The DPF (diesel particulate filter) is now commonplace on diesel cars and vans. The intention is to make the vehicle as environmentally friendly as possible. But what actually is a DPF, and what do you need to know about them?

What Is a DPF?

The Diesel Particulate Filter is, as the name implies, a filter for diesel particulates. Particulates are found in the exhaust gasses of your vehicle. When your vehicle has a DPF it will filter the exhaust gasses and remove a large portion of the unpleasant particulates, making the actual gasses coming from the exhaust cleaner. How you drive can have an impact on the way the DPF works, and how effective it is, so it’s important to know what you should take into account with your driving style.

How Should Your Driving Change?

The DPF works by filtering off the particulates from the exhaust gasses, which are then stored in the DPF as a sooty substance. When your vehicle is up to operating temperature this sooty substance will begin to burn away. Diesel vehicles are generally at their most efficient when driven long distances, and so if this is how you use your vehicle you shouldn’t have to worry. If you only use the vehicle for short runs however, there’s a risk the DPF will become blocked. This is because the engine doesn’t get up to a hot enough temperature to burn off that sooty deposit filling the DPF. If it gets clogged it can lead to other expensive issues.

What Should You Do If Your DPF Light Turns On?

The light coming on indicates an issue with your DPF, which is likely due to it being clogged. What you should do first is go for a long drive at motorway speeds, keeping your car at slightly higher than normal revs. Over an hour’s drive or so the sooty deposits should burn off and the DPF should clean itself. If that doesn’t work you can try DPF additives that are put into the fuel tank when you fill up, these lower the burning point of the sooty deposits to make them easier to burn off.

If that doesn’t work it’s possible your DPF may need to be professionally cleaned or even potentially replaced if there’s an issue with the way it works. For that you need the assistance of your friendly local garage, who you can find by using Green Garage Network. Click here to find out more!

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