Regular maintenance of the DPF is crucial to prevent costly repairs and keep your fleet operating at peak efficiency. Most truck manufacturers recommend cleaning the filter every 150,000 to 300,000 miles. These numbers are generally overly optimistic and presume ideal operating conditions. The actual cleaning interval of DPFs can vary greatly depending on the driving conditions and the type of diesel fuel used.
Based on years of cleaning thousands of DPFs in our own shops, Filtertherm recommends servicing your DPFs at least once a year or 1,000 engine hours for high idle applications. Removing the ash regularly will help extend the life and performance of your fleet’s aftertreatment systems and engines. If hardened ash builds up in the DPF, it restricts the flow and often causes unnecessary engine issues or even filter failure.
Ultimately, the real-world driving conditions of each vehicle are the crucial factor when determining DPF cleaning for fleet maintenance schedules. Expect that trucks operating in stop-and-go traffic or high idling situations will need DPF cleanings at closer intervals.
Here are some indications that your trucks’ DPF may require cleaning:
- Increased Frequency of Regeneration: If your trucks are going through regeneration cycles more frequently than usual, it could indicate that the DPF is becoming clogged with soot and needs cleaning.
- Failed Regeneration Cycles: If your trucks’ DPF fails to complete regeneration cycles successfully, it could be an indication of damage or excessive clogging.
- Reduced Fuel Efficiency: A clogged DPF can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, resulting in higher operational costs for your fleet.
- Warning Lights: When the DPF warning light illuminates on your dashboard, it is a clear indication that the DPF needs immediate attention and may require cleaning.
- Engine Performance Issues: A damaged DPF can lead to reduced engine performance, including decreased power output, rough idling, and increased/black exhaust smoke.