Like our bodies, trucks also need ways of emitting their internal wastes. As a technical function, in terms of vehicles, the more relevant analogy for its “colon” is the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF).
The said filters are mandated to be installed on diesel-powered trucks by the law and are valid on all vehicles bought past 2007. The California Air Resources Board had this executed to reduce the Particulate Matter emissions from transport vehicles. They also have specific Emission Monitoring Centers to check whether the vehicle is in its original, un-tampered condition.
The DPF’s primary goal is to reduce the emission from diesel trucks manifested by black smoke seen exiting from the exhaust pipe. It is indeed disturbing that you can see how much black carbon these trucks emit every day and compromise the safety of the air in a car-swamped community. Because of diesel filters, the amount it emits is being sifted, therefore reducing the amount that is released into the atmosphere. The screen functions mainly through its soot trap where the exhaust is being captured and stored. To be more specific, the exhaust goes into one end of the channel then it passes through a porous surface to be emitted. You can see the particles collected by these filters, and it will make you realize how much of a help the mandated use of DPFs are to our environment.
However, storage for the soots has a finite capacity for the collected dirt and therefore needs to be actively cleaned every once in a while. Carelessness on DPFs, especially the ones resulting to tampering, have significant consequences on both driving safety and the automobile life. It has been a common misconception about DPF cleaning services that the “Regeneration button” is enough. While it is necessary for the particles left behind to be combusted, some of the non-combustible materials are left behind that causes severe damage to the DPF functionality, and to the automotive engine as a whole. This is more significant trouble than was intended to be because DPFs are almost impossible to restore to its original percentage functionality, having soot left after cleaning it and reusing it might just degrade the quality of the diesel filter every time it is being used.
The good news is, cleaning DPF is not as hard and is doable at home. Some citizens have shared their experience and knowledge regarding the functions of these filters and how to clean them.
When a filter reaches the end of its service as it was filled with ash emissions, the first thing to do is to pressure wash the filters with plain water. The water should strictly have no cleaning solutions or extra chemicals that may harm the screen and its overall structure. It is preferred if the water is warm and is washed in the opposite direction of the exhaust to push out the ash remnants in the filter. You will be able to see the ashes and the dirt being washed down by the screen. That amount of dust was supposedly in the air we breathe, but because of the filters, we were able to lessen its degree.
If the pressure wash has too much force and is uncontrollable, the tube hose should be veered away from the filter wall itself because it might damage or affect its structure like the switches on its sides. Continue the water pressure until the water coming out of it becomes more transparent and is free of the ash soot. This process also helps filter out the contaminants present or trapped by the filter.
A lot of folks choose to do this by themselves in the comfort of their own homes, but it will be risking the appropriate cleaning of the filters. As mentioned before, the highest risk of cleaning filters at home is that remnants of the soot might be missed. Professional DPF cleaners have access to expensive equipment that can cost upwards of $10,000. Residues are not necessarily taken away by the pressure wash as some spots might be overlooked. However, if you want your filter cleaning done more appropriately, there are services on the internet available that ease the process and ensure better cleaning of the engine. This might cost a lot more than the home pressuring washing on the filter, but they can make more elaborate pressure wash on the screen itself. Pressure wash is also not readily available in all homes, as well as the task of removing the filter from the truck is quite a task for non-experts.