Thursday, November 03, 2016
Mercedes MBE 900 Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaning
The emission controlled diesel engine causes a lot of soot and ash build up through out the intake and exhaust system. The sticky GOO that invades literally every square inch of the engine's components has to be removed by way of passive or parked regenerations or physically cleaning off the build up before it's too late.
The video shows us using a household cleaner to soak the diesel particulate filter from a Mercedes MBE 900 diesel engine. This filter was condemned by one of the local shops we took it to for cleaning. They baked it at extreme temperatures to remove as much residue as possible. In this case the test for flow was too low for them to give it a pass.
So our options were to buy a cleaned DPF from the Mercedes dealer for $800.00 or experiment on our own with 'Mr Clean'. In the past we've used it to flush out cooling systems when there's oil contamination or for removing soot from small emission parts but this was something we wanted to try since there was nothing to lose. Mr Clean is an excellent degreaser so our plan was to let the DPF soak for 2 days and thoroughly steam clean it off.
I'm happy to report that since reinstalling this DPF there has been no fault codes for close to three months. The typical 2631 code (turbo boost performance) has not reared it's ugly head for some time now. Since then we've done 2 more buses with the same success. How long until the DPF starts to get plugged up again is hard to say.
They're supposed to be serviced or replaced around 150,000 km according to the Mercedes estimate but that's up for discussion. The plastic drum we used to soak the filter was a used DEF container. One gallon of Mr. Clean is all it takes to get a good strong solution. The soot and ash collected on the filter is liquified so when you use the steam cleaner it comes out looking really good.
Another thing we do is clean contaminated sensors and reuse them instead of spending 50-60 dollars each. Replacement parts for emission controlled diesel engines are expensive so any shortcuts or experiments that work is a bonus :)