Located within the exhaust system, a DPF captures small soot particles, preventing them from being expelled into the atmosphere. As with any filter it needs emptying periodically and this is done automatically, by burning up the particulates in a process called regeneration.
DPFs have been fitted to most diesel cars for almost a decade and, because they need high temperatures to regenerate, low mileage stop-start motoring can cause them to block. Should a dashboard warning lamp be ignored, expensive engine damage can occur.
For them to work efficiently, the car needs to be driven at a constant speed, for at least fifteen minutes, to allow the DPF to heat up enough to regenerate. Certain motorists, such as urban commuters, might find this impossible.
The latest diesel engines are less prone to problems, because they are more efficient and burn off soot faster. Even in normal use, however, DPFs tend to need replacement after a certain mileage has elapsed, the rate of which varies between 80,000 and 150,000 miles, dependent on the car make and model, the type of use and whether or not the engine has had regular oil changes with a lubricant that does not contain additives that block the filter.
If you have concerns or questions about your car or its DPF, give AK Autos a call on 0115 944 5264 or 07422 510277