Clogged DPF

What is a DPF

Nearly all diesel vehicles made after 2010 have a DPF (Diesel Particle Filter). The purpose of the DPF is to reduce the amount of soot from the tailpipe of the vehicle. Depending on the type of DPF, the soot captured can be between 85% to nearly 100%

Vehicles fitted with a DPF also usually contain an extra injector fitted to the exhaust, this is to aid the regeneration progress.

DPF Regeneration

Regeneration is the process of burning off accumulated soot build up inside the DPF. This can be achieved in a couple ways.

Active Regen occurs automatically when certain parameters are met. The DPF has a number of pressure and temperature sensors fitted to it to monitor flow and heat throughout the DPF. Regen is carried out automatically when the vehicle is driven under constant driving conditions, these conditions usually are consistent/smooth freeway driving for 30–45 minutes. A newer vehicle will attempt to start an automatic regen roughly every 500 km and if the pressure sensor target hasn’t been met to start a regen. Forced Regens are carried out by workshops with the appropriate scan tools. When driving conditions for automatic regens aren’t met or when soot levels rise to a certain point, a forced regen may be required.

The Problem

When soot levels inside the DPF reach a point where they overwhelm the DPF, a regen may not be enough to unclog the DPF. DPF Regens only work to a certain extent as well as when a regeneration/burn is carried out, a small amount of ash is left behind inside the DPF, over time this will accumulate and will need manual cleaning which involves removing the DPF and cleaning using various methods.

Unfortunately, the reality is that every DPF is going to block up in the future. If a DPF needs to be replaced, the cost of one can be 2–3 times more expensive than removing it. When a DPF is blocked to the point where the check engine light comes on and the vehicle is in limp mode, the vehicle will at best be a slug to drive and at worst be undrivable as it will be speed limited and power reduced significantly.

When a DPF is blocked, it will affect engine performance as the car’s exhaust gases have nowhere to go or have to travel through a small opening instead of the whole diameter of the DPF. With customers that want to produce a fair bit more power than stock on their vehicles, the DPF can also act as an exhaust restriction and will limit the amount of power that can be safely achieved from their vehicle without running into high EGTs/very rich Air/Fuel ratios which can end up melting pistons and causing catastrophic damage. Without a professional DPF cleaning service, the problem can only worsen until the vehicle is rendered virtually immobile. 

The Solution

Here at Komplete Tuning, we fully understand your pain when it comes to the frustration of DPF-related issues. That’s why we have put a lot of time and thought into the best ways to help our clients improve their vehicle’s performance and provide solutions that can help them save money in the long run.

One option is to engage a DPF cleaning service to manually clear out the soot that has accumulated and is almost guaranteed to block the DPF and drastically reduce performance. Alternatively, instead of paying thousands of dollars to get a new DPF fitted and then having to get it cleaned, or worst case replaced again in the future, we’re able to fit a new turbo back exhaust or DPF race pipe and tune the vehicle to suit.

As a little bonus, without a DPF the engine once remapped won’t be injecting fuel into the exhaust to perform regens which will translate to fuel economy savings.

As an addition, while we have your vehicle to remove the DPF we are able to tune your vehicle to achieve a more efficient running engine which translates to further fuel economy savings and more power/torque!

Kane tuning using WinOLS

Contact us

If you are already experiencing DPF issues or are concerned that you might do soon, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Our team of highly-trained, experienced technicians can help you to decide whether a diesel cleaning service or one of our other solutions mentioned above is more appropriate for your vehicle in its current state.

Legal disclaimer: It is illegal to tamper with emissions devices for road registered vehicles