Tom’s Service Center: What is a DPF, and how do I maintain it?

April 10th, 2018 by

Diesel has been the preferred fuel source for many medium–duty commercial truck owners. The engines are extremely durable, and they can handle substantial workloads. However, diesel engines produce large amounts of exhaust that can be harmful to the vehicle and the environment. A DPF, diesel particulate filter, helps with emission and keeps the diesel engine firing. Here is how the DPF works, and how to maintain it:

What is a DPF?
The DPF traps all the soot and exhaust that the diesel engine produces, and keeps it from being released into the air. The filter is made up of a combination of materials (cordierite, silicon carbide, and metal fibers) that pulls soot from the exhaust system.

What is regeneration?
Regeneration is a process that the vehicle’s engine management system has to combust the trapped particles in the filter. During the regeneration, all the trapped soot is burnt until it becomes ash. The burnt ash gets absorbed by the filter until it is completely full. The frequency of regeneration will increase, as the amount of soot in the filter increases. The regeneration can occur in two ways, active or passive, depending on the make/model of the commercial vehicle. This process helps prevent blockage and buildup in the exhaust that can damage a diesel engine.

How to clean / maintain a DPF?
In order to clean a truck’s DPF properly, it must be taken to a maintenance shop that has a high pressure air and vacuum machine. A technician will pull the filter from the exhaust, and place it inside the vacuum. The machine will pressurize the filter, and blow all the trapped ash out of it. After a filter is cleaned, it should last 80-100,000 miles before it needs to be cleaned again. If a DPF is not properly maintained, it can become a costly mistake.

Tom’s Service Center has qualified technicians and equipment to handle a proper DPF cleaning. If a truck has been neglected, we can assess the damage and provide solutions to get the truck back on the road! Give us a call, and we can schedule your next service appointment.

Written by Chris Kaiser

Posted in DPF