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DPF: can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?

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Diesel particle filter cleaning regeneration DPF: Can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?

A new diesel particulate filter is an expensive proposition. A change of the diesel particulate filter (Particle filters, soot filters, soot particle filters, diesel particle filters, DPF or remanufactured DPF - there are so many names) is usually necessary when this full is. This is usually done by lighting up a yellow lamp in the form of a filter or at the latest with the Engine control lamp (MKL) displayed in the cockpit. Strictly speaking, it shouldn't even come to this because the manufacturers state that the filters of the vehicles regenerate themselves and therefore do not need to be serviced. Actually is that also true: Have you driven a few hundred kilometers (the distances can vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific model), a filter regeneration is initiated by the engine management that goes unnoticed by the driver. With such a regeneration it happens that the soot deposits are burned by the high temperatures of the exhaust gases and the DPF is thus freed from the deposits. More about the specifics Workflow can be found in our article "How often does the particle filter burn free? Can I do this manually too?".

Particle filter cleaning: overview

Jump marks tuning blog website DPF: Can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?Who is only interested in very specific areas around the topic Cleaning the particle filter interested, you can use the following jump labels to navigate directly to the desired topic with just one click. And just as quickly you can return to this overview from the selected menu item with just one click. However, we recommend our readers to always read the entire article. Some menu items are only really comprehensible and understandable once the complete information article has been read.

  1. Short journeys damage the DPF
  2. DPF full after approx. 120 - 200 tkm
  3. Consequences with a full DPF?
  4. Cleaning instead of replacement - save money
  5. What methods are used for cleaning?
  6. Manufacturers recommend refraining from cleaning
  7. Cleaning is a very effective method
  8. How to carry out the regeneration drive?
  9. Cleaning / regenerating a full particle filter yourself?
  10. Advantages and disadvantages of detergents
  11. OEM replacement parts as an alternative?
  12. Tutorials for cleaning the DPF

Short journeys damage the DPF

Diesel particle filter cleaning regeneration urban traffic e1604490768867 DPF: Can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?

However, if you only use your vehicle for short journeys, the heat required for combustion cannot be built up, or at least only very briefly, which ultimately means that the regeneration cannot be carried out correctly and the filter is always full. In this case it is then necessary that you move the vehicle over a longer distance so that the filter can be driven free - provided the filter is only filled with soot. With a so-called regeneration drive on country roads and highways, the "burn free" is guaranteed. But if the filter is full and actually needs to be replaced, then that is very annoying. Unfortunately, this is a very expensive thing that can cost up to 3000 euros, depending on the vehicle. If you're looking to save money here, maybe the Facial Cleansing the filter is a welcome alternative for you. (Back to overview)

DPF full after approx. 120 - 200 tkm

Diesel particle filter cleaning regeneration full DPF: Can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?

The problematic thing is that during the process a little ash is always produced during the combustion, which, in contrast to simple soot, damages the filter many times more. This is because ashes cannot simply be burned and the filter cannot be opened in this case either. This very ash then unfortunately settles in the closed filter system in the channels and gradually clogs them. A rule of thumb states that there are around 1000 grams of ash for every 6 liters of diesel fuel. The resulting ash clogs the honeycomb and the driver is advised to continue driving to clear the filter. However, the filter will eventually reach its limit in terms of its capacity. This is the case after about 120.000 to 200.000 kilometers - with room for maneuver up and down. (Back to overview)

Consequences with a full DPF?

Diesel particle filter cleaning control lamp 1 DPF: Can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?

A clogged filter can, for example, result in increased exhaust gas back pressure, which can result in higher fuel consumption and a drop in performance. In the worst case it can lead to one Turbocharger defect or even serious engine damage. As a rule, the engine's electronics prevent this by switching to an emergency program. If this is the case, you are practically forced to visit a workshop. Here there may still be the possibility of manually burning the filter free using the diagnostic tool. As a rule, however, this only ensures a delay of a few kilometers or it is not possible at all. The manufacturer recommends that the filter should be replaced because it is too dirty. But as mentioned earlier, this is a very expensive proposition. (Back to overview)

Cleaning instead of replacement - save money

The good news is that you do not necessarily have to have your diesel particulate filter replaced, as the filter can usually also be cleaned easily - and according to various providers up to 98 percent. The costs are definitely a reason to think about such a cleaning: cleaning and shipping usually cost no more than 300 - 500 Euro, plus any costs incurred for installing and removing or teaching the filter. Such cleaning usually takes 1 to 3 days. (Back to overview)

What methods are used for cleaning?

The procedures that vendors use to clean the filter vary.

  • Some companies weigh the filter exactly, then subject it to a pre-treatment and then clean it. Once this process has been completed, all that remains is a fine, light-colored dust which, unlike ash, can be removed without any problems. To check the success of the cleaning, the filter is weighed again at the end of the treatment to determine the difference. But there is another possibility.
  • The filter can also use a special mechanical-thermal processwith which it can be cleaned without opening the filter housing. Here, however, the opinions differ somewhat. Some believe that the only way to properly clean the filter is to open the case. Allegedly this is the only way to get rid of the ashes in the channels. Other providers contradict this!
  • And also Air can be applied. The compressed air is used to clean the filters. For this purpose, a drinkable aerosol is added to the system for a short time. It reacts with the surface of the filter and removes the remaining dirt particles. This type of DPF cleaning is particularly quick and can only take a few minutes. We can NOT give you a tip on which method is the best at this point. The best way to do this is to use the experience study in various car forums. (Back to overview)

Manufacturers recommend refraining from cleaning

According to surveys, vehicle manufacturers tend to have a negative attitude towards cleaning the filter and advise against it. There is also the risk that damage caused by cleaning can void the guarantee. However, if the filter is full, a vehicle warranty has usually already expired. And we are of the opinion that the background is even more to be found in the area of ​​the market economy. If you can sell a new DPF filter, the manufacturers earn money from it, as opposed to cleaning. (Back to overview)

Cleaning is a very effective method

Basically, filter cleaning is a perfectly plausible method to save costs, provided it is carried out properly. And if a new component does not have to be produced, this not only saves money but also the environment. (Back to overview)

How to carry out the regeneration drive?

Diesel particle filter cleaning speed regeneration run 1 DPF: Can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?

A diesel car with a soot particle filter is usually properly "burned free" when driving for a few kilometers on country roads or the motorway. The soot filter must be brought to an elevated temperature from time to time. The so-called regeneration drive can help. And you don't have to lawn for that either. You should just make sure to move the car a few kilometers more in the medium speed range. The required temperatures of 500 to 600 degrees in the exhaust system can then be easily reached. (Back to overview)

Cleaning / regenerating a full particle filter yourself?

That is also possible. A suitable special vehicle tool, standard tool and a cleaning agent for soot particle filters are required. However, only experienced screwdrivers should clean the soot particle filter themselves. The sequence:

  1. Let the exhaust system cool down in order to avoid tension cracks when filling the agent
  2. Remove the soot particle filter. Also remove all sensors.
  3. Insert the cleaning agent hose into the opening of the particle filter
  4. Fill in detergent. Shake the can well. Spray the agent into the filter every 5-10 seconds for 5 seconds (may vary depending on the provider). Rotate the probe while spraying so that the detergent arrives everywhere. Repeat the process until the can is empty.
  5. Screw in the sensors again
  6. Reset learning values. So that the probes know that the soot filter is now empty
  7. Reset the learning values ​​with the diagnosis device (regeneration may start manually)
  8. Regeneration and test drive. To begin with, leave the car outside with the engine running for 15 minutes. Then drive for about half an hour at increased speed / engine speed on the motorway. (Back to overview)

Diesel particle filter cleaning speed Cleaner DPF: Can the particle filter be cleaned / regenerated?

Advantages and disadvantages of detergents

 (Back to overview)

Disadvantages

No long-term forecast

Soot goes, ash stays

Chemicals can filters
damage

Benefits

DIY process possible

done quickly

Cheaper than everyone else #
Process

OEM replacement parts as an alternative?

With this method, the vehicle is only unavailable for the short period of time it is removed and installed. The old filter is removed and a refurbished and reconditioned original soot filter is reinstalled. Of course, you have to make sure that the remanufactured diesel particulate filter can be installed in the vehicle without the operating permit expiring. The provider must ensure that the flow behavior of the cleaned filter corresponds to that of a new diesel particulate filter. One possibility is proof that the work is carried out according to DIN EN ISO 9001, DIN EN ISO 1400 certificate. Thus, a cleaning process is used that reproduces the flow behavior of used filters to the same quality as new filters. (Back to overview)

Tutorials for cleaning the DPF

 (Back to overview)

Of course that had not happened yet!

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