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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just seen a post on facebook for a company who clean diesal particulate filters.

There is video of an exhaust being water blasted and all the muck coming out of it, one commenter brags about how he has had his filter removed so doesnt have this problem and posted a picture of the clear filter. In the same post people are complaining that they were never told they had to go on a motorway over 70 every few weeks and therefore as they only drive locally the filters blocked up.

there are ten's of thousands of views and hundreds of shares. Lots of comments asking for quotes to have the work done.

So this reminds me of an article in the Guardian about the problem of Diesel Filters being removed and advertised on google etc.. with the added benefit of being hidden from the MOT.

Is this cleaning the new solution? does the filter then continue to work as it should (ie removing dangerous particulates)

So what is going on here, the way I see if there are tens of thousands of diesal cars that over the last few years will have had blocked filters. If it was me I certainly wouldn't have the money spare to replace the filter ( costing thousands)

So my question is, how many cars re driving around without filters? is this new cleaning a solution? What are the regulators doing to catch cars without a filter.. what should happen if you are caught having no filter? Should the garages who remove the filters be prosecuted?

Also on a wider scale is the general population aware of the health problem?
 

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DPF removal firms have been around for ten years, but unless owners were regulars on diesel forums they probably wouldnlt know too much about it. Most owners found out when they had a blocked filter and started to trawl the 'net. There were some new car dealers who were more honest than others when it came to diesels with dpfs and whether they were suitable for buyers and their usage - I suspect they are less likely to ask the question latterly, in the belief that most buyers would know by then what they were buying (except VW buyers of course ;) ).

DPF removal was always a popular discussion on VAG forums, but pretty sparse on other auto brand forums.


From recollection the dpfs could be regenerated / improved with a high rev run above 2000rpm for 20 minutes (ie run down the motorway in one gear less than top gear) if they were below a certain contents level, but after that they were basically replacement only.

Later cars had better dpf management, basically a self cleaning cycle by burning extra fuel to increase exhaust temperature (observed by poorer mpg on a journey, or hotter than normal engine bay / rubbery smell when switching off).

How many cars are there running around without them ? Probably about the same number as there are early catalytic converter equipped petrol cars where the cat has been removed (when it wasn;t needed for the MOT)
 

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It was suggested to me that drilling big holes through the dpf would solve the clogging problem but be invisible during the mot inspection....

This was after we suffered diesel engine runaway because the oil was too high - why? Well When the dpf is blocked and you go on the motorway it keeps injecting fuel into the exhaust to burn up the dpf but as this is blocked instead the diesel ends up in the oil when the oil level gets too high it gets ingested into the engine and the engine continues to run faster and faster even with the ignition turned off until it gets to about 8000rpm and explodes. WE were very lucky and managed to stall the engine by jamming on the breaks with the clutch depressed and then letting the clutch up quickly when the wheel speed was much lower than the engine speed but it still destroyed the turbo and cost a fortune.

Just remembering makes me love the leaf even more.
 

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Removal of DPFs, EGRs and CATs, if found, was going to be a fail during an MOT. Not sure if that's happened yet.

Cleaning out the gunk from DPFs does work and they work OK afterwards.

There are many reasons that people permanently remove or modify these parts, but mostly it's because they cause engine issues and possibly damage when they're blocked.

I remove the EGR valve and clean it every 30,000 miles because it gets so much black soot/gunk in it that it starts to affect the boost on the turbo. I don't have a DPF or CAT on my van as it was made before those things were fitted.
 

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Even a once a month blast down a motorway doesn't solve the long term dpf issue though. The idea is to raise the temperature and burn off the trapped particles but that still leaves a tiny fragment of ash. As the 'filter' isn't really a filter at all but just a dead end trap then ultimately even the tiny amount of residue ash will build up and cause problems. This was one of the reasons that I moved to EV - along with the VW emission scam. Earlier I had been caught by Merc laying a time bomb in their brake system that activated a dash warning after a set number of pedal depressions and would have cost £2k to rectify. Best thing ever to happen really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Even a once a month blast down a motorway doesn't solve the long term dpf issue though. The idea is to raise the temperature and burn off the trapped particles but that still leaves a tiny fragment of ash. As the 'filter' isn't really a filter at all but just a dead end trap then ultimately even the tiny amount of residue ash will build up and cause problems. This was one of the reasons that I moved to EV - along with the VW emission scam. Earlier I had been caught by Merc laying a time bomb in their brake system that activated a dash warning after a set number of pedal depressions and would have cost £2k to rectify. Best thing ever to happen really.
Thats one of the other benefits of an EV is the lack of parts that can go wrong. It does amaze me how popular diesal became over the last 20 years or so even with the problems you get, I might have to do some more reading on the subject I never had a diesal myself, but then my car history has always been second hand petrol cars.. to the leaf, so maybe I didn't get the sales patter off a dealer. Was it all purely down to the belief that they emmited less Co2 that companies started making/selling them.
 

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My reason for getting a diesel van is that there's no real alternative. I have had petrol vans in the past, but they don't really make those any more and so diesel it was.

Until manufacturers make EV Vans then there'll still be diesel vans made and sold in great quantities.
 

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If you need to run a car down the motorway with high engine revs to burn off the particulates gathered whil running round town isn't that just moving the pollution from the town to the countryside/motorway, wonder what the air quality is like on them :confused:
 

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All these "pollution reduction" devices sap energy from the engine, and so you use more fuel. Not sure that's the best policy, who knows. Modern diesels are supposed to have a lot less of the harmful emissions than a couple of years ago.
 

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My reason for getting a diesel van is that there's no real alternative. I have had petrol vans in the past, but they don't really make those any more and so diesel it was.

Until manufacturers make EV Vans then there'll still be diesel vans made and sold in great quantities.

Tesla should put a van body on one of their floor pans, they might need to restrict the speeds though:whistle:
 

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I drove a Merc 7.5 tonner for a while. It was faster loaded than empty as there was a load sensor on the rear axle that changed the engine mapping to release more power.
 

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I would never have a dpf cleaned personally, we have replaced cleaned dpf's in work, usually cost more than the dpf replacement and last much less than a new one, although that's just experience at work, I'm sure many people will say otherwise...

last time we replaced a cleaned dpf it had done 40k cost £200 more to be cleaned over being replaced, officially on this car its every 75k, depending on owners driving style we usually change them between 72k and 110k
 

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DPFs are becoming quite cheap now... now that there is a market need!

It is unlawful to tamper with the emissions control of an engine, so the replacement part will need to have the correct homologation details.... though oddly it seems it is OK to swap the whole engine out... DVLA have told me directly (I could barely believe it, so felt a need to ask!) that the VED class a car is registered with remains even if you swap the engine out. So you could take a <100g.CO2/km car and shoe-horn a 5.7 litre small block V8 in it and you'll still have £0 rated VED!
 

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DPFs are becoming quite cheap now... now that there is a market need!

It is unlawful to tamper with the emissions control of an engine, so the replacement part will need to have the correct homologation details.... though oddly it seems it is OK to swap the whole engine out... DVLA have told me directly (I could barely believe it, so felt a need to ask!) that the VED class a car is registered with remains even if you swap the engine out. So you could take a <100g.CO2/km car and shoe-horn a 5.7 litre small block V8 in it and you'll still have £0 rated VED!
and yet if you take out a V8 and put in an electric motor and get it checked by VOSA if needed and then MOT'ed then it can become 0 rated, as far as the rules used to be.
 

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and yet if you take out a V8 and put in an electric motor and get it checked by VOSA if needed and then MOT'ed then it can become 0 rated, as far as the rules used to be.
I think something else odd happens at that point. Because you change a car to 'electric fuel' it is no longer covered by VED classifications at all. It becomes 'exempt' (in the current rules).

Electric cars are NOT £0 VED rated, like <100g cars. They are simply exempt. (I'e tried to explain this many times to many people, including to government departments who also misunderstand this and quote nonsenses.)

So, what the heck happens if you fit a Leaf with a V8, I have no idea and I suspect nor does DVLA.
 

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I think something else odd happens at that point. Because you change a car to 'electric fuel' it is no longer covered by VED classifications at all. It becomes 'exempt' (in the current rules).

Electric cars are NOT £0 VED rated, like <100g cars. They are simply exempt. (I'e tried to explain this many times to many people, including to government departments who also misunderstand this and quote nonsenses
The official position about exemption, just for reference, Vehicles exempt from vehicle tax - GOV.UK
Everyone with an electric car still needs to apply for road tax, even if the vehicle is exempt and the value is £0
 

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You dont need to do anything special with a DPF car, so long as its actually being used properly. The DPF regenerates automatically every few hundred miles, and to do that regen the engine needs to be fully warmed up, and the car driven in a steady state with a reasonable amount of load, ie 50-70mph a road or motorway, for a reasonable time, usually 10-20mins.

Realistically, if your not meeting those requirements regularly, you shouldnt have bought a diesel i the first place.

In my experience one of two things causes issues:

1) people buy diesels then drive around town, never fully warming them up, or driving on a faster road where a regen can happen. They should never have bought one in the first place.

2) the engine develops some fault, which stops the regen from happening, or stops it from completing properly.

2 is the big one, and i experienced it twice on my 330d. When i bought the car, the thermostat was broken and had failed partially open. As a result the engine never got beyond about 70c and thus wouldnt regen. I knew this was a common fault and checked when i bought the car. The car has no temp guage though, so no indication to the driver that this problem exists.

Later a sensor on the engine failed, but the car made no attempt whatsoever to tell me about this. No management light, no warning. The DPF then became clogged, and THAT brought the light on. I stopped driving it immediately, until i sourced the sensor, then the car regenerated properly.

I think the manufacturers are doing themselves no favours here. In both those cases, the car should have flagged a warning to tell the driver the DPF was unable to be regenerated, and that something needed fixed. Infact, even with the 1st category above, the car should be telling the owner "i need to regenerate", rather than just sitting there until the filter is blocked. They've tried to make it hidden from the driver, but in doing so have simply created more issues and given the filters a bad name, which in turn causes folk to get told "DPF's are always failing, just remove it"
 

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When I ran a Peugeot diesel a few years back I did some research on these DPF's.

Found that firms offering to remove the filter and "chip' the car were numerous.

Many bragged on their websites that removal could not be detected, so at MOT everything would be kosher.

Not wanting to go down this route, as it made the car illegal, and cost a good few hundred quid (and I'm too tight), I researched removing the filter myself, thoroughly cleaning it, and then refitting.

Never got round to doing this as I got rid.
 

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You dont need to do anything special with a DPF car, so long as its actually being used properly. The DPF regenerates automatically every few hundred miles...

On Peugeots I know for a fact, and maybe some other diesels you have to replenish a hideously expensive hazardous fluid (adblue additive type of set-up but dangerous).
Good couple of hundred quid at main dealer.
Tank hidden under rear seats. Virtually impossible for layman to get at.

Replenishing kit needed in addition to the fluid, which from time to time was on sale at Euro Car Parts for £80 odd, usually £120, for 5 litres.
 
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