There are a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to diesel that is ‘DPF-fitted.
A DPF (exhaust filter) is a fitting that can be fitted to the majority of diesel cars.
It’s used to remove harmful gases such as hydrocarbons and lubricants from the fuel and lubricants, and water as well as sulfates, which attach to soot and form harmful particles from diesel exhaust fumes.
These dangerous gases can be the result of a variety 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 then be cleaned or regenerated via high-temperature burnings.
Problems arise because the regeneration process fails or the filter gets clogged. The diesel particulate filter is described as a complex and expensive component that needs to be replaced which in my experience is not the case.
Replacement can be avoided when the condition is well controlled and treated properly. DPF faults in the engines Computers do not always suggest that the DPF blockage has occurred.
What are the signs of DPF blockage?
There are a few signs that you suspect that your DPF is getting blocked.
- Surging/poor performance.
- Excessive fuel consumption. Smoke Excessive – White, black, blue.
- Engine or DPF emission lights are displayed.
- It is difficult to start the engine.
- Engine is running rough. Inability to regenerate.
What are regenerations?
The computer-integrated algorithms of the vehicle perform periodic regenerations (burns) which is a procedure whereby the system raises the temperature of the exhaust, and then ‘burns off the soot and particles that are accumulated inside the filter. A component that isn’t working correctly can cause an increase in regenerations, or even stop them entirely until the problem is corrected.
Smoke that is black and excessively emitted in the exhaust following regeneration. It’s normal, and is not dangerous. If smoke is constantly blowing this indicates that there is an underlying issue and immediate attention is required.
How can you reduce the chance of DPF blockage or failure?
- Ensure your mechanic is experienced and knowledgeable on diesel. Beware of inexact oil and services that are not available. Avoid driving while you have a defect in your car (dash warning light).
- Avoid poor-quality diesel fuel.
- Modify your vehicle carefully I deal with DPF driving habits to reduce idle time, and increase the rpm when I am driving (dropping down the car) particularly in crawling traffic.
- Your mechanic should be able to detect any changes to your vehicle, such as more raucous whistles or hissing sounds while driving. These changes can cause the DPF to stop generating.
- Avoid using ‘on vehicle intake/induction cleans regardless of whether your mechanic suggests these. They can damage DPFs and other critical components.
- Your mechanic should call Diesel Help Australia for an explanation on why not to employ this method. Failures of components that cause DPF problems don’t always cause the DPF requiring replacement.
- A well-maintained DPF can last for more than 200,000 miles before it is removed to ensure proper replacement or cleaning.
What is the cost of cleaning or replacing a DPF?
First, a warning: DPF repair MUST be done by a qualified mechanic who uses the correct equipment to reset and replace DPF. After the fault can be identified, the DPF needs to be removed.
The best DPF cleaning companies should have a minimum of five years of cleaning success. They also can determine if the DPF may be damaged internally. A mechanic can examine the DPF on your car to determine if it’s blocked. They can’t confirm whether the DPF is melting or collapsing, which causes the blockage.
A car for a passenger costs about $600 in clean costs. DPF-equipped vehicles can be found in a variety of configurations. Manufacturers change their designs frequently and it is difficult to identify which DPF model works with a specific automobile model.
DPFs aren’t required to disclose the name of the company that manufactures DPF, as they are thought to be the most tightly controlled element of the motor vehicle’s emissions.