Go to any Autozone and free of charge they will run the code for you, This will tell you "why" the engine light is on. If it's important - fix it or go to shop. If it's something that is minor and doesn't effect the trucks coming and going to next step. Hook up the code reader - again....see if the light comes back on. If it does then ask the Autozone employee if you hold the code reader. There is a "cancel" button to get rid of the code. You can delete the code. The Autozone is not supposed to erase the code. BUT HE CAN LOOK AWAY WHEN YOU DO IT!
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I'm not sure about the automotive diesels but I know on the big trucks the DPF or diesel particulate filter needs to be serviced at regular intervals. They remove the flter and disassemble it and put it into a special cleaner and test it before puting it back on. I would imagine that there is some maintenance required for yours as well. If you still have your owners manual I would look in it and read about what the maintenance recommendations are for your vehicle. A lot of it probably depends on your driving habits as well. I know that if you drive a big truck and the filter gets plugged you can cause damage and eventually the truck will shut down.
This is what i would try (cheapest first) redexe/wyyns
injector cleaner,double dose,then i have put 1gal gas in 10gal diesel to increase burn temp (you may encounter a hot start problem temporarilly)then if still smoking, get a compresion check on the engine(this will tell you volumes)
by the way the NATO tanks put in 1/3 gas in diesel to stop it freezing in arctic conditions.any more than 1/3 can result in problems.
Once you are able to identify the EGR, you simply unbolt the valve and ant other obstaructing part. Clean its surface of carbon. Repalce the gasket if worn. Any sticky bolt/nut that you encounter could be removed by spraying some WD-40 around them. Also disconnect the negative wire of the battery first. Diesel do run hot, so get ready for some hard bolts to loosen.
I have a 03 sierra 1/2 ton with the same problem.... I just took it to my dealership on friday and they said its the memory module... I think thats what they called it,,,, $500 plus labor for a new one.....
if your truck doesnt have the driver info center, you can reset that by turning the key to run with the vehicle not running and push the gas pedal to the floor and let off 3 times but must be done fast