The best way of ensuring that your DPF remains clean, is by making sure that it gets regular long drives ideally at constant speeds at least once every 250 miles, and to avoid using a DPF equipped diesel car for short journeys. Doing this, ensures that your diesel particulate filter (DPF) gets the opportunity to burn off its accumulated soot, either from the normal exhaust temperatures, or by the automatic process of completing an automatic DPF regeneration cycle, which is triggered by the Car’s ECU when the soot loading goes above a certain level (usually 40%).
However, making frequent long journeys to enable your diesel car to stretch its legs and regenerate its emissions components is not always possible, thanks to more people working from home, or general lifestyle changes, not to mention more start-stop traffic in congested towns and cities making maintaining constant speeds almost impossible, so the result is that the diesel car is doing less annual mileage, and the DPF never gets to complete a regeneration cycle.
The end result of this, is that the particulate filter gets more and more blocked with soot, on each journey to the point where the car exhaust cannot process the emissions correctly and the DPF warning light comes on, and the car often enters ‘limp mode’, meaning reduced performance and a very sluggish response.
If intervention isn’t done at the point the DPF warning light illuminates and the Car allowed to regenerate its DPF at this point, then within a few hundred more miles, you may reach the stage where the DPF needs to be removed for professional cleaning, which costs a few hundred pounts, or worse still you may need a new DPF, at an eye watering cost.
But there are ways that you can help with the Regeneration process which don’t cost the earth, and this can be done simply by adding specialised DPF cleaning Additives to the Diesel Fuel.
One of the main methods of DPF regeneration is to heat a catalyst which burns off the soot which accumulates on the filter honeycomb inside the filter canister, the burned off soot then falls into the bottom of the filter housing as Ash, allowing the now cleaned honeycomb to begin the process of collecting the tiny soot particles again. Using an additive effectively reduces the burn temperatures that this process requires, making the regeneration more efficient, quicker and more likely to be complete successfully during a normal everyday journey.
Here I have listed a number of additives which have proven successful in helping with DPF re-generations, especially where the DPF Warning Light has already illuminated and the soot accumulations gone above the normal parameters.
Hydra DPF Filter Cleaner is relatively new to the market, but judging by the feedback it has received from this having DPF issues, it has a very high success rate and yields great results beyond its budget price.
Hydra DPF Filter Cleaner comes in a 250ml bottle, which I recommend adding to half a tank of diesel fuel. This should then be repeated every 2000 miles.
Cataclean already has an enviable reputation for keeping the emissions systems of both petrol and diesel cars clean and working efficiently. Now there is a dedicated Cataclean which is formulated to help reduce emissions by upto 60%, keeping your DPF Clean for longer and useful for MOT tests
Cataclean should be added to a tank of diesel every 3 months.
Archoil is another manufacturer whose additives have already got a very impressive reputation within the diesel communities. Within the Archoil Range is the AR-6400 which is not only designed to assist with the regeneration of your Diesel Particulate Filter, but also clean your turbo and other aspects of your emission system, including catalytic converters.
Archoil is the more expensive additive in the range, but I think its worth it, given the additional cleaning benefits it offers to other engine components.
Archoil is added to each tank of fuel, as an when required as part of your normal service schedules. Archoil AR6400 costs £23.15
Wynns is very effective in what it does especially as its at the budget end of the additive range, and seems to help with the DPF Regeneration Process, however despite its recent new formula change, I think other additives, bring a greater range of benefits.
However, I still recommend it, where budget is a factor. Wynns DPF Cleaner Costs £11.95
As with any additive, its a case of try them in your own car to find out which works the best, but all of them should help where the DPF Warning Light is already on, and the DPF blocked beyond its normal parameters, or where getting the DPF to regenerate is proving difficult during normal driving. For advice on day to day Diesel Additives, please check out our diesel additives page.
If you do try any of these Diesel particulate additives, please leave details and feedback in the comments below, along with any recommendations of your own.