Maintaining the Integrity of Your Exhaust Aftertreatment System is Crucial
December 22, 2020
Exhaust Aftertreatment Changes Everything
It was not too long ago when the only significant factor to consider in an exhaust system on a commercial vehicle was whether it could leak carbon monoxide and other unhealthy gases into the cab. That’s still important, of course, but with the introduction of the exhaust aftertreatment system in the last decade, the exhaust system becomes a significant, functioning part of the powertrain.
Regular engine condition checks have been routine for most vehicle operators for decades. Fan belts, hoses, and fluid levels are well-known causes of downtime and extra expense when they are not thoroughly inspected and maintained. Traditionally the exhaust system would not cause an extraordinary amount of downtime or expense if not inspected and maintained properly.
This changed with the introduction of the expensive and complex exhaust aftertreatment system.
Inspecting the System
A quick inspection of the exhaust system should include a confirmation that electrical wiring has not become dislodged or relocated, especially the wiring of the aftertreatment system. The high heat levels that occur in the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), the diesel particulate filter (DPF), and the selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) can easily damage wire insulation, and sometimes even the wiring itself.
Fuel line routing should also be inspected to make sure that it has not been relocated or dislodged. The fuel line material is designed to withstand high temperatures, but may quickly degrade when exposed to temperature levels related to the aftertreatment system. Also look for other flammable materials that may have been added, relocated, or dislodged near the aftertreatment system.
Dealing with Leaks and Repairs
The efficient operation of the aftertreatment system is critically important to the performance of the truck. Even relatively small leaks can affect the integrity and effective operation of the aftertreatment system. It is crucial to make sure there are no leaks and that no temporary repairs have been made on any part of the exhaust system.
If leaks or repairs are identified, the affected components should be replaced with new components from PACCAR Parts. Exhaust system parts may be available from other sources, but only with PACCAR Parts can you be guaranteed that you are getting the most durable and properly designed replacement parts.
Correct Parts Keep You in Compliance
There also other considerations beyond the proper operation of your truck. Many trucks are operated from Maine to California and from Alaska to Key West. This moves the truck through many jurisdictions that have different rules and regulations related to safety and emissions for commercial vehicles. How best to stay compliant?
The only way to ensure that you will not be subjected to fines, or even downtime, is to ensure that your truck stays in emissions compliance by using the correct parts. This includes making sure that there are no leaks in the exhaust components that can allow exhaust gases to enter the cab, and also includes making sure that the aftertreatment emission control system and its operation are not compromised.
Save By Maintaining Your Aftertreatment System Today
Keep in mind as well that even though diesel particulates filters, diesel oxidation catalysts, and selective catalytic reduction systems have shown exceptional reliability over the past decade, that reliability is dependent on the integrity of the system. It is conceivable, and maybe even likely, that an exhaust leak or damaged component in the aftertreatment system that can be fixed with a $100 part replacement today, could turn into a replacement of thousands of dollars of parts in the future, if not properly addressed.
The modern exhaust aftertreatment system is a huge benefit to commercial vehicles and to the environment. Inspect yours and repair with PACCAR Parts for the best in durability, compliance, and potential savings.