There is a lot of talk about ‘DPF fitted diesel’. A DPF is an exhaust filter that is fitted to most late-model diesel cars.
It’s used to eliminate harmful gases, including hydrocarbons that are present in the lubricants and fuels, as well as water and sulfates that stick to soot, forming dangerous particles that are generated by exhaust fumes from diesel engines.
The dangerous gasses can result due to a variety of factors, including poor or incorrect servicing, poor quality fuel, poor driving habits, and poor combustion. The DPF filter is designed to trap the particles, and later be regenerated, or cleaned, via high-temperature burns.
Problems may arise when the regeneration process is not completed and the filter gets blocked. Diesel particulate filters are often presented as expensive, complex components that require to be replaced. I’ve found this not to be the case.
Replacement can be avoided If it is controlled, diagnosed, and properly maintained.
If a DPF fault becomes present in the engine’s computer, it DOES NOT necessarily mean it means that the DPF has been blocked.
What are the signs of obstruction of DPF?
The following symptoms may be observed in the event that your DPF is blocked or requires servicing.
- Surging/poor performance.
- Excessive fuel consumption.
- Smoke Excessive – White, Blue, and black Display of engine and/or DPF emissions light.
- It is difficult to start the engine.
- The engine runs rough.
- Regeneration attempts have not been successful.
What is Regeneration?
The vehicle’s computer-embedded algorithms perform periodic regenerations (burns) – a process whereby the system raises the temperature of the exhaust and ‘burns away the soot and particles collected inside the filter. If a component fails to function properly, it can cause a surge in the number of regenerations or end them together until the issue is resolved. The exhaust then releases excessive black smoke, as the result of regeneration. This is normal and not a risk. If smoke is constantly blowing does it mean an underlying problem needs immediate attention?
What can you do to minimize the chance of DPF failure/blockage:
- Ensure that your mechanic knows how to work with diesel.
- Avoid incorrect oils and missing services.
- Avoid driving while you have a defect in your car (dash warning light).
- Avoid low-quality diesel fuel.
- Modify your car with care.
I have to deal with driving behaviors that result in DPF to reduce idle time and increase the rpm when I am driving (dropping down the car) particularly when traffic is crawling. The mechanic you hire should be able to identify any changes in your vehicle, such as more raucous whistles or hissing sounds while driving. These unexpected changes in driving could result in your DPF not renewing. If your mechanic recommends that you do them, don’t use ‘on-vehicle intake/induction cleanings‘. They could damage DPFs as well as other critical components.
DPF problems aren’t always the result of components failing. Maintained DPFs are capable of covering more than 200,000 miles before they are removed to be replaced or cleaned. What does it cost to replace or clean the DPF. First, a warning: DPF repair MUST be performed by a skilled mechanic with the right equipment to reset and refit DPF. Once the initial fault has been confirmed after which the DPF should be removed and either cleaned using a recommended cleaner or be cleaned by a DPF cleaning service.
An excellent DPF cleaning company should have at most five years of experience in cleaning. They can also tell if the DPF is in fact damaged inside the house. A mechanic may test the DPF on the vehicle to determine if it is blocked. It is impossible to determine if the DPF has become melted or collapsed internally, thus causing the blockage.
The average clean for a passenger vehicle is approximately 600 dollars.
There is a broad range of vehicles fitted with DPF’s. Manufacturers often alter their designs, which makes it difficult to determine what DPF brand is best for a specific car. DPFs aren’t required to reveal the name of the company that manufactures DPF is, since they are thought to be the most controlled component of motor vehicle emissions.