The Importance Of DPF Cleaning

Diesel engines burn differently than gas engines, and they produce both soot and ash which is released in the exhaust. Soot is actually a byproduct of the exhaust while ash occurs from the burning of the motor oil in the system. To remove these components from the filter it will be necessary to bring the filter in for a DPF cleaning.

These two components, the soot and the ash, are forced through a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to trap these contaminants and provide a cleaner burning diesel. The soot will normally burn out of the filter through the heat generated by the exhaust. The longer the diesel runs at speed, the more efficiently the soot will burn out of the filter on its own.

On the other hand, the ash is not as likely to burn out of the filter. Instead, it sits in the honeycomb components, leading to a buildup over time. This buildup can cause significant problems and should typically be cleaned as per the specific filter requirements. This information will be available in the owner’s manual or through any dealer or truck service center.

The Signs

While the manufacturer will recommend specific times to plan a DPF cleaning, excessive idling, a lot of city driving with stops and starts and even specific problems with the vehicle can all lead to the need for more frequent cleanings.

There are several signs to watch for that indicate that a cleaning may be required even before the number of hours on the engine or the number of miles on the road are in the recommended zone.

The issues with the DPF is that it will turn from a filter into a system that restricts the exhaust from the truck. This will result in warning lights on the dash, but also some definite changes in the truck’s performance.

With a clogged, blocked or partially blocked DPF you may experience a loss of power and acceleration, less responsiveness on the road, difficulties with starting the engine or changes in fuel consumption over standard driving conditions. In most cases the truck will just seem underpowered, which is a key sign of a DPF issue.

The benefits of routine DPF cleaning include a longer filter life, overall good performance for the vehicle, and early notification when the filter itself will need to be replaced. Cleaning will take a few hours depending on the degree of cleaning needed and the specific method used.