Diesel Particulate Filter

Diesel Particulate Filter

What does my diesel particulate filter do?

A diesel particulate filter reduces the amount of particulate matter released from a vehicles exhaust in line with European legislation to improve air quality and so therefore improve health.  It does this by passing a vehicles fumes through a filter which traps solid and liquid particles and then burns them off to release carbon dioxide and water.

Does my diesel particulate filter require any particular care?

Yes.  A diesel particulate filter needs to be cleared of any trapped matter regularly in a process called regeneration.  To regenerate the filter needs to reach a sufficiently high temperature to burn off the collected particulate matter.  Regeneration will occur automatically if the vehicle has been driven for at least 20 minutes at 50mph or above. 

What could stop regeneration from happening?

Here are the most likely reasons regeneration would not occur;

  • If you take frequent short journeys
  • If there have been many interrupted regenerations

There are a few vehicle manufacturers who fit a self-heating diesel particulate filter.  This type of filter does not require a higher speed and specific length of driving time for regeneration to occur.  Processes such as injecting fuel directly onto the filter to create enough heat for regeneration to occur, are used instead.  The exact details relating to the care of your Diesel Particulate Filter will be found in the guidebook supplied to you, it is important to familiarise yourself with this information. 

What happens if automatic regeneration hasn’t occurred?

If your filter becomes too saturated a warning light will appear on the dashboard.  It is important not to ignore this.  If your filter is not regenerated it will reduce the performance of your vehicle and damage the filter.  In most cases if your vehicle is driven in the correct conditions for regeneration, at 50mph or more for at least 20 minutes, the filter should clear and the light turn off.  In cases where the light still remains on, the vehicle will need to be taken to a garage to be cleared.

If the diesel particulate filter warning light has come on and the vehicle is still driven with no action taken to clear the filter, damage will occur.  This damage will not be covered under warranty or by a maintenance agreement taken out on the vehicle.

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