GUEST BLOG: 'How Upstream Issues Become Aftertreatment Issues'
Codependent systems like heavy-duty diesel engines and emissions controls normally work well together, however, problems with one can impact the other. Aftertreatment issues can increase engine backpressure and reduce efficiency, while engine-related problems can cause excessive regens. Many of these issues originate upstream; below are two of the most common issues:
1. Airflow Issues
Passive and active regens burn soot off the DPF, leaving only a small ash residue. Professional DPF cleaning is important to prevent the accumulated ash clogging the DPF, potentially causing pressure cracks, or even derating the engine.
The rate of ash accumulation is increased by airflow issues like dirty air filters and damaged turbochargers restricting the compressed airflow into the engine. This limits the engine’s power and fuel consumption, while increasing the risk of engine oil leaks poisoning the DPF.
Other common airflow issues to watch out for include faulty fuel injectors, air leaks in the intake and exhaust systems, and EGR malfunctions. These issues disrupt the air-fuel ratio by letting the engine burn over-rich fuel. This reduces the engine’s power, acceleration and fuel efficiency, while increasing its production of soot and PM, which overloads the DPF with soot-rich exhaust.
2. Contaminated Fluids
Coolant, engine oil and DEF are essential to the smooth-running of your engine but can also cause serious issues. Coolant normally protects the engine by adsorbing its extreme temperatures. However, a leaking EGR cooler can push coolant into the exhaust system, damaging the turbo, flooding the DPF and causing hydrocarbon poisoning.
Sludgy, contaminated oil can also cause hydrocarbon poisoning through excess ash buildup on the DPF. Protect your equipment and avoid excessive regens cutting into your uptime with regular oil analysis and high-quality, low-ash or low-SAPS oil that’s compatible with your engine.
DEF has a one-year shelf life and has to meet specific quality standards. A blocked injector can limit SCR functionality, but the biggest cause of SCR failure is low-quality or expired DEF crystallization. Replacing or fixing an SCR system means expensive downtime, which you can avoid by using high-quality DEF and testing with a refractometer.
Learn more about our guest author, Jay Daran, the Marketing Manager at DCL International Inc. on his LinkedIn Page.
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