Other Improvements for Diesel Fuel Systems

Thanks to electronics and higher voltage systems, other improvements include “instant-hot” glow plugs, variable valve timing, exhaust gas recirculation cooling, electronic variable geometry and electronically assisted turbocharger nozzle and waste gate management, and electric water and power steering pumps. Additionally, improvements have been made in air-conditioning compressors, drive-by-wire, brake-by-wire, and collision avoidance. Also, on-board diagnostic (OBD) and OBDII systems are now commonly used to monitor the entire power train and enable satellite connectivity. Other refinements include various types of exhaust aftertreatment (catalysts) for lowering nitrogen oxides and particulate traps for reducing particulate matter.

The second generation of OBD systems (OBDII) is now standard for all vehicles. It is the industry standard for onboard diagnostics that monitors engine and related component operation. OBDII has been mandated since 1996. However, on-board technology can’t produce all the necessary improvements alone. Today’s much lower sulfur content in diesel fuel will help.

Nontraditional fuel delivery methods are also helping to lower emissions. For example, dual-fuel diesels make use of direct-replacement high-pressure injectors or use electronically controlled port-type gaseous injectors. Aftermarket accessories and electronic “chips” are being advertised for improving performance within clean air limits for the popular clean-technology diesel engines. Other nontraditional methods are being rapidly developed in the industry. When purchasing and installing aftermarket components, always be sure they comply with, and are approved by, the manufacturer. Keep in mind that the manufacturer’s warranty may be voided by installation of unapproved aftermarket products.