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Ford Transit Tuning - DIESEL PARTICULATE FILTER (DPF) & FAP SERVICE

Ford Transit Diesel particulate filters (Transit DPF) ) is a particle filter which decreases the total amount of pollution released by diesel vehicles. DPF filters do this by filtering the solid particles which are found in the exhaust fumes. Over periods of time, the particle filter (DPF) fitted on diesel vehicles can become clogged and choked by an accumulation of exhaust soot, this is often caused by general wear or is even sometimes even component faults. A replacement of the filter is then needed due to the filter becoming clogged.

Others are planned to burn off the accumulated DPF SERVICE either passively through the use of a catalyst or by active means such as a fuel burner which heats the filter to soot combustion temperatures. This is accomplished by engine programming to run (when the filter is full) in a manner that elevates exhaust temperature, in combination with an extra fuel injector in the exhaust stream that injects fuel to respond with a catalyst element to burn off accumulated soot and change it to ash where it is stored in the DPF filter, or through other methods. This is known as "filter regeneration".

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  • Are you having problems with your DPF?
  • DPF or Anti-Pollution warning lights on your dash?
  • Car in “limp home” safety mode?
  • Poor acceleration and MPG?
  • Facing expensive repair costs to replace the DPF?
  • Confused what the best solution is for you?
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what is dpf
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ALLOWABLE REQUIREMENTS AND THE MOT TEST

From February 2014 the inspection of the exhaust system carried out during the MOT test will include a check for the presence of a DPF.

A missing DPF, where one was fitted when the vehicle was built, will result in MOT failure. A vehicle might still pass the MOT visible smoke emissions test, which is mainly intended to classify vehicles that are in a very poor state of repair, whilst emitting illegal and harmful levels of well exhaust particulate. It is an offence under the Road vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (Regulation 61a(3))1 to use a vehicle which has been modified in such a way that it no longer complies with the air pollutant emissions standards it was designed to meet.

Removal of a DPF will almost invariably contravene these necessities, making the vehicle illegal for road use. The potential penalties for failing to comply are fines of up to £1,000 for a car or £2,500 for a light goods vehicle.


WHAT IS A DPF?

A DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) It is a device that can be installed into the exhaust system of a diesel engine to "filter out" a portion of the particles of combustion known as "soot" or "particulate matter". These particles are mostly too small to be seen with the naked eye, although on older diesel engines the largest of them are visible as black smoke. The particles are harmful to human health and have been linked to lung ailments, cancer and heart disease.

The DPFs is also known by the names "particulate trap" and "trap oxidizer". Probably the most popular DPF is one developed by the Catalytic Systems Division of Johnson Matthey known as the CRT or Continuously Regenerating Trap. This device has the ability to 'clean' itself of the collected particulate automatically.


COMPLICATIONS COME INTO INTERACTION WITH Transit DPF

The residues of the burnt dirt will ultimately be one of the diesel particulate filter problems that you will have to deal. These remains will be clogged up at the engine as they pile up especially when the vehicle is being used in a continual basis. This may aid to expel cleaner exhaust but the problem is that the residue will be remained in the filter.

Reducing horsepower is one of the clear DPF problems. The first and most obvious MINI DPF problem is a significant reduction in horsepower which is caused by poor exhaust flow performance. Many owners found their pre-DPF vehicles did a better job towing their trailers for this reason.

Increasing fuel usage is another MINI DPF issues. Fuel economy proves to be a big DPF problem. This is because the renewal process takes two forms: active and passive regeneration. While passive renewal uses a high diesel exhaust temperatures to burn of the accumulated soot, it is a rare incidence in many diesel cars to have the diesel exhaust heated to such high temperatures unless you are cruising at highway speeds.


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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

By the time your DPF warning lights are visible your DPF will already be significantly blocked. Forced regeneration by a garage or a “blast down the motorway” is not likely to cure the problem, these only work as preventative maintenance. So at this stage realistically you have the following options:-

Transit DPF Regeneration – We use expert electronic tools to run a Static Renewal process. This is in fact forcing the vehicle to perform the regeneration process which it should have been doing automatically but may have unsuccessful due to the usage of the vehicle or due to component or system failure. We also carry out a diagnostic check to assess the problem. Depending on circumstances this may or may not cure the problem, we will advise you of our opinion in advance.

Transit DPF Cleaning / Reconditioning – We use professional chemical treatments to clean your existing DPF and in some conditions we may need to service the DPF unit using approved process returning your DPF to almost its original efficiency. We will carry out diagnostic checks, remove the DPF unit where necessary, clean or recondition the unit and refit it, then reset the ECU and clear the warning lights. This is the most popular and cost effective solution.

The ideal DPF solution for Transit - for you depends on your situation e.g. type, condition and practice of your vehicle, how long you mean to keep the vehicle and your budget. Each option has its own merits and you should also bear in mind other suggestions like traffic law, vehicle warranties and insurance etc.


AWARENESS OF OTHER DIFFICULTIES

  • It is often said that you should “go for a blast” down the motorway to clear the DPF. Please note this is only partially true. If the DPF is blocked beyond the capacity for regeneration or blocked due to Ash residue, you will do more harm to your engine.
  • There are many DPF cleaning additives available promising a magic cure for DPF. We have yet to find one that will clear a blocked filter and will certainly not clear an Ash blocked filter. Some products can however be useful in keeping a functional DPF in good health.
  • DPF units are closely linked with other emissions components, if these parts do not function properly they can help to block the DPF, similarly a blocked DPF can damage these components due to excess back pressure.
  • DPF units are located close to the Turbo, if the turbo is leaking oil it can help to block the DPF, similarly a blocked DPF can damage the turbo due to excess back pressure.
  • Some PSA engines fitted to Peugeot, Renault, Ford, Transit and Nissan have an on board Fuel Additive System connected to the DPF to help regeneration. It is important to maintain this system and keep it topped up with the additive (only available from main dealers approx. £130 per tank) if not it will block the DPF. In our experience this is often neglected, even by main dealers due to the cost.
  • Some vehicles have a dedicated DPF or Emissions or Anti-Pollution warning light which is great, however many will just have an Engine light on. It is important to check by diagnostics why the light is on and not advisable to simply get the light turned off without investigation.
  • DPF work is complex and should only be carried out by experienced professionals with the correct specialist equipment. All work on a DPF has to be completed with the appropriate recalibration or reset on the vehicle ECU. It is not possible to simply delete the DPF electronically or just remove the DPF unit without work on the ECU.
  • It is our experience that many garages including main dealers are not knowledgeable in DPF and related issues. Our dealers often see customers after they have spent a lot of money on the wrong fixes as the DPF fault was not correctly diagnosed.

DEPENDABILITY OF DPF REMOVAL

At present it is not illegal to remove the DPF and it doesn’t form part of the MOT test. Whether this might be tightened up in the future, no one knows and our best guess that even if it is, then it will not be applied retrospectively.

There is a small part of the MOT regulations that say there should not be physical change to the emissions system, however the removal of the DPF will not change the results of the diesel smoke test and at present no other emissions related test is done during the diesel MOT.

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