Ecology tuning

reliability vs marketing

Okay, let’s clear a situation with all modern ecology standards and discover a truth! It’s

First of all, what kind of ecology features we have in modern cars?

They are:

  1. Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

The idea of that filter is to stop ash and unburned particles from a disel. In theory it should help ecology and save a planet. On practise… well… NO. Ash and particles which DPF stopped do not annigilate or just disaapear. They are being burned from time to time (usually every 500-600km) in process, called “regeneration”. So it will come to atmosphere anyway. IF regeneration is successfull every time, DPF lifespan is somewhere around 150 000 km. In real life it’s almost impossible to achieve successfull regeneration every time. For regeneration to be succesfull a few conditions should be met: ideally working glow plugs, ideally working differential pressure sensor, ideally working injectors, oil and coolant hot enough, CONSTANT speed and RPM for about 30 minutes. If that conditions are met and ECU decide to start regeneration, you will notice a black smoke from your exhaust pipe, which will last for at least 20 minutes. Sounds “ecology friendly”, isn’t it? 😉 During regeneration, ECU rising a temperature INSIDE engine, putting more fuel and that hot exhaust gases, in theory, should burn ash from DPF. Some of that fuel goes to engine oil. That’s why if you have an error “oil level too high”, first thing to check is clogged DPF. How do ECU knows it’s time to start a regenration? Quite simple! There’s a sensor, called “differential pressure sensor”. It measures a pressure BEFORE DPF and AFTER DPF. ECU compare received data with built-in “map” and decide if regeneration needed or not. The problem is that sensor. It’s extremelly unreliable part due to design and location and it can fail for a tons of reasons. If it fails, ECU will think that everything is OK and will not start a regeneration until it’s too late… Or vice versa – regeration starts too often, leading to a problems with high temperature impact inside the engine, extensive turbo wear and rising oil level. Another issue, which leads to DPF failure is engines problems, for example, leaking injectors. DPF will be clogged with unburned fuel and it will be impossible to regenerate. Third obvious issue is just age and mileage. DPF is built from ceramics, which degrades by time and regular heat damage(during regeneration). That ceramics cells converts to ceramic sand, which just clog the DPF. Is it really need to say, that all “DPF cleaning” procedures in BEST CASE will help you for 100-300km after which you will face absolutelly the same problem? “Cleaning” can not restore cell structure if it’s destroyed. Also we would like to avoid you from installing aftermarket DPF filters… most of them never works. The correct way is to replace it with a brand new DPF from your dealer, which would cost you from 400 euroa, for example, on Volvo S60 and up to 3500 euroa for BMW 530d. Other way si to remove it from a car completelly, reprogram car ECU and forget about this problem forever. For conclusion we would like to state, that DPF has absolutelly NO RELATION to a smoke or CO2 figures, measured during technical inspections.

  1. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)

Exhaust gas recerculation is another trick, mainly for marketing and taxation purposes. “Diselgate” a few years ago was quite indicative, isn’t it? 😉 The idea of EGR is to reroute some exhaust gases from exhaust manifold back to cylinders. In theory it should lower a temperature, help diesel engine heat up faster and, again, save a planet. Let’s speak about each point. First, “lowering a temperature”. How much it can lower? 100 degree is a maximum. For modern engines it’s is just about nothing. Second, “heat up faster”: in most cases, it’s a famous myth. For example, original BMW software has a map, which keeps EGR closed until engine reach 60 degrees. Once again: it’s an original software from BMW factory. Third, “save a planet”: in theory, lowering a temperature inside an engine should lead to lowering NOx in exhaust. Unfortunately, lowering temperature leads to producing more hard particles. How it looks inside the intake manifold and EGR itself you can see on a pictures below.

  1. Selective Catalyc Reduction (SCR AddBlue)

The idea of SCR is brilliant! It suppose to convert NOx to pure nitrogen and water. For that purpose a special chemical additive, called AUS 32 (trade name AdBlue in EU and DEF in USA) injected in catalyc converter of a diesel car. But basically this nice system works only in marketing reports and laboratory tests. In real life, for example, it freeze at -11 degree, so basically it does not work at all during a winter time. Short distance city driving usually is not enough to heat up an AdBlue tank. In that case, AdBlue injector will be covered with crystalized AdBlue and has to be replaced. A single failure of a temperature sensor in SCR system will lead to permanent work of a heater inside a tank and, as consequence, will ruin a heater. System itself is quite complicated and unstable. Sometimes even dealers are not 100 percent sure, what exactly is broken in a system and the only solution is to replace each component one after another in order to get it working again. Another known-to-fail element of that system is NOx sensor. Price for that sensor starts from 450 euroa for Mercedes W212 and up to 1100 euroa for Mercedes W222. And even if you are ready to pay and replace it, waiting time is… are you ready? Amazing NINE months! Any fault in SCR system and you will not be able to use your car.

  1. Catalyc Converter

Catalyc converter is one of the most usefull and really working ecology part of the car. Construction is quite simple – it consist of a metal or ceramic cells (from 600 to 800), covered with platinum, palladium and iridium. During a chemical reaction NO2 transforms to nitrogen and oxygen, while CO transforms to CO2. Catalyc converter is a part, which really helps ecology and prevent you from feeling a bad smell in your car. In theory, catalyc converter should last forever, since platinum coating are not consumed during chemical reaction. In real life, catalyc converters has a lifespan somewhere between 100 000 km and 150 000 km, depends on driving habbits, idle time, construction and engine overal condition. The main reason of a catalyc converter failure is engine problems – faulty Lambda sensors, intake manifold air leak, faulty injectors or incorrect “pop and bang” tune. For real sporty exhaust system 2 options are available – full “decat” with downpipes or installation of a sport catalyc converter (400 cells). Price for sport catalyc convertors varies from 500 euro and up to enormous 17000 euro a piece on Lamborgini Gallardo. Last thing to know – catalyc convertors washing are useless in 99% of cases. If you experience a problem with a catalyc convertor, most likely, inside cells are already destroyed or damaged by high temperature and it’s absolutelly impossible to restore it’s structure by “magic liquid” from local parts store. Anyway, catalyc converter problems is a symptom, not a cause. Real cause is somewhere under a hood.


We strongly do not recommend to remove or disable any working ecology system. It could be illegal to operate a car ON A ROAD without factory installed system, although it can be removed in “invisible” way and no technical inspection will ever find it out. 😉 If your ecology system failed, it can be disabled and reprogrammed, so you will never see annoying errors, will forget about power drops and refilling AdBlue tank, but you have to promise us to operate your car only offroad.. 🙂

For a catalyc converter we recommend to install a sport one, especially if you want custom power tuning and nice pop and bang sound.

p.s. Yes, most of the cheap (100-400 euro) aftermarket catalyc converter will not work at all and will not help you pass an inspection. Do not waste money! Install an original one or a sport one from a respected company.