It seems that there has been more and more reported problems with vehicles fitted with a diesel particulate filter or DPF as they are sometimes called. The filtration system removes soot from the burnt waste, with effectiveness of close to 100%. After the soot particles are collected they are then burnt off meaning that no visible smoke will be emitted from the exhaust pipe.
The DPF system is set to run a “filter regeneration” cycle when the filter load reaches a certain level. However to enable the filter to reach this level the vehicle needs to be run for a certain length of time at higher revs. This is where the problems are occurring, as people using their vehicle for short stop start journeys are suffering with fault lights appearing, and in some cases the vehicle going into what is called “limp home mode” restricting the performance dramatically.
Having looked through a number of forums the problem isn’t singled out to one manufacturer. Ford, Audi, Jaguar, VW in fact any vehicle fitted with this system have had its reports of issues. On Jaguarforum.com a number of owners complain about the faults to their XF diesel models, one saying that you should avoid journeys of less than 10 miles at under 40mph as this doesn’t allow the car enough time to regenerate. A solution was, if the fault appears to take the vehicle on a 20 min run in excess of 40mph to clear the error.
Other sites such as VWwatercooled have forum users stating that they feel that they have had to change their driving style to adapt to their vehicle. One point that keeps getting raised is that the salesman are not informing buyers about the way the system works. Although it seems like a problem area, and we are sure that the manufacturers are looking into solutions, it does make you ask the question “should we be worried every time we drive our DPF equipped vehicle that we may suffer a fault”, or even another trip to the dealership? Check out the links to read more on DPF issues, and tell us if you have had similar problems.