DPF Failure

7 Common Causes of DPF Failure and How to Avoid Them

Clean Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) are crucial components in the exhaust systems of present-day diesel engines. They are designed to capture and store soot and other harmful particles emitted from the engine, reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality.

However, DPFs are prone to failure due to various factors. Here are seven common causes of DPF failure and how to avoid them.

1. Lack of Proper Maintenance

DPFs require regular maintenance to function properly. Failure to clean the DPF regularly can cause blockages and ultimately lead to failure. It is recommended that you clean the DPF every 100,000 miles or so. 

The cleaning process involves removing the filter and cleaning it with a special cleaning solution. Regular maintenance of the DPF will prolong its lifespan and prevent costly repairs.

2. Short Trips and Low-Speed Driving

Short trips and low-speed driving can cause DPF failure. The DPF requires high temperatures to burn off the accumulated soot and particulate matter. Short trips and low-speed driving do not allow the engine to reach the required temperature, leading to incomplete regeneration and blockage of the DPF. 

To avoid this, it is recommended that you take your vehicle for a long drive at least once a week to allow the engine to reach the required temperature.

3. Fuel Quality

Low-quality fuel can cause DPF failure. Dirty fuel can contaminate the DPF, leading to blockages and failure. It is recommended that you use high-quality diesel fuel to prevent DPF failure. You should also avoid mixing different fuel types, as this can cause damage to the DPF.

4. Engine Problems

Engine problems can cause DPF failure. Issues such as a faulty fuel injector, turbocharger, or EGR valve can cause excess soot and particulate matter to be released into the exhaust system, leading to blockages in the DPF. Regular engine maintenance and timely repairs can prevent engine problems and avoid DPF failure.

5. Incorrect DPF Installation

Incorrect installation of a diesel particulate filter can cause failure. A poorly installed DPF can cause exhaust leaks, which can lead to contamination of the DPF. It would be best to have the DPF installed by a qualified mechanic to prevent incorrect installation.

6. Using the Wrong Oil

Using the wrong oil can cause DPF failure because some oils contain additives that can damage the filter. For example, some oils contain high levels of zinc and phosphorus, which can cause the DPF to clog up more quickly. Other oils may contain ash-forming additives, contributing to DPF failure.

To avoid DPF failure, it is recommended that you use the manufacturer-recommended oil. This oil has been specifically designed to work with your engine and DPF and will not contain any additives that could cause damage. 

7. Faulty Sensors

Faulty sensors can cause DPF failure. The DPF system relies on sensors to monitor the temperature and pressure in the exhaust system. 

If these sensors are faulty, the DPF may malfunction, leading to blockages and failure. Regular sensor maintenance and timely repairs can prevent sensor-related DPF failure.


Regular maintenance, high-quality fuel, timely engine repairs, correct installation, oil, and regular sensor maintenance can avoid DPF failure. It is essential to abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations for DPF maintenance to prolong the lifespan of the DPF and prevent costly repairs. 

By avoiding these common causes of DPF failure, you can ensure that your vehicle’s exhaust system operates efficiently and effectively, reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality.

Looking for a reliable solution to clean diesel particulate filters and prevent DPF failure? Contact DPF Fixer Ltd today and let our team of experts provide you with top-quality DPF maintenance and repair services. Don’t replace your DPF. Let us fix it for you, and see how much you can save by trusting DPF Fixer Ltd. 

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