Diesel particulate filters together with catalytic converters clean up exhaust gases. The filter also called DPF is installed in vehicles equipped with diesel engines. It is one of more expensive parts in the exhaust system. Because of its price, many drivers decide to remove the filter instead of recommended replacement. Some drivers choose an alternative i.e. emulator.
A particulate filter called DPF, GPF or FAP removes soot and ash particles from the exhaust gases. Each new vehicle with diesel engine is fitted with this type of the filter. The device should clean itself during driving, but unfortunately because of specific conditions needed for self-cleaning (regeneration) – suitable speed and revolutions without changing gear – the filter often gets clogged. The clogged filter undergoes the regeneration process in a professional workshop. If the process is unsuccessful, the DPF can be removed, replaced with an emulator or replaced with a new DPF. Of course, the best choice is replacement with a new DPF, but it is a costly option.
Removing the diesel particulate filter is not easy, and more often it will be impossible at all. Its removal cannot be done in new car models. When the DPF is removed from older car models, it is required to reprogram the ECU (Electronic Control Unit), which requires the suitable professional knowledge and equipment. In general, permanent removal of the DPF is a risky move. It not only negatively affects the environment, but may also lead to a turbocharger failure.
Theoretically, the diesel particulate filter can be replaced with an emulator, however it should be borne in mind that this device does not work like the DPF. The emulator only cheats the vehicle, because no soot particles are removed from exhaust gases, but the vehicle receives signals suggesting that the filter is still present and works correctly. An emergency regeneration start e.g. when a turbocharger or EGR valve failure occurs, can be considered as the emulator disadvantage. When the emulator is installed, attention should be paid to length of cables, because too long and sagging cables may tear off and cause a short-circuit. It is also worth to know that some cars will never work correctly with emulators.
Replacement of the diesel particulate filter is the most expensive option, but the best one. A vehicle will be running correctly for sure, and all soot and ash particles will be removed from exhaust gases. Replacement cost is high, because you have to spend even several thousand zlotys for the device itself and its installation is not cheap. The only way to save some money is to sell the worn out filter to the purchasing centre . In this way it is possible to get back at least some of the money that was spent on replacement of the DPF.
Sometimes it is worth to try regeneration before removing the filter. Two options are available on the market: rinsing the filter or replacement of the filter cartridge. Results of rinsing itself are different, sometimes this method if effective and sometimes it does not work. Replacement of the filter cartridge can be a good alternative to the purchase of a new device.