Car Mechanics (UK)

DIESEL PAR­TIC­U­LATE FIL­TERS (DPFS)

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The func­tion of the DPF is to trap soot par­ti­cles emit­ted by the en­gine and stop them from be­ing ex­pelled into the at­mos­phere, be­cause they are car­cino­genic. We pro­vided a com­pre­hen­sive overview of how they work in the Fe­bru­ary 2018 is­sue of CM.

The DPF emp­ties it­self by su­per-heat­ing the soot, caus­ing it to va­por­ise, leav­ing a trace of ash be­hind. This process is called re­gen­er­a­tion and it oc­curs nat­u­rally with high ex­haust tem­per­a­tures, such as those re­sult­ing from a high-speed run, or by the en­gine’s fuel in­jec­tors ini­ti­at­ing a post-in­jec­tion on the ex­haust stroke, which causes diesel fuel to en­ter the ex­haust sys­tem, where it com­busts, rais­ing the ex­haust tem­per­a­ture within the DPF and burn­ing the soot. This process is ini­ti­ated au­to­mat­i­cally by the ve­hi­cle’s ECU, where a num­ber or pa­ram­e­ters must be met, in­clud­ing the ve­hi­cle be­ing driven at con­stant speed/load con­di­tions.

DPF block­age, how­ever, tends to be symp­to­matic of other is­sues. Ad­di­tion­ally, the ash, which builds up over time within the DPF, can­not be re­moved, un­less the DPF is taken off the car and cleaned by a spe­cial­ist. Var­i­ous com­pa­nies of­fer this ser­vice by post, or through ma­jor mo­tor fac­tors.

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