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My Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) keeps blocking, what can I do?

To reduce emissions, diesel cars are fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) – something that filters and catches soot particles. Most DPFs will automatically clear as they’re used but on rare occasions, in specific circumstances, they may get blocked and require manual cleaning.

In normal use, a DPF cleans or regenerates itself by reaching a sufficient temperature to burn off the excess soot. Each vehicle will have a different regeneration cycle and you should be able to find information on this in your vehicle’s manual. Usually, it requires driving the vehicle on a motorway for a short period of time in order to produce enough heat for the regeneration to be successful.

If the vehicle is being used solely for short journeys or as a result of certain driving conditions, for example you only drive at low speeds, this regeneration cycle may not have the opportunity to complete and as a result the Diesel Particulate Filter will become blocked.

If your DPF has not regenerated due to your driving style not allowing it to regenerate, then this would not be considered a fault under the manufacturer’s warranty. However, it might be that if a diesel car is not suitable for you due to your use of the vehicle, you can raise a complaint against the seller.

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The Motor Ombudsman is a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider who can assist with disputes that arise between consumers and Code-accredited businesses. If this article has not answered your questions and if you have a complaint about a business please visit our complaints page to find out what to do next.

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