Are You Sure That the DPF on Your Truck Is Working Properly?

Posted on: 23 January 2019

In order to answer environmental concerns, legislators continue to introduce rules that govern automotive pollution. In recent years, this has led to the introduction of the diesel particulate filter (DPF), which must now be fixed to any vehicles powered by a diesel engine to cut down on noxious emissions. Yet it's easy to overlook this filter once it has been fitted and expect that it will continue to function as expected, without any maintenance. This may be the case, but often it is not, so you should check the DPFs fitted to your trucking fleet as soon as possible. What should you be looking for?

Black Carbon

This filter is intended to catch exhaust gas particles as they are forced to flow through the internal filter. These particles, also known as black carbon, would otherwise escape into the atmosphere and are known to be harmful to human health. Some of the better filters on the market can capture the majority of these harmful particles, and once they are trapped, they will eventually be forced through a process of regeneration, either passively or actively.

How It Works

Some models may add a catalyst within the filter to help the heat from the engine's exhaust to get rid of the accumulated soot from within. Others may burn fuel to heat up the DPF, or they may use electrical power to achieve the same objective. These systems are monitored by sensors and are designed to pre-programme points at which the regeneration cycle unfolds.

Many trucks may also rely on something known as 'selective catalytic reduction', which uses a catalyst to convert nitrogen oxide into diatomic nitrogen and water.

What to Watch for

Problems may arise if the process of regeneration is not activated correctly or is poorly tuned. If soot is allowed to accumulate within the filter to a large degree, then it can severely impede performance. However, this process can be so gradual that the operator of the truck may not notice that anything is wrong until the issue becomes severe. In the meantime, they will undoubtedly suffer in terms of fuel consumption, as they will need to use a lot more diesel to travel from point to point due to this congestion.

Getting Checked

It's best to avoid any risks associated with a blocked diesel particulate filter. Society is very conscious of the need to control emissions, and if your truck were to fail a test, it could lead to bad publicity, together with the risk of a fine. Contact a company that handles truck repairs to learn more.