To beat the spread of Coronavirus government advice is to stay at home and only undertake journeys when absolutely necessary. However, if you have a diesel-engined car you may run into an issue with the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) during the current lockdown if you are using your car for short journeys.
How Does A DPF Work?
The DPF is part of the emissions control system on most Diesel cars and controls soot from passing into the atmosphere, making your Diesel more eco-friendly. As you drive the DPF stacks up with soot which it needs to burn off in order to ‘regenerate’ the system.
The easiest way to describe it is to consider this filter canister like a fireplace. You pile wood into it and when it gets near the top, you burn it. Well, in a similar vein, your DPF stacks up with the soot particles, but then needs to burn them out.
However, this can only occur under certain conditions. The amount collected has to be over a certain %, your engine has to be at optimum temperature and it needs to be over a certain speed for a sustained period of time.
Unfortunately, using your vehicle for short journeys prevents proper regeneration of the system. The regeneration criteria will simply not be met and the DPF will become too full and get blocked.
How Do I Know If I Have A DPF Issue?
If you have been driving short distances and not had the opportunity to give your diesel-engined car a good run, you are highly likely to see a DPF warning sign on your dashboard (see below), or something similar to it. It’s advising you that it has become blocked, and that urgent attention is needed.
Normally, a quick blast on the motorway can help to clear the DPF, but as government advice is to stay at home you cannot go for a jolly up the motorway to clear the system right now. It simply isn’t going to be accepted as a valid excuse for a trip out by Her Majesty’s finest boys in blue.
However, CickMechanic has a solution that can be carried out AT YOUR HOME. You don’t even need to leave your front door. It is called a ‘Forced Regeneration’ and is completed through the diagnostics system on your car by a trained mechanic with the specific equipment required to do it.
If you think you have a problem with your DPF, then book a FREE phone consultation with one of our experienced in-house mechanics who can talk you through it in layman’s terms. Alternatively, you can use our new contact-free service to place a booking.
If you have friends with Diesel cars, please forward this onto them as the longer this lockdown goes on, the more likely DPF failures will occur.