clogged diesel particulate filter

(26 Posts)
wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 20:40:19

I have just found out (too late !) that modern diesel engines fitted with DPFs (diesel particulate filters) tend to clog up and need replacing if you mainly do short or stop and start journeys ie, most of my mum's taxi service type driving.
I have no need to thrash down the motorway regularly.

Anyone got a solution, that doesn't involve the expense of changing car (like everything else about it and need a diesel due to towing requirements.

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 20:42:24

I should be up for most boring thread of the week shouldn't I?

ObviouslyOblivious Sat 20-Aug-11 20:50:32

When mine had got clogged I looked it up in the manual and it said (I think) to drive above 2000 rpm and at a certain speed (above 40?) until the light went off. So I just went up one junction of the nearest motorway (only 5 mins away) and back. Hasn't been back on since. AFAIK that's the only remedy. Sorry for all the brackets...

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 21:55:22

Thanks oblivious, I suppose I'll get used to it, I do drive a bit like a granny and get terribly alarmed by warning lights. I have asked DH to swap cars once and week as he commutes on faster roads, rather than pottering along bendy ,country roads like me, hoping that sorts it out.

I didn't think anyone would answer this!

deemented Sat 20-Aug-11 21:58:44

Could you just change the filter? Or even clean it?

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 22:05:01

Er, it costs about £1200 quid to change it, its somewhere near the catalytic converter, mine isn't permanently damaged yet, it just will be unless I learn to drive like a bloke (not my natural style!) as you need to heat the engine up to burn the soot out of the filter by getting your revs up regularly (that almost sounds rude).

Bit miffed at being forced to drive fast when I bought a diesel to try and cut my MPG's down. Really missing my simple, old banger. sad

deemented Sat 20-Aug-11 22:08:14

What car is it? £1200 for a diesel filter???

(Sorry, this isan't actually me, well it is, but i read your OP to manshape whos a mechanic at heart and he's curious)

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:10:30

oh wigglybeezer, I got caught like this with my last car - didn't know about the DPF until after I bought it. (According to the AA if you generally do shorter trips you're much better off with petrol even though mpg is worse.) I kept it for 9 months, but fretted about it all the time, & never dared do a short trip in it at all.

Have just traded it in, losing £2,500 on the deal sad, for an older car with no DPF (& incidentally also with a chain cam rather than a belt - saving £500 right there!).

I'm hoping I'll recoup the £2500 in the bills I won't have...

I really liked the newer more expensive one but do feel happier with the older one (it's 2004 so not ancient but still has much simpler mechanics. I hope...)

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:11:43

your weekly swap with DH should deal with the filter though smile

bruxeur Sat 20-Aug-11 22:15:23

It's not the fuel filter, Dee, it's the DPF which is only present in Euro 5 standard engines. One type has a small tank of additive which automatically burns off clogging, the other needs an Italian tune-up once in a while.

The warning light just means you need to put your foot down fairly soonish, not that you should stop driving.

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 22:17:25

I may have got the figure wrong (too much googling on the subject today) but if you add together the cost of the DPF and the diagnostic testing and the labour it adds up to a lot. don't want to say what car incase your DH say "Oh no you shouldn't have bought one of those!", it is very popular with taxi drivers so I thought it would reliable. We have it booked in to be checked this week (only 500 miles on the clock!), we are only guessing about the dpf filter because the warning light went off after DH drove it into town at greater speed than me!

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:17:54

deemented, what clinched it for me was an Honest John column addressed to a driving instructor who was debating whether to swap a petrol Focus for a diesel

he gave these as potential costs, from year 3 to year 6, for a diesel car with DPF:

new DPF: £500-1000
new dual mass flywheel: £1000-1500
new EGR valve: £500-1000
new turbo: £1000-2000
new belt/tensioner: £500

my DPF car was already 3 years old...& I had had problems with the DPF & EGR lights coming on earlier. (plus it was rubbish in the snow last winter)

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:19:06

oh wb, if yours is new then you can probably safely keep it 3 years & then get rid grin

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 22:21:50

I read stuff in honest John too.

Think I will be trading mine in when the loan is paid off, hopefully i will be able to find a powerful enough petrol car with decent mpg by then.

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 22:23:40

Whats an EGR valve ?

(can't believe I'm having this convo!).

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:26:13

I think the biggest problem with DPFs is that they were brought in as a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to EU emissions control requirements. It may be that by the time you're trading yours in the technology will have improved.

BUT as there are already petrol family cars that easily return around 60mpg you will probably be better off with one of those smile

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:27:04

oh sorry, I'm just copy typing from HJ - Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve

(I don't know what it is either grin)

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 22:29:37

Ponders, the trouble is we have already done a trade-in that lost us lots of money as our previous car (which was a petrol model) proved to be under powered (need towing power as we tow a folding camper in hilly Scotland). Feeling really stupid now, had to buy that car in a hurry as our old banger gave up the ghost on holiday! I hate cars (but they are hard to live without!)

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 20-Aug-11 22:33:29

As Obviously says you need to get some high revs in a low gear to clear it out.

Take it on a good stretch of A road or fairly quiet motorway, get it up to 60mph then drop to third gear for a couple of seconds. Check your rear view mirror and you will see an enormous cloud of black gunk hurtle from your exhaust. If you are eagle eyed you may well spot fellow motorists glaring at you, and any pedestrians coughing. It is therefore best to do this when there's no-one else around but otherwise just be stoic about it.

Do this every couple of months and you should be fine.

ObviouslyOblivious Sat 20-Aug-11 22:35:51

I'm guessing the OP has a VW, perhaps a Sharan?

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:38:03

between DH & me we have lost over £5K on cars over the last couple of years. He had an ancient Toyota Corolla diesel that dropped dead (shortly after getting a service & a new MOT) & we bought an oldish Mondeo diesel to replace it, but that had chronic clutch/dual mass flywheel problems that cost a bloody fortune & eventually the garage bloke who kept trying to fix it took pity & gave us £1K & took it off our hands (actually that one alone probably cost us £4K)

DH then got a nearly new 58-reg Kia with the 7-year 100,000 mile warranty which is doing pretty well so far (& no DPF!) (in fact you might want to think about looking at either Kia or Hyundai next time - highly recommended & fantastic warranty)

I had a 2002 diesel Zafira which had been brilliant for 7+ years but was well over 70K miles & had a couple of intermittent faults, so I traded that in for the DPF one I've just got rid of...now I've got a 2004 diesel Zafira, but it has ridiculously low mileage, & I'm hoping it will be as cheap to run as the old one.

(I hate cars too - would prefer a horse but cars don't have to be exercised or mucked out!)

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 22:42:05

my DPF car was a Mazda btw grin but the dealer I bought the replacement car from did mention that VWs with DPFs have had a lot of problems

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 22:56:24

Ponders, I would prefer a highland pony and trap, but don't have the land.

I'll admit it, my new car is a Doblo (need big tall boot for garden business stuff and am attracted to quirky designs) before that I had a multipla I loved and which did me for 110, 000 miles with no major probs but then its gear box went and it was too expensive to be worth fixing.

My Dad always buys Japanese cars, I may copy him next time and buy something from Asia.

I didn't buy a touran 'cos a couple of friends had problems with theirs (think it was the turbos).

Ponders Sat 20-Aug-11 23:06:54

oh I don't have the land either, wb grin

Your Doblo will probably do you fine until the warranty runs out anyway - then you can think about an Asian car. Kia & Hyundai are Korean; Which magazine loves them! Japanese cars are probably a bit better, but they're way more expensive.

Kia Soul might be worth a look...definitely quirky!

wigglybeezer Sat 20-Aug-11 23:18:36

Does it have three full seats in the back, will have two teenagers and a preteen by then.

DH is a bit of a snob about design (he has arty job) and it will be difficult to persuade him ti go Korean, I am past caring!

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