ECO Fuel Systems Shares - What Fleet Managers Need to Know About Diesel Particulate Filters

Diesel engines built Jan. 1, 2007 and thereafter are required to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) particulate matter (PM) emissions, also known as soot.

San Francisco, CA, February 25, 2015 --( What exactly is a diesel particulate filter and how does it work? Diesel Particulate filters (DPF) or 'traps' do just that, they catch bits of soot in the exhaust. As with any filter they have to be emptied regularly to maintain performance. For a DPF this process is called 'regeneration' – the collected soot is burnt off at high temperature to leave only a tiny ash residue.

Regeneration occurs when un-burnt or dirty fuel activates the engines computer and tells it to trap the resulting soot. How often does active regeneration occur? Idling or stop and go driving may require active regeneration every 300-400 miles. What happens if the driver ignores warning indicators? Failure to alter the duty-cycle or initiate manual regeneration will cause engine to lose power and eventually stall out the engine, which could cause an accident, failure to follow maintenance guidelines may cause a fire.

Overtime the trapped soot builds up inside the filter and clogs it. There are two types of diesel regeneration.

1. Passive regeneration takes place automatically on motorway or fast A-road runs when the exhaust temperature is high. Because many cars don't get this sort of use vehicle manufacturers have had to design-in 'active' regeneration where the engine management computer (ECU) takes control of the process.

2. Active regeneration is when the soot loading in the filter reaches a set limit (about 45%) the vehicle's ECU will initiate post combustion fuel injection to increase the exhaust temperature and trigger regeneration. If the journey is too short while the regeneration is in progress, it may not complete and the warning light will come on to show that the filter is partially blocked.

A DPF is designed for long life, eventually the accumulated ash must be removed by special cleaning equipment. What is the typical cycle for the DPF before it needs to be cleaned? Idling or stop and go driving may require monthly maintenance, in over the road driving manufacturer estimates range from 100,000 to 150,000 miles.

One thing’s for sure: replacing the DPF is not cheap ($2,500 or more) and will result in performance problems and cost issues incurred by downtime for the repair.

How can a diesel engine owner reduce DPF maintenance?

1. Fuel; use a low sulfur diesel fuel.
2. Use CJ-4 oil that was designed for 2007 and newer diesel engines with a DPF. Using older CI-4 oil may contribute to the clogging of the DPF and may void an engines warranty. Change Oil change intervals should be done as recommended.
3. The ECOFuelMaximizer is a low cost (<$400) patented and proven aftermarket inline fuel vaporizer that can reduce soot build up and regeneration cycles by reorganizing the molecules in fuel helping the fuel burn cleaner. A Cleaner burning fuel results in less soot.

The ECO Fuel System team has been a leader in reducing Carbon Pollution and Fuel Consumption since 1999. If you or anyone you know is interested in reducing DPR maintenance and saving money call or email for the latest updates.
ECO Fuel Systems
Cindy Trueson
(866) 374-0002