Diesel Particulate Filter

Maximising DPF Performance: Tips to Avoid Problems

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is a crucial component of the exhaust system, designed to capture and remove harmful particulate emissions from diesel engines. In the UK, the DPF has become mandatory for all diesel-powered vehicles since 2009, and failure to comply with the regulations can result in hefty fines and vehicle confiscation. 

However, many drivers still struggle with DPF problems, leading to costly repairs and engine failure. This article discusses how to avoid problems from a blocked diesel particulate filter. 

How Does DPF Work? 

Before we dive into how to avoid DPF problems, let’s first understand how this component works—the DPF filter traps and stores soot and other particulate matter produced by diesel engines. 

Over time, the filter will become clogged with the accumulated soot, and the engine management system will initiate a regeneration process to burn off the trapped particulate matter. However, if the regeneration process is not completed successfully, the DPF can become blocked, which can cause many problems.

How to Avoid DPF Problems?

Unfortunately, DPF problems can occur, leading to expensive repairs and downtime. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help avoid DPF problems in the first place:

Drive at Highway Speeds

One of the most effective ways to avoid DPF problems is to drive at highway speeds for an extended period. When driving on the motorway or dual carriageway, the vehicle’s engine will reach a higher temperature, which is necessary for the DPF to regenerate successfully. 

If you only drive in the city or make short trips, the engine may not reach the required temperature for regeneration, leading to a blocked DPF.

Regularly Check the Oil Level

Low engine oil levels can cause DPF problems, as the engine management system may not initiate regeneration if the oil level is low. Therefore, it’s crucial to regularly check the oil level, especially if you’re driving long distances.

Use the Correct Engine Oil

Using the wrong type of engine oil can also cause DPF problems. The engine oil should meet the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications, and it’s essential to use low-ash oil designed for diesel engines equipped with DPFs. High-ash engine oil can produce more soot, which can clog the DPF.

Don’t Switch off the Engine during Regeneration

If the engine management system initiates regeneration, it’s essential to let the process complete. Switching off the engine during regeneration can cause the DPF to become blocked, as the soot will not be burned off completely. If you need to stop the vehicle during regeneration, it’s best to let the engine idle until the process is complete.

Monitor Warning Lights

Most modern diesel vehicles have a warning light that indicates when there’s a problem with the DPF. If the light comes on, addressing the issue immediately is crucial. Ignoring the warning light can lead to more severe problems, such as engine damage.

Use High-quality Diesel Fuel

Using low-quality diesel fuel can cause DPF problems, as the fuel may contain higher levels of sulphur and other contaminants that can produce more soot. Therefore, using high-quality diesel fuel that meets the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications is essential.

Regularly Service the Vehicle

Regular vehicle servicing is essential to maintain the DPF’s performance and prevent problems. During servicing, the mechanic will check the DPF’s condition and perform necessary maintenance, such as DPF cleaning or replacement.


PDF problems can be costly and time-consuming, but following these tips can avoid most issues. Additionally, monitoring warning lights and addressing any issues immediately is crucial to prevent more severe problems. 

DPF clean services are a great way to avoid problems accumulating soot, ash, and other materials in diesel particulate filters. By regularly cleaning the DPF, drivers can ensure that their vehicles remain in good condition and that their engines are running optimally. Overall, taking care of your vehicle’s DPF allows you to enjoy trouble-free driving and avoid costly repairs. 

DPF Fixer Ltd provides top-notch DPF cleaning. We use the latest technology to diagnose and clean your DPF, ensuring your vehicle runs optimally. Our team of experts can also advise on how to prevent DPF issues and extend the life of your filter. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services!

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