If you have become a victim to the Diesel Particulate (DPF) warning light illuminating on your dashboard, then it is important to act NOW before the situation becomes much worse and you are faced with a huge four figure DPF replacement bill.
Some vehicles, use an Additive called Elyos fluid which is used to help with the combustion process used to regenerate the DPF and self clean it. So the first thing to do is to see if your vehicle requires this additive and check the level. Elyos fluid is often used in Citroen and Peugeot vehicles, but check your handbook.
What to do when your DPF Warning light comes on
Purchase a DPF Cleaning additive (Wynns DPF Cleaner is recommended) and add it to roughly 1/4 tank of premium Shell V-Power diesel. Drive the vehicle normally until it reaches normal engine operating temperature, and then take the vehicle on a motorway journey for 20 – 25 minutes whilst keeping the engine RPM constantly at around 3000 RPM (Automatic car owners will need to use ‘M’ or “Sport” mode) this will enable the correct running parameters to be reached and a regeneration procedure to begin and hopefully complete sooner, rather than later. Avoid stopping or allowing the RPM to drop much below 3000 RPM whilst this is underway, so it may be wise to do this procedure on an empty road late at night or early in the morning in order to avoid traffic congestion.
Hopefully this regeneration should clean your blocked DPF, and the light on the dashboard should go out, however if it does not, or the light returns a short period later, then the DPF is still blocked and the regeneration hasn’t solved the issue.
Check that the vehicle is in good running condition and that there are no other faults elsewhere which may be causing the regeneration to fail. Details of what to check next can be found on Alternatives to replacing a blocked dpf
If the car has no other faults and the DPF still refuses to regenerate then a trip to a dealer will usually resolve the problem, as they can connect the car to their diagnostic computer and perform a forced regeneration, which should hopefully completely clean the DPF and return the car to normal.
Unfortunately, many forced regeneration’s can also fail or only act as a short term resolution before the light re-appears and this then leaves the owner with a dilemma, should they remove the DPF and have it mapped out completely, or should they pay over £1000 to have it replaced?.
Sadly, DPF removal is illegal in the UK and since March 2014 the DPF has been added to the list of parts which are checked during the annual MOT, and the car will fail its MOT inspection if the vehicle is found to have the DPF removed or bypassed, it can also leave you with void insurance if you are involved in an accident and the car has been modified illegally – which is what DPF Removal is.
If you are considering removing or deleting your Diesel Particulate Filter, or already have a vehicle which has had the particulate filter removed then please read our page on DPF Removal, is it legal?
However, before considering biting the bullet and paying a fortune out for a brand new DPF, there are now several additives on the market as well as various professional Diesel particulate filter cleaning services which are a fraction of the cost of replacing an entire DPF unit.