Here we'll announce recent additions to our web site. If you've visited us before and want to know what's changed, look here first.
• 2 Feb 2012: StarTech launches website & adopts www.startech.ca !
• July 2012: Star Tech Diesel is now a dealer for S&B Air Filter products. See the S&B page S&B Air Filters
• April 2013 StarTech moves to 2113 Ogilvie Street, Prince George B.C. V2N 1X2, expanding shop and adding sevice bay.
• June 2013 StarTech adds Automotive services, changing company name to StarTech Diesel & Automotive. Experienced Journeyman Mechanic (Skipper Moulson is added to team.)
• Sept 2015 StarTech purchases Bosh state-of-the-art injector tester, the only one in Prince George. We are now authorized to test all Bosch & most other brands of common rail injectors (see photo on "Consultation" page)
• Dec 2015 StarTech expands to add a second service bay to serve customer demand, thanks to our growing clientele
Diesel Industry News:
We found this article by Jason Gonderman of "Truck Trend Network", which explains the "why" and "how" of DEF systems. A slightly condensed version follows:
Understanding Diesel Exhaust Fluid: Regulations governing Diesel engine emissions are constantly evoving. They began with the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems, then progressed to the Diesel particulate filter (DPF), and now Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). SCR systems use a consumable diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in conjunction with a catalyst to reduce Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions. Because the fluid is consumed during normal operation, it requires DEF fluid levels to be monitored and also refilled.
Why SCR?: To meet the stringent 2010 emissions standards set by the EPA Selective Catalytic Reduction has become the technology of choice for a majority of truck and engine manufacturers. SCR uses ammonia to convert NOx produced during Diesel combustion into nitrogen and water. This technology's major benefit is fuel savings. Because SCR deals with NOx outside the engine, manufacturers are once again able to tune their engines to produce more power at greater efficiency. The increase in engine efficiency also leads to a reduction in particulate matter, resulting in less frequent regeneration of the DPF further increasing fuel economy.
SCR works by first routing exhaust gasses through an oxidation catalyst, which removes hydrocarbons and converts a small amount of NOx to NO2. Next an Aqueous Urea solution, DEF is injected into the exhaust stream at a precise rate, which is converted into ammonia. This reacts with the remaining NOx in the SCR catalyst, producing nitrogen and water. Sometimes a final catalyst is installed downstream of the SCR catalyst, removing any remaining ammonia from the vehicle’s exhaust.
The Consumable Fluid: Diesel exhaust fluid is a mixture of synthetic, high-purity, automotive-grade urea and de-ionized water. This liquid is clear, non-toxic, non-flammable, non-explosive, and generally non-hazardous. DEF is classified as a minimum risk for transportation. It is mixed at a ratio of 32.5% formaldehyde-free low biuret urea (also called carbamylurea) and 67.5% de-ionized water. Heavier than diesel, exhaust fluid weighs 9.1 pounds per gallon, and while it will freeze at -11C, its composition and quality are unaffected by freezing or thawing.
It is recommended that exhaust fluid be stored between 5 and 26 deg C, and it has an effective shelf life of one year when stored at 26 C. Prolonged storage above 30C will cause hydrolysis (chemical breakdown) to occur. The most important quality of diesel exhaust fluid is its’ purity. For example, one teaspoon of salt could contaminate 19,000 litres of DEF. SCR systems are very sensitive to potential impurities, so it is essential that exhaust fluid remains uncontaminated, and use only fluids conforming to ISO 22241 and never try to mix their own. In Europe, the German Association of the Automotive Industry controls the “AdBlue” trademark and uses it to ensure DEF quality standards are maintained in accordance with DIN 70070, which is similar to the United States’ ISO 22241.
Do It Yourself: A major complaint about using SCR is that exhaust fluid needs to be refilled, and there is the possibility of running out. Refilling your vehicles’ DEF tank is easier than the dealer might make it seem. Exhaust fluid is available at most auto parts stores and truck stops across the country. Since DEF is non-toxic, anybody can refill their vehicle simply by purchasing the fluid and locating the fill port: usually next to the fuel filler, under the hood, or in the trunk (for a diesel powered car or SUV). By refilling the fluid themselves, owners can potentially save hundreds of dollars. Because impurities can cause catastrophic system failures, DEF nozzles are kept sealed behind a closed door to prevent contamination.
Don’t Run Out: The worst thing that can happen to an SCR system is being filled with contaminated or incorrect fluid. This can cause thousands of dollars in damage to the emissions system and leave you stranded. Running the DEF tank dry is equally catastrophic. The EPA requires vehicle manufacturers to ensure equipped vehicles cannot run without exhaust fluid. Vehicle manufacturers handle this in slightly different ways. Some use of a gauge, others have a warning light. Generally, when a DEF tank level drops below 10 percent, a warning of some type will be displayed, indicating it is time to refill. The warnings will become progressively more frequent, brighter, or louder as the level decreases. If the vehicle is allowed to run out of fluid, one of two things will happen: either engine power will be reduced and speed limited to a “limp-mode,” or the vehicle will not start until the fluid is replenished. Currently, the only exception to this is the 2013 and newer Ram HD trucks, which will continue to run and not de-rate power if the DEF tank should happen to run dry. This is allowed because the Cummins 6.7L engine tuning produces a low enough amount of NOx on its own, without the aid of SCR. However, drivers will still be treated to a dash full of warning lights and more frequent DPF regeneration cycles, so it is best not to let the DEF run dry. New Ram HD trucks come standard with a DEF gauge in the instrument cluster. Other vehicles may include it in the multifunction display, or simply provide a warning light when the level gets too low.