If you walk into any diesel maintenance facility today the hot topic revolves around diesel soot. Whether it’s in the intake or exhaust, combustion chamber or turbocharger, soot is wreaking havoc on vehicles and industrial equipment.
Fleets are seeing increased maintenance costs and extended equipment downtime. Combine that with technician overtime, road calls and tow bills and you’ll begin to understand the negative impact on business operations. Fleets are looking for answers.
Dealerships are backlogged. Many medium and heavy duty truck dealerships are running 2-5 weeks behind trying to keep their customers’ vehicles in operation. Depending on the business, a typical work truck generates over $100 an hour for a company. There is a revenue loss for each hour the customer’s truck sits in the shop. Dealerships are looking for answers.
Understanding diesel soot and its root causes can help you develop a targeted strategy to overcome these maintenance challenges.
The difference between soot and ash
Soot is found everywhere in the engine. In the intake and the exhaust. In the EGR and EGR coolers. From carbon packing around the piston rings to the vanes of a turbocharger. Diesel soot is the plague of modern diesel engines. It is comprised of combustible and non-combustible compounds. The non-combustibles are ash.
Ash is mainly composed of the metals (or elements) encapsulated within the soot. It is a component of the soot.
It remains in the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) after regeneration (regen) occurs.
The root causes of soot
One primary contributor of soot is engine oil. This has been confirmed by every major engine manufacturer and oil supplier and documented by numerous SAE Technical papers, MIT and SwRI.
The question then arises, if the diesel soot is primarily derived from engine oil, how does the oil end up in the exhaust? Your initial response may be the piston rings. While this is true, it is not the only source.
The diesel engine works on a simple principle.
Think of the diesel engine as an air pump. It sucks in air, squeezes the air/fuel charge until it goes bang. Then blows it out the exhaust. If the engine cannot suck in sufficient air from the air filter, it will pull it from the next available source, the Crankcase Ventilation System (CCV).
CCV vapors carry engine oil and within that engine oil are the additives and wear metals normally associated with it. Keep in mind that many diesel engines use a CCV system to vent the blow-by gases back into the intake. Some do not.
Once the engine oil enters the combustion chamber the problems begin. Carbon-packing forms around the piston rings and the piston crown. Soot accumulation occurs in the engine, EGR system, and exhaust after-treatment devices.
Can we clean the soot?
I think a better question is “Can we minimize soot?” Yes. By ensuring the pistons rings function normally and using a quality engine oil with a low volatility characteristic. Some engine manufacturers are installing Scraper Rings (or an Anti-polishing Ring (APR)). The scraper ring sits at the top of the cylinder sleeve and scrapes the carbon away from around the piston’s ring land area to reduce blow-by gases and lower sump pressures. This is expensive, and it doesn’t address the oil’s volatility.
Can we reduce ash formation?
Yes, by using a high quality engine oil with low volatility and addressing ring cleanliness. If we reduce the soot formation, we will inevitably reduce ash accumulation in the DPF. Thereby, reducing REGEN frequency and extending the DPF service life.
Whatever soot-related challenges you’re experiencing, whether in the intake or exhaust, DPF, DOC, EGR, carbon-packing around the rings, or turbochargers, there are effective and proven solutions to reduce these failures.
February 13, 2017WICHITA, Kan.–February 13, 2017–BG Products introduces a unique, patented lubricating grease delivery system that allows the user to completely empty a reusable grease cartridge without the greasy mess on equipment, tools and clothing!
Standard grease applicators can be prone to leakage and oozing grease makes a huge mess. It’s really frustrating for a mechanic to spend more time cleaning up grease than actually doing the job.
The Lube Shuttle® Grease Applicator, PN 9690, is easy to use with an ergonomic pistol grip and screw-top refillable cartridges. Premium quality leak-free construction allows over 99% grease evacuation from each cartridge!
BG SLC Multi-Purpose Grease
Designed for most every grease fitting in high-temperature application. A Lithium 12-Hydroxystearate Complex grease, SLC provides exceptional mechanical stability. Minimum dropping point of 500°F (260°C).
BG SS 2000 Lubricating Grease
Performs exceptionally well in hot or cold temperatures, under wet or dry conditions, and with light or heavy loads. BG SS 2000 will mix with virtually any other soap-based grease. Seal compatibility is excellent in a wide variety of materials such as Hytrel,® Viton® and Neoprene.
This grease isn’t just for automotive use. The applications are limitless: marine, agricultural, commercial transportation, municipal transportation, mining, oil and gas exploration, recreation and power sports!
About BG Products, Inc.
BG Products, Inc., is dedicated to making vehicles last longer and perform better. In partnership with an international network of distributors, BG serves the driving public with innovative products and proven programs of automotive maintenance. In a national survey, Service Managers chose BG brand machines to perform their fluid maintenance services 2 to 1 over any other.
To purchase a BG Lube Shuttle® Grease Applicator, contact your local BG Distributor.
With all the BG fuel system cleaners available, it’s easy to get confused with what time to use which one. All BG gas tank products boost performance, restore fuel economy and decrease harmful emissions. So how do you choose which one is right for your car?
Let’s take our top gas tank cleaners and compare them to something more… domestic. A vacuum vs. a carpet shampooer.
BG 44K® aka the carpet shampooer
BG 44K® is like the carpet shampooer in that it deep cleans, very quickly. Plus, you only need to shampoo your carpet every so often.
BG 44K® is the top tier, cream of the crop, best of the best fuel system cleaner. It has the most cleaning power of all BG gas tank products.
BG 44K® is 11 ounces of high quality detergents and additives that you pour right into the gas tank to restore performance and gas mileage. It removes carbon from combustion chambers, intake manifolds, ports and on valves and restores flow in fuel injectors. Also proven to clean oxygen sensors and catalytic converters. Basically, it cleans the entire fuel system!
For a carpet-shampooer kind of clean, use BG 44K® every 7,500 miles.
BG CF5® aka the vacuum
BG CF5® is like a vacuum in that it maintains the cleanliness brought on by the carpet shampooer.
When it comes to cleaning power, BG CF5® is one step down from BG 44K®.
BG CF5® fuel system cleaner prevents deposits throughout the entire fuel system. Added at each oil change, it will keep injectors, pistons, fuel intake components and sensors clean and free of damaging deposits and corrosion.
Unlike the vacuum/shampooer comparison, BG CF5® has its own advantages over BG 44K®. BG CF5® is an excellent fuel stabilizer which is especially helpful against the harmful corrosive effects of ethanol.
If your non-Flex fuel vehicle runs on high ethanol-containing gasoline (E15 or more), consider running a “vacuum” through your fuel system every oil change. BG CF5® will protect fuel system components and to prevent the fuel from creating nasty deposits in your car’s fuel system.
BG 44K® is the best choice for a rapid fuel system clean-up. But if you’re looking to maintain that cleanliness over a long period of time, opt for BG CF5®. Then throw in a can of BG 44K® once a year to really give it a good cleaning.
Find a shop near you that has BG fuel system cleaning products!
WICHITA, Kan.–April 4, 2016–Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines are prone to early carbon buildup. Vehicle owners will notice a drop in power and performance, sometimes before the first oil change. BG introduces the new BG GDI Fuel/Air Induction Service which will remove carbon from the entire GDI fuel system in under an hour.
GDI engines offer the performance of a muscle car with the fuel economy of a mid-sized sedan. GDI injectors spray directly into the hottest part of the combustion chamber for more complete, precise combustion. Add a turbocharger for a power boost and you have an engine that produces more power and fewer harmful emissions… with better fuel efficiency than traditional port fuel injection (PFI) engines.
Without proper maintenance, there’s an expiration date to more power, better fuel efficiency and lower emissions in GDI engines.
In the hottest part of the combustion chamber, injectors are constantly exposed to damaging heat and extreme pressure. It’s only a matter of time before injectors plug with carbon deposits and misfire, which leaves your car performing like a horse running on three legs.
Without the injector spraying in the intake like PFI engines, carbon builds more rapidly in intake ports and on the backs of intake valves. Then, incoming air bakes deposits dry, eventually choking the air supply.
At their best, GDI engines are powerful, remarkably efficient engines. But to keep them at their best, they require a high performance solution you won’t find on the shelf.
The BG GDI Fuel/Air Induction Service:
About BG Products, Inc.
BG products are proven to make vehicles last longer and perform better. In a recent national survey, dealerships said they use BG Products as their supplier of fluid maintenance service products and equipment by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 over any other supplier, including OEMs.
In partnership with an international network of distributors, BG serves the driving public with innovative automotive maintenance products.
For additional information, contact us.
WICHITA, Kan.–January 12, 2016–BG Products, Inc., is the first to market with engine and fuel system coverage for diesels of any age, mileage or hours! BG Forever Diesel™ allows diesels to enter the plan and be eligible for full coverage at any time.*
As part of BG Forever Diesel,™ if an eligible component in the engine and/or fuel system fails, BG will reimburse the consumer for the cost of replacement or repair up to $6,000.*
“We are confident our diesel services can solve inherent diesel issues such as deposit buildup and drivability. So confident, in fact, that we’re covering diesels of any age, mileage, or hours,” says Marketing Director Mike Moen.
To maintain lifetime coverage, consumers must simply return to the BG shop for another BG Diesel Performance Oil Change Service within the specified mileage interval.
BG Forever Diesel™ plans:
*To enter Plan 2, diesel owners must purchase four BG diesel services to restore performance of the fuel, lubrication and emissions systems.
Ask your shop if you qualify for BG Forever Diesel™ or visit BG Forever Diesel™ to learn more
CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards will save new 2016 car buyers $4,000 in gas over the lifetime of the vehicle, say government analysts. In 2011, the Obama administration and vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) agreed on a CAFE fleet mandate of 54.5 MPG by 2025, OEMs must innovate to achieve the ever-growing number of miles a car or truck can travel on one gallon of gas.
However, in addition to the improved fuel efficiency, consumers rightfully demand the same power and torque. These market needs have caused rapid development in the automotive industry. OEMs are combining technologies—variable valve timing, hydraulic actuation, low tension piston rings and gasoline direct injection—to achieve a goal of small-engine efficiency with big-engine power.
Variable Valve Timing (VVT)
In an effort to increase engine efficiency, automakers use Variable Valve Timing (VVT). In traditional 4-stroke engines, the intake and exhaust valves raise and lower at predetermined intervals. Driving conditions, or component operation variations, do not affect the rate at which the valves move.
Just as the name indicates, with VVT, the timing of the valve lift event (raising and lowering of the intake and exhaust valves) varies depending on RPM level, the piston’s current location and the valves’ current positions.
VVT is controlled by the cam phaser through hydraulic actuation. The cam phaser receives information from the Engine Control Unit (ECU), the engine’s computer.
The goal with VVT is to achieve optimum efficiency (at high and low RPM torque), increase fuel economy and reduce emissions.
As with many new technologies powered by hydraulic actuation, cam phaser functionality can be easily disrupted by fluid degradation. Engine oil integrity, oil filter flow-capacity and extended drain intervals can affect the ability of the cam phaser to control valve timing.
Hydraulic actuation is the process of converting power/pressure into mechanical motion using fluid. The lubrication system supplies power to turbochargers, timing chain tensioners and cam phase actuators, reducing the need for bulky, heavy mechanical parts. Hydraulic actuation improves fuel efficiency and reduces exhaust emissions by offering high power levels using lightweight actuation devices.
Because of the wide circulation of fluid with hydraulic actuation, fluid degradation can have a major affect on many different parts. Micro oil passages in the cylinder head, oil control valve and cam phasers can quickly become clogged with sludge. Sludge and varnish cause hydraulically actuated cam phasers to stick in advanced or retarded positions. When these intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time, hydrocarbon deposits can form on intake port walls.
All of this deposit buildup causes noticeable drivability and performance decline.
Low Tension Piston Rings
The purpose of piston rings is to build compression and prevent fuel and combustion gases from “blowing down” past the piston and oil vapors from seeping up into the cylinder.
Over time, piston ring changes were designed to allow less frictional drag energy loss, resulting in better fuel efficiency. Ideally, lowering tension pressure of the piston rings worked well to achieve “small engine efficiency,” but most manufacturers add turbochargers or superchargers to achieve the second part of their goal: “big engine power.”
Low Tension Piston Ring problems
Low tension piston rings buckle under extreme pressure and have a greater tendency to allow blow-by. Blow-by means that gasoline enters the crankcase resulting in oil degradation. Oil-based deposits are also being found in the combustion chamber. The result is deposits baked on piston tops and injector tips.
Add a turbocharger or supercharger to an engine with low tension piston rings and deposit buildup multiplies pandemically. These power boosters put a ton of extra pressure on the internal combustion process, which directly affects the job requirement of the piston rings.
When additives are depleted in the oil, it can no longer protect like it’s meant to. Deposits are a detriment to low tension piston rings. With such low spring force, the smallest amount of deposits quickly impedes ring movement. Stuck rings allow copious amounts of fuel and combustion gases to enter the crankcase, increasing crankcase temperature and pressure. This promotes excessive oil loss and deposit formation.
Gasoline Direct Injection
In Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines, gasoline is sprayed directly where the combustion chamber is the hottest (instead of in the air intake) to allow for a more thorough, even burn. Ideally, a more complete combustion burn translates to better mileage and greater power.
In a port fuel injection engine, deposits can be “washed off” the backs of intake valves by a constant stream of gasoline in the intake. However, in a GDI engine the injectors spray inside the cylinders.
Without port injectors spraying gasoline (and the detergents that it contains) onto the backs of intake valves—intake components can quickly become caked with hydrocarbon deposits, restricting airflow.
GDI engines also run at much higher PCV and cylinder pressures, which in time, can allow oil vapors to pass by the piston rings. Oil vapors circulate into the cooler regions of the engine, creating deposits and pooling. Some of those areas include intake boots, valves, piston crown, head squish area and catalytic system.
A combination of sticky deposits and oil evaporation can lead to carbon buildup in several places in the engine. Rock hard carbon buildup fouls injectors and can dislodge and cause irreversible damage to cylinder walls and catalytic converters.
In just a few thousand miles, GDI engines have seen significant performance and MPG losses.
Rapid innovation—variable valve timing, hydraulic actuation, low tension piston rings and gasoline direct injection—answers the consumer call for, “We want it all!” But while exciting and solution-oriented, rapid innovation has its flaws.
At BG we know that with innovation comes opportunity. That, and it’s not always possible to have your cake and eat it too. Inherent problems, with each of these technologies, affect the oil and fuel systems.
The simple answer is that these problems can be avoided with three BG products. Thoroughly clean the piston rings (BG EPR®). Fortify the oil to resist breakdown (BG MOA®). Keep the fuel system deposit free (BG 44K®).
These three products make the BG Performance Service BG’s most powerful maintenance service! The BG Performance Service will prevent deposit buildup and keep new technologies operating at maximum efficiency.