Should you clean or replace your DPF and EGR?

medium duty truck parts

Replacing medium duty truck parts is inevitable. Especially when dealing with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). It's a part with an efficiency that depends on how many times it gets cleaned. Your goal is to find a way to prolong the life of machine parts and find a way to save on replacement parts.

When faced with options of cleaning, replacing or deleting a DPF or even an exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR), the choice can be a difficult one. Let's take a look at DPF's and EGR's to consider the best options for efficiency.

What is a DPF?

A DPF is a medium duty truck part in the exhaust that collects soot to keep the air clean. It captures particles in a mesh net and reduces harmful emissions.

If you know all about your DPF, you have probably already had it cleaned. You should know that with each cleaning of a DPF, it reduces its “cleaning efficiency” by ten. By the third cleaning, your DPF operates no better than 70% efficiency and could be as low as 50%.

This means that while cleaning the part will save you money for a while the part will need to be replaced at some point. For that reason, when purchasing medium duty truck parts reconsider buying refurbished parts. A DPF that has been used will be behind the curve because it has already been cleaned. So your refurbished part already has a reduced efficiency before you even start. 

The DPF isn't the only medium duty truck part that can be cleaned to prolong its life, before needing a replacement. Another part that works closely with the DPF is the EGR. 

What is an EGR?

An exhaust gas recirculation valve also reduces emissions. It works by recirculating part of the exhaust gas back to the engine's cylinders. This prevents DPF failure because it sends gases away from the engine, making it run more efficiently. The main goal of an EGR is to reduce the amount of nitrous oxide running through the exhaust system.

The function of this part can cause it to become clogged and get stuck open or closed. When dealing with a clogged EGR, removing it, cleaning it, or cleaning sprays are an option, but the best thing to do is replace it.

What is Deleting a DPF or EGR?

Deleting a DPF or EGR is simply removing the part. Claims of increased efficiency or power have surfaced, but these claims are empty promises. Removing either part could save you money in the start because you won't have to buy a new one. It can cost you more down the line. Beware when considering this option because removing the DPF isn't strictly legal and you will be looking at some sort of offense. 

Clean, Replace, or Delete

At one point or another you will clean one of the two medium duty truck parts we discussed. Cleaning the DPF or EGR will save you time, but to be sure you have the most reliable truck parts you will need a replacement. No matter what you choose to do and when you choose to do it, go for the most reliable option. Be cautions of the idea to remove any parts. With reliable truck parts online save yourself the time and stress and do it right the first time. Give your trucks the treatment they deserve.

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Why Deleting Your DPF Is a Bad Idea

semi truck parts

Diesel particulate filters (DPFs), part of the selective catalyst reduction system, have been around since their first introduction in the '80s, first in non-road machines and later in large road vehicles. Emissions testing, introduced and made more strict on account of concerns regarding pollution and air quality degradation, has necessitated the installation of DPFs on virtually all diesel engines.

Though these semi truck parts are not meant nor permitted to be removed, a large market for their removal has developed already. Though it may be tempting to circumvent the extra maintenance and get a little extra power from your truck, consider these factors before you decide to delete your DPF.

It is illegal

While the frequency and stringency of emissions testing can vary geographically, the U.S. Clean Air Act and Canadian Environmental Protection Act render the deletion of diesel particulate filters illegal. While these truck parts may be a nuisance, removing them is punishable by law.

Unfiltered truck exhaust is extremely harmful to the environment, releasing large amounts of soot that can then damage the lungs of anyone who inhales the particulates. Wall-flow DPFs are very efficient at particulate removal, typically scrubbing between 85% and 100% of the soot the combustion process produces. New filters, performing optimally, can facilitate the release of as little soot as a thousandth of a gram per kilometer.

It only provides marginal improvements in efficiency

Naturally, any semi truck parts or medium duty truck parts which restrict airflow will reduce the power and efficiency of the engine. However, a well-maintained DPF will only reduce your vehicle's mpg by a few miles -- nothing worth the pollution its removal would create.

They are not as hard to clean as you think

Yes, DPFs, just like any machine parts, need to be maintained. This can involve removing and power washing them, or replacing them entirely. A thorough cleaning and baking of the DPF will remove roughly 70%-90% of the plugged ash in the device -- if this is performed regularly, you can get many miles on your truck before you have to buy another.

Additionally, as the technology in light, medium, and heavy duty semi truck parts improves, the frequency of this required maintenance is decreasing over time. Some new vehicles come with Parked Regeneration, allowing them to burn off excess particulate buildup without having to travel at high speeds.

If your DPF is looking like it needs to be replaced, make the responsible choice for the environment and give BIG Machine Parts a call today!

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