesel application. That is not to say that something may be found to replace the ZDDP package, chemistry is that way.

With that all said I use Rotella T6 5w-40 HD diesel oil and have used Valvoline Premium Blue in 5w-40, which has changed its formulation to cover diesel, gasoline, CNG engines with one formula. I use Oil Analysis on all my diesels (3) and the results are fairly similar except for one parameter, iron. All my diesels have shown a slight increase in iron in the oil after two cycles of oil changes with the Premium Blue. It is a good oil, is recommended by Cummins, but it's additive package is different from Rotella T.

I will agree that a greater increase will occur with proper regular maintenance of the MAP sensor. The EPA mandated emissions controls contribute to a fouling condition of the MAP sensor. Regular timely maintenance will allow any engine to fulfill its designed function. In newer engines you may not see any difference in fuel mileage or performance, but when I was driving a Chevy 1 ton van (mid 70's to 80's) to transport my professional racing motorcycles I would see a 1/2 mile per gallon drop in fuel mileage when I hit 3,500 miles, which was when I changed oil. So your blanket statement to quality, viscosity, appropriateness of oil for Europe and U.S. may not wash along with your experience with fuel mileage and engine performance. I can place my diesels with your experience as my wife's 2015 Jeep GC Overlander just changed oil at 211K miles, my 2014 RAM 1500 is at 179K miles, my 2014 RAM 2500 is at 259K miles. My wife's Jeep warms up twice as fast as my 1500 and the 2500 warms up fast as well, nature of the beast.

I agree that for the most part RAM can not be trusted as it seems that they are engineering by committee, I began using Rotella T6 5w-40 in my RAM 1500 upon purchase, a year before RAM/FCA changed oil recommendation, based upon my oil knowledge and experience. I changed each of me diesels upon purchase for the same reason. My GDE tune gave me the largest consistent mileage increase of anything that I have done to improve my engine performance. I noticed a drop in mileage this summer at the same time I noted a howling noise that I localized to the rear differential, upon inspection the pinion shaft bearings were bad and the carrier bearings were on the way. Yes I changed rear diff oil at 50K intervals and used the proper viscosity oil for the posi-trak (along with the front diff and transfer case). Once I completed the repair my previous fuel mileage returned.

Question? Is your oil pressure direct reading or from the dash? The dash reading is a computer computation of what your oil pressure should be based upon water temp, oil temp, engine rpm, and the oil viscosity programed into the ECM as a standard.

Enjoy your truck.
You make a good point, but I do not deal in claims or theories. As a post-doctoral researcher by profession, I deal with facts. As a stock truck, the mileage was uninviting. Cleaning the MAP created positive results. Adding the GDE created positive results. Changing the oil type from T6 to Euro produced positive results. Overall, the modifications ran the highway map from 21-22 to 30. I hit 31.4 on my trip to Tulsa the other day. I was surprised. These calculations are solely devised on hard numbers.

Now the chemical compositions of the oil, as you mentioned, may or may not have anything to do with the results. I simply do not know. That is not my forte. It sounds like you are much more knowledgeable than I am in that area. I agree that the weight of 5W40 overall is the same, leaving other added chemicals to be a prominent factor. I have read in a few areas where T6 in the Eds is not beneficial as it is in the Cumming engines.

On the other hand, one Chrysler Mastertech told me last year that the pressures vary between the heavy-duty Cummings and the light-duty ED and that the Rotella T6 is not designed to work in the Ed, although that is what FCA recommends using. He noted from experience that the Rotella would be more restricted due to the internal pressures that increased from lower or smaller tolerances (clearances) between parts, thereby making the oil less effective and causing bearing failures. Naturally, the cummings created higher pressures, but are the tolerances larger between parts greater than that of the ED? I spoke to him after I spoke to the motor reps in Italy. He basically validated their response. But again, it goes back to the oil composition question, what is making the MPG difference? The numbers are there in black and white.

Check out this link to Pennzoil; let me know your thought from your professional experience. I want to learn more about oils and their effects compared to T6. After you open the link, read the top section and then scroll down to

Pennzoil Platinum Euro SAE 5W-40

https://www.pennzoil.com/en_us/education/understanding-european-motor-oil-specifications.html

Oh, and the oil pressures…I did not know there was not a sending unit. Computer calculations…interesting. Leave it to Chrysler.

Travis
 

1shadowsabre

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2015
723
260
Truck Year
2015
Interestingly enough when you use the Pennzoil Product selector (in my case a 2015 RAM 1500 eco diesel 4WD 3.0) it says the recommended oil is Pennzoil Platinum Euro L SAE 5W-30 Full Synthetic Motor Oil which is not called out as being made from natural gas.
I am not an oil expert and I didn't know you could make oil from natural gas... fascinating!
 

GearHead

Active Member
Sep 13, 2016
357
122
Truck Year
2014
The internal clearance point that the mechanic eluded to is the same thing I was trying to keep simple when I talked about internal friction. As an owner of both a VM Motorati and a Cummins 6.7L and a engine machine shop owner, built my own racing engines, I can address the internal clearance aspect. The ED is an overhead cam design with roller cam followers and hydraulic lash adjustment, with a high redline rpm, for a diesel, just the basics. The Cummins is a push rod, flat tappet design with a normal redline rpm, for a diesel. Surprisingly enough both engines are classified as Medium Duty diesel engines. Internally bearing clearances are slightly different, compression ratios are close 16.5:1 to 16:1, of course bore and stroke are massively different. The internal oil pressure is different at different rpms. The Cummins has a higher pressure pump while the ED has a higher volume pump. The flat tappet cam style requires higher pressure as well as a robust ZDDP package, while the roller cam can get by on a much less robust ZDDP package. Both engines utilize additional oil jets to the bottom of the pistons for heat absorption, something developed in racing engines in the 60's and 70"s. An actual break down of internal clearances would be exhaustive for this forum.
The biggest difference between the two oils would be the additive package, which may or may not include a stiction component, allows a thin film of oil to remain on surfaces to aid in cold start up at its best to a massive parasitic drain at its worst.
Yes Pennzoil products have been produced from refining natural gas via a liquidification process, yet the base oil is rated the same, yet is claimed to be a cleaner product to start.
As I stated I have been using Valvoline Premium Blue 5w-40 full synthetic in the absence of the Rotella T6 product. The Valvoline product claims usability span of diesel, gasoline, CNG engines, which have been in the past mutually exclusive in additive package configuration. Chemistry changes. My oil analysis with the Valvoline product netted a gain in iron content in my oil after two oil change cycles, so with the return of Rotella back to the market I will be switching back.
My ED is a four wheel drive with 3.92 ratio posi-trak running 10ply Light Truck tires, and on my recent trip from Tulsa to Hinton I netted 25mpg at 75mph on cruise control with winter blend diesel. (Winter blend is a mixture of #2 and #1 diesel to allow for lower cloud point temperatures in diesel but also net a loss of 1 to 3mpg) I also hand calculate my fuel mileage as well as utilize a reporting system on my fuel card to verify.
It is apparent that you enjoy your truck, as do I. I hope that your experience continues to be positive.
 

Tmckinney20

New Member
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2022
9
2
Truck Year
2018
The internal clearance point that the mechanic eluded to is the same thing I was trying to keep simple when I talked about internal friction. As an owner of both a VM Motorati and a Cummins 6.7L and a engine machine shop owner, built my own racing engines, I can address the internal clearance aspect. The ED is an overhead cam design with roller cam followers and hydraulic lash adjustment, with a high redline rpm, for a diesel, just the basics. The Cummins is a push rod, flat tappet design with a normal redline rpm, for a diesel. Surprisingly enough both engines are classified as Medium Duty diesel engines. Internally bearing clearances are slightly different, compression ratios are close 16.5:1 to 16:1, of course bore and stroke are massively different. The internal oil pressure is different at different rpms. The Cummins has a higher pressure pump while the ED has a higher volume pump. The flat tappet cam style requires higher pressure as well as a robust ZDDP package, while the roller cam can get by on a much less robust ZDDP package. Both engines utilize additional oil jets to the bottom of the pistons for heat absorption, something developed in racing engines in the 60's and 70"s. An actual break down of internal clearances would be exhaustive for this forum.
The biggest difference between the two oils would be the additive package, which may or may not include a stiction component, allows a thin film of oil to remain on surfaces to aid in cold start up at its best to a massive parasitic drain at its worst.
Yes Pennzoil products have been produced from refining natural gas via a liquidification process, yet the base oil is rated the same, yet is claimed to be a cleaner product to start.
As I stated I have been using Valvoline Premium Blue 5w-40 full synthetic in the absence of the Rotella T6 product. The Valvoline product claims usability span of diesel, gasoline, CNG engines, which have been in the past mutually exclusive in additive package configuration. Chemistry changes. My oil analysis with the Valvoline product netted a gain in iron content in my oil after two oil change cycles, so with the return of Rotella back to the market I will be switching back.
My ED is a four wheel drive with 3.92 ratio posi-trak running 10ply Light Truck tires, and on my recent trip from Tulsa to Hinton I netted 25mpg at 75mph on cruise control with winter blend diesel. (Winter blend is a mixture of #2 and #1 diesel to allow for lower cloud point temperatures in diesel but also net a loss of 1 to 3mpg) I also hand calculate my fuel mileage as well as utilize a reporting system on my fuel card to verify.
It is apparent that you enjoy your truck, as do I. I hope that your experience continues to be positive.
I appreciate your breakdown of the details. I see the ED is being discontinued in '23. I am considering buying a new one this coming year. We just relocated to OKC this year from Florida. We run to Hinton to the casino for the Canyon Grill weekly specials; the steak is worth the drive. We have been driving around the state, deciding where to buy a place. Sold the farm in Florida, this subdivision life is for the birds! But yea, I really love the little diesel.
 
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