DPF Problems? Here’s a Complete Guide to DPF

If you have a diesel car you will likely own a dpf. This guide will help you identify exactly what a dpf is, dpf problems and the importance of maintaining it. 


What is a dpf? 


A dpf is a ‘Diesel Particulate Filter’ it collects exhaust soot to reduce the emissions emitted from a diesel engine. The dpf only has a finite capacity of soot it can collect before it stops working effectively. An excess build up of soot leads to dpf problems. 


The process of cleaning/ sorting the dpf problem is called dpf regeneration. This burns off any soot from the filter – reducing harmful emissions and gets rid of the black smoke that you can see from cars accelerating with a blocked dpf. 


As of 2009 dpf became a mandatory component of diesel cars in the Euro 5 Exhaust Emissions in the EU Emissions Standards. As we are leaving the EU very soon it will yet to be seen how this standard is adapted for the UK. However, as the UK government are underway with their ‘Green Industrial Revolution’’ I’m sure dpf’s will still be mandatory for diesel cars after the UK leaves the EU.


Currently, it is illegal to not have a dpf. If caught the fines are up to £2,500 and invalidates your car insurance


If you need your dpf cleaning for an audi, bmw or VW or Mercedes we can clean your dpf at a fraction of the cost of main dealers. We specialise in German car repair.

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How can I tell if my dpf is having problems? 


An orange light will appear on your dashboard – it usually looks like this. 

DPF - Warning Light

DPF- Warning Light

If this is on your dashboard contact us now 

Before dpf blockage causes further problems to your car.


Problems Caused by a blocked dpf filter


Here is a short list of problems that can occur from a blocked dpf:


  • Your car feels weaker- the dpf blockage can cause the engine to work less efficiently and in turn feel weaker.


  • Use more fuel than usual- Your engine won’t be working as hard so you will accelerate to compensate for the loss in power. You will use up more fuel.


  • The engine is hard to start- The blocked DPF causes a build up of gas in the engine , this also causes a  build up of pressure in both the engine and the DPF itself. Your engine will simply not want to start until that pressure is released


  • The engine will produce a strange smell- All the gas that has built up in the engine will begin to produce a strange smell. 


How do I maintain my DPF filter?


The best way to maintain the dpf filter is through dpf regeneration to clear all the soot off the filter. 


There are 2 types of regenerations:


  • Passive Regeneration-  You can do this by using the car on the motorway at speed on a long journey. This means the exhaust will get to a high temperature and burn off the excess soot in the filter. However not everyone is able to drive along motorways regularly so manufacturers have come up with alternatives.


  • Active Regeneration- Car manufacturers build in an active regeneration system to cars- where the engine control can sense whether the dpf needs cleaning or not. It injects extra fuel into the engine in an effort to increase the temperature of the exhaust and burn off soot. This process usually occurs around every 300 miles and takes 5-10 minutes to complete. This can be an unreliable method if there are problems with the journey, going too slow, or the regeneration doesn’t have enough time to finish.


If neither of these methods have worked and you still have the warning light. We offer dpf regeneration services where we force the regeneration and clean the dpf ourselves. 


Contact us here if you are encountering dfp problems

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