Diesel Particulalte Filter (DPF) explained

What is a Diesel Particulate Filter?

A DPF is a filter fitted in the exhaust system of a diesel vehicle. This filters particulate matter or “soot” from entering the atmosphere which causes health issues. The DPF catches pollution created by the engine before it can enter the air.

April 18, 2018

Does my Vehicle have a DPF?

In 2009 the “Euro 5” emissions standard was introduced by the European Union. To meet the emission requirements a DPF was necessary for diesel engines. Many manufacturers introduced the DPF in anticipation for the “Euro 5” requirement so DPF’s can be found on many diesel cars from 2006 onwards.

DPF Operation:

The DPF filters pollutants through small fibres within the housing. When the DPF is full it goes through a cleaning phase known as “Regeneration”. The vehicles computer determines when to regenerate the DPF based on the amount of soot / particulate matter in the filter.

The engine computer will raise exhaust temperature by altering engine timing and fuel injection quantity. This raises the temperature in the DPF to circa 650c and burns the trapped soot/particulate matter to ash.

My DPF Warning Light is on?

This is indicating your DPF is full and the engine computer was not able to complete the regeneration. At this point you should bring the vehicle for a long drive (40-60 minutes) on a motorway. For regeneration to occur the vehicle needs to reach a combination of predetermined engine rpm, engine temperature and vehicle speed. If the DPF warning light does not go out or is accompanied by an Engine Management Light, bring the vehicle to your nearest main dealer immediately. If you drive a LeasePlan vehicle you’re in luck! Contact us and we will look after the booking.

Why are DPF’s so Expensive?

The inner components of a DPF are expensive to manufacture as the soot / particulate they filter are so small. The matrix which catches the pollutants is also made from exotic materials such as porous ceramics and silicon carbide. It’s not uncommon for a DPF to cost €1500 for the part alone excluding the labour for fitment.

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