Modifications to new automobile emissions legislation scheduled for 2009 the ‘Euro 5’ specifications, will make particulate filters as commonplace in diesel vehicle exhausts as catalytic converters are on petrol automobiles.

The aim is an eighty% reduction in diesel particulate (soot) emissions, but the technology’s not without difficulties roadside help patrols are previously becoming named to cars with the particulate filter warning light-weight illuminated, which typically implies a partial blockage of the DPF filter.

Plainly, modifications to driving styles could be necessary for greatest advantage from these emission-lowering techniques.

How do the filters perform?
Diesel Particulate filters (DPF) or ‘traps’ do just that, they catch bits of soot in the exhaust.

As with any filter (think of the bag in your vacuum cleaner) they have to be emptied frequently to preserve functionality. For a DPF this approach is referred to as ‘regeneration’ the accumulated soot is burnt off at high temperature to depart only a very small ash residue. Regeneration may be either passive or energetic.

Passive regeneration – Passive regeneration requires location instantly on motorway-variety runs when the exhaust temperature is higher. Several automobiles do not get this form of use although so manufacturers have to design-in ‘active’ regeneration where the engine management computer (Eu) will take manage of the process.

Energetic regeneration – When the soot loading in the filter reaches a established restrict (about 45%) the Ecu can make little changes to the gas injection timing to enhance the exhaust temperature and initiate regeneration. If the journey’s a bit quit/commence the regeneration could not comprehensive and the warning gentle will illuminate to show that the DPF is partially blocked.

It ought to be possible to start a complete regeneration and clear the warning mild just by driving for ten minutes or so at speeds greater than 40mph.

If you ignore the light-weight and hold driving in a fairly sluggish, end/start pattern soot loading will keep on to develop up until close to seventy five% when you can expect to see other dashboard warning lights illuminate as well. At this level driving at speed on your own will not be sufficient and the vehicle will have to go to a dealer for regeneration.

Pricey repairs
If warnings are even now ignored and soot loading carries on to boost then the most likely result will be a new DPF costing around £1000.

Largely city dependent driving
If your very own vehicle use or lease vehicle use is mostly city-dependent, end/begin driving it would be wise to decide on petrol rather than threat the headache of incomplete DPF regeneration.

DPF additives
The most common variety of DPF attributes an integrated oxidising catalytic converter and is positioned extremely close to the motor the place exhaust gases will nonetheless be relatively hot so that passive regeneration is achievable.

You will find not always area shut to the engine though so some makers use a different variety of DPF which depends on a gasoline additive to reduced the ignition temperature of the soot particles so that the DPF can be positioned even more from the motor.

The additive is stored in a separate tank and is immediately combined with the gas anytime you fill up. Little portions are needed however so a litre of additive should handle around 2,800 litres of gasoline, ample to include 25,000 miles at 40mpg.

With this kind of DPF regeneration will be initiated by the Ecu each three hundred miles or so relying on car use and will take five to ten minutes to total. You should not notice something other than probably a puff of white smoke from the exhaust when the procedure is finished.

AA encounter
The AA has observed proof of DPF methods failing to regenerate – even on vehicles – that are utilised mainly on motorways. Their summary is that on automobiles with a very higher sixth equipment motor revs are also lower to make adequate exhaust temperature, but occasional more challenging driving in lower gears should be enough to bum off the soot in these kinds of circumstances.

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If you purchase or lease a vehicle with a DPF equipped it’s important to read the appropriate segment of the automobile handbook so that you recognize exactly what actions to just take if the warning mild illuminates and how, if at all, your driving design may need to have to be modified to make certain maximum DPF effectiveness and lifestyle.