DPF Cleaning Costs: What You Need To Know
Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) are changing the game for modern diesel engines. They are gaining a lot of popularity and for good reason. They are vital components in reducing harmful emissions from diesel vehicles, making them an excellent eco-friendly choice. However, like any other car part, they require proper maintenance to function at their best. One of the essential maintenance procedures for these filters is DPF cleaning, which can sometimes come at a cost. To truly identify the costs associated to cleaning a DPF it’s important to understand what influences these costs and the best ways to minimise them.
Understanding DPF Cleaning & The Different Ways Of Doing It
Before jumping directly into the costs of DPF cleaning, it is essential to understand what DPF cleaning entails. Over time, diesel particulate matter accumulates in the filter, reducing its effectiveness. This build-up can lead to poor engine performance, reduced fuel efficiency and even engine failure. Cleaning the DPF involves removing this build-up through various methods, including baking, washing or blasting.
There are several methods for cleaning a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common methods include:
This method involves the filter cleaning itself through high temperatures generated during normal driving. It’s an effective method, but it requires long drives at high speeds, making it impractical for those who only drive short distances.
In this method, the car’s Engine Control Unit (ECU) initiates the cleaning process by injecting extra fuel into the engine, increasing the exhaust gas temperature and burning the soot. It’s a relatively quick process and doesn’t require long drives, but it can result in increased fuel consumption.
If the filter is too clogged for passive or active regeneration, a mechanic can perform a forced regeneration. This involves using a diagnostic tool to initiate the cleaning process manually. It’s a more time-consuming and expensive process, but it’s often the only option for severely clogged filters.
Professional Cleaning Services
Many DPF cleaning specialists offer a range of different DPF cleaning methods. While different methods can be costly, they can be extremely effective in restoring the filter to optimal condition. The most popular DPF cleaning methods include:
- Cleaning Additives – Some cleaning additives claim to clean the filter without the need for a manual regeneration. However, their effectiveness varies and they may not be suitable for severely clogged filters.
- Compressed Air Cleaning – This method involves removing the DPF and using compressed air to blow out the soot and other debris.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning – This method involves soaking the DPF in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to break down the soot and ash.
- Ultrasonic Cleaning – In this method, the DPF is submerged in a cleaning solution and subjected to ultrasonic vibrations, which break down the soot and ash.
- Thermal Cleaning – This method involves heating the DPF to extremely high temperatures to burn off the soot and ash.
- Abrasive Blasting – This method involves blasting the DPF with abrasive materials, such as sand or glass beads, to remove the soot and other debris.
It’s essential to note that not all methods may be suitable for every situation and it’s best to consult a qualified mechanic or specialist before deciding on a cleaning method.
Factors Affecting DPF Cleaning Costs
When you are researching the costs associated to DPF cleaning you will come across a very broad level of pricing. What dictates these costs come down to several factors. Here are some of the most significant ones:
- Type of cleaning method
The cleaning method used will impact the cost. For instance, air-blasting is often cheaper than baking, as it requires less time and labor.
- Severity of the clogging
The level of build-up in the DPF will also impact the cleaning cost. A severely clogged filter will take longer to clean, resulting in higher costs.
The location of the cleaning service provider can affect the cost. In areas with a higher cost of living, cleaning costs may be higher than in areas with a lower cost of living. Inner city locations typically have the highest costs compared to locations outside of the city.
- Vehicle make and model
The type of vehicle also plays a role in DPF cleaning costs. Larger vehicles with bigger engines will require more time and labour to clean, resulting in higher costs.
- Level of professionalism and products used
Different service providers offer DPF cleaning services at varying costs. The most professional providers will have industry specific DPF cleaning tools and equipment to provide a thorough and professional job. Prices will vary depending on the skill level of the technician as well as the level of products used in the cleaning process. Premium cleaning agents and tools will require a higher price of service costs.
DPF Cleaning Cost Estimates
The cost of cleaning a DPF can vary widely, depending on the factors mentioned above. Here are some estimated costs for the average DPF cleaner in Queensland, Australia:
|STYLE OF DPF CLEANING
||$150 – $300
|Cleaning Additives & Flushing
||$450 – $1500
|Compressed Air Cleaning
||$450 – $1500
|Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning
||$800 – $1600
||$500 – $1600
||$800 – $1800
||$800 – $1900
These costs are only estimates and may vary depending on the factors mentioned above. Before making any decisions on what method of DPF cleaning you want to get, it is highly recommended to first get your DPF assessed by a professional (like Auto Stop) before making any quick decisions. The state of your DPF as well as the make and model of the DPF will determine the best solution and method to clean your DPF
Get A DPF Assessment Before Getting A Clean
Typically the cost for a DPF assessment and clean in QLD Australia starts at $450. This cost includes:
- A scan tool code and data check
- Removal of DPF pressure sensors and fitting a manometer to check actual pressures of the DPF to assess its health
- Cleaning of the DPF. The most common method is cleaning which involves using specialist equipment to run a chemical solution through the front of the DPF cleaning out any soot build-up and then flushing the cleaning solution out
- Electrical checks and DPF component testing
- The final step is to take the vehicle on a test drive to complete the cleaning process and to confirm the system works correctly
Much like a leaking sink flooding your bathroom floor, you must find the source of the problem first rather than just mopping up the floor and not fixing the cause of the issue. A DPF is a self-cleaning appliance, so if the DPF is blocked then you must find the issue first rather than just cleaning it and having the problem arise again.
How to Minimise DPF Cleaning Costs
While DPF cleaning is essential, there are specific ways to minimise the costs:
- Proper Maintenance
Proper maintenance of your diesel engine can help reduce the frequency of DPF cleaning. Regular oil changes, fuel filter changes and using high-quality fuel can all contribute to a cleaner DPF.
- Avoid Short Trips
Short trips don’t allow the engine to reach optimal operating temperature, leading to incomplete combustion and increased particulate matter build-up. Try to combine short trips into one longer trip to reduce DPF build-up.
- Choose a Reputable Service Provider
Choosing a reputable service provider (like Auto Stop) can help ensure that you get high-quality service at a fair price. Have peace of mind knowing your service centre is associated to reputable partners (i.e. Auto Stop is an Authorised DPF Doctor, is a REPCO Authorised Service Centre and RACQ Approved Automotive Repairer).
DPF cleaning is an essential maintenance procedure for diesel vehicles. While it comes at a cost, proper maintenance and choosing a reputable service provider can help minimise the costs. By understanding the factors that affect DPF cleaning costs, you can make informed decisions to keep your diesel vehicle running smoothly for years to come.
We are committed to providing the most affordable and effective DPF cleaning service for your vehicle and budget. Whether it’s a DPF assessment or a DPF clean, Auto Stop are always ready to assist you.
Auto Stop are professionals in DPF cleaning and we have a comprehensive service for DPF cleaning in both Brisbane and Gold Coast. Contact us for any DPF issues you may have, we’re here to help.