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Diesel cars might not be everyone’s favorite but for those of us who actually like the extra torque, they have no alternative these days. Apart from getting amazing mpg numbers from a full tank of fuel, diesel cars are also great project cars to work on.
The internet is filled with mad projects with hundreds of horsepower and incredible torque figures squeezed out of various diesel powerplants. BMWs are exceptionally good at that since they have (on the bigger engines) that trademark straight six architecture working for them. With the inherent balance such an engine has due to the firing order, the clutter and vibrations that some diesels come with (and make them unbearable for some) are a distant memory. But what about long term maintenance?
Over the last few decades, more and more solutions have been implemented on diesel engines to make them cleaner. It started with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) and now we also have Selective Catalytic Converters on our cars to make them even better. The problem is they have a limited number of miles on them and, after that number is reached, they become problematic.
The issue is they get clogged up. That process is further accelerated if you’re using your car around town most of the time. And replacing them can be pretty expensive due to the materials they are made of (the list include platinum which we all know is pretty expensive).
One solution when the dreaded ‘Check emissions’ light pops up is to have the DPF removed. The problem is, the car’s ECU is programmed to work with the DPF so when you take it out, you also need to have the ECU map changed so that it works with the new hardware configuration.
Fret not, that can be solved even though the dealerships might say otherwise. You can have a special map installed that solves those issues, a procedure otherwise known as a ‘DPF delete’.
All you have to do is remove the DDE from your M57 or N57 engine, ship it to a specialist and have its software rewritten. Of course, you’ll also have to physically remove the DPF from your car and use a straight pipe instead. Once the new DDE is back in place, your computer will no longer show the dreaded F452A or 4D4A faults and you end up saving a few thousand dollars.