Ash is the unknown killer, says DPF expert

Ash accumulates in the filter over time and must be periodically and physically removed

Ash is the unknown killer, says DPF expert
Particulate matter is a complex mixture of small particles and droplets and are considered to feature two main components – soot and ash.

The advice comes from Ceramex International, a DPF refurbishing company, who claim that five-year-old vehicles fitted with DPFs are most likely to become due to ash accumulation.

Marcus Beament of Ceramex International said: “You will always hear people talking about soot blockages but never ash.”

Ash is a standard by-product of the combustion process that takes place in the engine but, unlike soot, it accumulates in filters and cannot be burned off by a simple regeneration processes.

Beament added: “You will hear many references where a forced regen has been carried out, to only find the customer returning after a few days or weeks with the same issue.

“In most cases, this will be the result of ash accumulation.

“If the vehicle’s ash accumulation is high, then the OBD system will register an increase in back pressure on the DPF.”

The OBD will trigger a regeneration in the DPF and regenerations will become more frequent as the backpressure continues to build up over time and eventually the vehicle may enter limp-home mode.

By assessing the mileage and information gathered by the OBD it should be possible to determine whether a DPF is blocked with soot, for which a forced regeneration would be sufficient, or ash, in which case the DPF requires removal and cleaning or replacement.

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