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Aftermarket air filter contributing to major engine damage

Messages
45
Location
Morro Bay, CA
Thread starter
Hi chaps. Was talking with a customer today, we were talking about diesels and stuff. He said a current vehicle of his, equipped with the Mercedes Bluetec platform, had some kind of aftermarket type air filter installed at some dealer. Apparently this modified the pressure drop in the intake, which lead to fuel combustion issues, which clogged the DPF, allowed soot to get into the turbo and cooked that too. When he took it back they ended up offering him 20k off a new vehicle because with that much alleged damage who wants to take up the tab on the labor cost of fixing all that? Sound plausible? I think so, but I can't sleep tonight without thinking about it, if it's true.
 
Messages
1,426
Location
MN
Not a chance. There's no way an air filter caused severe engine damage, I can believe the coking, but I really doubt it fried the turho. What kind of vehicle are we talking here?
 
Messages
1,426
Location
MN
No way the air filter caused engine damage. Even if pure, unfiltered air made It's way into the engine, it wouldn't do damage that quickly. I think the dealer is trying to pull a fast one on your friend.
 
Messages
9,800
Location
Jupiter, Florida
No way. That's a turbocharged engine that has very well managed intake manifold pressure and fuel delivery. It's calibrated to operate within normal parameters from sea level at -40 deg F to +120 deg F, to 15,000 feet elevation and everything in between. It's also configured to compensate for air filter condition. This is nothing new with Mercedes. I wish your friend well. Don't forget the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson%E2%80%93Moss_Warranty_Act
Originally Posted by honeeagle
yup plausible, happens even without a after market air cleaner
Not plausible for the reasons I mentioned above. The diesel engine operates over a VERY WIDE range of air fuel ratios. On a turbocharged Blutec, the engine is very well managed and there is no way that a so called low restriction air filter will change the combustion event, as manifold pressure and fuel delivery are "magically" controlled by computer. Something went wrong here, and it's not the airfilter. Remember, these things can maintain rated HP at any elevation. The intake manifold pressure and fuel delivery are perfectly matched always.
 
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Messages
2,216
Location
Lyndhurst NJ
Pressure drop in the intake AFTER the turbo? No way, if the MAP was showing a lower manifold pressure they wouldve opened the vanes up more to compensate, or ay least throw a system too lean fault before all of that happened, unless of course he ignored the check engine. More likely is the turbo has failing seals, common on the hot V setup like my GL, and its shooting non ESP oil into the intake, burning it off and sooting up the DPF. I bet a good DPF cleaning with a regen and some additive wouldve cleared it up.
 
Messages
2,216
Location
Lyndhurst NJ
Originally Posted by edwardh1
Possibly driving it too hard then parking it immediately while very hot
These have after run coolant pumps.
 
Messages
45
Location
Morro Bay, CA
Thread starter
Appreciate the input. I reckon maybe instead of an air filter, he had a leaking fuel injector? I know that can contribute to that, same with excessively short trips too often. Both will clog up the DPF and kick it into regen a lot. I'm not sure which exact vehicle it was, but he did say it was "before the urine thing" (I think he meant urea LOL) so that gives me a rough timeframe to work with. From what I know, this must have not been a BluTec motor because all BlueTec systems have DPFs and SCR. DPFs started coming out before SCR, so it must have been in that middle timeframe.
 
Messages
446
Location
California
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
 
Messages
12,496
Location
Kendall, FL
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
popcorn
 
Messages
9,986
Location
Waco, TX
Originally Posted by Raven
When he took it back they ended up offering him 20k off a new vehicle because .............
I was reading intently until I got to this part. No dealer would pony up for that.
 
Messages
656
Location
Richmond, VA area
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
I suggest that it doesn't come off the filters, even at flows that are well beyond what the engine can do and even at oiling levels that are egregious. It's BS/urban legend. I remember having 2 MAFs go on my old Jetta, I'm sure if I had been using a K&N it would been blamed. I'm sure if I sent the MAFs to K&N they would have tested them and found no trace of their oil. MAFs actually fail sometimes and K&Ns are an easy blame based on the propagation that the oil magically flies off. Runnign them in all my cars with zero issue/drama and have been for years. Anyway, some great videos on the subject. https://youtu.be/LeqP_1Y_pC0 https://youtu.be/gE6moItrZNg
 
Messages
446
Location
California
Originally Posted by TiGeo
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
I suggest that it doesn't come off the filters, even at flows that are well beyond what the engine can do and even at oiling levels that are egregious. It's BS/urban legend. I remember having 2 MAFs go on my old Jetta, I'm sure if I had been using a K&N it would been blamed. I'm sure if I sent the MAFs to K&N they would have tested them and found no trace of their oil. MAFs actually fail sometimes and K&Ns are an easy blame based on the propagation that the oil magically flies off. Runnign them in all my cars with zero issue/drama and have been for years. Anyway, some great videos on the subject. https://youtu.be/LeqP_1Y_pC0 https://youtu.be/gE6moItrZNg
The negative effects of oiled high flow air filters is well documented. Not BS or legend. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=290373
 
Messages
3,983
Location
No Tyson in Tonganoxie KS!
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
Originally Posted by TiGeo
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
I suggest that it doesn't come off the filters, even at flows that are well beyond what the engine can do and even at oiling levels that are egregious. It's BS/urban legend. I remember having 2 MAFs go on my old Jetta, I'm sure if I had been using a K&N it would been blamed. I'm sure if I sent the MAFs to K&N they would have tested them and found no trace of their oil. MAFs actually fail sometimes and K&Ns are an easy blame based on the propagation that the oil magically flies off. Runnign them in all my cars with zero issue/drama and have been for years. Anyway, some great videos on the subject. https://youtu.be/LeqP_1Y_pC0 https://youtu.be/gE6moItrZNg
The negative effects of oiled high flow air filters is well documented. Not BS or legend. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=290373
So, I should stay with my dry flow then? Guess using the pre-filter is just added protection huh?
 
Messages
656
Location
Richmond, VA area
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
Originally Posted by TiGeo
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
I suggest that it doesn't come off the filters, even at flows that are well beyond what the engine can do and even at oiling levels that are egregious. It's BS/urban legend. I remember having 2 MAFs go on my old Jetta, I'm sure if I had been using a K&N it would been blamed. I'm sure if I sent the MAFs to K&N they would have tested them and found no trace of their oil. MAFs actually fail sometimes and K&Ns are an easy blame based on the propagation that the oil magically flies off. Runnign them in all my cars with zero issue/drama and have been for years. Anyway, some great videos on the subject. https://youtu.be/LeqP_1Y_pC0 https://youtu.be/gE6moItrZNg
The negative effects of oiled high flow air filters is well documented. Not BS or legend. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=290373
Read through it all. Seems to be a discussion primarily about the worthlessness of these filters and/or CAIs on the TDI engines of course with a smattering of "K&N oil will foul your MAF" chants. No evidenced or quantitative data that I saw to show that MAF issues were from K&N oil (maybe I missed that?). Not super familiar with the TDIs but is it possible there is some oily/combustion gas mixture that gets re-digested through the intake track that could also be to blame? I will stand by my comment - I've used these things for a long time with no drama. I don't use a CAI but just the drop-in panel filter. One owner that had issues said something to the effect that his cone filter on his CAI kept coming off every few weeks...I'd say that was more of his issue than the filter. I have done multiple UOAs on my cars with K&Ns (posted here) that continue to show normal levels of SiO2 and insolubles and excellent filtering. One poster in that thread basically said "if you run K&N you will absolutely have higher levels of SiO2 in your oil"...how don't I? I have no visible dirt/grit/grim on my intake hoses. My current Atlas has a MAF with no drama after 2 years/22K miles (my Golf doesn't have a MAF). How is this possible? It's possible b/c I 1) operate in low-dust/normal daily driving conditions 2) take care of my cars including following K&N's instructions on their cleaning/re-oiling procedures (once every 50K with a shake out of the larger crap/leaves/bugs every year). I think K&N filters are fine. I also like the dry-flow filters by aFe. I want to see direct data showing that K&N oil is why the MAF failed vs. other culprits. They 100% filter less than a paper filter. How much less? That famous report (Spicer?) that makes the rounds every once in a while shows the K&N to have a~96% filtering efficiency vs. the AC Delco (?) at 99%...it's not an argument. However, what is an argument is whether 3% less efficiency makes f all of a difference to your engine. I like the extra flow. I'm running a larger turbo/software to make substantially more power than stock and yes, the modified OE intake I have with a high-flow filter matters. In our Atlas? The only reason is the once/done re-usability and the extra noise you get b/c the soundwaves from the intake aren't as muffled by it like a paper filter.
 
Messages
656
Location
Richmond, VA area
Originally Posted by Marco620
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
Originally Posted by TiGeo
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
I suggest that it doesn't come off the filters, even at flows that are well beyond what the engine can do and even at oiling levels that are egregious. It's BS/urban legend. I remember having 2 MAFs go on my old Jetta, I'm sure if I had been using a K&N it would been blamed. I'm sure if I sent the MAFs to K&N they would have tested them and found no trace of their oil. MAFs actually fail sometimes and K&Ns are an easy blame based on the propagation that the oil magically flies off. Runnign them in all my cars with zero issue/drama and have been for years. Anyway, some great videos on the subject. https://youtu.be/LeqP_1Y_pC0 https://youtu.be/gE6moItrZNg
The negative effects of oiled high flow air filters is well documented. Not BS or legend. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=290373
So, I should stay with my dry flow then? Guess using the pre-filter is just added protection huh?
Whatever makes you happy - either way to me is fine but the group-think here on BITOG is always anti-K&N. I say they are fine and so do plenty of folks.
 
Messages
12,496
Location
Kendall, FL
Originally Posted by TiGeo
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
Originally Posted by TiGeo
Originally Posted by CleverUserName
It's the oil from the filter. It gets on the MAF and causes the DPF to get plugged. It's common on VW TDIs and requires the DPF and MAF to be replaced. All because of an oiled high flow air filter. The irony is that increasing airflow won't do anything on a diesel without a supporting tune.
I suggest that it doesn't come off the filters, even at flows that are well beyond what the engine can do and even at oiling levels that are egregious. It's BS/urban legend. I remember having 2 MAFs go on my old Jetta, I'm sure if I had been using a K&N it would been blamed. I'm sure if I sent the MAFs to K&N they would have tested them and found no trace of their oil. MAFs actually fail sometimes and K&Ns are an easy blame based on the propagation that the oil magically flies off. Runnign them in all my cars with zero issue/drama and have been for years. Anyway, some great videos on the subject. https://youtu.be/LeqP_1Y_pC0 https://youtu.be/gE6moItrZNg
The negative effects of oiled high flow air filters is well documented. Not BS or legend. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=290373
Read through it all. Seems to be a discussion primarily about the worthlessness of these filters and/or CAIs on the TDI engines of course with a smattering of "K&N oil will foul your MAF" chants. No evidenced or quantitative data that I saw to show that MAF issues were from K&N oil (maybe I missed that?). Not super familiar with the TDIs but is it possible there is some oily/combustion gas mixture that gets re-digested through the intake track that could also be to blame? I will stand by my comment - I've used these things for a long time with no drama. I don't use a CAI but just the drop-in panel filter. One owner that had issues said something to the effect that his cone filter on his CAI kept coming off every few weeks...I'd say that was more of his issue than the filter. I have done multiple UOAs on my cars with K&Ns (posted here) that continue to show normal levels of SiO2 and insolubles and excellent filtering. One poster in that thread basically said "if you run K&N you will absolutely have higher levels of SiO2 in your oil"...how don't I? I have no visible dirt/grit/grim on my intake hoses. My current Atlas has a MAF with no drama after 2 years/22K miles (my Golf doesn't have a MAF). How is this possible? It's possible b/c I 1) operate in low-dust/normal daily driving conditions 2) take care of my cars including following K&N's instructions on their cleaning/re-oiling procedures (once every 50K with a shake out of the larger crap/leaves/bugs every year). I think K&N filters are fine. I also like the dry-flow filters by aFe. I want to see direct data showing that K&N oil is why the MAF failed vs. other culprits. They 100% filter less than a paper filter. How much less? That famous report (Spicer?) that makes the rounds every once in a while shows the K&N to have a~96% filtering efficiency vs. the AC Delco (?) at 99%...it's not an argument. However, what is an argument is whether 3% less efficiency makes f all of a difference to your engine. I like the extra flow. I'm running a larger turbo/software to make substantially more power than stock and yes, the modified OE intake I have with a high-flow filter matters. In our Atlas? The only reason is the once/done re-usability and the extra noise you get b/c the soundwaves from the intake aren't as muffled by it like a paper filter.
Best post in this thread.
 
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