What is DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) Cleaning and when do I need it?

What is DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) Cleaning and when do I need it?

Today’s diesel cars come with DPFs or diesel particulate filters. The job of the DPF (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_particulate_filter) is to reduce the emissions from your vehicle dramatically so modern emissions limits are met. However, if you don’t maintain your DPF regularly, you could cause a great deal of damage to your car. DPFs have been built into diesel vehicles for many years, yet many drivers are unaware they are installed into their cars and what their purpose is. They are sometimes referred to as ‘soot traps’. Read on to find out more about DPF cleaning in Barnsley.

What happens if I don’t maintain the Diesel Particulate Filter?

If the soot trapped by a DPF is not removed regularly, the filter can’t work properly. This results in a vast build-up of soot. When the DPF is cleaned, the excess soot is burned off. This lowers dangerous emissions and will reduce the amount of black smoke emitted by your vehicle.

testing tools and equipmentCan I simply remove the DP filter?

The penalties for removing a DPF from your vehicle are substantial. You could be fined up to £1,000 if you are caught removing one from your car, with penalties rising to £2,500 for van drivers. You could also invalidate your insurance policy if you are found to have removed the filter.

How do I know if my DPF is blocked?

There are many tell-tale signs you can look for if you suspect your DPF is blocked. When the filter becomes faulty or clogged up with soot, you will normally be alerted to this by an orange light on your dashboard. The emission of black soot is another sign that you need to have your DPF cleaned. Your oil level may also increase, as may your fuel consumption levels.

What can cause a blocked filter?

Blocked DPFs can happen when you take a large number of short journeys whilst driving at low speeds. This explains why so many short-distance drivers are encouraged to purchase petrol cars. The reason why taking many short journeys can lead to a blockage is that the car doesn’t run for enough time for the exhaust to reach the required temperature for burn off. Most DPFs are designed to last for around 100,000 miles before they need to be replaced.

How can I avoid blockages?

Poor quality servicing can result in your DPF not lasting as long as it should. Choose your oil wisely as some products can cause blockages. Try to use high-quality fuel when possible and keep your tank topped up. If you run your car with low fuel levels, it may decide to stop regenerating the DPF so diesel can be saved. Make sure regeneration is possible when you see the warning light on your dashboard. You can achieve this by having it cleaned regularly.

What is active DPF regeneration?

DPF regeneration comes in two forms. These are passive and active regeneration. With passive regeneration, the exhaust temperature rises to a specific level whilst the car is being driven at high speed during a long journey. This enables motorists to burn off the excess soot.

Active regeneration

During active regeneration, additional fuel is injected so the exhaust temperature can rise. This results in the soot being burnt off. If regeneration processes are not completed properly, the warning light will remain on, letting us know a partial blockage remains. Driving for around ten minutes at over 40mph can help us clear the rest of the soot.

Certain signs indicate that active regeneration is occurring. The exhaust should be giving off a sour, hot smell and the cooling fans should be running. There should be a rise in idle speed and fuel consumption and automatic stop/start should be deactivated.

car and vehicle diagnosticsWhat to do if regeneration fails

If you have tried passive and active regeneration but failed to get the desired results, it’s time to consult the experts. You will be able to tell the process hasn’t worked if the light hasn’t turned off, has gone red, or more lights have switched on. If you continue to drive the car without resolving the issue, you could cause substantial damage.

You will spot more emissions from your exhaust, the car’s performance will be compromised, and it may become virtually impossible to use it or travel at high speeds. You may become unable to even start your car. If your filter is not working properly, your vehicle will fail its MOT.

Professional DPF cleaning

A reputable garage can clean your DPF, using the forced regeneration process. In most cases, this will remove the soot so you can drive your car safely. If taking your car for a long drive at a high speed has not resolved the issue, get the filter cleaned by a professional. As brand new DPFs can be incredibly expensive, it’s always best to try and get the existing DPF cleaned before replacing it. Eventually, the cost of a new DPF could exceed the value of the car itself.

The latest advancements in filter cleaning

When neither passive nor active regeneration have helped you to clear the blockage, you may need professional DPF cleaning. It may be possible to remove the soot with chemical additives, but this won’t take the ash away. When you use our DPF cleaning service, you can ensure both the soot and ash are removed. This is due to the way we use the very latest and most powerful technology to get the results you desire. We will only recommend replacing your DPF when we spot signs of internal damage that cannot easily be resolved.

More about the Barnsley DPF cleaning process

Our specialists will log all fault codes stored by the ECU before removing and inspecting the filter. We will carry out a back-pressure test to see how dangerous the blockage is before conducting a thorough cleaning and drying process. We then conduct a further back-pressure test and internal inspection and reinstall the filter. Remember, you won’t be able to legally drive your vehicle if you simply remove the DPF without replacing it.

At Wyatts Auto Services, we are ready to hear from you if you need DPF cleaning in Barnsley. Contact us today to find out more on 01226 979 087

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