Here at ACC UK Ltd, we like to bring you handy hints and tips on how to maintain your Volvo or Toyota and how to save money on your annual car running costs. We also like to keep you informed of changes to laws relating to driving and car ownership.
The blog this week is about your Diesel Particulate Filter or DPF as it is commonly referred to. The DPF is a filter that helps to prevent harmful particles being released into our atmosphere. They work by capturing the soot produced in diesel cars and then these are stored in the exhaust. You may have heard of the Regeneration Process? This is when that soot is burned. A DPF is fitted to all diesel vehicles manufactured from 2009. Having a blocked DPF can end up being an expensive fix. The most common causes of DPF issues are regular short journeys at low speeds, some performance modifications and a lack of servicing. If you are using your Volvo or Toyota for regular short journeys at low speeds you must either take it on the motorway to give the exhaust a chance to reach a high enough temperature (usually around 600 degrees) so that the regeneration process can be performed, on a regular basis. There are three different types of regeneration. Read below to see what these are:
Active regeneration occurs automatically when the soot level in the DPF reaches around 45% filter load limit or by sensors reading exhaust backpressure. Extra fuel will be injected to increase the exhaust temperature at lower speeds.Depending on the vehicle brand, this type of DPF regeneration can also be initiated by the vehicle ECU every 400 - 600 km depending on the vehicle use and usually takes around 10 minutes to complete.
Some vehicle manufacturers use passive regeneration. For these vehicles passive regeneration generally takes place on the motorway where exhaust temperatures are higher. Passive regeneration relies on the exhaust temperature being high enough to automatically burn off – usually by motorway driving. During town driving or short trips the regeneration my not take place fully, leading to blocking of the filter. If the DPF warning light appears, try taking a motorway drive lasting more than 30 minutes to allow the exhaust to reach the temperature needed to burn off excess soot. A blocked filter can lead to higher fuel consumption and a visit to your local independent garage for specialist DPF cleaning or in worst case scenarios, a costly and totally avoidable DPF replacement.
If passive and active regeneration is unsuccessful, and the warning light does not disappear, this could be a 2nd stage DPF warning. Your Volvo or Toyota will go into what is called limp mode. You will need to take your vehicle to your local independent garage to ascertain the severity of the issue. A forced regeneration may be performed which entails your garage using a computer software programme to run the car and initiating the regeneration. If this is unsuccessful your DPF filter could possibly be removed and cleaned if this is still unsuccessful it will need to be replaced – a costly and totally avoidable repair. If you have been tempted to have your DPF removed don’t – your vehicle will fail its MOT if one is not present or if the testing centre see signs that it has been removed. Don’t ignore those warning lights folks!
Here at ACC UK Ltd, Winners of The Motor Trader Independent Garage of The Year 2015, The Inspire Customer Service Excellence 2016 Award, The Eagle Radio Customer Focus 2017 Business Award and The Workshop Magazine Workshop Manager of the Year 2017 Award, we pride ourselves on offering an outstanding customer experience for a fraction of the cost of a dealership. Give us a call and let us quote you for your next service or repair on your Volvo or Toyota. We service all areas around Farnborough, Fleet, Aldershot, Farnham, Guildford, Frimley, Camberley, Hook, Sandhurst, Crowthorne, Yateley, Hampshire and Surrey. We offer free collection and drop off services. We also have a fleet of courtesy cars to allow you to get on with your schedule whilst your Volvo or Toyota is with us. Happy Motoring from all at ACC UK Ltd – Independent Volvo & Toyota servicing, repair and MOT specialists based in the heart of Farnborough, Hampshire.