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how to tell if your dpf is clogged

How to Tell if Your DPF is Clogged

If you drive a diesel car, it’s most likely fitted with a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). They became a legal requirement in 2009 and were made part of the MOT in 2014. But over time, they can become clogged. As well as increasing emissions, this can lead to poor performance and long-term damage.

So, how do you know if your DPF has a blockage? Read on for all you need to know.

What is a DPF?

The diesel particulate filter (DPF) was created in response to criticism over harmful diesel emissions. In simple terms, it’s a filter that traps exhaust soot, in order to lower emissions from the car’s engine. As it only has limited storage, it needs to be emptied regularly or ‘burned off’ in order for the DPF to regenerate.

The regeneration process

There are 2 ways that your DPF is able to regenerate – passive and active. Passive regeneration occurs when your exhaust is at a high enough temperature to burn off the excess soot in the filter. Going for a long motorway drive for at least 30 minutes should get the engine up to the required temperature to regenerate.

Active regeneration happens automatically as fuel is injected into the engine. This extra fuel raises the temperature and the stored soot will be burned off. It’s easy to achieve this by driving over 40mph for around 10 mins.

How do you know if it’s clogged?

  • Dashboard alert – An orange light will appear on the dashboard that looks like a box with dots in the middle. This is telling you that the filter is blocked with soot or there is a fault somewhere.
  • Weakened engine – When the engine is blocked, it will naturally start to underperform. It may feel weak or sluggish and the accelerator power will decrease.
  • Strange smells – Build-up in the exhaust can cause a bad smell, as well as being flammable.
  • Burning more fuel than normal – A blocked filter means that more fuel is needed to get what you need from the engine.
  • Damaged turbocharger – A change in the gas flow will cause temperatures to rise. This can lead to damage in the turbine housing (such as leaks) which will affect the efficiency of the turbocharger.

How does it get clogged?

  • Short journeys at low speeds – A very common cause of a blocked DPF.
  • Poor, irregular servicing – DPFs should last 100,000 miles when serviced properly.
  • Using the wrong type of oil – Check that your oils don’t contain agents that can actually block filters.
  • Low fuel levels – Keeping the fuel level low may mean your car avoids regeneration in an attempt to save fuel.

Avoid DPF issues with Project Remaps

Want to keep your diesel car at its best? Project Remaps’ expert team can perform a mapping delete for DPF removal to ensure your engine is fully functioning. Simply get your DPF filter removed at a garage and we’ll take care of the rest to get rid of check engine lights.

Want to find out more? Call Project Remaps on 07377 938688 or request a quote online.

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