Diesel Particulate Filters, Dorking, Surrey

If you own a diesel car built after 2009, it is a certainty that your vehicle is fitted with a diesel particulate filter. This is because it was in 2009 that it was made mandatory for manufacturers to fit “DPF’s” to all diesel vehicles as a way of reducing emissions.

The diesel particulate filter is a component fitted to the exhaust system, designed to catch soot and carbon particles omitted by the engine. The DPF traps these particles through a series of filters, but over time, due to its small capacity, these particles can build up and creates blockages within the DPF, causing issues with the vehicle.

How do i avoid it getting blocked?

Although the DPF can become blocked over time, the vehicle has a very clever function that allows the DPF to clear whilst driving. This function is known as regeneration. There are three types of regeneration: Passive, Active and Forced.

Passive Regenerations are most common and happen when a vehicle is travelling at a constant speed of around 40 mph for a period of over 15 minutes.  This is because there is a nice, constant flow through the exhaust, allowing the DPF to avoid getting blocked.

Active regenerations are more common on vehicles that do not do longer, higher speed journeys. The engine will increase the revs per minute, inject more fuel, raising the exhaust temperature to be able to clear more debris from the DPF. Things you  may notice during an active regeneration are:

  • Engine cooling fan cutting in and out
  • High revs per minute
  • Stop/Start system not working
  • Slightly increased fuel consumption
  • Hot/Burning smell

Forced Regenerations are a result of the vehicle not being able to carry out either a passive or an active regeneration. When these fail, it creates more and more soot in the DPF, and without clearance, becomes blocked very quickly. This is cause the engine to fault, dropping it in to limp mode and illuminating the engine management light. A forced regeneration can only be carried out by a trained technician with diagnostic equipment, and it not something that the car can do automatically.

Results of a blocked DPF

Ignoring a fault or letting it happen time and time again can cause major faults with the engine or DPF. In most cases, can damage sensors and the DPF itself. Because of their complexity, diesel particulate filters are not cheap to repair or replace, with most costing in excess of £1000. Because of this, it is very important to ensure the vehicle is well maintained and regularly serviced, as cleaner oil and cleaner fuel injection reduces the amount of soot and carbon omitted by the engine.

Please do not hesitate to contact us today. Our service team and technicians are always ready to help.

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