Diesel particulate filter fleet maintenance options and risk assessment

Diesel particulate filter fleet maintenance options and risk assessment

Diesel particulate filter (DPF) problems will cause an engine to lose power, have a lower fuel economy, cause poor throttle responses and can make a truck’s engine harder to start. These issues can limit engine performance and prevent the truck from moving. When trucks are not in service neither is your business.

DPF preventative maintenance is the key to maximizing on-highway time. As part of a regular preventive maintenance program, DPF management can be handled through four options: cleaning the filters in-house, cleaning utilizing a service provider, filter exchange programs, or replacing with OEM or aftermarket new filters.

Issues such as faulty injectors, internal engine oil leaks or internal coolant leaks can cause severe damage to the DPF that requires service or replacement of the filter. These faults can also be masked by the DPF and may remain undetected until the DPF just has had enough and fails. To get the most performance out of the DPF it’s important to follow the truck manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and make sure the DPF system is functioning properly.

Today, most fleets schedule DPF inspection as part of their regular maintenance programs and as a general rule of thumb recommend a cleaning around 250,000 miles or less depending on harshness of duty cycle. By doing this the result is less downtime and fewer unexpected DPF service surprises. Bottom line improper maintenance of the DPF can lead to engine malfunction or breakdown, non-compliance with air pollution laws and expensive repairs.

One thing for sure is there continues to be a lot of market noise around what is the most cost-effective DPF maintenance program for the fleet operation. Regardless of the maintenance program employed for handling DPFs, an analysis is critical to understanding the full cost of an aftertreatment program.

An alternative to cleaning is always to replace the filter with a new unit. New replacement of the DPF may be the most cost-effective solution, depending on the overall cost of the aftertreatment program for the fleet. It’s important for the Fleet to completely understand the advantages that a new replacement unit from Durafit provides the Fleet. Clearly the surefire solution for the Fleet is to minimize downtime, reduce risk and maximize profits.

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