New drivers in the trucking industries or even non-drivers that are buying medium to heavy duty trucks to add to a company shipping or delivery fleet often hear or read a lot of misinformation. In Texas, as in other states where trucking is a big industry, misinformation or myths about diesel particulate filter cleaning are very common.
Unfortunately, some of these myths can result in additional costs of cleaning or even more serious repair requirements. Getting to the bottom of these issues and understanding the reasons why diesel particulate filter cleaning is required and why it is essential will clarify these issues.
Myth: Cleaning recommendations can be ignored
Initially, in 2001 when the new emission standards came out requiring all diesel trucks on the road by 2007 to use diesel particulate filters, truckers were concerned about the cost and the downtime of the process.
This may be more than slightly to blame for the ongoing belief that the cleaning recommendations, which are typically once a year to once every 300,000 miles depending on the model and the truck, can be ignored. It is important to check as the typical recommendation for most trucks will be 50,000 miles.
Newer models of medium to heavy duty trucks may have dashboard indicators that notify drivers as to the schedule for cleaning as well the current condition of the filter.
Myth: Cleaning facilities always try to sell a new DPF
With routine, scheduled diesel particulate filter cleaning, most filters will last for years even with continual driving. Driving the vehicles will help to burn off the captured particulate matter during regeneration or through passive cleaning, depending on the system.
In the process of DPF cleaning, the retained soot and ash is blown or washed out. This process will take about an hour to an hour and a half to complete. If the filter is damaged, there may be the need for a replacement, but this will depend on the condition of the filter at the time of cleaning.