A clean sell: Providing DPF cleaning

Management Lucas Deal August 22, 2013

Cummins DPFFor the service providers out there, what do you offer in your preventive maintenance package? Do you include diesel particulate filter (DPF) cleaning?

If you don’t, it’s not a bad idea to consider adding it.

Most DPFs in use in North American trucks today can be cleaned in an hour or less. The process is predominately automated, and OEMs, DPF manufacturers and independent suppliers all have DPF cleaning equipment on the market.

But the simplicity of the task isn’t the only reason to offer it.

DPF cleaning is a necessity to keep heavy-duty trucks on the road, and there’s a market for service providers who can do it well.

Effectively cleaning a DPF and its associated parts during preventive maintenance stops will increase the life of the filter, help keep the engine running smooth and minimize breakdown risks in the future.

A service provider who can offer that during PM has a leg up on its competition. DPFs don’t need to be cleaned during every PM stop, but being able to do so when necessary can add value to your service department.

Most DPFs in service today require cleaning every 200,000 to 250,000 miles.

The first step in cleaning one is to visually inspect the filter housing and associated components for visible wear or damage, says FSX Inc., a heavy-duty DPF cleaning services company.

A well-kept DPF can last through several cleanings but a DPF must operate at 100 percent to be effective. David McNeill, parts and service manager at Cummins Emissions Solutions, says a DPF should be “inspected and verified suitable for re-use” before cleaning, and that any DPF found to operating incorrectly or damaged should be replaced.

McNeill says DPFs that are improperly cleaned or not cleaned at OE-recommended intervals are most likely to require replacement, while filters cleaned at proper intervals “result in improved DPF reliability and durability, as well as reducing the likelihood of frequent regenerations and associated downtime.”

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