The Oil Change

I’m quite aware that my Maxxforce 13 has EGR/DPF issues. Knew that when I purchased it from International and when I spent nearly $15,000 replacing the emisssions system: DPF, DOC, EGR coolers, etc. That’s why we won the $135 million Class Action lawsuit

The problem is that my DPF is getting clogged with heavy soot. When inspecting under my truck, I found a leak in my gasket of my oil pan which required me to add a gallon every couple of weeks. To save money, I started using cheap Pilot generic motor oil which resulted in my DPF getting clogged more frequently. I definitely got what I paid for – crap oil for crap prices.

I’m born and bred a racer and I like to push the pedal to the metal like an Indycar Racer. Sometimes climbing hills, I have to maintain my speed or else I start losing momentum. I don’t have the horses like a galloping Mack or Kenworth, so I learned to increase my speed downhills so I maintain momentum when climbing back to keep me from stalling – scary as it might seem. Often, my DPF would get clogged and then without warning, my engine would derate and I would lose momentum. This is bad, on a manual, cuz I have to shift down which is tough on a steep slope.

So there’s a fine line and I have to tread it carefully. Now I’m going to avoid going 70 MPH especially on hills and see if that will keep my DPF from getting clogged.

When the DPF gets soaked with soot, the engine starts to derate – which I notice on hills. Then I start getting a warning light on my dash. I typically have about 15 mins to pull over and do a parked regen (but sometimes, I only get mins before I get the red gong of death – a Stop Engine warning). When doing a parked regen, the DPF heats up to nearly 200 degrees turning the soot to ash and expelling it — you can see this as white smoke. It gets so hot and noisy that if you’re parked over grass, you can actually set it on fire.

So today, I’m at the TA in Paulsboro, NJ replacing my oil with Mobil Delvac I Synthetic. Also replacing my gasket in my drain pan because there’s a slight leak. Total bill: $1,150

90% of the soot and contaminants that is collected in the DPF comes from the engine oil, not the fuel, like many would believe.

I just have to learn to slow down and not panic when driving on repetitive hills. Even if that means losing speed on the upclimb.

If I can, choose a lighter load or take a different route. And of course, use synthetic or a premium motor oil, not the cheap Pilot kind.

So all of the chemistry that starts in a lab makes a huge difference on the road.

Replacing the gasket for oil pan for International Prostar Maxxforce 13

I’m looking forward to taking this rig on the road with a fresh oil change. But first gotta stop enroute in DC to run some errands at home.

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