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What is a DPF?

Why do diesel vehicles need a DPF?

Diesel produces particulate matter (soot) which has been linked to respiratory problems and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Having a DPF stops the soot being released thus reducing pollution and health risks.

What is a DPF?

DPF Diagram

DPF means Diesel Particulate Filter which since 2009, all diesel vehicles have to have fitted.  The DPF is fitted into the exhaust at the closest part of the engine to stop soot passing into the atmosphere.

How does the DPF work?

In order for the DPF to work correctly it needs to be emptied regularly, this is done passively, the process is called regeneration.  The exhaust needs to get to a certain temperature which is usually achieved when a vehicle gets to 50 mph and above.  The soot is burnt off and will either leave a tiny residue of ash which empties or the filter will be designed to collect the ash.

In some vehicles, the manufacturers have an active regeneration built in.  This is where the vehicles software senses the need for regeneration and injects extra fuel in to the engine to raise the exhaust temperature for the regeneration to take place.  The down side to this is if you only do short journeys you risk ending your journey before the regeneration completes, this will cause you problems for the future.

DPF legalities

Ash from a DPF

It is illegal to remove the DPF from your diesel vehicle, so if you do need the DPF repaired and think it would be cheaper to remove the DPF, think again.

Removing a DPF could invalidate your car insurance

Any diesel vehicles after Feb 2014 that do not have a DPF will fail a MOT.  Are you looking to lease a new vehicle? take a look here.