In diesel-powered cars and vans, the filter prevents soot particles from being emitted via the exhaust. When soot does escape from the exhaust, this creates the black cloud of smoke you sometimes see from older vehicles.
The Diesel Particulate Filter acts as a cleaning system for exhaust gases. It uses a silicon carbide core, which has numerous microscopic perforations to capture particles. Gases pass through the walls of the core, and particles collect here before they can escape through the exhaust pipe.
Exhaust gases travel through the filter (1), via the silicon carbide core (2). The core is made in such a way (3) that soot can easily be collected from the gas in large quantities. Amounts of soot inside the filter are monitored by sensors (4 and 5), letting the engine management system know when levels get high.
No – a Diesel Particulate Filter is self-cleaning. Unlike other filters, such as for water and pollen, the DPF does not need to be replaced during your car's lifespan.
When soot levels in the filter reach the set limit (6), the regeneration process begins (7). Multiple fuel injections raise the temperature of the exhaust gases to 600oC, in order to burn off the soot.
For more information on Diesel Particulate Filters and to test drive a diesel-powered Vauxhall, get in touch with FRF Vauxhall. Our teams in Bridgend and Swansea can provide further details.