The importance of maintaining your Diesel Particulate Filter

Written by Cian Ryan

3 mins read

What is a diesel particulate filter (DPF)?

As you may be aware, a diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a secondary combustion chamber within the exhaust system of all Euro 6 diesel vehicles, both private and commercial. Since 2009, the DPF is a legally required part that must remain in the vehicle, unmodified, if the vehicle was supplied with one from new.

The purpose of the DPF is to store soot, ash and PM2.5 which results from incomplete combustion of diesel fuel as you drive your vehicle. This stored soot etc. is then oxidized and converted to Carbon Dioxide at temperatures of about 600-degree Celsius while the vehicle is being driven at a steady speed for roughly 30+ minutes. This phase is called DPF Active Regeneration.

The Impact of not maintaining your DPF

If the vehicle doesn’t regularly get these longer trips at consistent speed, the DPF Active Regeneration is not possible. When this happens, the vehicle will need to be taken to a repair centre for a Forced Static Regeneration. A technician will carry out the Forced Static Regeneration while the vehicle is stationary.  A forced regeneration is a harsh process, and the DPF can only tolerate a limited number of these before it will have to be completely replaced, something which can be very costly for your business.

Our tips for getting the most life from your DPF;

  1. Accelerate smoothly and avoid sudden bursts of speed. This will help reduce the amount of soot that is produced by the engine.
  2. Avoid short journeys whenever possible. Short trips don’t allow the engine to reach its optimal operating temperature, something which can lead to increased soot production as highlighted.
  3. Drive at a consistent speed. Frequent changes in speed can lead to increased soot production and can cause the DPF to become blocked.
  4. Avoid excessive idling. Idling for long periods of time can cause soot to build up in the DPF.
  5. Use high-quality diesel fuel. Low-quality fuel can contain contaminants that can increase soot production.

And finally

Our last bit of advice is that if you intend on only using your vehicle for short trips, i.e. not driving consistently for 30 mins or more, then a new diesel vehicle may not be the right choice for your business. At NiftiBusiness, we have a wide-range of electric, electric-hybrid and petrol vehicles that may suit your driving requirements better. Our expert sales team can advise you on the best vehicle options to suit your needs – get in touch today.

Cian Ryan is Maintenance & Technical advisor at NiftiBusiness. With over a decade of motor industry experience, Cian is responsible for all technical queries and major repairs related to our fleet.

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