If you own a fleet of trucks, you're likely aware of the requirement that each truck be equipped with a DPF filter to prevent ash and soot from being released into the air. The ash, a byproduct of motor oil, gets trapped in the filter and has to be manually removed periodically. In most cases, you should remove the ash every 50,000 miles or once per year. Of course, many factors can affect this timetable. You may have to replace yours more frequently, or you may be able to get a little more time from yours. Following are three things that can affect the life of your DPF filter.
Type of Fuel Used
The type of fuel you use directly impacts that amount of soot produced by your engine. If you select a type of fuel that produces a lot of soot, you will shorten the life of your filter. When it comes to selecting fuel, pay close attention to the amount of sulfur in it. Look for diesel fuel that contains 15 ppm or less of sulfur. Fuels that meet this requirement are labeled ULSD or ultra-low-sulfur diesel.
Type of Oil Used
Like fuel, the type of oil you use can affect the life of your DPF filter as well. Engine oil that is low in phosphorus, ash, and sulfur is best. Oil that meets these standards is labeled CJ-4. Oil that's labeled CI-4 is an earlier version that meets EPA standards for that time period but does not offer the same benefits of the latter version. CJ-4 engine oil was introduced in 2007 and is now recommended for all vehicles regardless of when they were built, since it provides increased protection against heat and soot buildup.
Oil Change Frequency
The amount of time that elapses between oil changes can also affect the life of your DPF filter. If the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends oil changes every 6,000 miles, you should stick to the schedule faithfully. Old oil will produce more ash and soot than new oil, so not changing your oil can greatly affect the amount of residue that builds up in your filter.
As you can see, there are several things that can affect the life of your DPF filter. While you should have it cleaned or changed periodically, you don't want to have to do so more than is necessary. By using the right fuel and oil as well as changing your oil regularly, you can get the most out of your filter. For more information, contact a diesel truck maintenance expert in your area.