Tech Talk with Tyler Robertson

This Tech Talk is going to focus on the number one question I get from new and long-time customers, “When do I service my DD platform engine?” To properly answer this question a couple of things will need to be determined. First, the year and EPA level it is at needs to be known. The intervals and procedures we have for EPA 07 (2008-2010) are slightly different to those of EPA 10, GHG14, and GHG17 (2010-present). The easiest way to determine this if the unit has DEF (diesel exhaust fluid). If it does not it will be an EPA 07, all others run DEF. Second, the category your unit is classed in will have to be determined. The categories are Severe Service, Short Haul, or Long Haul. If your unit only travels up to 48,000 km annually, it would fall into Severe Service. These are typically off road or vocational vehicles. If your unit travels between 48,000 and 96,000 km annually, it would be considered Short Haul. This would typically be in town pick-up and delivery (P&D) vehicles that have very few highway kilometers, but spend a lot of time in city driving in stop and go traffic. Long Haul is defined as a unit that travels more than 96,000 km annually and spends almost all of its time on the highway at highway cruise speed.  Units can be spec’d with or without an additional frame mounted fuel filter made by Davco, but if a Davco is installed the intervals can be extended for the engine mounted fuel filters.

On a Long Haul vehicle, every 80,000 km (or 1280 hours, whichever comes first) the oil and oil filter will need to be replaced, including the fuel filters if there is NOT a frame mounted fuel filter (Davco). If there is a frame mounted fuel filter, just replace the frame mounted fuel filter at this time. With a frame mounted fuel filter the engine mounted fuel filters can be done every 240,000 km (3845 hr). If the unit is equipped with a coolant filter, replace this filter every 160,000 km (2565 hr). It is recommended that engine belts be replaced every 480,000 km (7690 hr), and the DEF pump filter be replaced every 400,000 km.

If it is a Short Haul vehicle, every 55,000 km the oil and oil filter should be replaced, including the fuel filters if a frame mounted fuel filter is not equipped. If the unit is equipped with a frame mounted fuel filter replace only this filter at this time. With a frame mounted fuel filter the engine mounted filters can be replaced every 165,000 km (2690 hr). If the unit is equipped with a coolant filter replace it every 165,000 km. It is recommended that engine belts be replaced at 275,000 km (4485 hr) and the DEF pump filter every 280,000 km.

A Severe Service vehicle is typically run in very dusty conditions, however the service intervals are still very reasonable. Replace the oil and oil filter every 40,000 km, including the fuel filters if it is NOT equipped with a frame mounted fuel filter. If a frame mounted fuel filter is equipped replace it at this time. The engine mounted fuel filters can then be replaced every 120,000 km (1925 hr). If the unit is equipped with a coolant filter it should be replaced every 160,000 km (2565 hr). It is recommended that engine belts be replaced every 200,000 km (3205 hr) and the DEF pump filter every 240,000 km.

If the vehicle is an EPA10 there is also an air bladder in the DEF pump that needs to be inflated to 44psi. This bladder is VERY small and takes very little time to achieve 44psi. It is recommended that a factory trained service technician do this service.

At every service a full inspection should be done to all components if possible. The air system and exhaust system should be checked for damage and leaks. The air cleaner should be replaced when indicated with the restriction gage OR at least once annually. Replacing the coolant is dependent on the type of coolant in the vehicle. Coolant maintenance is very important for longevity of your DD platform engine. Consult your local Detroit Diesel Dealer or distributor for maintenance information. The engine valve lash on all DD heavy duty engines is the same, the first adjustment at 160,000 km, then at 800,000 km and then every 800,000 km after that, or any time the valve train is removed or serviced.

It is not recommended that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) be cleaned, instead Detroit Diesel recommends replacement with a ReMan (remanufactured) filter at the time of service. On all classifications of an EPA07 engine, the service interval is 480,000 km (9,000 hr). Aftertreatment performance could be affected and a check engine light will show on the dash if the interval is ignored. The Diagnostic Link service tool is required to reset this interval when the filter is replaced. On an EPA10/GHG14/GHG17 engine a check engine light will show on the dash when DPF service is required. The typical range for all classifications is 480,000 km to 640,000 km (9,000 to 10,250 hr).

IMPORTANT, when performing oil and fuel filter services, NEVER do them at the same time. Always make sure one is replaced and the engine is started and the oil pressure is monitored before replacing the other. A good tip is to perform the oil service first. That way once the fuel system is primed and the unit is started it can be put back on the highway immediately after service. Extended crank conditions typically exist after a fuel filter replacement is performed until the unit has run for an extended amount of time.

The oil grade and viscosity has always been 15W-40 for all models made prior to GHG14. Starting with GHG14 engines, 10W-30 semi-synthetic or full synthetic oil has been used in the engines at the factory level. This is to help with fuel mileage, as it allows for less friction drag on engine components. If the customer desires, 15W-40 is still a suitable substitute. Detroit Diesel does NOT have a “recommended” list of oil OR fuel additives.

How to perform a parked regen (DPF ash regeneration) is also a common question among Detroit Diesel customers. When indicated by the DPF light on the dash, first make sure the vehicle is parked where it can safely run at high idle and high exhaust temperatures for about 45 minutes. Release the park brake fully, then reapply the park brake, and ensure the transmission is in neutral. Push and release the clutch pedal (if equipped) all the way to the floor. Step on the service brake pedal and release it, then push and HOLD the regen button on the dash for 5 seconds. If successful the engine fan will engage and the engine RPM will ramp up. The engine will go back to idle (600 RPM) when it has completed. Most parked regens take 20-45 minutes. If it is still regenerating past 1 hour, shut it down and retry. If it still goes beyond 1 hour, call your local Detroit Diesel dealer or distributor and have a certified technician look at it.

This information is also available in the Detroit Diesel operator’s book that likely came with your manual package. It can also be found at www.ddcsn.com under “literature”. You can also ask the service department at your local Detroit Diesel dealer or distributor.