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Emisssions DPF Cleaning

If you’re as old as me born in the late fifties you’ll remember the Mr. Clean commercials way back. The housewife stating “Mr. Clean you’re a good man to wake up to”. I’m stretching my neck out a little stating that we use this product to clean all the soot and tar off of the diesel particulate filters.

The school bus diesel covered in this video is the second one we’ve done and Mr. Clean dissolves all of the particulate matter off of the filter and so far both buses that have gone through this cleaning process are still out there running without engine codes. Both DPF components were sent up to the dealer for cleaning and both times they came back to us with a failing grade for re-use.

A renewed DPF is between 700 and 800 dollars. What I mean by renewed is they’ve been cleaned and repackaged ready for resale. These filters fail the flow test if the inches of water level is too high. So we thought to ourselves why not take back the failed DPF and soak it over night or over the weekend wash it out and stick it back into the bus?

The flow improved drastically after our cleaning by 3 psi according to the software’s readings on a road test. The first diesel we cleaned up used to code out every day and go into an engine derate. The driver would have to pull off the highway and cycle the ignition key to reset the code until it decided to pop up again.

If we can get the restriction between the inlet and outlet of the DPF under 3 psi from 5.7 psi using 5 bucks worth of Mr. Clean why not use it on the rest of the fleet. With my calculator I found the estimated cost would run into the thousands of dollars yearly to keep our fleet of emission sensitive diesel engines on the road with dealer testing and replacement cartridges. With a simple household cleaner and 2 DPF housing gaskets plus half a day of labour….we’re sticking with this maintenance program.

To sum up the standard cost of servicing the DPF:

Parts replacement – DPF cartridge $800.00

Dealer Cleaning $300.00 to $500.00

Our system – around $200.00 but it works! (most of the cost here is for the 2 DPF housing gaskets that can only be purchased from the dealer). I have nothing against the big environmental clean emission program but the cost to keep an emission controlled diesel engine on the road is going through the roof especially if you’re running a fleet of vehicles.

It’s marketing obviously because the core charge if you purchase a new DPF cartridge is $2500.00 so the dealer gets it back for servicing and resale. I would not want to be one of the engineers that were told to develop an emission system on a diesel engine that had to reburn all the scummy byproducts of combustion using the intake system.