Imagine this: One by one, the vehicles in your fleet are losing horsepower. You also realize their fuel economy is tanking. And what was that knocking sound in the engine?
You assess your fleet and realize at least half of your vehicles are severely underperforming and suffering from engine damage. You’re a busy fleet manager, and really don’t have time for this. Grudgingly, you bring the struggling vehicles to the shop for repairs.
Unfortunately, the shop tells you you’re going to have to leave your vehicles for several days – weeks even. Bad news for you; great news for the shop. You can see the dollar signs in the shop owner’s gleeful eyes as he gives you his preliminary diagnosis of repairs.
Meanwhile, you’re counting the dollars lost as the many vehicles from your fleet will now be off the road. When you woke up today, you didn’t intend to watch your bottom line crumble and fall apart.
A Dirty Diesel Particulate Filter is Time Wasted and Dollars Lost
It’s a fact: Diesel engines are going to emit exhaust. Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) are a necessary part of your vehicle thatcleans that exhaust.
But if yourDPF is dirty and has collected too many particulates, it won’t function properly. This leads toloss of horsepower, reduced fuel economy, filter damage, and engine damage – not to mention the downtime your vehicle will spend in regeneration.
Better to maintain your diesel particulate filters as you go than to take your vehicles out of commission for expensive repairs.
Can You Clean the DPF with the Regen Cycle Button?
You may have heard that you can clean your DPFs simply by hitting the vehicle’s “regeneration” button.
It’s true that the regen cycle is a necessary process that combusts particulate matter.
But you can’t rely on the regen cycle button alone.
Why?Some larger, noncombustible materials won’t be taken care of in the regen process, and will always be left behind. These larger particles build up from oil consumption and normal engine wear.
When these particles can’t pass through the filter, they can’t be turned to ash – so they just… stay put.
The back pressure that results is what leads to the decreased performance of your vehicle.
Bottom line: The regen cycle button is necessary. But the DPFs in your vehicles also need to be properly cleaned if you want to avoid reduced fuel economy and dollars lost.
Cleaning the Diesel Particulate Filters
The only way to properly clean the DPF is to actually remove it from the vehicle for a special cleaning process performed by qualified technicians.
So while regens are an important component to keeping your DPFs clean, you also need to schedule time for an expert DPF maintenance – one that can restore your DPF filters to nearly 90% or better.
Regular Maintenance of Diesel Particulate Filters
If you use the correct process to clean the DPFs, you’ll be able to restore them to close to new condition. This means you’ll get better fuel economy – which means each mile driven will cost you less.
In addition, you’ll also see:
- Increased performance
- Increased horsepower
- Fewer regenerations
- Less downtime
- Less money spent on maintenance
- Longer DPF life
- Increased intervals between cleanings
Staying on top of your DPF maintenance not only improves the performance of your vehicle, it saves you money and time.
How’s that bottom line looking now?
It’s Also the Law
Not only does proper DPF maintenance keep your vehicles running better for longer, it’s also the law to follow specific diesel emissions regulations. Many states are passing laws that require newer vehicles to be equipped with DPFs.
Stay on top of your vehicle’s DPF performance by following this maintenance cycle, following whichever variable comes first:
- Time – Every 12 months
- Mileage – Every 60,000 miles
- Oil consumption – Every 16 quarts
If you’re a fleet manager or fleet owner, you’ll want to make sure you completely understand the ins and outs of diesel particular filter maintenance so you can make the best decisions for your vehicles. Don’t put it off – you’ll be paying through the nose later if you do.
Visit FleetServ’s website to learn more and get started saving time and money through proper diesel particular filter maintenance.