What Happens if I Don’t Clean My DPF Filter?


A DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) is a component in a diesel engine that is designed to capture and store soot and other particulate matter from the engine’s exhaust gases. Over time, the filter can become clogged, which will reduce its effectiveness. If the DPF isn’t cleaned regularly, it can cause problems for the operator.

In most diesel-powered vehicles, a warning light may appear in the instrument cluster to inform the driver that the DPF is becoming clogged and needs to be cleaned. There are several different methods of cleaning the DPF:

  • Passive regeneration – In some cases, the DPF can be cleaned by driving at high speeds for an extended period of time.
  • Active regeneration – If passive regeneration isn’t adequate, a specialized cleaning solution can be injected into the exhaust system which will increase the temperature and burn off the contaminants
  • Thermal cleaning – This method calls for the DPF to be removed and placed in a specialized cleaning machine that uses high-temperature ovens to burn off the contaminants.
  • Pneumatic cleaning – In some cases, using compressed air can blow out the accumulated soot and other particles.

Consequences of Ignoring a Dirty DPF

If the driver ignores the first warning lights, a check engine light may come on. If the DPF isn’t cleaned, it could cause a reduction in engine performance and fuel economy, or the engine could shut down completely, and the vehicle will have to be towed to a repair facility. In some cases, a clogged DPF could even cause permanent damage to the engine.


The DPF is an important component of your diesel engine. Ignoring the warning signals and continuing to drive with a clogged DPF can be dangerous as well as extremely costly. It’s best to tend to it at the first warning signs to prevent damage to the filter and to the engine as a whole.

If you’d like more information about the DPF or the methodology employed to clean it, check with the experts here at Mission Valley Kubota Tractors.  We are authorized distributors for Kubota, Land Pride, Gearmore, Towmaster Trailers, Paladin, and Echo Outdoor Power Equipment, making us one of the area’s best resources for rugged farming and construction equipment. We’re committed to putting our customers first, which allows us to provide our clients with tough and durable equipment for a variety of uses. In addition to offering new and used equipment, we have a staff of highly trained and experienced technicians that can complete any repairs or preventive maintenance you may need.

We’re conveniently located in San Jose on Brokaw Road, making us easily accessible from both Interstate 880 and Highway 101. If you would like more information about the products and services we offer, give us a call at 888-284-7471, or stop by and see us.

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