A DPF filter can make all the difference to your car’s carbon output, however a fault or blockage in your filter can be a nightmare. These days all new cars are fitted with a DPF filter, and removing a filter from a car could cost it its MOT. However, there are ways to improve your cars’ DPF lifespan and potentially save money and time in the long run.
Like all filters, the DPF filter fitted to your car will clean the air by forcing exhaust fumes through a ‘mesh’- often made of Cordierite or silicon carbide- that catches soot particles that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. This mesh can become saturated with soot particles over time, leading to damage or reduced engine performance as the filter becomes filled and blocked, and gas flow is disrupted.
Recently car companies have taken steps to increase the effectiveness of DPF filters, such as moving them nearer the engine so they regenerate more easily. However there is still work to do to make owning a DPF-fitted car hassle free.
Make sure you’re using the correct oil-
Ash will inevitably build up in your filter. It is key to use products in your car that will not produce excess ash or harmful by-products that can clog up or damage your filter mesh. Sulphated ash can cause your DPF to become blocked, so using oil that produces less of it, just makes sense. Remember to use oils low in Sulphated Ash, Phosphorus and Sulphur (SAPS) in your car and you could get a longer working life out of your DPF filter. ‘Normal’ oil will generate more of these and could clog your filter, leading to a reduced working life.
Regenerate the filter-
This the main way to get the most out of your DPF filter.
Try and drive for around half an hour – 45 minutes each week on smooth, consistent roads like motorways or duel carriageways, before changing speed or turning off. This will give your filter a chance to heat up and burn off the soot and particulates. Research what speed and distance you might need to travel to regenerate your car’s filter. This is called spontaneous regeneration. For some drivers this will happen as part of the day to day life, however for those living in cities it may become harder. If there is a soot build up without regeneration for a long time, the car may require a dynamic regeneration, signified by a warning light- this is similar to a spontaneous regeneration but the car must be driven until the filter is clean and the light dims.
If this is not done, the problem will worsen until a service, or ‘forced’ regeneration is required. This involves heating the filter to force regeneration in a controlled environment, measuring the effectiveness of the regeneration with a differential pressure sensor. Even if this process is effective, it is commonly necessary to perform a dynamic regeneration afterwards.
Get it cleaned-
Compared to the cost of a replacement DPF, getting a mechanic to check & clean your filter from time to time is a sensible option. Using advanced equipment and chemicals they can restore the filter mesh to near-new condition. While this expense is inconvenient, it is worth considering as it can prevent the need to have the entire filter removed due to clogging at a later date. A clean DPF filter system will improve car performance drastically and allow for a better driving experience.
Remember that DPF Solutions Sheffield provides the highest-quality services on DPF filters, whatever your individual requirements. DPF Solutions Sheffield have the expertise and specialist workshop needed to clean, replace, remove or regenerate your diesel’s filter, diagnose faults or upgrade your car with a total performance remap.