Cummins Engine Codes – Reading & Repairing

Reading Cummins ISX, ISM, ISL, ISB, & More

A lot of customers frequently ask how they can read Cummins engine codes. Cummins engines are popular in everything from the heavy duty class 8 trucks (semi trucks) all the way down to pick-up trucks. Quite often, customers have a check engine light on, and they want to know what to do. First of all, using any time of diagnostic information that the dash display gives you won’t help at all. If your truck is equipped with this feature, they often only return the MID/PID/FMI values. These are not what you are looking for. You are looking for the actual Cummins engine codes, or better known as flash codes. Engine codes can also be referred to as DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes).

Options for Reading Cummins Engine Codes

For commercial trucks (Think Kenworth, International, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Kenworth, Volvo, Mack), you are presented with a couple options. The “top shelf” option would be what dealers use — Cummins Insite. Cummins Insite is the annual based subscription program that is licensed to end users for 12 months at a time. Cummins Insite allows users to perform all functional tests, including injector disable, forced regen, VGT calibrations, reading Cummins engine codes and more. Cummins has recently expanded their policy on these licenses, and they come in two flavors — All years models or 2007 & newer models only. Cummins will generally issue a license for the 2007 & newer licenses to anyone. Obtaining a license for all years is more problematic. If you are a fleet, it generally isn’t a problem and Cummins wants happy customers. If you have a repair shop or mobile service, and don’t have a relationship with Cummins, it is nearly impossible. At any rate, you are looking at spending somewhere between $450 and $650 per year for Cummins Insite, depending on what state you live in. You will also need fast Internet speeds to download it from the Cummins Insite website, as it is over 1 GB in size, plus another 500+ MB for downloading updates once installed.

Another alternative for customers to read Cummins engine codes is to purchased an aftermarket program. The most popular program we sell is called PF-Diagnose, or PFD for short. PFD will read all engine codes, including both the MID/PID/FMI values and the actual flash codes. Another great feature of PFD is that if you have installed Cummins Insite (its a free download!), but don’t have an active license, you can still pull up the troubleshooting inside PFD. Simply double click the flash code, and PFD will launch the appropriate Cummins Insite Troubleshooting manual to help you out! PF-Diagnose is available for purchase from our website, and you can get it purchased, downloaded, installed, and licensed in less than 30 minutes.

Cummins engine codes inside PFD

Inside PFD when reading Cummins engine codes, you can double click the fault code to get diagnostic help from the Cummins manuals.


Cummins Engine Codes – How to repair them!

Reading the codes is only half the battle, as you need to know how to fix the DTCs that you have. Luckily with Cummins, several options present themselves.

One of the most popular options is our very own DTC Solutions. DTC Solutions is an universal program that contains not only Cummins engine codes, but codes for all the popular commercial truck engines and transmissions. As of March 2015, it currently covers Cummins, Detroit, Mack, Volvo, Allison, Eaton, Wabco ABS, Bendix ABS, International, and a ton more. With a low one time fee for a lifetime license, this program gives you concise, easy to read repair information on almost everything.

DTC Solutions shows all repair info for all cummins engine codes.

All of the Cummins engine codes are loaded in DTC solutions. Easily find repair information.

Another options with Cummins is to use the manuals from Cummins Insite as mentioned above. Even if you don’t have a license for Cummins, all of the troubleshooting manuals are included with the software and available for you to use.

Cummins has also released a free app for iPhone, called the Cummins QuickServe Mobile App. It is 100% free, and it has all the parts, engine code, and troubleshooting manuals for free!

One last solution is to purchase an online subscription for Cummins QuickServe. This is the master database that contains everything Cummins. Every parts breakdown, every manual, every Cummins engine code, and every piece of literature that Cummins has ever released. If you have less than 5 engines that you need information on, it is 100% free. More than 5, and you have to pay a fee by the week, month, or year.