Expert Tuning Advice for blocked DPF filters
It is possible for us to remap your engine to tell the ECU the DPF has been removed, but this
requires a garage to remove the DPF unit, empty the contents, and refit the DPF unit.
As mentioned later, this makes your vehicle illegal to drive on the road in the UK. Our primary
advice is, therefore, to have your DPF unit removed from your car and sent for our specialised
cleaning service which will restore your DPF to 99% as new condition, clear of accumulated
soot and ash, and ready for proper service again.
About the DPF cleaning service
Some garages attempt to clean DPFs using their own methods. They might blast the DPF with high-pressure air, they might use proprietary cleaning fluids from a can, or they might just soak the DPF over-night in a solvent and hope it cleans the DPF well. The truth is that these methods will produced mixed results, sometimes giving you only a week or two of driving before the problem reappears.
Our DPF cleaning system uses a purpose designed cleaning chamber in conjunction with special solvents, very high temperatures and high-pressure flushing to ensure the DPF is thoroughly clean, back to around 99% of the cleanliness and breath-ability it had when your vehicle came off the production line. After cleaning, each DPF unit is tested to ensure the flow-rate is correct. This system costs tens of thousands of pounds to purchase which is why most garage self-clean methods simply cannot compete in terms of thoroughness or life-expectancy. We offer a one-year guarantee on all DPFs we clean. It is, however, important that a thorough diagnostic check is performed to ensure that associated components such as EGR valves or DPF sensors are not the cause of early failure, as the guarantee covers only the re-clean should it be necessary. More on this later in the page...
You may be tempted to have a garage fit a cheap DPF, usually costing less than half or even a quarter of the cost of a manufacturer's original unit. Our advice is - simply - don't! These cheap DPFs do not contain the precious metals necessary to generate the heat required for your vehicle's built-in DPF regeneration system to work correctly. When you know the scrap value of a genuine DPF can sometimes approach 25% to 50% of the cost of a cheap DPF replacement, you can see why the cost is low on the 'clones'. Lifespan is sometimes measures in weeks, not even months.
Your usual garage is ideal to provide the labour to remove your DPF and re-fit after we have done our part. Alternatively we can recommend garages in some parts of South London and Surrey to provide this part of the service for you. Our usual turnaround time is same-day as long as the DPF unit arrives in the morning. This usually allows your garage to complete the whole remove/clean/replace service in three days.
Please contact us for more details and prices. A typical DPF clean will cost around £200 including return shipping, which compares extremely favorably to replacement prices of clones, or genuine DPFs costing £800 upwards, and in some cases in excess of £2,000.
ExpertTuning offers ECU remapping to remove DPF functions and fault codes.
IMPORTANT - notification concerning DPF removal and the MOT - please read before considering DPF removal
Following a VOSA document published on 4th December 2013, laying out the legal position concerning a DPF if it was fitted as standard equipment, we invite you to view this publication before speaking to us. Please use this link to access and read the Guidance Note.
You can also access the document in Adobe .pdf format here: DPF and MOT Guidance Note
MOT Test Information
It is the customer's responsibility to read the above guidance notes and determine whether DPF removal is suitable for their needs taking into account government requirements for vehicles to be used on the road. We can advise DPF removal for vehicles to be used off-road only.
Currently, the MOT emissions test does not detect the absence of a DPF. The MOT allows only a visual check of the DPF system as MOT testers are not allowed to disassemble components fitted to vehicles. If the DPF assembly is visually intact with no evidence the filter has been removed from inside the canister, the tester will not be required to fail the vehicle. Please be aware this may change in the future.
Common DPF problems include:
- DPF Light Flashing
- DPF Light On Constantly
- Engine Management Light On - Car In Limp Mode (Won’t Rev Over 2,500 / 3,000)
- Fuel in the oil / rising oil levels
- Loss Of Power / Reduction in MPG
- Blown Turbo / Injector Seals (As a direct result of ignoring a blocked DPF)
DPF effect on performance and MPG
There is no doubt that a DPF affects performance and reduces MPG. The DPF restricts exhaust flow, especially on higher mileage vehicles or any with a DPF reaching the end of its life. A new DPF or a professionally cleaned DPF will restore performance and MPG. A removed DPF will give a vehicle better performance and MPG than it would have with a DPF but we would never advise a customer to remove a DPF for this reason. If you want to remain legal, and get better performance and MPG, just go with a remap. We will be able to increase power by an average of 20% and MPG by typically 10% or more and keep you legally on the road.
What if I ignore the DPF warnings?
It is possible you could damage your engine beyond repair if you ignore the DPF warnings. This is not meant to be a 'scarer' - just a statement of fact. Ignoring the DPF problem can create excessive back pressure into the engine resulting in oil contamination and dilution from fuel and exhaust. This can cause bearing failure and consequent need for a replacement or fully rebuilt engine. We know - because it has happened to some of our customers before they came to us. The last one was a Mercedes Vito requiring a new engine at a cost of over £7,500.00.
The DPF Removal Procedure
We do not carry out physical DPF removal. This work needs to be performed by a garage. However, we will work with garages to carry out the ECU modifications necessary if you decide the right course of action for you is to remove the DPF from your vehicle. As mentioned before, the route we advise is to have the DPF sent away for professional cleaning, back to 99% of 'as new' exhaust flow and cleanliness.
Although it is not possible to remove the DPF from all vehicles, for most it is a relatively straightforward process. The DPF cartridge has to be removed, and the ECU needs to be re-programmed to tell it that the cartridge has gone and that it should no longer monitor or report DPF activity. To remove the DPF cartridge garages open the relevant section of your exhaust system, take out the cartridge and re-seal the exhaust system. We will reprogram the ECU with the new DPF instructions.
Advice and Costs of DPF solutions
A new manufacturer's original DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) typically costs around £1,200 (+Labour & +VAT). Cheap eBay or other 3rd-party DPF filters usually fail quickly and are likely to be a false economy bearing in mind labour costs and the need for frequent replacement. For long life and legal compliance a DPF cleaned using our DPF cleaning service or a new and original manufacturer's replacement DPF is the best solution.
DPF removal is a last resort, aimed at vehicles to be used off road. A vehicle that has had the DPF removed will never suffer from a blocked DPF again. Removal and ECU programming will usually cost between £450 and £600 depending on the location of the DPF on the car. Removal is the only recommended solution for vehicles that spend their entire life off-road as they will never be used on a motorway and will not, therefore, be able to 'self-maintiain' DPF health via the engine's built-in regeneration capabilities. Vehicles for export to countries that have no DPF regulations, and need the DPF removed due to having unsuitable roads to allow normal regeneration to take place, are also ideal candidates for the removal route.
Further (IMPORTANT) recommendations for your vehicle if you have your DPF replaced, cleaned or removed.
No matter which route you take to overcome your DPF problems it is essential that your garage or a good diagnostic technician check certain items to ensure that your blocked DPF has not been caused by 'outside influences'. While it is common for vehicles that only drive in town eventually get premature DPF failure, faulty components such as EGR valves and DPF sensors can also be the cause of early and irrecoverable failure. While these components may not cause poor running that is apparent to you as you drive, they may be the cause of excess soot or even the cause of your built-in DPF-cleaning 'regen' failing, leading to blockages beyond the capability of a passive (in-vehicle) or forced (via diagnostics) regen to clear them or clean them adequately.
One final thing that many garages overlook is to carry out an oil change when a DPF is cleaned or replaced. Blocked DPF filters cause oil contamination and, sometimes, even a raised oil level due to fuel entering the crankcase during repeated and failed regen attempts. We'd go further still and advise you get your engine flushed before the new oil is added.
Call for more details and for a price for your car.
Landline 01883 341774
Mobile 07525 479932
Tel: 01883 341774
Mob: 07525 479932
Surrey CR3 5AE