Cleaning your Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

Cleaning your Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

As with any filter, the job is to ‘filter’ or trap pollutants, and your DPF needs to be cleaned regularly, through a process called regeneration. Often this will require no action from you, the driver or operations manager, until the maintenance intervals, which may require a clean; or an exchange unit.

The regeneration of a Diesel Particulate Filter is the process of removing harmful diesel exhaust soot particles regularly from a diesel engine to maintain performance, through active, passive or forced regeneration.

Passive Regeneration occurs when the vehicles duty cycle and exhaust temperature drive the continuous oxidation of carbon. This typically occurs when the vehicle is driven at highways speeds under normal load. No actions are required by the driver in these instances. In linehaul operations, passive regeneration is expected to occur approximately 95% of the time.

Active Regeneration is required when duty cycles don’t generate enough heat to convert all of the carbon being collected in the DPF. The Engine Control Module will initiate an Active Regeneration in these cases by injecting a small amount of diesel into the exhaust stream which generates heat as it enters the filter. This additional heat ensures that excess carbon oxidises without any driver intervention, and will occur more frequently in vehicles with low speed, low load or stop and go duty cycles.

Lifecycle of your DPF. In linehaul operations, the maintenance intervals on your DPF could be up to 500,000km or 250,000 litres of fuel burn. Your engine will perform an Automatic Active Regeneration every 96 hours to clear any build-up of soot in the filter. When you notice that regenerations occur more frequently, this is an indication that your filter is approaching the cleaning maintenance interval. The filter will need to be removed from the vehicle for cleaning. Torquepower are also able to provide exchange units for a quick turnaround.

Initiating a Manual Active Regeneration can be triggered via a dash mounted switch in the cab. This is required on rare occasions (usually parked) due to unusual duty cycle conditions or when the DPF lamp lights to indicate the soot loading is increasing. There are occasions where a driver will switch off automatic active regenerations. This might include driving in off highway conditions that could cause a fire, or due to excessive engine temperatures when climbing steep terrain under heavy loads. This may result in the need for a Manual Active Regeneration at a later time.

For further assistance, Torquepower’s technical team are happy to be of service.

Torquepower has specialised in Cummins genuine parts and servicing since 1978