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DPF warning light may not always be a DPF issue, says reconditioning parts specialist

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A flashing diesel particulate filter warning light does not always mean there is a problem with a vehicle's DPF; it could be triggered by a number of different vehicle issues, says a reconditioning parts specialist.

DPF Clean Team has expanded its team to be able treat a wider range of DPF-related faults and has recently taken on a specialist repairer to fix broken ceramic on damaged DPFs, a problem often caused by mechanical failure or by a driver knocking a DPF on a difficult journey. 

The ceramic monolith, or filter element of a DPF, cannot be cleaned when broken and must maintain its integrity in order for the diesel exhaust to pass only through the fine-filtering walls of the ceramic material.

The move is a direct response from DPF Clean Team to a rise in the number of enquiries about DPF failures that are not a result of a blocked filter.

The company is aiming to educate fleet managers and garages by revealing some of the common reasons for a DPF warning light to illuminate.

Cameron Bryce, managing director of DPF Clean Team, said: “We receive many calls a day from people whose DPF warning light has come on and many automatically think that it’s because of a blocked filter, but it can be triggered by a number of things.

"We do our best to solve most DPF issues and welcome all enquiries, but there are many faults that we will refer to a garage to rectify, and many that can be solved by the vehicle owner themselves.”

The most common reason for a DPF warning light to appear is because of a blocked DPF. However, the company says that it can be illuminated as a result of a faulty temperature or pressure sensor, which is a job that must be resolved by a garage or automotive technician.

A failed exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve, problems with exhaust and injection systems and faulty glow plugs can all, in turn, affect the DPF and cause the DPF warning light to illuminate. In fact, even using the wrong type of oil in a car can trigger the DPF warning light to come on.

Bryce added: “The DPF is such an important part of a diesel vehicle that a failure can be triggered by a number of different things.

"A professional clean is not only considerably cheaper and faster than a replacement, but it can solve the majority of DPF-related issues.

"However, there are a handful of failures that it can’t resolve, which is why we are continually adding to our team and resources, and working closely with garages and fleet operators to educate them on DPF maintenance and best practice."

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  • Motorman Ltd - 31/07/2015 12:47

    In our experience as the UK's premier aftermarket national fleet DPF diagnostic and repair network, its imperative that the garage/ workshop understand fully how to tackle the whole diagnosis repair and/or clean system re-set and re-generation etc.. Otherwise it can be an extremely costly exercise.

  • Mark - 03/08/2015 09:37

    A cracked DPF will show good airflow however to repair a cracked ceramic substrate on a passenger car you would need to remove it from the exhaust can. From a MOT point of view this could look like it has been tampered with which means an MOT failure???

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