A diesel particulate filter is a filter in the exhaust system of modern diesel vehicles. It is designed to trap larger carbon particles and soot which is emitting from the engine, and prevent it being released into the atmosphere.
The DPF must burn off this ‘trapped’ carbon at some point, in a process known as a ‘regeneration’. This is done when conditions are suitable, usually on a longer motorway journey when the exhaust temperatures can reach a high enough level to burn off the carbon and regenerate the DPF. Burning the carbon at extreme temperatures releases much smaller particles from the exhaust, and doing this on a motorway at one point prevents the harmful gases from being released in cities and other built up areas.
If the DPF filter doesn’t regenerate, the DPF will become completely blocked and will restrict the exhaust, causing your car to lose power and go into ‘limp mode’, resulting in a costly replacement. Motorists who do regular short distance driving, or who have other existing faults with their car will suffer with DPF issues, as the conditions their vehicle are under don’t allow for successful regeneration. The DPF symbol and/or engine management light will appear on the dash, and the car needs to be brought to a garage immediately.
We have two methods of cleaning DPF’s, removing soot, ash and oil from the filter so that it can operate again as normal.
We remove the DPF from the vehicle and place it into a special machine specifically for cleaning out the filter, leaving it almost like new – We can also clean some DPF’s without the need of removing them from the vehicle.
But cleaning is only part of the process. We must diagnose why the DPF blocked in the first place. To do this, a full diagniostic check is carried out on the vehicle. Existing faults which may be causing the DPF to block must be rectified. However, the vast majority of the time the DPF has blocked due to short journey driving.
What can you do to prevent your DPF from blocking?
1. Try to drive on motorways or open roads as often as possible, or at least once a week. On short journeys with stop/start driving, the exhaust will not reach a high enough temperature for a DPF regeneration to occur, so get out on the open road.
2. Use a fuel additive – a good fuel additive will help reduce the carbon emitted from your engine by burning the fuel more efficiently. Less carbon coming from the engine means less coming through the exhaust and into the DPF.
3. Get a Terraclean de-carbonising service – Terraclean is an engine cleaning service which removes carbon deposits from your engine. It also cleans injectors and inside the combustion chamber, allowing for more efficient burning of the fuel and therefore less carbon output from the engine.
4. Regular servicing – Servicing your car regularly, or ahead of recommended intervals is guaranteed to save you money in the long term. Changing filters and using good oil is key to keeping your car going better for longer.
Here is an example of one of the cleaning methods we use. This process involves cleaning without the need to remove the filter. The advantage of this method is that we can carry out this service in less than 2 hours, meaning minimum down time for you and a low cost. The cost of this cleaning starts at €200.
Removing the DPF from the vehicle altogether is guaranteed to solve any DPF issue without the problem returning. The vehicles ECU must also be ‘remapped’ with modified software to remove the DPF. The benefits are increased performance and fuel economy.
Removing a DPF is not legal, and any vehicle which has had a DPF or Catalytic converter removed must not be used on the road under EU legislation. We can provide a DPF removal service for those who are using their vehicle off-road, or for track use only. Customers who want their DPF removed must sign a form which declares that they are responsible for removing the DPF from their vehicle, and do not intend to use it on the roads.
Exhaust gas re-circulation is a system used to reduce NoX emissions from your vehicle. The system usually consists of a valve which opens to allow some of the exhaust gases back into the engine again, reducing the oxygen in the cylinders and lowering combustion temperatures.
The EGR valve becoming clogged or faulty is one of the most common problems with modern diesel engines. Replacement can be very expensive, so our cleaning services can save you time and money.
EGR deletion is possible for all vehicles, which involves remapping the ECU software, but again this is subject to EU legislation. Any alteration of emissions with a vehicle is for off-road use only.