Saturday, September 27, 2014

Diesel Engine Emissions A New Frontier In Preventive Maintenance

When 2007 rolled around and the EPA increased their emission standards everybody was waiting on what the original equipment manufacturers were going to do.

The diesel engine has always evolved through the decades but the challenge in the new millennium was to reduce soot and ash discharge levels out the tail pipe.

The catalytic muffler was the first on the scene along with ultra low sulfur diesel and low ash engine oil. The muffler transformed into the DPF diesel particulate filter which traps soot and then through an oxidation process remove harmful particulates from entering the atmosphere.

The very difficult problem for the engineers and the battle to stay within EPA specifications is costing Cummins, Mercedes and Navistar a lot of money in research and development. The progression to cooled exhaust gas recirculation worked for many years along with the DPF technology.

However the EGR by itself wasn't enough to keep up with environmental demands. Navistar this year will no longer supply diesel engines in the medium duty market. The EGR pictured above is out of a MaxxForce DT diesel engine. We have several of these engines in out fleet and this component needs regular maintenance or replacement at least once a year.

At the vary least removal and cleaning of the soot and ash buildup is necessary or the shaft that opens and closes the valve sticks and eventually causes the EGR valve to stay open which creates problems with power and take off ability. Every one of our fleet buses are checked for stuck EGR valves especially the older units.

Mercedes EGR valves have the same problem and eventually the electric motor that opens and closes the valve mechanism does not have enough strength to over come the soot covered shaft and valve assembly. At the end of this year Navistar medium duty diesel engines like the MaxxForce DT and MaxxForce 7 will not be manufactured any more.

The Cummins ISB will be taking over the field with it's own technology including the SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system that uses DEF diesel exhaust fluid to reduce emissions. They also have the VGT variable geometry turbocharger to increased heat to assist in the regen process that cooks out the soot build up in the emission system.

It's a heavy duty challenge to keep up with emission demands but when the going gets tough Cummins diesel engines get going. They have really excelled over other diesel engine manufacturers and went outside the box to over come the high demands from the EPA to reduce emissions levels to zero through out the transportation industry.  


Dolores Brown said...

Is it much harder to repair buses than cars? I feel like the engines would be similar, but would the other parts work the same, or would they be different? I just think it would be hard to be a bus mechanic, because the machines are so huge practically anything could be wrong with it.

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