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predictive DPF maintenance: crystal ball

Predictive maintenance on your diesel engines saves big money on downtime and repairs

Apr 4, 2017

Operating an emission compliant fleet has become a financial burden for many companies. This is due in large part to constant failure of Aftertreatment components, and on-going DPF failure. Managing a modern fleet requires a new perspective on maintenance, and a complete understanding of how Aftertreatment works.

DPF maintenance today

The most common problem that fleets deal with is constantly having to clean a plugged DPF. Most fleets drive with plugged DPFs until catastrophic failure causes a breakdown or the engine de-rates. Even at best, fleets are proactively pulling and cleaning DPF’s on an annual schedule. Annual DPF maintenance might help prevent most sudden breakdowns. The problem with annual cleanings is that you might be cleaning a filter that still has usable life on it, or the DPF might fail before its scheduled maintenance cleaning.

DPF maintenance: (un) avoidable

Did you know that a DPF is supposed to last 5,000 hours (app. 225,000 miles) before needing maintenance?

There is a better solution: Diesel I.O. consists of 2 main services, designed to maximize fleet efficiency and reliability:

  1. Diesel I.O. Duty Cycle Programming
    Make sure that your trucks’ ECM’s are properly set for the type of work your trucks do. This allows the Aftertreatment system to work properly, and for regens to effectively clean the DPF. Duty Cycle Programming improves efficiency and performance, without violating CARB/EPA standards or your original engine manufacturer warranty.
  2. Aftertreatment Predictive Maintenance

    Learn how to accurately diagnose and repair issues before they cause expensive progressive damage. Learn how to:

  • analyze turbo efficiency and remaining life
  • determine DPF health
  • only clean a DPF when it needs it-before it plugs
  • determine DOC health
  • predict/prevent large scale Aftertreatment failure
  • read fault codes and accurately correct them
  • think and work “outside-the-box”
  • diagnose sensors “shorted-in-range” that have no fault code
  • visually inspect Aftertreatment for potential issues
  • analyze fuel use/fuel efficiency

How to prevent progressive damage

You can avoid most expensive Aftertreatment repairs if you know how to read the warning signs. With Diesel I.O., your technicians will be equipped with the skills and training to catch these warning signs. Progressive damage occurs when a truck continues to operate with an existing Aftertreatment issue. This is because if any component of the Aftertreatment system is not working properly, the rest of the system has to work much harder, and may not be working properly at all. This is especially the case when operating with a plugged DPF.

“We have to change our mindset and look more at predictive maintenance than preventive maintenance”  Bryan Stewart Director of maintenance with Jones Logistics

A simple $100 sensor can cause upwards of $20,000 in repairs and downtime!
Most fleets and service centers only see the end result of progressive damage: a large, expensive repair. With Predictive Maintenance training, progressive damage can be avoided entirely. Here is a common scenario that demonstrates how this training can save your fleet thousands:

DPF maintenance: progressive damage chart

Without the right training, a sensor shorted-in-range in month-1 goes undiagnosed, leading to DPF failure and turbo failure.

A simple $100 sensor can cause upwards of $20,000 in repairs and downtime! This happens frequently because this type of sensor has no fault code to indicate an issue. Often times, the big repairs (DPF cleaning, turbo replacement) will happen, but the underlying root cause will continue to go missed. Our Diesel I.O. solution training can give you the ability to accurately diagnose and repair faulty sensors!

To learn more about how to prevent major repairs and downtime for your fleet contact us.

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