Article by Jim Sutherland
Preventative Maintenance on fleet vehicles is being talked about a lot these days. Especially when it comes to Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF’s) and how their cleaning and maintenance should be integrated into the maintenance schedule. A variety of factors can contribute to when DPF cleaning needs to be done, but all DPFs will need to be cleaned at some point. With that said, we wanted to discuss how often a DPF will need to be cleaned and the proper procedure for doing so.
How Often Does a DPF Need Cleaned?
The factors that contribute to how often a DPF will need cleaned are many, and they include the obvious things like mileage, gallons of diesel burned and the number of hours the motor has been running. However, there are other factors like the state of tune of the motor and service conditions that can significantly impact the intervals. Even factors like the quality of fuel being used can have an impact. The real answer to the question of how often a DPF will need to be cleaned is different for every vehicle.
One important thing to note about DPF cleaning is that it is different from an active or passive filter regen in the vehicle. While proper regen is important, it does not remove ash from the filter. Many drivers assume once the Regen button is pushed the soot dissolves and is pushed out the exhaust system. What truly happens is this ash will accumulate in the filter and reduce its effectiveness as time goes on. To properly clean a DPF, you will need to remove it from the vehicle and subject it to a proper full filter cleaning.
What is Involved in a Proper DPF Cleaning?
A proper DPF Cleaning will require the use of specialized equipment. Our system is unique in its process that utilizes high-pressure air to penetrate and knock loose the blockage of the cells (small channels containing the soot) and extreme suction to pulling the soot from the exact same cell. Depending on how loaded the filter is, it may also need to be exposed to baking process in a specialty oven. The oven exposes the DPF to very high temperatures to loosen the contaminants so they can be removed. Our shops will bake and blast every filter which will bring the DPF close to a like new state. A clean DPF will help your vehicles run cleaner and more efficient. This can not only save you money on maintenance, but can save you downtime and the much higher cost of a full replacement filter if the cleaning is neglected for too long.
To learn more about how often a DPF might need cleaned and understanding the proper procedures to clean and care for a DPF, please contact one of the pros in the CDS Network.