Clean Diesel (TDI) Regeneration

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Volkswagen and Audi lead the way in automotive engineering and their diesel vehicles are no exception.  Today’s diesels are quiet, cleaner and all-around different from their loud, clickety clack predecessors.  VW and Audi Clean Diesel vehicles either come with a DPF or use the AdBlue technology as part of their exhaust system.  But what exactly is Clean Diesel ? 

When many think of diesel vehicles, the image of black soot released into the atmosphere comes to mind.  That is no longer the case with today’s Clean Diesel vehicles.  Beginning in 2009, all new diesel vehicles are required to have a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter).  These filters remove more than 80% of a TDI’s diesel soot, thereby keeping the environment cleaner.  The government required refineries to produce Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) as of 2010, so the diesel filters plus ULSD have made stinky, dark diesel clouds a thing of the past. 

In order to reduce the soot build-up in the exhaust, a vehicle designed with DPF will go through a regeneration process that basically burns the soot at a very high temperature and turns it to ash.  Over time, this ash may build up and ultimately require replacement of the DPF.  A diesel’s regeneration process can take place when you are driving or it can begin and continue after you turn the car off, thus the noise that you hear even after you’ve removed your key and exited the vehicle. 

Whatever the approach, whether via DPF or AdBlue, the goal of today’s diesel vehicles is to keep it clean !