Cars without a DPF

The fitting of a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) became compulsory during the introduction of Euro 5 emissions legislation introduced in 2008 although some larger Diesel engines used in Automatics and 4×4’s had DPF’s fitted much earlier in order to comply with EU4.

All manufacturers had completely complied with the legislation by the end of 2010, this means that finding a brand new diesel car without a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) fitted is now largely impossible, and the recent introduction of Euro VI now means that newer diesels are using SCR (Adblue Additive) based systems, which carry just as many problems as the earlier Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF)

Since removing the DPF in the UK and most of Europe is now illegal and in the UK *may* also leave you open to prosecution and insurance cover being voided, so the only option if you want to avoid the whole DPF fiasco (and the associated expense it brings), is to buy an older diesel car, under 2.5L and which was manufactured before the Euro V regulations.

Its worth noting that a lot of car manufacturers began fitting early versions of the DPF well before 2008, this was down to the fact that some larger engine cars, and those fitted with Automatic gearboxes, struggled to meet the earlier Euro 4 emissions standards, and so you are likely to find the DPF systems fitted to some larger engine cars and 4×4’s manufactured as early as 2004, and in the case of Citroen’s and Peugeot, their version of the DPF (FAP) appeared on their early HDi engines in 2002. However, the FAP system on HDI engines seem to be more reliable than the later systems fitted by other manufacturers due to the additive which is added to each tank of fuel, but even then they are not problem free or any cheaper to fix when (rather than if) they go wrong.

Here is a list that I have compiled of diesel engine cars, which are not believed to have DPF systems fitted. This list was compiled during a seven month period whilst I decided which older DPF free car to buy and is the result of contacting the manufacturers in order to obtain the information, but even so it is not exhaustive and should be considered as a work in progress and I will be add to it as facts are established and comments left.

Cars WITHOUT a Diesel Particulate Filter

BMW – E36 & E46 320D Models do not have a DPF and the E90 163BHP models also did not have a DPF fitted, until the 177BHP engine was rolled out in 2007. This also applies to the detuned 2.0 318D engine. The 118D and 120D are the same engines as used in the 3 series, although the 123D had a DPF factory fitted from its release. All X1’s are fitted with DPF’s

Pre 2004 330D, 530D & 525D,  X5 models do not have DPF’s fitted – these appeared on 3.0D models from MY 2005.

Diesel Particulate Filters were fitted to the X3 2.0D from around MY2005, all X3 3.0D engines have DPF’s

BMW’s also have a cosmetic method of identifying whether a Particulate filter (DPF) is present, assuming that a standard non modified exhaust is fitted, BMW cars which have straight exhaust tailpipes have DPF’s fitted, those without DPF’s have a tailpipe which points slightly downward.

Mercedes – All pre 2003 models do not have DPF’s. Some 220cdi series cars had DPF’s fitted in 2004 and 2005 production years, but this was put on hold due to negative customer feedback, and so most late 2005 to Early 2008 C220cdi cars did not have DPF’s fitted.

The ML320CDI and 280CDI had a DPF fitted from early 2006, and it is believed that all of the 280CDI and 320CDI 3.0L engines shared the same introduction date. The previous Mercedes ML270 CDI didn’t have a diesel particulate filter, nor did any Mercedes model using the same 5 cylinder diesel engine.

VW – All early 1.9L 69bhp, 90bhp, 105bhp, 110bhp, 130bhp & 150bhp TDI, SDI and 140bhp PD TDI engines do not have DPF’s fitted and neither did the early 2.5tdi V6 engines before 2005.

The later 140bhp CR engine did not have a DPF fitted until around 2007 / 2008 Note:- all of the 170BHP versions of the 2.0 TDI engine do have a DPF.

The 3.0 TDI VW Phaeton also did not have a DPF present until around 2005 /6, at the point it was offered in the Touareg (all 3.0tdi Toureg’s have a DPF, the early 2.5TDI models don’t).

The best, most reliable VW Diesel Engines are by far the 130bhp PD engine, and very early 90bhp – 130bhp TDI engines, but these are getting rare. Avoid the 2.0 140BHP engine, as despite not having a particulate filter, they do tend to eat their own engines, writing off the car!.

Audi – See VW above, in addition the 2.7 V6 TDI engine did not have a DPF fitted until some point in 2007, however care should be taken with early 2.7TDI models as a DPF was available as a factory option and may have been chosen by a minority of original owners.

All Audi Diesel Engines have SCR (Adblue Additive) based systems from 2011, and these are also best avoided due to a set of their own problems.

The best, most reliable Audi Diesel Engines are by far the 130bhp PD engine, and very early 90bhp – 130bhp TDI engines, but these are getting rare. Avoid the 2.0 140BHP engine, as despite not having a particulate filter, they do tend to eat their own engines, writing off the car.

Seat – As VW & Audi

Skoda – All early 1.9 TDI / SDI  and 140BHP PD technology TDI models do not have DPF systems, interestingly Skoda were late in rolling out the CR engine and DPF fitment, and some 2010 140bhp Octavia cars can be found with the PD version of the TDI engine still fitted and therefore were built without a DPF. However the 170BHP version of the 2.0 engine has always had a Diesel particulate filter (DPF) fitted.

Skoda clearly identify its DPF equipped models with an options code in the service book and a sticker in the spare wheel well. A code of ‘7GG’ indicates that a DPF is fitted, and ‘0GG’ indicates that the car does not have a Particulate Filter fitted.

The best, most reliable VW Diesel Engines are by far the 130bhp PD engine, and very early 90bhp – 130bhp TDI engines, but these are getting rare and showing their age now in terms of refinement. Avoid the 2.0 140BHP engine like the plague, as despite not having a particulate filter, they do tend to eat their own engines, writing off the car!.

Alfa – See Fiat models

Volvo – No pre 2004 /5 diesels had Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) fitted, the later D5 engine did not have a DPF in its 163bhp variant (pre 2006) but they were introduced on the new models with a higher BHP. Non DPF equipped D5 cars can be identified by a ‘D5’ badge on the back, whilst D5 cars with a Diesel Particulate Filter, have a “2.4” badge instead of “D5”

Fiat – 105 bhp & 115 bhp 1.9 8V Multijet engines do not have a DPF. All 1.3 JTD engines and the more powerful 16V 1.9 engines have a DPF fitted.

Vauxhall / Opel – Early 1.7Di, 1.7DTi and 1.7CDTi engines manufactured by Isuzu do not have DPF’s, nor do the 2.0 and 2.2 Dti engines used in the Vectra and Frontera. The early 2.5 V6 Diesel made by BMW and used on the Omega upto 2001 also does not have a DPF and nor did the 3.0 V6 Diesel used in the Vectra / Signum before 2006.

All Vauxhall / Opel 1.9CDTi engines have a DPF fitted, and can be very problematic.

Vauxhall / Opel 1.3 CDTI engines are a little more confusing, since some cars were fitted with particulate filters from introduction, then there seems to be a period from 2006 – 2007 where they were omitted from some models such as the Corsa & Combo Van. I recommend doing the exhaust test detailed at the bottom of the page to check for the presence of a particulate filter.

Saab – 2.2 dti engines did not have a DPF nor did the pre 2006 3.0 V6 used in the Vauxhall Vectra. The 1.9 tid version is more of a gamble as there are a mixture of DPF and Non DPF models circulating the market as early models could also be fitted with a DPF as a factory option. All TTID versions of the 1.9 engine DO HAVE A DPF and are VERY problematic

Landrover – All early TDi engines such as used in the 90 and 110 series are reliable old school diesels, which do not have DPF systems fitted. Nor does the TD5 engine used in the Discovery, the early 2.7Tdi V6 engines did not have DPF’s fitted until around 2007, although it may have been offered as a factory option.

The Freelander 1 1.8L diesel and later 2.0 TD4 (which used the 2.0 BMW Engine) do not have DPF systems, and neither does the early 2.2 TD4 (158 bhp) Freelander 2 from its introduction in 2006 until 2010. All Freelander  SD4, ED4 and the TD4 version released in 2010 (147 / 150bhp) do all have DPF’s fitted.

All Evoque models have diesel particulate filter (DPF) systems fitted.

Citroen / Peugeot –  Particulate filters on French cards are refered to as ‘FAP’ rather than DPF. Very early 1.9 turbo diesel engines made before 2000 are all non FAP, however the 2.0HDi is more of a gamble as there are both FAP and non FAP versions from approx 2001 onwards. All newer 2.2 HDi and 1.6HDi engines have FAP based DPF systems fitted as standard, and this includes the Mitsubishi Outlander and Peugeot Hdi models which use the Citroen engines.

Of all of the diesel car manufacturers, the Citroen / Peugeot ‘FAP’ system, although not immune to its own expensive problems, seems to be the more robust and less delicate of the bunch, especially in relation to short journeys, possibly since they were introduced years ahead of other manufacturers, and use a purpose designed additive, to aid and improve regeneration.

Honda – all of its I-CTDI engines manufactured before 2008 do not have a DPF fitted.

Ford – All 1.8 diesels such as the TDDI and TDCI do not have a DPF

Kia – Early Diesel Cars using the 2.9 CRDi, 2.5CRDi and 2.0CRDi engines did not have Diesel Particulate Filters until a roll out which took place on newer 1.4 CRDi, 1.7 CRDi & 2.0 CRDi engines between 2008 – 2010 (Do the exhaust test described below to check if a DPF is present if looking at a car manufactured between these two years)

Kia Ceed 1.6 CRDi engines are rumoured to not have DPF’s fitted as they meet Euro V emissions standards without one.

Toyota –  Pre 2006 Toyotas do not have DPF’s. All T180, SR180 and 2.2 Auto transmissions have a DPF, however the standard 2.2 Diesel manuals did not get a DPF fitted until 2010.

Problems with Toyota DPF Systems are even starting to find their way onto the comments section on Toyota GB’s own blog. Toyota also clearly point out that their DPF systems are not covered under their vehicle warranties. So buyer beware – those four figure repairs could be looming!.

Apart from Peugeot and Citroen, its a safe bet that diesel cars made before 2003, will be DPF Free, however from that point it becomes a little bit more of a gamble especially the closer you get to 2008 model years.

Since some manufacturers also dabbled with testing the water with randomly fitting DPF’s to their cars between 2004 and 2008 or offered them as Factory options to their customers, it means that there are some models dating from the same period which have a DPF and others which don’t.

One easy, non mechanical way of checking if a car has a DPF fitted is to check the exhaust pipe. A DPF removes soot, and so cars with them fitted will have a clean exhaust pipe, simply run your finger around the inside of the exhaust pipe outlet, if you get a sooty finger, then the car is unlikely to have a DPF.

Got a DPF and now thinking of removing your problematic Diesel Particulate Filter? – Don’t! and here is why!

If you are having problems with Diesel particulate filter (DPF) blockages, then please read our section on Alternatives to replacing a blocked DPF Filter 

If you are facing the expense of a new replacement Diesel Particulate Filter and don’t like the expensive dealer quote, then save hundreds by Buying an Aftermarket DPF Filter

 

20 Responses to Cars without a DPF

  1. Peter Madden says:

    Hi thinking of Buying 2.0 Ford Focus TDCI on a 2005 Plate. You say the 1.8 Ford Focus doesn’t have a DPF could you please let me know if the 2.0 TDCI doesn’t have. DPF Filter many thanks ..

    • admin says:

      The 2.0 TDCI is a tricky one, as there were two versions of the 2.0 TDCI used during that era, Ford were also offering the DPF as a Factory Fit option on some new diesel cars during that period, which again throws another problem into the mix, as some customers may have specified a DPF as a factory option, even though they weren’t a mandatory requirement at that time. So, first of all, lets look at the two 2.0 TDCI engines, the early version of the 2.0 was Euro 3 compliant and non of these engines had a DPF nor was it available as a Factory option, so is probably the safest bet in relation to being DPF free. The later 2.0 TDCI engine introduced at some point in 2005 was Euro 4 and was the engine which had the DPF fitment as a Factory option, this is where it gets complicated as there is no way to physically check whether it has a DPF as an option just from the Reg number or V5, and its possible that some early 2005 cars were still using the early Euro 3 engine. The only advice I can give, is by way of a simple check when viewing a car, and this is to quickly run your finger around the inside of the exhaust pipe, if you get a black sooty finger there is no DPF fitted, if its relatively clean then there is a DPF on the car.

  2. Paul says:

    Hi I’m thinking of getting the BMW 525D “lion eye shape” do these come with a DPF? I won’t have a car with a DPF again, absolute nightmare.

    • admin says:

      Hi Paul

      All of the BMW 3.0 Diesel engines in all variants (325D / 330D / 335D / 530D / 525D etc) have a DPF fitted from 2004.

  3. John says:

    Hi there. Does a Hyundai Tucson 2.0 CRTD registered in October 2005 have a DPF. Bought the car about a month ago and now worried, especially with the DPF horror stories on the net. Many thanks.

  4. Jay says:

    Hello, hope you are well.

    Does the 2014 Vauxhall Astra Gtc Sport Cdti (130), 1686CC Diesel, 3DR and Manual have a DPF. I was considering buying one as i think they are beautiful but now i am a bit reluctant, as i have just heard about the DPF, none of it being positive lol.

    Thank you.

    • admin says:

      Jay, Yes unfortunately the 2014 Astra CDTI does have a DPF, in fact every Diesel car manufacturer began fitting them between 2008 and 2010 ready to meet Euro 5 standards. The only diesel car which I am aware of, which doesn’t have a DPF after that period, is the Kia Ceed 1.6 diesel.

      Yes, the majority of DPF’s become problematic at some stage, but you increase the risks of more expensive problems early on if you do less than 12k miles a year, and a lot of those journeys are short, the type of journeys where the engine and oil doesn’t reach normal operating temperature and maintain it for at least 20 – 30 minutes, these type of journeys increases the risk of the DPF regeneration never being able to begin or worse still, the engine being switched off mid regeneration, which can cause diesel to leak into the sump oil, diluting it which in turn risks engine and turbo wear, and even a runaway situation where the car revs to death fed by its own sump oil! (A problem on a lot of Mazda’s but can potentially happen on any DPF Car which uses that type of regeneration)

      Unless you are a high mileage driver, largely using the car for Motorway trips or are willing to put a little bit of cash away towards paying for DPF cleaning or replacement at some point in the future, then its probably best to buy a Petrol or Hybrd!.

  5. Jon says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for your most helpful website.

    Are you able to advise when the Mini D was fitted with a dpf?

    Thanks

    Jon

    • admin says:

      Hi

      Information on the Mini isn’t very forthcoming, however I don’t believe that the early One D models using the Toyota engine would have had a DPF fitted, so I would think that they were introduced with the higher power / lower emission PSA engine which was used in the Cooper D from May 2007. PSA were one of the first to introduce a DPF system, back in 2002, which used an early version of the Ad Blue type system used on new cars today, so I would say that any Mini made after MY2007 and fitted with the PSA or the even later BMW N47 engine will have a DPF.

      You can tell visually, as a non DPF car will be very sooty just inside the exhaust pipe, a DPF equipped car, will be noticably cleaner.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Hi,

    Could you possibly advise if Audi ever fitted a dpf to the 1.9 A4 Avant or from what year they started to fit the dpf from. I note you say early 1.9 don’t have them fitted but looks like Audi carried on using a 1.9 on the A4 until around 2009 and want to avoid any with a dpf if I can.

    Thanks so much

    • admin says:

      Hi

      I’ve put “early 1.9 Tdi” as that is pretty much the only way you can Guarantee not having a DPF. “Early” in this case as being pre-2007!

      Unfortunately lots of variables determined the fitment of DPF’s, such as Auto boxes and 4WD which affected the emission levels and of course dictated whether a DPF was fitted or not from an early date, since some cars with higher emissions needed DPF’s to meet EU4 standards and some didn’t fit them until EU5, and so its entirely possible to find manual cars without a DPF and Auto’s with DPF’s on all makes of cars dating from exactly the same time frame – it really is THAT variable. Even if you ask at a dealer, they can’t even say for sure, without checking the VIN on their system, and looking at the list of Factory fitments.

      I have read several threads on various forums, suggesting that the 1.9 engine never had a DPF fitted, as its design wasn’t suitable to cope with one. Do I trust discussions on forums with enough confidence to correctly advise you here? – no not really, especially as Audi dealers often can’t advise their customers either!.

      My advice, is to go and look at the car, check to see how much soot there is just inside the exhaust pipe as this can be a quite accurate method to determine the presence of a DPF and if you are still unsure then insist that the dealer checks the individual VIN on the system. If you are determined to avoid a DPF (good advice), then this is really the only way to find out for sure.

  7. Ray Morris says:

    Hi …i have a 1.9 cdti Astra 2007 (twintop) with factory fitted dpf …if the legislation requiring them to be fitted didn’t come into force until 2008. ..can I legally remove it ( obviously not the cat though)

    • admin says:

      No, you can’t legally remove a DPF on ANY car which left the factory with one fitted regardless of whether it was introduced by the manufacturer before the mandatory fitment date. In fact there is no situation where you can legally remove the DPF on any car in the UK, largely as the Road Tax would have been worked out based on the emissions it produced with the DPF fitted when it was tested at Factory production and so removing it would increase the particulate emissions and probably increase the road tax well beyond its current band. Although I can’t find any case where its actually happened, the change in road tax band could possibly lead to large fines and back tax charged by the DVSA and you really don’t want to be messing around with those “nice” people.

      At the very minimum, if the fact that the DPF has been removed is discovered you are very likely be charged with offences under the construction and use regulations (£1000 fine) and in the event of an accident investigation you will certainly be left with voided insurance cover, due to the illegal undeclared modification to your vehicle, making it expensive and difficult to obtain insurance again in the future from the revoked cover as well as the cost of any refused insurance claim in relation to paying out to any damage to your vehicle after an accident.

      In short its really not worth the risk and even though removing the DPF is unlikely to be discovered during the current UK MOT inspection and test, it has been announced that from May 2018 the UK will adopt the same MOT testing systems as in Europe, which includes a test of the car through the OBD Diagnostic Port which can quickly identify the absence of the DPF regeneration program a clear indication that its been removed, at which point you will be back to square one, having to source and refit the DPF and reprogram the Engine Management to restart the regeneration cycles, as well as any possible penalty arising from the MOT Centre reporting you to the DVSA.

      Let’s not forget that MOT information which is entered at the time of the MOT is now stored on a central database along with any refusal notice, and one day the DVSA may at some point choose to follow up the owners of any cars whose MOT failure reason included a missing DPF and it will certainly also show to a potential new owner if they do an MOT history check should you ever want to sell the car, reducing the buyers’ trust in it.

      With all the anti-diesel propaganda in the press at the moment, I suspect that the thorny issue of DPF removal will be looked at more closely in the New Year and perhaps result in a few high profile ‘test’ case prosecutions or increases in the current penalties, in order to act as a warning to others. Its already starting to get the attention of the national media and generally from that point the powers that be, feel obligated to be seen to be doing something, especially when it gets the Tree Huggers all stirred up.

  8. Robert Mulhollamd says:

    Does the Mazda 6 estate have a dpf.

    Thanks
    Rob

    • admin says:

      The first generation (2002 – 2007) Mazda 6 didn’t have a DPF, however they were introduced on the Mazda 6 from the introduction of the second generation series in 2007 / 8. Mazda have a very bad reputation for DPF reliabiility problems and also suffer from sump oil dilution, where diesel leaks into the sump after failed regeneration attempts, increasing the oil level and reducing lubricating effectiveness of the oil, this can lead to complete engine damage, either from excessive wear of the engine components or the oil level overflowing, causing the engine to “run away” and destroy itself. Loads of DPF problems Highlighted here:- https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/mazda/6-2008/?section=good . Mazda are probably the only manufacturer, who I would only ever buy a petrol engined car from!.

  9. J A G Fan says:

    Hi,
    I’m thinking of purchasing a 56 plate Jaguar XJ diesel, I’m assuming this will have a DPF, is that something to be worried about or are they fairly reliable?
    Also will it have two DPF’s as I’m guessing the exhaust system splits into two after the down pipe?
    Is there a suitable fuel additive that can be put in to help stop the dreaded DPF getting clogged up, if your not driving on the motorway regularly?
    Or would you advise to buy the petrol version or just steer clear completely?

    Many Thanks

    • admin says:

      Hi,

      A 56 plate would be the 2.7 TDVi Diesel, which all had a DPF from their introduction, the 2.7 Diesel also suffered badly from Turbo failures, and the later 3.0 Diesel was a lot more robust in this respect, although of course still fitted with the DPF.

      Like all Diesel Additives, there is a lot of DPF Additive “snake oil” on the market, and there hasn’t really been any independent testing in relation to how effective each of these additives is in real world driving, if they do anything at all. There is one additive called “CDTI Platinum Plus” which is approved for use in the London Low Emissions Zone and is supposed to be popular for use in Diesel Taxi’s, Buses and Council Vehicles crawling around London every day, so I suspect that it must actually do something. It won’t clean the DPF though, it just reduces the amount of soot produced by the Engine meaning that the DPF does more miles before a regeneration is required. It is ludicrously expensive though for an additive, but I will put the link at the bottom of this reply.

      The best way to look after a DPF is to always use Premium Diesel. I’m not one of these die-hards who constantly promotes Premium Fuel over Supermarket Fuel because the standard of the base fuel used in both is exactly the same and has to meet the same EN Standards, however premium fuels do carry additional additives and detergents which reduce soot and will probably ultimately achieve the same as the CDTI additive which I mentioned above, but more cheaply. Supermarket Premium fuel would also be a reasonable compromise if fuel cost was a factor.

      Take a motorway journey at least every few hundred miles, and once the engine has warmed up keep the revs up at around 2800 – 3000 rpm continuously for 15 minutes or so, and this should trigger perfect running conditions for a regen to take place. Also do an interim oil and filter change every 7000 miles, and always use the correct grade of Low SAPS oil for the engine.

      Ideally if you do less than 12k miles a year, or spend more than an average amount of time in traffic queues or city driving, then you really should consider a petrol. However if you do a reasonable amount of motorway speed driving, and adhere religiously to the advice above then you should be OK, even without using expensive additives. A lot of people don’t like the idea of running their lifestyle around their cars, and making needless journeys just for the ‘green’ parts to service themselves soon gets overlooked, however if you don’t normally take long trips or drive on dual carriageways / motorways then it does begin to become something of a pain, driving up and down the motorway in order to keep your car trouble-free and some people just don’t bother, and that is generally when the problems begin to surface as the car never gets the ideal running conditions required to automatically regenerate and clean out the DPF.

      There is another equally important factor when buying a second hand car with a DPF, and that is in relation to the driving style and use of the previous owner(s). In years gone by it was something of a bonus to find a 8 – 10 year old Diesel car with a low mileage as it would normally indicate less risk of wear and tear issues and be something of a bargain, these days the opposite applies on a DPF equipped diesel, as lower than average miles will probably indicate a life of short journeys and infrequent use which may mean the DPF will probably be on the way to being blocked and will probably give problems eventually.

      Equally, DPF’s are classed as consumables and have a limited service life of between 90k – 120k miles, so average miles on a car of this age may indicate that the DPF will need replacing through it reaching the end of its service life and being largely blocked with ash. It is possible to get the DPF removed and professionally cleaned by a specialist company for about £400, so I would certainly use that in relation to negotiating the price of the car, given its age and the higher than average risk of the DPF needing cleaning.

      The DPF Additive I mentioned above can be purchased on the following link, but personally I would just stick to Premium Quality Diesel.

      https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CDTI-Platinum-Plus-DFX-DPF-Standard-1litre-LEZ-Catalyst-Exhaust-Fluid-Additive/162756029847

  10. Viorel Besman says:

    Hi! Do you know if a renault laguna 2007-2008 has a dpf filter, please?! Thank you

    • admin says:

      Hi

      The 1.5DCI engine didn’t get the DPF until around 2009. The 2.0DCI had them from 2006/7, so an early 1.5 engine is probably your best bet.

      In French Cars the DPF is known as FAP, and often forms part of the cars model number, e.g 2.0DCI 150PS FAP

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