What Causes Diesel Particulate Filters To Fail?

29 June 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) are an important component in modern diesel engines, designed to capture soot and ash particles to prevent them from being expelled into the environment. However, like any component, DPFs can fail. 

Insufficient Exhaust Temperatures

One of the leading causes of DPF failure is low exhaust temperature. DPFs rely on heat in the exhaust system to burn off the trapped soot particles, a process called regeneration. If your vehicle doesn't reach optimal operating temperatures, the regeneration process might not happen, causing the soot to build up and potentially lead to DPF failure. 

Poor Quality Fuel

Another common cause of DPF failure is the use of poor-quality fuel. Low-grade diesel can lead to increased soot production, putting an extra load on the DPF and reducing its lifespan. To avoid this, always opt for high-quality diesel fuel. Not only will this help protect your DPF, but it can also improve the overall performance and efficiency of your vehicle.

Incorrect Engine Oil

Not all engine oils are created equal, and using the wrong one can cause issues with your DPF. Some engine oils contain additives that can increase the amount of ash in the DPF, leading to blockages. Be sure to use low-ash oil that's compatible with your vehicle's engine and DPF system.

Faulty EGR Valve

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve ferries a portion of the exhaust gas back to the engine to reduce emissions. If the EGR valve is faulty, it can cause excessive soot to build up in the DPF. Regular checks and maintenance of the EGR valve can help keep your DPF in good working condition.

Improper Driving Conditions

Finally, improper driving conditions can lead to DPF failure. Constant city driving at low speeds or short trips can prevent the DPF from reaching the required temperature for regeneration. Occasionally driving at higher speeds for extended periods can help keep the DPF functioning properly.

Knowing why DPFs fail is the first step toward prevention. By ensuring that your vehicle operates under the best conditions, using high-quality fuel and correct engine oil, and performing regular checks and maintenance, you can extend the life of your DPF, keep your engine running efficiently, and contribute to a cleaner environment. While you can take action to avoid DPF issues, professional servicing, and check-ups are important for the health of your vehicle's emission system, so don't forget to take your vehicle to the shop regularly to have the DPF serviced.

For more information, contact a company such as Effingham Radio Repair Inc.