How to Know When Your Diesel Vehicle Needs DPF Replacement
As cars have become an essential part of our daily lives, their maintenance has become equally important. One of the critical components of a diesel car’s engine is the diesel particulate filter (DPF). The DPF is a critical component of your diesel engine’s emissions control system. Its purpose is to capture and store the soot and particulate matter generated by the engine before it is released into the atmosphere. Over time, however, the DPF can become clogged with soot and other debris, which can lead to engine problems and decreased fuel efficiency. When a DPF is experiencing issues, many car owners are unsure whether or not they should replace their DPF or not. It is crucial to recognise the indications of a necessary DPF replacement and to understand the significance of replacing it in a timely manner.
What vehicles are most likely to need DPF replacement?
In Queensland, Australia, there are a wide variety of vehicles that are equipped with DPFs (Diesel Particulate Filters). However, due to manufacturers regularly changing their designs, it can be difficult to determine which brand of DPF is installed in a particular car.
Because the DPF is considered to be the most heavily regulated emission component in motor vehicles, the identity of the DPF manufacturer is not disclosed. This is done to reduce the risk of low-quality copies entering the market.
The top 11 diesel vehicles fitted with DPFs and sold in Queensland, Australia include:
- BMW X5
- Ford Ranger
- Holden Captiva
- Holden Colorado
- Hyundai Santa Fe
- Mazda BT50
- Mercedes ML & GL
- Mitsubishi Pajero
- Subaru Outback
- Toyota Hilux
- Volkswagen Golf
Causes of DPF Failure
Several factors can contribute to DPF failure. One of the most common causes is short journeys or stop-start driving, which can prevent the engine from reaching the high temperatures required for regeneration. Another common cause is using the wrong type of oil or fuel, which can lead to increased soot production and reduced DPF lifespan. Poor maintenance practices, such as failing to change the oil or air filter, can also contribute to DPF failure.
How to Prevent DPF Failure
The best way to prevent DPF failure is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This includes regular oil and air filter changes, using the correct type of oil and fuel, and ensuring that the engine is running at the correct temperature for regeneration. You can also help prevent DPF failure by avoiding short journeys or stop-start driving whenever possible. If you do need to take short journeys, try to take the vehicle for a longer drive at higher speeds occasionally to help regenerate the DPF.
When should a DPF be replaced?
The first question that comes to mind is when should you replace your DPF? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer, as the lifespan of a DPF depends on many factors. Some of these factors include the make and model of your vehicle, the vehicle age, the type of driving you do and the quality of the fuel you use.
It is common for DPF’s to be replaced once the vehicle has driven 120,000 – 200,000kms with that DPF. You may also need to replace the DPF if you notice any of the signs of a clogged filter, even if the warning light has not yet appeared.
A DPF’s life span can vary depending on the car’s usage and the type of driving it is subjected to. However, there are specific signs that indicate a DPF needs replacement:
Your DPF warning light is emitted
The most apparent sign that a DPF needs replacement is the appearance of warning lights on the car’s dashboard. If the DPF warning light turns on, it means that the filter is clogged and needs attention.
You notice a reduction in performance
A clogged DPF can significantly impact a car’s performance. If you notice a reduction in the car’s power, acceleration, or fuel efficiency, then it is likely time to get your DPF checked.
There is an increase in smoke emission
If your car is emitting more smoke than usual, it could be a sign that the DPF is clogged and needs replacement.
The smell coming from your exhaust is foul
A blocked DPF can also cause a foul odour to emanate from the car’s exhaust. This smell is usually caused by the accumulation of unburnt diesel in the filter.
Increased fuel consumption
If you notice your l/100km fuel consumption is starting to operate higher than the manufacturers stated levels then you’ll need to get an assessment done on the DPF as well as the engine.
It’s normal to experience a drop in the acceleration of your vehicle when your DPF is having issues. You will notice that the vehicle doesn’t take off as quick as normal and there is a feeling of lag between accelerating from idle to more than 20kph.
A noticeable change in the sound of your engine
If you hear a wheeze, whistling sound, dull droning, loud high revving noise or a sound that is not the normal sound of your engine then there’s a possibility your failed DPF is contributing to that.
Why is timely replacement of DPF important?
Driving with a clogged DPF can cause severe damage to the engine and negatively impact the environment. Here are a few reasons why timely replacement of DPF is crucial:
Increased wear and tear:
A clogged DPF can cause the engine to work harder, leading to increased wear and tear on engine components.
Reduced fuel efficiency:
A blocked DPF can significantly reduce fuel efficiency, leading to higher fuel costs.
Damage to the engine:
If the DPF is not replaced timely, it can cause a back pressure build-up in the engine, leading to severe engine damage.
A clogged DPF can result in increased emissions, causing harm to the environment.
What To Do If You Think Your DPF Needs Replacement?
Maintaining and replacing your DPF is crucial to the performance, efficiency and environmental impact of your vehicle. If you notice any warning signs that your DPF may need to be replaced, then it is recommended to seek the assistance of a DPF expert.
At Auto Stop, we have trained professionals who specialise in DPF cleaning, maintenance and replacement. Before considering a DPF replacement, our team will conduct a thorough DPF assessment to determine if it’s necessary. Often, the DPF may only require cleaning, which can save you time and money.
We are committed to providing the most affordable and effective solution for your vehicle and budget. Whether it’s a full DPF replacement or a clean, Auto Stop are always ready to assist you.
Auto Stop are professionals in DPF replacement and we have a comprehensive service for DPF replacement in both Brisbane and Gold Coast. Contact us for any DPF issues you may have, we’re here to help.