Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) were developed to meet ongoing changes in emissions regulations, and are now fitted to almost all modern diesel vehicles. DPFs are designed to remove soot build-up as you drive, but over time they can become clogged or damaged.

Any diesel car can be susceptible to soot build-up, especially those mainly driven around town or on short or low speed journeys. Regular DPF cleaning is the best way to avoid costly repairs.

If you're experiencing the following symptoms your DPF may need cleaning:

  • The DPF warning symbol has appeared on your car's dashboard
  • Loss of power
  • The automatic stop-start system isn't working
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Cooling fans run more than normal.

If you're unsure, give your local Halfords Autocentre a call. Our friendly technicians will be able to advise you on whether a DPF clean is required, and if so, which DPF product is right for you. Find your local autocentre.

This depends on your driving style, mileage and type of car you drive. For most diesel vehicles, we recommend the DPF Maintenance Clean every six months to keep your car running smoothly.

At Halfords Autocentres, we offer three types of DPF cleaning, depending on the seriousness of your fault:

  • DPF Maintenance Clean
  • The DPF Maintenance Clean is a preventative treatment designed for drivers making a lot of short, low-speed trips, when the engine isn't getting hot enough to burn off excess soot. This product works by lowering the point at which the soot burns off.

    This DPF Maintenance Clean should be carried out every six months to keep your engine free from build-up.

  • DPF Deep Clean
  • If your filter has moderate to heavy build-up we recommend the DPF Deep Clean. Our highly skilled technicians will inject a special cleaning agent into the filter to remove any blockages.

  • DPF Complete Clean
  • If your filter is found to be completely blocked, our technicians will inspect the car to understand what has caused the blockage, and will carry out a Complete Clean to solve the issue. As part of the Complete Clean, we'll remove the DPF and soak it overnight. In some tough cases, we may send the DPF to a cleaning specialist, where a patented process is used to remove stubborn soot.

As each vehicle is different, we'll provide an accurate quote at the time of inspection. However, we will always discuss recommended repairs with you, before any work is carried out.

No. It may be tempting to remove a stubborn DPF; however, it is now illegal to do so. The inspection of the exhaust system carried out during the MOT test will include a check for the presence of a DPF. A DPF removal (where one was previously fitted) will result in an MOT failure.*

*GOV.UK , October 2017.

Before buying a diesel vehicle, think about the type of driving you'll most likely do. If you use your car to make shorter trips, or regularly sit in traffic, a diesel car might not be the best option for you.

If you already own a diesel car, cleaning the DPF every six months will prevent soot build-up. Keep an eye out for any of the DPF warning signs and always get any issues checked out as soon as possible by a qualified technician.