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Old 07-30-2013, 07:29 AM   #1
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"Diesel Exh Filter Cleaning, continue driving till message clear" "Reduced Power"

We were in Milton FL for a week, planned on leaving for Atlanta / Stone Mountain on Sunday.

Went to dinner Saturday night with our Niece.
When we started the truck, the truck DIC displayed "Cleaning Exhaust Filter, continue driving until message clears" then "Reduced Power" came on.
When they say reduced power, they are not kidding, 35 mph max!!!

Took the truck to the GMC dealer Monday morning in Milton, they performed a GM Tech Bulletin.
They said Exhaust Filter was 92% clogged after doing the reset / cleaning, it shows 2%. Service guy said at 95% the truck would shut down.

We have about 17,000 miles on our 2012 3500HD DMax and this is the first warranty issue we have had with it.
Most of our driving or truck is highway / towing our 5er.
We do very little stop and go driving and do not let the engine idle for extended periods.

I asked the dealer what we were doing wrong, and he asked a number of things about how we used it, nothing really jumped out as to anything we were doing wrong, then he asked were we using GM DEF or after market, that may be the problem. I have always used the DOW Blue DEF from Advanced Auto. The dealer asked me was I checking the dates on the DEF, I have not.

The service advisor's final recommendation was to use GM DEF and to make sure it was in date that DEF has a fairly short shelf life.

Anybody else had similar problems or issues with their DEF Diesel?
Sure do not want to have a similar issue when pulling our 5er !!!!

Robert & Bale the "Traveling Dog"
2012 GMC 3500HD DRW
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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I have a 2009 GMC 2500-HD Duramax/Allison with the LMM engine. Your engine should be an LML because it requires Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). Here's what I believe is going on based on my own experience:

When the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) needs cleaning, the process (on mine) takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on how the vehicle's being driven. There is no notification from the Driver Information Center (DIC) when a DPF cleaning cycle is in progress which, to me, is part of the problem.

Basically, the DPF cleaning cycle involves the fuel injectors squirting some fuel during the exhaust cycle of each cylinder, causing it to burn which raises the temperature of the exhaust. As these high-temperature exhaust gasses pass through the DPF, they "burn off" the accumulated soot.

I never saw a DPF warning message the for the first three years I had the truck. My son had a store that was about seven miles away and daily, required about a half-hour trip with mostly continuous 35-45 MPH speeds.

Last year, he moved his store to where the drive was hardly two miles away. It was about a month after he moved while I was returning home one afternoon that the alarm chimes sounded and the DPF filter warning message appeared on the DIC. The next morning, I drove the truck using my route to the old store. The warning message on the DIC went out about half-way there. What was happening was this:

When the DPF needed cleaning, every time I started the truck, the computer would attempt a FPF cleaning cycle. However, since my trips were so short, the cleaning cycle could never complete. Like I mentioned above, there is no notification whenever a cycle is in progress but I know this was the case because I began getting HORRIBLE fuel mileage- like 8-9 MPG. I was getting 12 when I made the drive to the old store.

To prevent a reoccurrence of the problem, I periodically made sure I drove the truck for at least a half hour, preferably on roads that are 35 mph or higher. I haven't had the message appear again since invoking this practice.

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Old 07-30-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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I have a 2012 F-250 Powerstroke which uses DEF also. FPM III described it very accurately. The soot must be allowed to burn out of the DPF. The DEF aspect of these engines in kind of a PITA, but these engines have less harmful emissions than a lot of cars on the road today. I think most DEF on the market is pretty good. I use Valvoline Fleetguard and have had no problems [yet]. When my "cleaning exhaust filter" message comes on, I try to drive an extra 10 to 15 minutes. Sometimes you can't and it'll have to get cleaned another time, but it must be cleaned.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for all the comments.
We traveled from Tallahassee FL to Milton FL pulling out 5er which is about 175 miles.
We unhooked the 5er and did not move the truck for about 6 days, when we started it up to go meet my niece for dinner the "Clean Filter" message came up, before we could get out of the campground the "Reduced Power" message came on.
Pretty hard to get up to speed for the filter clean with the "Reduced Power" message.
Robert & Bale the "Traveling Dog"
2012 GMC 3500HD DRW
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:59 PM   #5
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A very good description by FPM lll. If my Dodge does a cleaning the pyrometer climbs to around 1300* and the fuel mileage starts counting backward. That is what they call a passive regeneration. If it needs a good cleaning the overhead display will flash a message and the fuel mileage really drops. It doesn't take long for either one to happen. My Dodge just has the DPF filter and doesn't use the fluid.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:42 PM   #6
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Your 2012 has an LML duramax series engine. The DPF cleaning cycle actually does not inject fuel during the exhaust stroke like the LMM did because that was actually contaminating the crankcase oil, the LML has a 9th injector that injects the raw diesel right into the exhaust stream. Otherwise the cleaning cycle was accurately described.

As for what the dealership told you, disregard that. DEF is all made with the same concentrations (32.5% high-purity urea and 67.5% deionized water), doesn't matter who the manufacturer is. It has about a year shelf life is stored correctly.

Last week my truck threw a CEL due to the DPF reaching 45 grams of soot and it could not initiate a cleaning cycle because I was doing all city driving. I cleared the code and took it for a drive and everything is just fine now. There are so many different things happening "behind the scenes" on these trucks that sometimes they mess up, I wouldn't worry about it especially if this is your first run in. Just my .02
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:19 AM   #7
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Knowing you tow a lot and regularly Rob, I can't imagine you are doing something "wrong". This is a good example of too much "stuff" on our diesels. I can't help but wonder how much better economy we would get without at least some of the emissions equipment and how much less emissions would exist with better economy. Could it be that the emissions equipment actually increases emissions due to lower economy and more fuel being burned?

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Old 08-13-2013, 09:17 AM   #8
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I hate what they're doing to diesels now. I have several colleagues that have 2003-2007 era diesels with water and CNG/Methanol injection that are getting in the 25-30 mpg range unloaded. Your price per mile is already up since you have to add the DEF, then your mileage is down from all the other EPA junk, and now the DPF burn makes that even worse.

I have been looking at getting a diesel 3/4 ton. The way things are going it will either be a new gasser, or used diesel(out of warranty) so I can delete all the emissions junk.

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