Technically you can continue to drive the vehicle for a short period of time, although that is not recommended. The warning light is there for a very good reason, it’s telling you that your DPF is blocked with soot and is affecting the engine.

What happens if I ignore the DPF light?

If you continue to drive with the DPF warning indicator alight it is likely that eventually the Engine Control Unit (ECU) will cut in and put your vehicle into ‘Limp Mode’ in order to protect the engine from further damage. Limp mode is exactly as it sounds, the engine will feel sluggish, and other warning lights may also illuminate telling you to check the engine. The top speed of the vehicle will be limited to a maximum of 35mph, and the accelerator will feel like there is resistance when pressed. If the ignition is turned off there is a possibility that the vehicle will not start again.

What is a DPF filter?

A Diesel Particulate Filter is installed to trap soot particles that are produced by the diesel combustion process. The DPF is a legal requirement on all diesel vehicles as it reduces the number of harmful pollutants released into the air.

Over time the soot builds up in the filter. It is then burnt off automatically by a procedure called regeneration. This kicks in on diesel vehicles at about every 300-400 miles, but only on longer journeys, with speeds of over 40mph.

There can be a greater likelihood of a blocked filter on vehicles that undertake shorter journeys. Diesels are less keen on start-stop journeys as soot builds up in the DPF and the exhaust doesn’t get hot enough on short journeys to burn it off.

It is advisable to take a diesel vehicle on a longer journey every couple of weeks at speeds of over 40mph to enable automatic regeneration to work.

What does a blocked DPF do to my engine?

A blocked DPF can cause a huge amount of damage to your engine. The engine will have to work much harder to vent the fumes and gases that build-up, as a blocked DPF is unable to do its job to remove these fumes. This will also affect the fuel economy and performance of the vehicle. In extreme cases, you will be unable to start the engine at all. If your vehicle must work harder, it will put more stress on all the engine parts leading to costly future repairs.

Can a blocked DPF be dangerous?

A blocked DPF is not only bad for your vehicle, but it can also be detrimental to your health. If the fumes from your exhaust are not efficiently removed, they can start to build up inside the vehicle. Not only can this produce an unpleasant smell of exhaust fumes, but the gases can over time affect your health.

Can I rectify the problem without going to a garage?

Yes, you can, UKDPF Cleaning can clean and restore your filter, saving you hundreds of pounds in filter replacement and repairs to your vehicle. DPF Cleaning uses the latest cutting-edge technology to inspect, repair if necessary, and clean your filter.

A protective measure

If you only take local short journeys in your diesel vehicle it is worth considering having your DPF cleaned in order to protect your engine and improve overall performance. The cost of cleaning your filter can be as little as £129 with UK DPF Cleaning.