What does the diesel particulate filter warning light mean?

In diesel-powered cars, the diesel particulate filter (or DPF) is an important exhaust component which helps to reduce emissions and prevent blockages in the exhaust system. The DPF light will turn on if the diesel particulate filter is blocked or unable to clean itself.

Burnt fuel travels through the diesel particulate filter, where soot is captured. As these emissions build, the diesel particulate filter must be able to clean itself to prevent blockages.  High levels of exhaust heat cause the soot particles to be burnt off the diesel particulate filter. This allows for the diesel particulate filter to remain clean.

Causes of the Diesel Particulate Filter – DPF light:

Low exhaust temperature – The exhaust must reach a certain temperature in order to burn the emissions in the diesel particulate filter. If your engine is running under low stress for a long amount of time, the exhaust will not be able to clean itself, resulting in the DPF light turning on.

This can often be fixed by driving at higher loads / speeds on the open roads, causing your exhaust to reach higher temperatures. However, driving for too long with low exhaust temperatures can cause your engine to go into limp mode, losing a significant power until the diesel particulate filter is cleaned or replaced by a professional mechanic.

Faulty sensors – In some cars, the diesel particulate filter will have sensors that detect exhaust temperature. When the temperature gets low, more fuel will enter the engine so that the exhaust can reach the necessary temperature to burn soot. If these sensors malfunction, the engine will burn an incorrect amount of diesel fuel, causing the diesel particulate filter – DPF light to come on.

Diesel particulate filter in need of cleaning – Sometimes, the diesel particulate filter will need to be cleaned by a professional mechanic. This happens when it becomes so blocked that it is unable to clean itself. If your diesel particulate filter DPF light is on then the diesel particulate filter system will need to be activated for a clean normally via a mechanic with a professional grade scan tool. The mechanic will then also normally need to drive the diesel car, ute or van in a particular drive cycle to clean out the diesel particulate filter.

Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaning & Repair in Hamilton

Is your car, van or ute’s diesel particulate filter light on? If so, we can provide an effective, reliable solution.

At Grimmer Motors, our skilled mechanics are experienced in car diagnostics. This means that we can quickly diagnose problems in your car’s exhaust system. We have the latest diesel engine scan tools to perform diesel particulate filter activation and cleaning. so that you DPF light will stay off. 

For quality, honest and reliable diesel particulate filter – DPF light diagnostics and cleaning in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!

Please Note – we don’t generally stock or supply just “parts only” for this service. We are a general automotive repair workshop. If you are able to bring your vehicle to us, we can diagnose the problem, find and fit the necessary parts, or organise the appropriate service for you.


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