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Why do modern diesel cars have a DPF and what do they do?
If your diesel car was registered after September 2010 (as well as some late 2009/early 2010 models), then it will be fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter. The filter stops soot from the engine being emitted into the atmosphere. Without one, it would be impossible for a diesel engine to meet the low particulate limits set out in the Euro V emissions regulations (September 2009).
How do DPFs work?
The filter captures soot emitted from the engine and stores it, periodically regenerating by cleanly burning it off and reducing the harmful emissions. The regeneration is more efficient in vehicles doing longer journeys (a good 30-60 minutes at a sustained speed on a motorway or A road will clear the filter when required), as short ‘stop-start’ journeys can cause an interruption in the process and result in it not being fully completed.
How are DPFs maintained?
It is illegal to remove a DPF, and they are costly to replace, but like any part of your vehicle good quality maintenance will help to keep your filter working efficiently and your vehicle running economically. A generally well serviced vehicle is less likely to have problems with blockages in the DPF than a poorly maintained one. If your filter does become blocked a warning light should appear on your dashboard.
What do I do if the filter remains blocked?
Osborne Motors offers a DPF cleaning service using quality LIQUI MOLY products. Our highly trained mechanics will use our pressurised cleaning system to dissolve any hardened contaminants and flush the filter to help improve the performance of your vehicle and to enable the DPF regeneration process to recommence when required.
What can I do to prolong the life of my DPF?
If you do not normally use your vehicle for longer journeys (30-60 minutes), try to do so on a regular basis to allow the DPF regeneration process to fully complete.
As with all aspects of owning a vehicle, good servicing and care are key to your vehicle running efficiently. Read our articles on servicing (http://www.osbornemotors.co.uk/car-servicing) and on good vehicle care (http://www.osbornemotors.co.uk/8-cheap-and-easy-ways-to-save-money-on-your-mot) for some tips. Make sure you keep up to date with regular servicing, try not to run your vehicle on very low fuel levels too often, and ensure you use the correct oil type in your diesel engine. Some motor oils contain additives that can actually block DPFs, so please ask our friendly and experienced staff at Osborne Motors for advice.