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Patent approved for Vetech DPF Professional Cleaner to prevent inferior copycats

The Parts Alliance has confirmed that a patent has been granted for Vetech’s ground-breaking DPF Professional Cleaner, which to-date has treated over 100,000 DPFs and saved motorists huge sums of money in replacement parts.

Vetech’s DPF Professional Cleaner works by breaking down and cleaning diesel particulates – which can contaminate the filters – leaving them to be rinsed away. The pour-in liquid has been shown to remove all visible dirt, soot and ash trapped in the filter cores, returning DPFs to over 95% of their ‘as new’ capacity.

Launched in 2015, the product was so well received that The Parts Alliance sought design protection rights to help garages avoid ‘inferior copy products’ in the wake of MOT changes imposing stricter emissions limits for diesel cars with DPFs.

The patent means that other ‘copycat’ DPF cleaning products should not be sold in the UK and Europe. Replicas often exclude or reduce key active ingredients in an attempt differ a copycat enough to not breach a patented superior product.

John Wright, Product Marketing Director at The Parts Alliance, explained: “This product really has changed the landscape of pour-in DPF cleaning solutions: not only is it unparalleled in its effectiveness, but your warranty won’t be affected by its usage.

“It was only a matter of time before attempts were made to bring sub-standard alternatives to the market, but this patent will help to rid the market of these imitators.”

The Parts Alliance is encouraging any motorist eager to improve emissions without compromising their warranties to speak to their local branch of The Parts Alliance.

DPFs explained

Diesels have been fitted with DPF’s as standard since 2009, when Euro 5 came into force. 50% of all new car registrations are diesel. This means more and more DPF related jobs entering your workshop. Replacement is recommended from around 75,000 miles onwards (depending on vehicle model).

What is a DPF?

DPF’s are designed to reduce emissions from diesel fuelled vehicles. They remove soot from the exhaust gases, before they’re emitted into the atmosphere.

How do DPFs work?

The DPF traps the particulate matter (soot) from the exhaust gases.

  • Exhaust gases flow into the DPF but cannot exit down the same channel, because the exit is blocked.
  • This forces the gases to escape through the porous cell walls.
  • The holes within the cells walls are not large enough to allow the particulate matter to pass through, so trapping the matter inside the filter.
  • Clean exhaust gases exit the filter

Maintaining a DPF

Over time soot builds up within the DPF. Unless it’s regularly regenerated (cleaned), the build up of soot will eventually block the DPF and adversely affect the performance of the vehicle.

To avoid the DPF being blocked, a process called regeneration must take place. There are two types of regeneration – passive and active. Passive regeneration takes place automatically on long or high speed journeys, when the exhaust temperature is high. The soot inside the fi lter burns off naturally.

Active regeneration occurs when the soot reaches a pre-determined level. Depending on the vehicle model, the ECU makes small adjustments to the fuel injection timing to increase the exhaust gas temperature, burning off the soot. Some vehicle manufacture’s, notably Peugeot / Citreon / Ford use a fuel-borne catalyst called ‘EOLYS’ fluid, which is added to the diesel during fuelling. This
fluid enables the trapped particles to be burnt at a lower light-off temperature.

Why do DPFs fail?

Typically the DPF will become too blocked and cannot regenerate. Although the MIL light

may show, there could be many reasons for the blockage, including:

  • Continual urban driving
  • EGR valve stuck or failed
  • EGR pipes blocked
  • Turbo failure
  • Injectors – leaking and / or stuck open
  • Incorrect oil
  • Faulty sensors
  • Incorrect oil temperature
  • Fuel additive too low

These should always be investigated, before replacing a DPF, otherwise the new unit is likely to quickly fail because the actual cause of the blockage hasn’t been found.

DPF fitting advice

If the DPF definitely needs replacing, remember that DPF’s are a direct fit item. Follow the same procedure as fitting a catalytic convertor.

  • • Do not use exhaust paste on the joints
  • Ensure all flanges and joints are properly sealed
  • Ensure the fuel borne additive tank is full (if fitted)
  • Ensure that the fuel injection system is working correctly
  • Normal engine working conditions apply
  • Use correct oil during the service change

Is it illegal to remove a DPF?

From February 2014 the MoT test must include a check for the presence of a diesel particulate filter. A missing DPF, where one was fitted when the vehicle was built, will result in an MoT failure.

Whilst a vehicle may still pass the MoT visible smoke emissions test, it’s an offence under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations to use a vehicle that’s been modified in such a way that it no longer complies with the air pollutant standards it was designed to meet. Removing the DPF will almost certainly contravene these requirements, making the vehicle illegal for road use.

Owners could face fines of up £1,000 for a car or £2,500 for a light commercial vehicle, if the DPF has been removed.

Protect DPF’s with low SAPS oils

  • Sulphated ash within the passing exhaust gas can cause the ‘mesh’ structure in a DPF to become irreversibly blocked. For this reason, using normal oil could block the DPF.
  • To protect the DPF you should use Low SAPS oils. These oils have been specially designed to be low in Sulphated Ash.
  • You can identify a Low SAPS oil by looking for the ACEA ‘C’ classifi cation on the bottle. However, as most manufacturers have their own specifi cations for Low SAPS oils, we’d recommend you call your local branch.