DPF, EGR & Swirl valves - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 14 Old 21-09-16 Thread Starter
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DPF, EGR & Swirl valves

I am new to diesels, got a 1.9 2008 159. Lovely car but blimey the engine is nothing on a 1.8TS!!

Anyway, grumble about diesels aside....

I keep reading about DPF, EGR and swirl valves and the importance of cleaning/removing/blanking etc them.

My questions as a newbie are: What are they? Surely they are meant to be there for a reason? How do I know if I have had mine changed?

Thanks!!
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I could be flippant and say, did you ask the seller if they were done? failing that, is there some invoices with the car showing any work that has been done?

If you need to know about these issues look at the sticky in the 159 lounge
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Flippancy is fine ?,

I didn't ask the dealer, to be honest I didn't know about it until I bought it and started reading through here.

The thing that surprises me is that some people seem to be saying that if you don't alter them then the world will end and the car fall apart, yet no one I know with a diesel car has ever mentioned there things to me. It's not like the 1.9 is a particularly big, sporty engine surely, just a good solid fiat worker?

As I said, I don't know about it so will definitely look in the stickies. Just wondering if it's like a lot of issues where the opinion seems to be divided as to whether necessary?
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Welcome to the dark art of Diesel, I was/am in the same boat. The swirl flaps are there apparently to create turbulence at low revs to help smooth out the running of the engine. These eventually wear out and have been know to break up and get swallowed by the engine(NOT GOOD), also they leak and generally affect the running of the vehicle. They can be removed, I have been advised to do both, i.e. leave them in place and remove them.
EGR recycles gas back though the engine via the inlet manifold, eventually it will soot up and affect performance, the valves can jam and the car will run like a dog, this unit can be blanked off and if completely blanked will need to be mapped out of the ECU. You can have a partial blank, I guess it will just take longer to give trouble.
Now, the DPF, a little rascal that resides in the exhaust system, every now on then, just to annoy you it will "regen". While its doing this performance will drop as will fuel consumption. Also this little chap get up to some very high temperatures, so don't poke it with you fingers while its doing it. The frequency of this is difficult to determine but it would seem that shorter journeys are BAD. Legally you must have a DPF, it is an automatic MOT fail if you car does not have one. Having said that there are loads of ways around this particular problem.
So, thats my read on the issues raised, good luck and enjoy.
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That's a great explanation, thanks!

Just off to put some redex in my tank to see if does anything, there's another can of worms!

Ps was meant to be an ! And not a ? After flippancy, typing on mobile!
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People with more knowledge than me will be able to tell you if you have the dreaded swirl flaps, the giveaway is an actuator and rod on the inlet manifold I believe, mine did not have them.

An Egr delete and blank was 150 at Autolusso a couple of years ago, well worth it.

If you go for that I can't see any reason to remove the DPF, others may disagree. I'd just have it cleaned if needed.

Get ready to haemorrhage money
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Get ready to haemorrhage money
Always the risk with any car I guess! I've been lucky with my other Alfa, a 156 1.8 SW, over 130k and apart from servicing has cost me peanuts and no major parts gone (I hope I am not setting myself up for the car now proving me wrong....)

Will have a look into the stuff but not rushing to get anything done yet as seems to drive fine, no black smoke etc.

Am I right in thinking normal diesels will go on forever and perhaps most Alfas are left alone but then the people who write on here perhaps care a bit more about their car and so discuss and do this kind of thing? (By which I mean my parents in their Peugeot 207 and my Father in law in his Golf TDI wouldn't ever have heard of this and would never do it yet still run very high mileage cars)
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I've had diesels for years without issues but the 2007 159 I had seemed to need a little more tlc than my other cars, Egr was a particular frigging nuisance, resulting it it being deleted.

It was a dirty engine that clogged everything, the same engine in my Vectra was hardly any trouble.
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I think it's fair to say that Alfa is a performance brand and as such their drivers tend to strive for maximum performance, hence the conversations you see here. I have always driven petrol vehicles and this is my first diesel. I cannot say I am happy with he fact it's diesel but its performance and economy are amazing. I have just done a 600 mile trip and I am still on he same tank of fuel. To the best of my knowledge all the issues you see discussed here are fairly common with other manufactures.
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a lot of these cars will have modifications on them already

i took my brera to autolusso for egr delete (as a previous 1.9 diesel choked itself to death via the egr) only to find that my car already had the egr deleted, the inlet manifold was very therefor very clean and the dpf was empty. The engine had also been mapped to some unkown power level.

the 1.9 is known for problems with the swirl flaps, you should seek some advice from an expert

when i talked to dan about my car and said i could get 500 miles on a tank, he scoffed and said there was now way a standard brera could manage that fuel economy
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Last edited by Cream; 22-09-16 at 09:51.
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Reading the post from Cream made me go outside and check my numbers, I have just done 505 miles on 3/4 of a tank.
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The most I ever get is about 500 miles. Not actually checked properly.
I did 854 miles going down to Devon and back (Manchester), plus driving there and a little back here. That was almost 2 tank fulls.

My trip suggests 40mpg (at best on my 17 miles trip to work and the same home, obviously). Evenings are usually a little better (warmer temperature perhaps?).
Local use severely lowers the MPG. Unlike my previous 1.9 GT the average MPG on the Auto trip is dreadful and even 'current' looks crap at 30mph. Mine prefers motorway driving.
It never averages (trip) more than 36mpg/tank. Quite **** for diesel I think because that's why we buy them I think?
On the trip to Devon on the motorway the trip still showed 40. I do think a DPF delete would improve things however a remap is surely not necessary on a 200bhp car is it?

Grand Prix starts are woeful on my car, until 2000rpm it has the characteristics of one of those dreams where you are trying to run.
I suspect every car on the road would beat it to 30mph

I don't do traffic light GP's anyway but perhaps just as well

Lastly on my 1.9 GT I regularly cleaned the EGR, in fact about four times a year. I could do blind folded most of the time
On at least two occasions when that happened it would not accelerate past a few MPH. On one such occasion at a traffic light I very nearly died doing so.

This makes me think the slow start on this 159 might be down to carbon build-up, probably everywhere

It's the **best diesel I've ever owned (the 1.9 the worst ). I do not intend buying another Italian diesel again.

All that said on the whole I do enjoy the 2.4 5 cylinder engine but the MPG is woeful in my experience but I never expected it was never going to be that good.
**I've only owned two.
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Priorities I find, are usually someone else's.
Statements above are all my own opinion and not fact.
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Fuel Consumption

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The most I ever get is about 500 miles. Not actually checked properly.
I did 854 miles going down to Devon and back (Manchester), plus driving there and a little back here. That was almost 2 tank fulls.

My trip suggests 40mpg (at best on my 17 miles trip to work and the same home, obviously). Evenings are usually a little better (warmer temperature perhaps?).
Local use severely lowers the MPG. Unlike my previous 1.9 GT the average MPG on the Auto trip is dreadful and even 'current' looks crap at 30mph. Mine prefers motorway driving.
It never averages (trip) more than 36mpg/tank. Quite **** for diesel I think because that's why we buy them I think?
On the trip to Devon on the motorway the trip still showed 40. I do think a DPF delete would improve things however a remap is surely not necessary on a 200bhp car is it?

Grand Prix starts are woeful on my car, until 2000rpm it has the characteristics of one of those dreams where you are trying to run.
I suspect every car on the road would beat it to 30mph

I don't do traffic light GP's anyway but perhaps just as well

Lastly on my 1.9 GT I regularly cleaned the EGR, in fact about four times a year. I could do blind folded most of the time
On at least two occasions when that happened it would not accelerate past a few MPH. On one such occasion at a traffic light I very nearly died doing so.

This makes me think the slow start on this 159 might be down to carbon build-up, probably everywhere

It's the **best diesel I've ever owned (the 1.9 the worst ). I do not intend buying another Italian diesel again.

All that said on the whole I do enjoy the 2.4 5 cylinder engine but the MPG is woeful in my experience but I never expected it was never going to be that good.
**I've only owned two.
Malc I think for the first time ever I am getting better MPG than somebody else, stands back amazed.I have just done 500 miles on 3/4 of a tank, now to be honest it has had a remap(Gus) and I did add some Diesel Rhino (not something that I normally do because I am not convinced there is any improvement). Thanks for making my day Malc. By the way, you are correct, off the lights the Brera is woeful, but my journey was across country on A roads and it was a blast.
Although I totally hate the sound of diesels, would I have another, hmmmmm, hate to say it but maybe, I would still hate the noise but the MPG is the best I have ever had bar none!
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Last edited by Philjay50; 23-09-16 at 21:23.
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Quite **** for diesel I think because that's why we buy them I think?
Yes, the fuel economy was part of why I bought the car (averaged 44mpg on motorway run, 586 miles from tank, 60 litres to refill), knew it wouldn't match BMW/Merc figures but then it looks sooooo much nicer...., but also the fact that there are so few petrol 159 sportwagons affected my decision. I would have liked one of the 1.8 but they are too expensive and of the older ones they tend to be 2.2 or 3.2 which obviously increase running costs.

It's a shame really, if you look on Autotrader now there are 47 159 SW for sale and only 4 are petrol!!
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