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Diesel Particulate Filter

DPF Cleaning, Repairs & Replacements.

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Cleaning, Repairs & Replacements in Colchester

If you’re looking for quality DPF cleaning in Colchester, Essex, or a replacement diesel particulate filter, then look no further than All Trans Autos. We have been servicing all things diesel since 1980.

As the title suggests, they are filters fitted (mainly) to diesel vehicles. They are not unlike the filter in a modern bagless vacuum cleaner, and their job is to collect particles. The Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) collects particles from your engine and stores them in its filter, and like your vacuum cleaner, if it fills up to the extent it becomes blocked, it cannot continue to function correctly.

In a vehicle this filling process is carefully monitored by the engine’s computer. With a vacuum cleaner the filter may be cleaned or replaced, whereas prior to the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) becoming blocked, the vehicle should carry out a DPF ‘regen’. The ‘regen’ process involves the collected particles being burnt off at raised temperatures. This occurs within the exhaust, at somewhere between 500C and 800C, and is achieved using a variety of procedures.

If the DPF becomes blocked, the vehicle will prevent ‘regen’ from occurring because of the potential to cause a fire. These soot-removing filters should be cleaned periodically to avoid costly repairs. If the vehicle detects a fault anywhere within this system it will prevent the ‘regen’ process.

More recently DPF’s are appearing on some petrol models. SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) is becoming commonplace, which generally involves AdBlue.

All Trans Autos has invested heavily in the most up to date training in conducting DPF filter repairs and replacements in our Colchester garage. As a result, we can ensure our technicians have the expertise to both accurately diagnose DPF faults, and carry out necessary repairs. This prevents unnecessary DPF replacements, whilst ensuring your vehicle remains safe.

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Diesel Particulate Filter FAQs

What is a DPF?

The DPF, or diesel particulate filter, is, as the name suggests, a filter installed in the exhaust systems of all diesel cars sold in the EU after September 2009. The DPF exists to catch excessive particulate matter produced as a by-product of incomplete fuel combustion – a prevalent issue in diesel-fuelled vehicles specifically. DPF filters are required by law – any diesel car produced after the aforementioned date submitted for an MOT test without the attachment will fail automatically.
The particulates, or ‘soot’ caught by the DPF build up until the system initiates regeneration, a process by which the material is heated by the exhaust to the point of turning to ash, which will then be expelled. In order to initiate regeneration, the car must generally have been travelling at over 40mph for over 10 minutes. Out with this, most modern vehicles automatically regenerate every 300 miles travelled.

Does my vehicle have a DPF?

The DPF is a legally required fixture in all diesel vehicles built after September 2009 and sold in the UK and Europe. To further this, the DPF is a requirement under the Euro 5 standard for diesel cars. Any cars without the DPF will have failed their MOT after their introduction as a pass requirement in 2014. This strict legislation means that your diesel vehicle most likely has a DPF fitted unless it has been illegally tampered with or removed. Cars produced before the September 2009 deadline may also have a DPF fitted – the fastest way to confirm this is a quick search through your vehicle’s manual.

What does the DPF warning light mean?

The DPF warning light is most often used by the DPF system to alert the driver to the presence of excessive soot levels within the filter. This is often the case when the engine has been unable to initiate regeneration automatically due to factors such as frequent short journeys, or consistently low speeds. The warning light serves to indicate that regeneration is necessary and that the driver should travel at speeds of over 40mph for around 10 minutes to allow soot to be turned to ash and expelled.
If the DPF warning light is ignored, the filter may become clogged, or the system may impose restricted speed limits in order to prevent the further production of soot. A DPF issue of this scale may require forced regeneration performed by a technician, or a part replacement.

How long do DPFs last for?

DPF filters are a relatively resilient car part commonly reported to last upwards of 70,000 miles when subject to proper maintenance. Despite this, DPFs do have a lifespan and are generally replaced once or twice in the lifetime of a vehicle.
Conditions influencing the lifespan of a DPF include weather conditions, maintenance frequency, and driving style. Allowing for regular regeneration is integral in the maintenance of a DPF filter. Drivers should be aware of the DPF warning light or level indicators and ensure they make regular journeys of over 10 minutes travelling at 40 miles per hour or more, in order to allow the filter to ‘clean’.

What can cause my DPF to block?

The most common cause of a DPF blockage is a lack of regeneration caused by short journey lengths or continuous periods of low-speed driving. Excessive idling may also be a contributing factor to a lack of regeneration. Additional causes of DPF blockages include an imbalance in the fuel-air ratio caused by either faulty fuel injectors, or a faulty turbocharger, both of which can lead to the production of excessive soot. In addition to this, the use of a non-low SAPs engine oil may lead to the production of excessive sulphated ash, which can contribute to blockages.
In the case of a blockage which cannot be dealt with by the means of standard regeneration, forced regeneration may be required. All Trans Autos’ Bosch trained technicians are highly experienced in performing this method of cleaning and will be happy to assist. Book your vehicle in for DPF cleaning today using our online system, or contact one of our friendly team members for further information.

Where is the DPF located?

Diesel particulate filter (commonly abbreviated as DPF) is a rather modern addition to the exhaust system of diesel cars. Its purpose is to filter out the byproducts that come with incomplete fuel combustion.

The DPF is located inside the exhaust system and is the closest to the engine. The DPF will be just ahead of the NOx trap (also called the NOx storage catalytic converter) and exhaust pipe itself, but after the temperature sensor.

If ever you are unsure about the logistics of DPF regeneration, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance, information and assessment.

How much does a DPF filter cost?

It’s always important to remember that each vehicle is different and comes with a different cost for its DPF, there is no one set price for a DPF as it varies with the specifications of each particular vehicle. The cost of a DPF replacement can vary greatly depending on engine power and vehicle make. However, on average a DPF replacement cost is around £1,000-£2,000 in the UK. The usual price range for DPF can be between £750-£3,000. The majority of the cost comes from the material cost for the filter. The diesel particulate filter cost can range from £600-£2,600, while labour costs average around £150-£400.

For vehicles with large diesel engines, where the DPF has to perform high filtration performance, higher costs are to be expected than for those with smaller diesel engines. However, some vehicle manufacturers also offer cheaper replacement filters as part of their replacement programmes.

If you need more information as to how much you need to pay for a DPF filter, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of accredited technicians at All Trans Autos, who can provide you with the specifications as to how much a DPF filter may cost for your vehicle.

When did DPF become mandatory?

If you own and drive a diesel-run vehicle that was manufactured in the UK after September 2009, then by the legal requirements stated in the Euro 5 standard for diesel vehicles, your car must by law have a DPF installed. Keep in mind that a car manufactured around or after this date will have a high probability of having a DPF fitted to its exhaust system. Also, keep in mind that it is possible to own a car built before this date that may also have a DPF installed.

If ever you are unsure about the legislation regarding the mandatory nature of DPFs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance and assessment.

Where is the DPF pressure sensor located?

Most vehicles fitted with a DPF are equipped with pressure sensors set to monitor the levels of soot present inside the filter, and these DPF pressure sensors will help the engine determine if the regeneration process is necessary.

The DPF pressure sensor will usually be found protected from heat by being mounted in the engine compartment. The DPF pressure sensor is connected to the engine control unit (ECU) by an electrical connector and connected to the DPF via two silicon hoses.

If ever you are unsure about locating your DPF pressure sensor, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance, information and assessment.

How often should DPF regeneration take place?

The most effective way to rid your vehicle of DPF blockage is to ‘clean’ the DPF through the regeneration process. Like most car parts, DPF filters have a limited lifespan. This lifespan is influenced by factors such as conditions, maintenance frequency, and driving style. Typically, you should opt for DPF regeneration every 70,000 miles, but filters lasting for significantly lesser or larger margins are not unheard of, with the possibility of DPFs lasting 100,000 miles if maintained correctly.

Allowing for regular regeneration is the most effective method of DPF maintenance, as it allows the filter to remain clear from blockage. Frequently driving your vehicle at speeds of 40 mph or higher for 10-15 minutes is the best way to ensure DPF maintenance.

If ever you are unsure about the logistics of DPF regeneration, don’t hesitate to get in touch with All Trans Autos. Any one of our expert advisors will be happy to offer you assistance, information and assessment.