DPF Issues and Blocking

DPF stands for "Diesel Particulate Filter" and is equipped on many modern diesel vehicles to filter out and trap the harmful particulates that usually come out of your exhaust. While this is great for the environment, it adds another complexity to your diesel vehicle, which could result in a dreaded amber light on your dashboard indicating that your vehicle's DPF is blocked! Keep reading, and we'll shed some light on what a DPF is, how a DPF works, how to tell if your DPF is blocked, and, most importantly, how to unblock your DPF without breaking the bank!

What is a DPF?

A DPF, or Diesel Particulate Filter, is part of your exhaust system, designed to remove the soot and other particulates from your exhaust. This means the fumes out the end of your exhaust are cleaner and more environmentally friendly.

When driving on a long journey at speed, such as along a motorway, your vehicle will reach an optimum temperature allowing it to clean out the DPF filter automatically in what we call a "regeneration" process.

A DPF will become clogged if the 'regeneration' process doesn't happen due to your driving habits or style - or if your vehicle has done high mileage or is 5+ years old.

Common DPF Issues Essex

We see lots of DPF Issues on vehicles, particularly diesel vehicles primarily used for short trips or with high mileage. Usually, the DPF will start a regeneration process which clears the DPF filter on the car regularly; however, this only happens when the vehicle is driven fast for a long duration, for example, along a motorway. If you regularly use your diesel vehicle for short journeys around town, such as going to the shops and dropping the kids off at school, then you will be much more likely to suffer from a clogged DPF on your vehicle.

Once the DPF is clogged, the normal regeneration cycle may not be able to unclog the filter due to the build-up of soot and particulates.

A DPF blockage can also be caused by one of the following:

  • DPF sensor failure
  • Residues in the exhaust gas recirculation system
  • Age or mileage of the vehicle
  • Faulty fuel injector
  • Poor quality fuel
  • Intercooler pipes/hoses split

Utilising the latest diagnostic equipment, we'll plug your vehicle in and check for fault codes to help determine the cause of the blocked DPF and minimise the chances of it blocking again.

While many vehicles are advertised with DPFs good for the vehicle's life, we've seen enough blocked DPFs to know that this isn't true - the DPF is a filter requiring cleaning and maintenance like any other.

How do I know if my DPF Filter is clogged?

Some vehicles have a specific amber warning light to highlight DPF Issues (such as the one pictured), while others may use the engine management light. Typically, some of the symptoms of blocked DPF include:

  • Loss of power
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Excessive exhaust fumes
  • A hot and strong smell from the engine
  • Poor acceleration
  • Start/Stop may stop working

Our team will remove the DPF from the vehicle and inspect it visually using a special piece of equipment to see inside the DPF. We'll also perform a pressure test on the DPF to determine whether it's blocked before initiating our cleaning process - you'll get a before and after back-pressure reading so you can see the fantastic improvement after cleaning.​

How to unblock a DPF?

1) DPF Regeneration - Find a motorway near you where you can drive at 70+ MPH for 30-45 minutes; this should provide the optimal conditions for the regeneration process to complete. If this works, consider a regular drive along a motorway regularly to allow the regeneration process to complete.

2) Static Regeneration - This involves our mechanic plugging your vehicle into our diagnostic equipment, putting the car into a regeneration state, and running your vehicle at the necessary revs per minute to clear the soot from your DPF Filter. This takes 30-60 minutes and is effective when a DPF is only lightly clogged on a newer vehicle.

3) DPF Clean - There are a few ways of cleaning a DPF; ours is the safest and most effective. We remove the DPF from your vehicle and put it onto our state-of-the-art machine, which cleans the DPF Filter using high-pressure water, air and chemicals. This removes 99% of soot and particulates from the DPF, restoring it to a new condition.

Our DPF Cleaning Service in Essex fixes DPF issues quickly and affordably! Using a state-of-the-art DPF Cleaning system, we'll safely remove all the clogged-up soot and particulates from your DPF, restoring the filtration system to a new condition. Save thousands by cleaning your existing DPF in Essex rather than purchasing a whole new DPF.

DPF Cleaning Service >