The ash that collects in diesel particulate filters (DPFs) must be cleaned out periodically, or else the filter will become clogged and malfunction. If you drive a diesel vehicle, getting a complete DPF cleaning on time is an essential part of routine maintenance.
How DPFs Work: Difference Between Soot and Ash
The function of a DPF is to reduce harmful diesel emissions by removing soot from diesel exhaust. This soot reaches the exhaust in the form of unburned fuel and lube oil particles, and these particles are burned into ash in the filter. The burned ash then collects in the bottom of the DPF, where it slowly builds up over time.
DPF Cleanings: 8-Step Cleaning Process
Once the ash in a DPF builds up to a certain level, it must be cleaned out of the filter. While replacing the filter is technically an alternative to cleaning, replacement DPFs can cost as much as $12,000-plus. Cleaning is certainly preferable to this, and regular DPF cleanings will help ensure that a filter doesn’t need to be replaced.
Cleaning DPF filters requires knowledge of diesel systems and highly specialized equipment that does the actual cleaning. At J & S Diesel, we rely on an advanced Filtertherm DPF Thermal Regeneration equipment and an 8-Step DPF Cleaning Process that provides a consistently thorough cleaning every time.
Cleaning OEM DPFs: Oven Regeneration
Some original equipment manufacturer (OEM) filters have built-in regeneration cycles that theoretically reduce the need for oven regeneration. In our experience, however, real-world experience isn’t as reliable as theory -- and we almost always recommend using the 8-step process that relies on Filertherm DPF Thermal Regeneration. (The other option is de-ashing only, which isn’t as thorough.)
Our extensive experience working with all kinds of DPF filters has shown us that OEM filters with regeneration cycles simply don’t always work perfectly. Excessive idling, severe cold in the Rockies or demanding duty cycles can somteimes be too much for the built-in regeneration. A cracked or broken exhaust pipe will almost certainly cause regeneration issues in this type of DPF.
Because built-in regeneration isn't perfect, DPFs should always be thoroughly cleaned and the most effective way to do that is with oven regeneration DPF cleaning. Leading aftermarket manufacturers of DPFs recommend oven regeneration and de-ashing, and we usually do to.
Following DPF Cleaning Schedules: Factors Affecting Frequency
How often your vehicle needs DPF cleaning depends on the manufacturer’s recommendation and the operating conditions. Some filters will last longer than 200,000 miles, while others must be cleaned much more frequently. A few factors that impact a vehicle’s DPF cleaning schedule include:
- Filter sizes
- Fuel quality
- Oil quality
- Engine condition
- Highway or city driving
Get DPF Cleaning in Las Vegas
For an assessment of your vehicle’s DPF filter and to get it cleaned, contact J & S Diesel. Our technicians can help you assess when the next DPF cleaning is needed, and expertly clean your DPF when it’s time.