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Cummins engines have been the industry standard for diesel-powered Dodge trucks for more than 30 years. Dodge trucks equipped with Cummins-powered engines are known for their reliability and power. Some models of engines can provide a massive 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

Even though Cummins-powered Dodges are built to last, sometimes components fail. If you experience poor acceleration or your Dodge struggles to maintain a high speed, your turbo may be starting to fail.

Several factors can cause your turbo to fail, but you can take measures to help prevent additional damage or failure. If you notice a drop in performance, you should bring your Dodge into Diesel Pickup Pros, where we specialize in Cummins-powered Dodge trucks.

Reasons for Turbo Failure

Since 2007 Dodge trucks have used a Cummins equipped with a Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT). A VGT has a few common causes that will cause it to fail. Below are the common reasons why the VGT fails and how to prevent it from happening:

Stuck Vanes

The vanes direct exhaust gasses through the turbine may get stuck. It will get stuck due to deposit build-up from carbon, soot, debris, and rust. Our technicians will clean the exhaust side of the turbo or replace it in case of complete failure.

Unison Ring

The unison ring controls the movement of the vanes. Corrosion, dirt, rust, and debris may form at the unison ring, which will prevent the vanes from moving. Turbo replacement is not common with this fault, and a good cleaning with a unison ring swap will fix the issue.

Failed Actuator

The actuator controls the relationship between the turbine blades and the sliding nozzle ring. There is a set cleaning interval for the actuator, which is often ignored. If the actuator fails, the entire turbo may need to be replaced.


When there is too much pressure, overspeeding may occur. The shaft receives more pressure than what it is designed for and causes damage to the turbo. Particularly the exhaust wheel.

The way to prevent overspeeding is to ensure that you keep the boost-to-drive pressure ratio as close to 1:1 as possible.


Debris is one of the leading causes of turbo failure. Outside objects generally damage the intake side of the turbo. A common way debris enters the turbo is by having a dirty air filter. Air filter replacement is a part of your factory scheduled maintenance. Replacing it is cheap and can prevent an expensive turbo replacement.


Dirty engine oil will cause excessive heat and wear on your engine and turbo. With low or dirty oil, you will have too much friction, and over time components will start to break.

When possible, you should use the exhaust brake. Using this feature regularly will help keep the surface of the sliding nozzle ring and the exhaust side of the turbo clean of rust, soot, and carbon.

Ensuring that you complete routine factory-scheduled and preventive maintenance will go a long way to ensure that your turbo will last. If you notice any of the symptoms above or need factory-scheduled maintenance come see us at Diesel Pickup Pros today.

Diesel Pickup Pros is Louisville’s #1 Diesel Dealership Alternative

Our experienced ASE-certified technicians specialize in servicing diesel pickup trucks with Cummins, Duramax, Mercedes, or Powerstroke engines. We Dodge Cummins Turbo Repair are equipped with the latest tools and technology to get you back on the road quickly. We can take on any job, no matter how big or small.

Diesel Pickup Pros is Louisville’s true dealership alternative. We offer all the same services, but without the cost and long waits. You should not trust your Dodge Cummins with just any diesel shop. We back our work up with our standard 24-month/24,000-mile warranty on all parts and labor.

Diesel Pickup Pros is your #1 diesel service center in Louisville, KY. We are also proud to serve the surrounding area of:

Our team of diesel experts is proud to be your one-stop shop for all your diesel services. We will provide you the top-notch customer care where we believe in honesty and quality. Experience the customer care that you deserve today. You can contact us by phone, in person, or make an appointment online today.

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