What is a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)?

A DPF filter is an inline filter which helps trap and collect diesel particulate matter, which is a form of pollution and emission from diesel engines.

What Do Diesel Particulate Filters Do

Diesel particulate filters help capture diesel particulate emissions before they are emitted into the atmosphere. The pollutants are collected in a sophisticated filter which uses a combination of ceramic, rare metals and other materials. The diesel particulate material is later burned away to clean the DPF filter; this process is called DPF regeneration. 

Diesel particulate filter regeneration can occur in different forms of regeneration, including passive regeneration, active regeneration, or a combination of both throughout the lifespan of a diesel truck or piece of diesel equipment.

How Do Diesel Particulate Filters Work

Diesel particulate filters work by capturing diesel particulate matter in an in-line filter assembly. The filter uses a combination of several materials which work together to capture and retail the diesel particulate matter, including ash and soot. The diesel particulate filters are part of a larger aftertreatment system which helps prevent pollution, reduce carcinogenic emissions and other pollutants.

Where Is The Diesel Particulate Filter

Diesel particulate filters are usually located under diesel trucks or other types of diesel equipment. DPF filters are in-line filters, and are usually located downstream from the diesel engine, and upstream from the exhaust.

How Long Do Diesel Particulate Filters Last

The longevity of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) depends on a variety of factors, including the typical usage profile of the diesel truck or diesel equipment, operating conditions, DPF filter maintenance, the condition of the overall engine system, and other variables. The life span of a diesel particulate filter can be extended by maintaining a diesel engine properly, ensuring that the aftertreatment system is properly used, and by avoiding harsh driving conditions like short trips, stop-and-go traffic, and other driving conditions which prevent proper DPF regeneration.

Are DPF filters good?

DPF filters are good for society because they help reduce the amount of diesel particulate matter, noxious emissions and other pollutants. Many owners of diesel trucks, diesel equipment and other diesel engine systems dislike DPF filters and aftertreatment systems because they can be expensive to maintain or replace, and may cause other undesirable conditions like increased fuel consumption, interruption to truck or equipment operation, reduced operating performance, and other undesirable effects.

Are DPF filters bad?

Many owners of diesel trucks and other forms of diesel equipment dislike diesel particulate filters because DPFs can lead to increased fuel consumption, reduced diesel engine performance, and other negative consequences if the DPF system is not maintained correctly, or cleaned correctly. DPF filters are not bad if they are maintained correctly, if the equipment and systems are maintained properly, and if they are cleaned and serviced at the proper maintenance intervals.

Diesel Particulate Filters Problems

Common diesel particulate filter problems include:

  • Oil contamination from poorly maintained or damaged diesel engines
  • Damaged DPFs caused by improper cleaning or maintenance
  • Reduced fuel economy and increased diesel fuel consumption
  • Warning lights 
  • Unexpected vehicle or equipment downtime
  • Potentially expensive repairs