Do my diesel particulate filters need to be replaced?
Owners are often not sure of what it means to be “DPF-fitted” diesel. A DPF is an exhaust filter that is used in the majority of late-model diesel-powered vehicles. It is used for removing harmful gases including hydrocarbons from fuel or lubricants and water and sulfurates that attach to soot and form harmful particles.
These dangerous gases can develop due to a variety of factors, such as improper or inadequate maintenance, low-quality fuel, poor driving habits, and poor combustion. The particles are absorbed by the DPF filter and later cleaned or recycled through high-temperature combustion. This is when problems occur due to the failure of regeneration or the filter gets clogged.
Diesel particulate filter has been described as a complex and costly component that needs to be replaced but I have found it to be not true. When monitored, diagnosed, and maintained properly, replacements can be avoided.
A DPF fault in an engine’s computer does not necessarily indicate that the DPF is blocked.
What are the signs of a blocked DPF?
There are several symptoms that can occur when your DPF becomes clogged and/or needs to be cleaned (not always ready to be put in the scrap pile).
- Surging/poor performance.
- Excessive fuel consumption.
- Smoke Excessive – White-black, blue
- Displayed engine or DPF emission light
- Difficult to start the engine
- The engine is running rough
- Unsuccessful attempts at regeneration
What is the term “regeneration?
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 ‘burns away the soot and particles collected in the filter. It can cause a malfunction in a component, causing it to stop working effectively or to increase the number of them until the issue is resolved. Smoke that is black and excessively emitted from the exhaust after regeneration. It isn’t harmful. Only smoke that blows continuously can indicate a problem.
How do I prevent DPF blockage or failure be prevented?
- Make sure that the mechanic you hire is experienced and knowledgeable in types of diesel.
- Avoid Missing services and incorrect oils
- Avoid driving when you have an issue with your vehicle (dash warning lights).
- Do not use diesel that is of poor quality
- Discuss with your mechanic any changes that you observe in your vehicle’s driveability like more raucous whistles, hissing noises, or jerking sounds. These changes can cause your DPF to stop regenerating. Even if your mechanic suggests that you do them, don’t use ‘on-vehicle intake/induction cleanings’. They could damage DPF’s as well as other important components
- Modify your vehicle with attention
I have to deal with DPF driving habits: reduce idle time and increase the rpm when at times of load (dropping down one gear), especially in crawling traffic. Maintained DPFs can cover more than 200,000 miles before they are taken away to be replaced or cleaned.
What does it cost to clean or replace a DPF
First, a warning: DPF work MUST be performed by a skilled certified mechanic who has the right equipment to repair and reset the DPF. After the fault can be confirmed, the DPF needs to be removed. Five years of experience in cleaning must be a prerequisite for a good DPF cleaning company. They also can determine whether the DPF may be damaged internally.
A mechanic can examine the DPF on the vehicle to determine if it is blocked. It isn’t possible to determine whether the DPF is melting or collapsing, causing the blockage. The average cost of cleaning a passenger car is $600
Vehicles with DPF’s can be found in a wide variety of configurations.
Manufacturers vary their designs frequently It is therefore difficult to determine which brand of DPF is used on each car model. Due to the DPF being considered to be the most regulated emissions component in motor vehicles, they do not expose who the DPF manufacturer is.