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obd2 post What is DPF and how does it work How to clean

What is DPF and how does it work (How to clean)?


A DPF or a Diesel Particulate Filter captures and stores the exhaust soot in order to help reduce the emissions of diesel cars. And every so often they have to be burned off as they only have so much storage capacity. This is when your vehicle does a DPF regeneration.

Passive, active and forced DPF regeneration

The light on your dashboard relating to this is an orange exhaust symbol with small circles inside it. When this comes on, it means that there is a partial blockage in the filter. Normally if everything is working fine, your car does the regeneration by itself. This normally happens when the car is at higher speeds for a decent amount of time. This is passive regeneration and it lasts around 30 to 50 minutes.

On the other hand, active regeneration happens when the system automatically adds extra fuel to increase the exhaust temperature to burn off the stored soot. Here, you will notice an increase in idle speed when you are stopped. Problems, though, can occur if this is cut short as the journey was not long enough.

The main concern you can have with this system is that it will put your car into limp mode if this soot permanently blocks the DPF. This situation will leave you stranded and you will have to have it taken into a shop to do a forced regeneration. This should clear out the stored soot and allow your vehicle to operate properly again.

Scan Tools and DPFs


But don’t worry. This is where our OBD2 scan tools come into the picture. Scan tools allow you to view the data on your DPF. They can also do forced regeneration, which is something that you would normally have to go to a mechanic to have done.

Our basic OBD-AUS Bluetooth tools enable temperature monitoring of the DPF system. They also let you see other system data which you can assess if they are working correctly.

For DPF apps, we suggest using an app like Torque or car scanner ELM. For a full dedicated OBD2 DPF app, you can use something like a VAG DPF

If you need to do a Forced DPF regeneration, you will need one of our full system scan tools. Contact us as well to ensure your year and model is covered.

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