Many bystanders disregard all oil and fuel additives as “snake oil,” which I think is a little unjust. While it is true that some of them have only a placebo effect (and may even be harmful), others have a really positive effect. As a result, I strive to keep an open mind at all times.
I spent a lot of time earlier this year investigating diesel particulate filters, and Cataclean is one of the companies that claims its fuel additive cuts both emissions and repair costs. However, its fuel additive is primarily promoted as a product that cleans catalytic converters, a claim that has been challenged by many advertising regulators in the United States and overseas (see here). Cataclean’s Corporate Development Director’s confident declaration that, when used quarterly, Cataclean “can lower diesel soot emissions by up to 60%, helping prevent the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) from breaking” piqued my curiosity the most.
The assertion is unbelievable, and while DPFs do not ‘break,’ they certainly clog. I felt forced to look into the claim. Even though the instructions recommend going for a drive of between 10-15 miles prior to refueling, the company representatives I spoke with were confident that I would notice a difference by simply adding a bottle of additive to a quarter tank of fuel and allowing the car to idle on my driveway for 15 minutes.
So, the stage was set to put the promises of what may be a truly extraordinary product to the test, but this was never meant to be a lab test, but rather a real-world alternative. The diesel car in question was roughly seven years old with 75,000 miles on the clock, in good mechanical condition, and had been running on Shell V-Power premium diesel for several thousand kilometers. It had a DPF, and when the engine was running, the main dealer diagnostic software was utilized to monitor the various parameters.
Before adding a full bottle of Cataclean, the car was driven first to allow both the oil and coolant to achieve their typical operating temperatures, and the fuel level was allowed to drop to between 1/4 and empty. Because the tested car had standard equipment that allowed the soot loading in the DPF to burn away naturally at temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius, the goal was to keep the exhaust temperatures below 300 degrees so that any reduction in particulates could be attributed solely to Cataclean and not to the natural effect that vaporizes the soot at higher temperatures.
The automobile was idling between 750 and 1200 rpm for 20 minutes in the first test, with real-time monitoring of DPF soot levels and exhaust gas temperatures. The second test involved driving the automobile for twelve miles on an open road at speeds ranging from 10 to 45 mph (at 1,200 to 2,500 rpm) while the diagnostic equipment monitored those characteristics. The lower road speeds were chosen to prevent the automobile from attempting to’regenerate,’ which would heat up the exhaust system and remove the soot automatically, ruining the experiment. All of the testing took place on a beautiful fall afternoon, with temperatures hovering around 15 degrees Celsius.
There was no reduction in DPF soot loading after nearly fifteen minutes of idle. Soot loading increased by nearly 1.2 percent from then until the completion of the test. The soot load increased by 3.1 percent during the second evaluation, which took place while the vehicle was being driven. The complete results are listed below:
Vehicle not moving idle for 20 minutes at a speed of between 760 and 1,200 rpm.
Vehicle driven for 12 miles at speeds ranging from 10 to 45 mph and 1,200 to 2500 rpm.
Cataclean failed to show any reduction in soot emissions in our DPF, instead recording an increase. Cataclean may have cleaned soot from the oxidizing catalytic converter, which then travelled down the exhaust and into the DPF, explaining our findings. However, if such is the case (and I have no proof), then the claim that Cataclean reduces soot levels and improves DPF reliability is dubious when the results of our tests are taken into account.
Our findings were reported to Cataclean, and the complete statement that resulted may be found at the bottom of this blog. All I can say is that, beyond anecdotal claims and analysis financed by the manufacturer, I would need real evidence that Cataclean decreases soot in a DPF before investing my own money in a bottle. When both time and mileage were examined, it was determined not to prolong the testing further before refueling because the chosen technique ran the tests for longer, at a low fuel level, than the consumer instructions on the bottle stated.
Following up on the testing you did on Cataclean and its capacity to reduce soot load in a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). The results were conclusive in that Cataclean did not lower the soot load in the DPF using the approach you used. This is disheartening because we have received numerous reports from motorists and auto technicians indicating that Cataclean significantly reduces the soot load in a DPF. On request, we would be pleased to compile a large number of these examples for you.
Cataclean is evaluating the product utilizing CEC* testing standards at a recognized UK testing center in order to confirm its performance beyond anecdotal evidence. The goal of the experiment is to determine exactly what Cataclean’s cleaning capabilities are and where they occur in an internal combustion engine and exhaust system. It is envisaged that these data will be available by the end of 2014, depending on the facility’s availability and timetable.
Finally, while we respect and believe your findings are valid, we would like to raise a point about your methodology.
A repeat of test 1 following test 2 would have been beneficial, in our opinion. We understand that this was not achievable because the car went on a longer run following test 2 and the DPF was regenerated.
Does Cataclean work on diesel?
Cataclean does not change the makeup of the fuel and is therefore safe for diesel engines. A healthy engine aids in the restoration and maintenance of catalytic converter efficiency. Use four times a year to keep your engine running smoothly.
What does Cataclean diesel do?
Cataclean is a fuel and exhaust system cleanser that cleans dangerous carbon deposits from valves, injectors, oxygen sensors, EGR valves, and catalytic converters. It also minimizes the amount of particulates in a DPF, which helps to prevent blockage.
For greater performance, the Cataclean increases fuel economy, decreases emissions, recovers performance, and extends the life of engine/exhaust parts.
- Remove the seal from one bottle of Cataclean Diesel and pour the full contents into the fuel tank.
- One 500 mL bottle of Cataclean Diesel to about 15 litres of gasoline is the recommended ratio of use.
How long does it take Cataclean to work?
After pouring the cleaning chemical into the gas tank, it takes around 30 minutes for the cleaner to circulate to every important component of the vehicle and fulfill its function. Because it works with the car heating up a little, you must ride at least a mile to ensure successful operation.
Q: Can I put cataclean in a full tank?
The Cataclean converter cleaner works by mixing gasoline in the fuel tank to generate a mixture that can be cleaned when you start your engine and drive for a long time until you see the differences.
When cleaning begins, it is critical that the amount of cleaner solution (Cataclean) added to your gas is near to the prescribed volume. Don’t make the mistake of dumping Cataclean when the tank is still full of gas. You will not achieve the best results. Pour a whole bottle of cataclean into a third of a gas tank.
Q: How often should I use a catalytic converter cleaner?
Either you use a catalytic cleaner 5 to 4 times a year or you don’t. At least four times a year, the seafoam catalytic converter cleanser can be used.
If you use the cleaners on a regular basis before things become worse, you can avoid excessive carbon particles collecting in your converter.
If you’ve read any catalytic converter cleaner reviews, whether on paper or online, you’ve probably come across remarks from folks who have been scammed by converter cleaners. But you don’t have to be fooled; you’ll need more than a bottle of cleanser to do the job and be satisfied.
Q: Can Cataclean damage your car?
Cataclean is beneficial to more than just your catalytic converter. The special mixture also aids in the cleaning of the gasoline and other vital components of the exhaust system.
It will eventually result in an unsatisfactory air-fuel ratio. Because not all of the fuel you burn is used to power your car, it’s called “running rich.” The catalytic converter will wear out over time. Cataclean has no negative impact on your vehicle.
Q: What is the most effective catalytic converter cleaner?
There was a time when I used a high-quality cleaning product and followed all of the instructions on the package, but I never received the results I wanted. It had no effect, no improvement, and no negative consequence.
So, if you’re already certain that you need a cleaner for your catalytic converter, whether for maintenance or otherwise, make sure you acquire a high-quality model to prevent squandering your money. Your engines and exhaust system are critical components, and you don’t want to damage them.
However, you should not continue to use a broken catalytic converter without taking action. To avoid sending dangerous emissions into the atmosphere, you must clean or repair a clogged catalytic converter.
Q: Can you replace a Catalytic Converter with a straight pipe?
Your engine will not be harmed by replacing jacks with straight pipes. You may link the manifold to the exhaust tip with a straight pipe, and even a 2 and quarter-inch pipe will provide enough back pressure for your engine.
Q: What happens if I don’t replace my catalytic converter?
If you do nothing to fix your damaged catalytic converter, a number of problems can go wrong with your car. The following are some of the things you might encounter:
Can Cataclean damage your engine?
Gasket Cataclean cleans your vehicle’s exhaust gas, air sensors, oxygen cylinders, and catalytic converters. It has no effect on the composition of fuel or the pollution of engine fuel.
Do catalytic converter cleaners actually work?
No, is the quick response. Because they contain additives that remove carbon deposits from your engine’s fuel and exhaust systems, using one of these products is likely to improve symptoms. They won’t get rid of them totally, nor will they suddenly restore your broken catalytic converter.
Can I use Cataclean on a full tank of gas?
I’ve had my van for eight years, and because to its age, it’s always had issues with exhaust gases and the DPF. I’ve bought a few different injector cleaning products over the years to help with the smoke, the majority of which have been on the cheaper end of the product scale because I was assured they all pretty much did the same job at the £6-£10 range. I opted to buy Cataclean this month because they all had little to no effect on emissions. Although it is not the cheapest product in the collection, at £16.99 per bottle, I decided it was worth a shot because the others had failed. When I first saw a bottle of cataclean, my first reaction was how much more liquid you receive for your money compared to the lesser brands. The instructions do not provide a percentage of liquid to fuel ratio or the number of millimetres per litre to add to your tank… Simply pour the entire bottle of cataclean into 1/4 tank of fuel and you’re done! I’ll do it again in three months, like they suggest. For such an ancient van, there is a considerable improvement in engine performance within the first 50 miles of driving! The horrible blue smoke has almost dissipated, and fuel efficiency has improved!! As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and I’ll be sticking with Cataclean from now on. Great job, folks!
What is the best DPF Cleaner?
The Most Effective DPF Cleaner
- DPF Cleaner and Regenerator Forte The Forte recipe is by far the most popular DPF cleaner, and for good reason.
How do you use Cataclean diesel?
Before putting the entire contents of one bottle of Cataclean Diesel into the gasoline tank, remove the seal. After that, drive for at least 15 minutes and refill as needed. One 500ml bottle of Cataclean Diesel to about 15 litres of fuel is the recommended ratio. ONCE EVERY THREE MONTHS!
How effective is Cataclean?
Basically, if you own a vehicle, Cataclean is a worthwhile investment. Users have reported a 5-10% gain in fuel performance, with some seeing a 25% increase, after using Cataclean and removing the build-up of carbon deposits in the exhaust system.