5 tips to avoid the dreaded failure of the particulate filter on your diesel

Currently, and more since the arrival of the emission standard Euro VI, it is very complicated to talk about the particulate filters of the diesel without reference to all the elements that make up the systems anti-pollution of a diesel engine. In any case, we will focus in on one item is very particular, in the particle filters, which are one of the components that most headaches have given in recent years to the owners of a diesel, and they are one of the reasons why we have come to recommend not to buy a diesel (or at least think very well before doing so), those who are thinking of a car for the city. Why are you so troublesome particulate filter? How can we avoid faults?

In a few words, and works of a particle filter

Imagine the particle filter as a sponge that absorbs the soot and solid particles derived from the combustion that otherwise would end up in the atmosphere of our city, and ultimately in our respiratory system.

Without going into more detail than necessary to understand the rest of the article, I will explain very briefly what is a particulate filter. The particulate filters of the diesel are extremely important for the countries in which the diesel are very common, and thanks to them, our cities have pollution problems that are more severe than those that have been on everyone’s lips in recent months. Although it is a description, nothing rigorous, even for children, imagine that a particle filter is a sponge in which is trapped the soot, and particles that can include sulfide, and hydrocarbons, to heavy metals and their compounds. If these particles were not trapped by the filter would end up in the atmosphere, on the asphalt of our streets, carried by the air, and, in the last instance would be breathed in by our lungs.

you will Now understand why it is so important that “sponge”, but also begin to ask what happens if that sponge is continuously catching particles. Obviously there will come a time that will get saturated and will require cleaning. For more information you can also read this article with the keys of the particulate filters (FAP).


1. You know how the system works, anti-pollution from your diesel.

Find out before and after the purchase of how the systems work anti-pollution of your diesel.

Is something that we emphasize often, not only because as fans of the cars we like to transmit the interest about the mechanical components of our cars, but because in the long run can save us many problems. When we acquire a car rarely, the seller or the brand remind us how the systems work anti-pollution, except that we ask, or indaguemos in the manual.

it Is important that knowledge to avoid some scares, such as the fact that we have acquired a diesel with AdBlue (something which is increasingly common) and the deposit is exhausted before arriving at the next periodic review. Even in a car without AdBlue, we have to be aware that it is important to have certain habits, or certain care, to avoid various breakdowns, such as those that affect the particle filters in question.

See our article on AdBlue in 10 questions and answers: what every driver of a diesel should know.


2. Let your filter is regenerated automatically.

The modern diesel incorporate different techniques that are aimed at the regeneration of the particulate filter, to clean the “dirt” accumulated in that “sponge”.

That knowledge of the workings of our car can bring us to the knowledge of the technique of automatic rebuilding of the particulate filter, and the answer to the question that I did at first, about how to clean the “sponge”. Think that the particulate filter has been accumulating soot and other solid particles, and that, of course, in a precise moment will be saturated.

Our cars are able to identify this situation, and in a given time to activate a feedback system that is responsible for cleaning the filter. And how does he do? The technique consists in increasing the temperature of the exhaust gas in the zone which retains the soot, in order to proceed to its combustion and to make these solid particles are rust. Our car already have a protocol to follow that procedure, how to adjust the injection cycles, to regulate the supply of air in the intake, turn off the recirculation of gas, raise the engine speed, or even adapt the boost pressure for that not to feel an increase in the engine speed. And all of this happens with the object of achieving a higher temperature in the exhaust gas.

It is advisable in these cases is that if our car has started the process of regeneration does not stop, that is to say, that we continue to drive with our car. The process typically takes a few minutes, and also of some of the symptoms that denote that is occurring, the process of regeneration, some cars warn us for some indicator in the scorecard. In other nothing happens if we stop the regeneration, and we leave it to start at the next boot. That is why it is so important to understand how to operate our cars and the meaning of the icons that appear in the instrumentation.


3. Prevents the city, or at least help the filter to regenerate naturally.

Short journeys and in city will not help the regeneration of the filter, and increase their saturation.

driving in The city was put to the test continuously to the systems anti-pollution of our cars. And it does so because is the environment more prone to elements such as the particle filter clogging. We talked of routes with low load of the engine, with exhaust temperatures low to prevent the proper cleansing and regeneration of the filter. These paths may make the periods between regeneration processes are shortened, and also shorten the useful life of the particulate filter.

That is the reason why I invite you to make numbers, and think if you really need a diesel, when you are considering the purchase of a car to use daily, in short distances, and city. See the article on 8 reasons not to buy diesel, especially for city.

A good tip in all cases is to try to find a regime more high engine, that allows the systems anti-pollution to reach higher temperatures and to regenerate, once in a while. Another good tip, is to practice the advice above and also leave our car, which usually we drive in the city, leave the highway from time to time.

More information: did you Know that revolutionize the engine of your diesel avoid failures?.


4. Check the oil level of your car.

If you notice that the oil level of the engine increases, it is possible that we are at a symptom of a malfunction of the particle filter.

When I talked of 5 maintenance simple, that all the world should know to do to your car, we mentioned expressly to the revision of the level of the engine oil. To protect the soot filter is also important, among other things because an increase in the level of the oil can be a symptom of a malfunction of this. Often the regeneration implies that part of the fuel circuit of the engine oil, which in the long run, if this fuel does not evaporate, may impair the lubrication of the engine.

The oil level of our car should be between the notches of the rod of minimum and maximum and must not be neither above, nor below.


5. If your diesel works abnormally, go to the workshop.

The workshops can detect the malfunction of the particle filter before the damage is worse, and that malfunction can anticipate to see the malfunction of our car.

The majority of failures related to the particulate filters, they can be diagnosed before the aggravation of the situation, and the damage more costly and problematic. If you drive a diesel and you detect a malfunction, such as the exhaust pipe often emit a smoke dark and dense, that the regime of the engine is to lift normally during walking, or that the periods of regeneration occur every bit time, it is best to go to the workshop and refer to it.

Something as simple as a diagnosis of the engine can reveal if the particulate filter is not functioning properly, and even the workshops are equipped with systems that can regenerate the engine effectively to lengthen its life.


Extra: you don’t interest your particle filter

For a problem is the particle filter, in many cases because the cars equipped with ��l should have regeneration systems more reliable, and should be focused on a use that is not usually the receiving (many miles, and usually by road), you should not cancel it.

This is story that in fact ITV are monitoring the emptying of the particulate filters, and that some workshops are practicing. And know that, as we stated at the beginning, the particle filter is designed to prevent serious pollution problems and health. Essentially the only thing that they get those that remove the particle filter is to dirty even more the air of our cities, and harm the health of others. Not to mention that we are at a conduct illegal, since the cancellation violates the specifications of pollution and emissions for which it was homologated for the car, and at the request of the office of the Prosecutor will monitor more closely this aspect in the Technical Inspections of Vehicles, so that ITV can identify and inspect cars with the particulate filter cancelled to prevent its circulation.