Detecting the best intervals to perform the maintenance of the diesel particulate filter is still very complicated for fleet companies, since it depends on many factors. Even if no fleet company wants to perform excessive maintenance on their vehicles and their parts, being proactive regarding DPF maintenance will ensure that they properly work, and avoid the accumulation of dust in the DPF. It’s a great approach in a long-term basis. Three ways to extend lifespan of the DPF while being ahead of this part buildup are:
1- The fleet can try to use biodiesel on their vehicles
According REG (Renewable Energy group), a significant supplier of this type of biofuel, by using biodiesel the amount of particulate emitted by the vehicle is smaller than the emissions generated by using petroleum diesel. The company affirms that the oxygen in biodiesel generates a more comprehensive combustion and by the other hand, the production of soot is the half of the amount generated by the petroleum diesel.
2- The fleet can consume low-ash engine oil
Only 1% of the volume of CK-4 engine oils contain ash and do not include phosphorus neither zinc in the additive package. This is very good, since both elements can be responsible for part of the accumulation of ashes in the diesel particulate filter. Usually, by consuming CK-4 oils during a 10 to 20 hours period of operation of the vehicle, only 1 millimeter of ashes is accumulated with this type of oil.
Companies should avoid consuming cheap oil since the DPF can end up facing the consequences by accumulating more ash or even leading to the oxidation of diesel on the DPF face and catalyst.
3- Fleets’ vehicles can preheat their engine with a coolant heater
When the diesel engines’ vehicles perform a cold start, a great amount of unburned fuel passes across the exhaust system. Webasto, a systems supplier for the automotive sector, conducted research on diesel fried engine coolant heaters. They found that the soot decreases 66% if the engine coolant is warmed to 165 degrees before starting the engine at ambient temperature of 40-degrees. At 70-degree ambient temperature the soot is reduced by 27%.
Besides other benefits, like preventing the cold and avoiding an overload by heating up the DPF, when using a coolant heater to preheat the engine, they detected a large reduction on preventive maintenance.