Cleaning Your Diesel Particulate Filters

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Determining when to clean your diesel particulate filter, or DPF, is a crucial part of keeping your trucks running at their best. Not every DPF should be cleaned at the same intervals. Depending on the normal routes of the trucks, long haul or local pickup, and the normal idle hours, your DPF may need to be serviced every 300,000 miles.  With more idling or local pickups and deliveries, the intervals should be more frequent.

Clogging of the DPF is mostly due to ash from the engine oil. Another clogging culprit is when carbon bakes on and will not burn up. These contaminants form a pattern around the outside edges clogging the DPF. You may start to notice a difference in vehicle performance if the filter becomes clogged with these contaminants. 

There are a few methods available for cleaning your DPFs.  One method is to use liquid and air to blast our the ash and carbon. This method is used by remanufacturing centers with the appropriate tools. Another Method involves an air nozzle, rotating the DPF while blasting each channel individually and catching the ash with a suction device. Baking the DPF for a few hours is another method that will loosen the carbon deposits. A technician can test the DPF to ensure it is clean enough to reinstall in the vehicle. 

Pulse cleaning is a method that forces air through the DPF one burst at a time. Filters ensure that the ash does not escape the machine into the environment. It will capture the ash in a manner that allows for easy and safe disposal. 

It is best to consult with the manufacturer of your DPF unit to ensure the method you use does not void your warranty.

Owning a DPF cleaner benefits fleet owners who no longer have to be held captive to the hours a service center is open. Depending on the number of trucks in your fleet, hours of operation and type of use, it may be more economical to purchase a DPF cleaner instead of outsourcing the jobs. Owning your own DPF cleaner can make you more proactive when it comes to cleaning your DPFS before a warning light indicates a problem. 

For more information on the OTC DPF cleaner available at Unique Truck Equipment click here