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What is a diesel Particulate Filter?

A diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a filter that captures and stores exhaust soot (some refer to them as soot traps) in order to reduce emissions from diesel cars.

But because they only have a small capacity, this trapped soot has to be emptied or ‘burned off’ to regenerate the DPF.

This regeneration process cleanly burns off the excess soot deposited in the filter, reducing the harmful exhaust emission and helps to prevent the tell-tale black smoke you used to see from diesel vehicles, particularly when accelerating.

Legislation introduced in 2009 to help lower car CO2 emissions effectively made DPFs mandatory, and since then, around one in two new cars a year have been diesel-powered.

Is it illegal to remove a diesel particulate filter?

Yes, it is illegal. Owners face fines if caught (up to £1,000 for cars and £2,500 for vans) and removing a DPF can also invalidate your car insurance policy.

How do I tell if my diesel particulate filter is blocked?

If the DPF is becoming clogged with soot or a fault develops in the system, an orange light will typically appear on the dashboard.They usually look like a piped box that has dots in the middle, although they can slightly vary by manufacturer manufacturer – check your handbook for more information.

How can WJ Detailing & Auto Services help?

Typically we can help in a variety of ways. If your DPF Soot Load is below 100%, We can do what’s called a ‘Static Regeneration’. This is the most popular option with greater results. While the vehicle is stationary, we begin by getting the DPF to a higher than normal operating temperature to breakdown soot leavels while maintaining 3k revs. Don’t worry this won’t affect your engine as there is safety protocols within the programing and this won’t work by keeping your foot steady on the throttle (Please don’t do this).

One of the other options are to remove the DPF from the vehicle and clean manually, this can take upto 3-4 hours to ensure all soot is removed.

The final option (We don’t suggest) is have the DPF remapped out of the ECU so it never sees errors, Safe but illegal as stated above. We do provide this but have to warn against this procedure due to MOT Regulations. While it’s been mapped out of the system and you decide to choose this option, You can also select a remap as part of the process due to this being inline with the ECU Procedures. Read more about Remapping.

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