The DPF Debate Uncovered

The car industry is full of acronyms and the latest one to hit the headlines is the DPF. For anyone who is not entirely clued up with their car jargon, DPF simply stands for diesel particulate filter, which is fitted to diesel cars produced from 2009.

It has become a bit of a talking point recently because last month the MOT rules involving the DPF have been tightened up. Previously cars had only been tested on their emissions and there was no direct focus on the DPF. But now, cars will be checked to make sure that the diesel particulate filter, which was fitted as standard to your model of car is still present, otherwise it will fail the MOT.

The introduction of this new rule was in direct response to an increase of DPF removals across garages in the UK. Many companies – including some Northampton garages – have been removing the DPF to help motorists avoid costly repairs. The removal generally involves the engine control unit being reprogrammed, followed by an engine remap.

Unless you drive long distances on a regular basis, the filter needs a fair bit of maintenance in order to avoid it getting clogged up. Regenerating the filter is essential to help burn off a build up of soot, but failure to do so can leave you with a rather large bill starting from about £1,000.

The government has intervened because the DPF helps meet European emission standards, which is supposed to improve our air quality. Removing the filter means it is unable to trap solid particulate matter which escapes from exhaust gases. Nevertheless, the filters can be problematic and generally need replacing between 80,000 and 150,000 miles, which is why so many people are tempted to break the law and have them removed completely.

Even though removing the part is an offence it has not stopped various garages from advertising the service. However, Automotive Engineering firmly believes in carrying out preventative measures and maintenance to avoid costly repairs. We are one of Northampton’s leading diagnostic experts and have the technology and equipment that allows us to “force” regeneration on your vehicle. This means we can emulate the driving conditions needed in order to clean the DPF, which in turn is better for your car and even better for your pocket.