You’ve probably noticed a lot more vehicles being offered with diesel engines. Diesel is a very popular choice in much of the world. North America is just starting to close the gap between gas and diesel engines. Because we are generally less familiar with diesel engines, it would be wise to review emissions related issues.
First off, while diesel fuel is more energy dense than the same amount of gasoline, so it generates more power per gallon, but it also produces more exhaust particulates. So, scrubbing the soot out of the exhaust is very important. By law, modern diesel vehicles are required to have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) installed in the exhaust system. This special filter traps the particulates (soot). As the soot accumulates, the filter fills up fairly quickly.
It would be very impractical to have to change these costly filters often, so manufacturers have designed systems that burn off the soot. Some systems are passive, allowing the soot to settle inside the filter and absorb heat from the exhaust until the temperature is high enough for the particulates in the trapped in the filter to combust and burn off. This process is called passive filter regeneration.
One method of active filter regeneration is accomplished by injecting a bit of diesel fuel into the engine at just the right time to heat the exhaust enough to burn off the particulates. Another method uses a fuel injector placed in the exhaust pipe upstream from the DPF to inject a bit of fuel into the exhaust stream to cause the particulates to combust. The engine management computer controls these regeneration events.
The old days of a noisy diesel engines belching clouds of black, sooty smoke are gone. Diesel emissions systems like Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) combine to deliver all the power and economy of a diesel engine, without all of the harmful and annoying side effects.
Let us help you with your diesel engine. We will help you understand the routine maintenance schedules and warning signs of potential problems so that you can be comfortable with your decision to go diesel.
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Dakota Ridge Auto
13074 W Ida Ave Unit A-2
Littleton, CO 80127