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Your Particulate filter (dpf) worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Make diesel fuel clean
The soot filter, sometimes also referred to as diesel exhaust filter, soot particulate filter or particle filter, is an integral component in modern diesel vehicles. On the other hand, the term "diesel filter" is incorrect, because this is responsible for the cleaning of the unburned fuel. The particle filter serves to clean the exhaust gas. In contrast to the catalytic converters used in gasoline vehicles, diesel exhaust filters are actual restraint systems. Instead of causing a catalytic chemical reaction, they physically filter the resulting particles from the exhaust stream. Therefore, soot filters a limited life by design.
Diesel exhaust filter defects
The main cause of diesel exhaust filter defects is the natural clogged or blockage. Although modern soot filters are self cleaning, their effectiveness can decrease over time. The reason for this is that the soot particle filter's residues, which have been burnt to ashes, remain in the in the component. A clogged soot filter does not mean that the particle filter has reached the end of its life, yet it calls for immediate action. The impending blockage cannot be ignored, because otherwise it will eventually no longer be possible to operate the vehicle due to a shut-off mechanism in the motor control.
Particle filter price
While the diesel exhaust filter is easily accessible, a new spare part is very expensive. Depending on the type of vehicle, a new set will cost between 1500 and 4500 euro. Thus, at a mileage of about 150,000 to 180,000 kilometers a clogged diesel exhaust filter can easily mean an economic total loss of the vehicle. However, there is an alternative: Instead of relying on new parts, refurbished and purified particulate filters are available on the market. They are offered by way of exchange. This means that your current, clogged filter must be turned in to purchase a refurbished filter. If this is no longer available, an additional fee is charged. At 350-600 euro, a refurbished particle filter is within a reasonable price range for a component that only needs to be replaced every 200,000 kilometers or so.
Replacing a diesel exhaust filter
The replacement itself is a relatively simple task. The diesel exhaust filter is located in the exhaust system and is attached to the pipe by means of a few screws. If the diesel exhaust filter must be replaced, all other exhaust system components should also be checked. If present, the exhaust gas return valve is a component that is related to the diesel exhaust filter. Therefore, the particulate filters are also often offered as a complete set including an EGR valve. A defective EGR valve facilitates rapid wearing of the diesel exhaust filter, therefore it should be checked regularly.
A defect common to particle filters relates to the cleaning function. On many models, this is achieved through an integrated heating coil. If an error exists here, the self-cleaning function is interrupted. Oftentimes these defects are simply due to easily fixable cable breaks, slipped plugs or corroded contacts. This error is usually indicated by the engine control unit. Extend the particle filter lifetime A diesel vehicle's most significant advantages are in the area of long-distance operation. During long trips in the optimal RPM range, the fuel is burned in the most efficient manner. The constant temperature at the engine ensures an equally consistent combustion. This also affects the soot filter. It is therefore advisable to only buy a diesel vehicle if it will be used accordingly. The production of soot particles is most severe during the warm-up phase of the engine. A diesel vehicle that is mainly used for short-distance operation produces more soot particles and consequently also more ash in the particulate filter. Depending on whether the vehicle is used for long or short-distance operation, a particle filter's life expectancy can differ by 25% or 40,000 km. Soot filters in construction vehicles and tractors The legal requirements for the operation of agriculture and construction vehicles are becoming far stricter across the globe. These rules and regulations are called TIER. In Europe and America, the only agriculture and construction vehicles allowed for re-registration must have a TIER 3+ or TIER 4 classification. Older vehicles up to TIER 2 are still given a transition period, after which they must be upgraded with adequately sized exhaust filters or decommissioned. For this purpose, the trade now offers many very interesting solutions that can be used to keep older agricultural and construction vehicles in operation. The soot filters of the future The VW exhaust scandal has shown that there are still development needs for the technology for purification of exhaust gases from diesel vehicles. Carbamide additives are already being used in trucks to reduce the emission of pollutants from diesel vehicles. It can be assumed that similar systems will be introduced and become mandatory for passenger cars in the near future.