Here at Mapmycar we have extensive experience and knowledge of emission control systems, the issues they can experience and how to diagnose and solve them. Typically a DPF will block down to two main scenarios. How the vehicle is predominantly used or a system malfunction or defect. This will need to be correctly diagnosed for us to advise on the best solution for your circumstances. Simply just cleaning a blocked DPF without correctly diagnosing what caused it to block without fixing the issue is pointless as the filter will just block up again.

If your DPF warning light or Anti-Pollution warning is on, please do not ignore it. Get professional advice, consider your options carefully and attend to the problem. Leaving it will ultimately cost you much more in additional repair bills and it can be dangerous.

By the time your DPF warning lights are visible, your DPF will already be significantly blocked. Forced regeneration by a garage or a “blast down the motorway” is not likely to cure the problem and could cause costly damage to your vehicle, so at this stage realistically you have the following options:

  • DPF Aqueous Cleaning
    This is the most affective solution for cleaning a DPF. It requires removal of the filter from the vehicle which will need to be done by an independent garage. We offer a same day collection and delivery service. Cost for this service is £250.
  • Forced Regeneration
    With high ash counter levels this is only a temporary solution as it will not clear the ash, only the soot. Eventually ash levels reach a critical level and cannot be cleared. Cost for this service is £80.
  • DPF Replacement
    This can be prohibitively expensive as an OEM part, or potentially poor performing, as a pattern part.
  • Cleaning Fluids
    Does not require removal of the DPF but can have mixed results dependant on the mileage of your vehicle, may clear some soot, but not ash. Cost for this service is £250.
  • DPF Removal
    Removal is a MOT failure and renders the vehicle illegal to use on a public highway. We can provide the software solution for this but is only for use off public roads. Cost for software on request. Physical removal will need to be performed by an independent garage.


The best way to internally clean and restore the blocked DPF to virtually original condition is through a two-way aqueous cleaning, with the DPF removed from the vehicle.

Our powerful, state-of-the-art DPF Machine works by combining water, air and specialist agents to wash the filter and remove virtually 100% of both soot and ash, this restores your filter to almost new condition, ready for another life.

There are many other DPF solutions on the marked to help resolve your DPF problems. These a have various rates of success. If considering any of them, checkout cost versus long-term effectiveness and what guarantees are being offered, if any.


Forced regeneration is a way of cleaning the DPF using a maintenance process which has been built in by the vehicle manufacturer. This process can only be started by either a main dealer or mechanic with the right tools and access to the vehicles management systems. This process usually involves running a DPF regeneration cycle in the workshop which runs the car at a high RPM for a considerable period of time. The ECU ensures that this cycle heats up the DPF filter to an extreme temperature, burning off the contents of the filter. In some cases, the ECU injects fuel into the post combustion process to achieve these temperatures. In most cases the engine oil will need to be changed as the vehicle will literally “cook” the lubricant.

There are two different types of DPF regeneration that are commonly used. These are active and passive. Whichever your car uses you will still have to meet some strict conditions for the regeneration to start. It is usually a combination of engine temperature, speed and RPM. As a rule of thumb, the engine needs to reach normal operating temperature, you are travelling at more than 40MPH and the RPM of your engine is at least 2500 RPM. Dependant on how blocked the DPF is, or how effective your regeneration is, this will determine how long the regeneration cycle needs to be performed.


Active regeneration of the DPF is performed by the ECU triggering a post combustion fuel injection. This increases the temperature in DPF, burning off the soot and particles that build up in the filter. This type of regeneration can cause higher than normal fuel usage.


Passive DPF regeneration takes place automatically on motorway-type runs when the exhaust temperature is high. Many manufacturers have moved to using active regeneration as many motorists do not often drive prolonged distances at motorway speeds. Passive regeneration often uses a DPF additive.


There are many alternative DPF cleaning methods, they include ultrasonic, thermal regeneration, blowing and dry snow. Whilst these solutions will work better than simple regeneration or cleaning fluids, they are not always suitable for car/van filters or can be less effective in removing soot and ash. Some methods require the DPF to be cut and re-welded.


Some high end, or professionally applied products may possibly aid the removal of soot but will not clear the ash from the DPF.

On-vehicle DPF cleaning methods simply remove some of the soot and can have the adverse effect of potentially impacting the existing ash even further into the DPF.

Beware of ‘snake-oil’ products that have no benefit whatsoever. Claims that such products will reduce ash levels are simply not true.

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