Why Cal-Updates Are Not Enough to Keep a DPF Filter Clean

DPF Filter | Lloyd Diesel Technologies

Did Your Dealer Set Up Your ECM Correctly?

OK guys, a lot of feedback we get regarding our Optimization service is along the lines of “doesn’t my Dealership already do that?”…in general terms, NO, they don’t do what we do. If they did, your trucks would not be in their shop every 3 months, and your DPF filter would not need to be cleaned every year, or worse.

More specifically, there seems to be a lot of confusion about the Duty Cycle Programming portion of our Optimization service. That is the part of our service where we custom program your ECM specifically for your truck’s application or use. To be clear, a “calibration update” is not the same thing as Duty Cycle Programming. This article is the LDT ECM 101 crash course, and should clear things up for you.

Drive Smarter

The big brain of today’s modern diesel truck is the Electronic Control Module, or ECM. This computer basically controls every aspect of how your truck runs, including how the Aftertreatment works. If the ECM is not set-up properly, the performance and reliability of your truck will suffer.

When you order a truck from the Dealership, the ECM needs to be uploaded, or programmed, with the specific parameters and features you need for your truck. Programming includes providing the basic inputs, like horsepower, torque, and transmission, so the ECM can compute how the truck is going to run. It is the responsibility of the Dealer to provide this programming. The manufacturers provide some generic, cookie-cutter templates for the Dealer’s to make things easier, but there are literally thousands of options, combinations, and features that can be customized to meet your needs.

Using the manufacturer’s generic settings is like teaching your ECM the ABC’s…custom programming the ECM is like giving it a Master’s degree in language.

calibration update-Lloyd Diesel Duty Cycle Programming

Therein lies the problem: most Dealerships only know how to program the ECM with the generic, factory settings. It takes an engineering-level understanding of modern diesel technology and Aftertreatment to be able to properly customize the ECM for maximum efficiency.

A generic, factory tuned ECM is the #1 cause for Aftertreatment failure and a constantly plugged DPF filter. LDT’s Duty Cycle Programming will drastically reduce Aftertreatment related failure and downtime, while improving efficiency.

So…Didn’t My Dealer Already Do This???

99% of the trucks we Optimize don’t have their ECM’s set-up properly by the Dealer. We have literally seen garbage trucks with a long-haul calibration installed. Even if the Dealers used the correct, basic factory setting, NOBODY is able to customize the ECM like Lloyd Diesel when it comes to improving Aftertreatment efficiency.

Lloyd Diesel’s Duty Cycle Programming takes custom programming to the next level. You see, we started learning about this while working at Cummins when they were first designing Aftertreatment systems. We worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Engineers and Programmers who created the parameters and features for the Dealerships to install. We saw what was capable, and how a modern, emission compliant could and should run, when set-up right. And we saw it all go wrong years later while working for an OEM. We saw the manufacturer-dealership disconnect first hand, and decided to do something about it.

Well, My Dealer Says They Can Do This too…

A lot of Dealerships will claim to be able to do what we do once you talk to them about us. We get it. You trust your Dealership. They’ve been working with you for years, maybe decades. Of course, we at LDT don’t believe they can do what we do. But, let’s say that they can…

If your Dealership says they can do the same thing for you, ask yourself these question:

“Why didn’t they do it when I bought the truck?”

“Why did I have to reach out to them for it? Shouldn’t they have told me about this?”

“Are they really doing the same thing as LDT?-Can they show me how it has helped others?”

“If they didn’t do it right the first time, can I really trust them to do it right this time?”

Listen, we are not anti-Dealership. We are anti-screwing over the industry. Dealerships can’t do what we do when it comes to Aftertreatment related programming and maintenance, so it is not a competition. It is just a matter of getting your truck running as efficiently and reliably as possible. If you are looking for ways to reduce your repair costs and downtime, you can keep going to the guys who make money every time your truck breaks down, or you can go to the guys whose entire business is built around keeping you out of the shop (that’s us).

One Last Thing About Your ECM

If your Dealership thinks that custom programming is the same thing as a calibration update, you should probably just turn around and run.

Calibration updates are NOT the same thing as custom programming! A Cal update is simply making sure that the software that controls the ECM is current and up to date. It is a necessary and important part of making sure the ECM can work properly, but it is NOT going to customize available features that can improve your vehicle’s efficiency and reliability.


CONTACT Lloyd Diesel today to learn more…hate sales pitches? So do we! Call us or email us to actually learn more about Aftertreatment issues. You’ll walk away with a little better understanding of your trucks, guaranteed, and if you want more help from us we got you covered.


Lloyd Diesel is looking for fleets that need our help! If you know any fleet managers, service managers, or fleet owners, and can get us an introduction, you can earn a generous referral bonus on any business we do! Email aaron@lloyddiesel.com with contact information!

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