Owners often are confused about what it means to be “DPF-fitted” diesel. A filter for the exhaust which is installed on the majority of diesel vehicles of late models is called a DPF.
It is used to eliminate harmful gases such as hydrocarbons and lubricants from the fuel and lubricants, and water as well as Sulphates, which bind to soot and create harmful particles in exhaust fumes from diesel engines.
These harmful gases may result from a number of contributing factors: poor or incorrect servicing, low-quality fuel, or poor driving habits which lead to poor combustion.
These particles are captured by the DPF filter and can be later cleaned or recycled through high-temperature combustion. It’s when this regeneration process does not happen, and the filter becomes clogged, that problems can arise. I’ve observed the diesel particulate filter described as an expensive and sophisticated component that must be replaced. However, this is not the case to my knowledge.
The need for replacement is less likely if the condition is well managed, treated, and maintained properly. DPF faults in engines’ computers do not necessarily suggest that the DPF blockage has occurred.
What are the symptoms of blocked DPF
There are several symptoms that could be experienced when your DPF is blocked and/or requires to be cleaned (not always ready to go to the scrap pile).
- Surging/poor performance.
- Excessive fuel consumption.
- Excessive smoke: white, blue, and black
- Display of the engine or DPF emission light
- Difficult to start the engine
- The engine is running rough.
- Unsuccessful attempts at regeneration
What is Regeneration?
The computer-integrated algorithms of the vehicle carry out periodic regenerations (burns) which is a procedure whereby the system increases the temperature in the exhaust, and then ‘burns off the soot and particles that are accumulated in the filter. It could result in a malfunctioning component that causes it to stop working effectively or to increase the number of them until the issue is fixed.
Regenerations cause the emission of large quantities of black smoke from the exhaust. It’s harmless. Only smoke that blows continuously can indicate a problem.
How can you reduce a potential DPF blockage or failure?
- Make sure that the mechanic you hire is familiar with diesels.
- Avoid missing or incorrect oils
- Avoid driving in an accident-prone area (dash warning lights)
Avoid diesel with poor quality fuel. Modify your car carefully I address DPF driving behaviors – decrease idling (increase the rpm at a lower speed than load), dropping down the gear, particularly when crawling. Talk to your mechanic about any changes that you observe in the performance of your vehicles, such as more raucous whistles, hissing sounds, or jerking sensations.
These unexpected changes in driving may result in your DPF not regenerating. Do not use ‘on-car intake/induction cleans regardless of whether your mechanic suggests these. They could damage DPFs as well as other critical components.
Components that fail and cause DPF faults do not necessarily indicate that the DPF has to be replaced. Maintained DPFs can cover more than 200,000 miles before they are taken away to be replaced or cleaned.
What does it cost to replace or clean a DPF
First, a warning: DPF repair MUST be done by a qualified mechanic with the right tools to reset and replace DPF. After the initial fault has been found, the DPF must be removed. The top DPF cleaning companies should have a minimum of five years of cleaning success.
They can also find out whether the DPF is actually damaged internally.
A mechanic may test all the DPF parts on the vehicle to determine if it is blocked. If any of those are not working properly, you can always get different parts and replace them. It is impossible to discern if the DPF is melting or has collapsed internally, thus causing the blockage. The cost of a passenger car’s typical of cleaning is about $600 DPF-equipped vehicles can be found in a variety of configurations.
Manufacturers frequently alter their designs, which makes it hard to know which DPF brand is the best one for a particular vehicle. DPFs aren’t required to disclose who the manufacturer of DPF is, since they are considered the most tightly controlled element of motor vehicle emissions.