How can the DPF cause Turbo Failure?


There are many articles and technical documents relating to how a faulty turbo can lead to DPF damage. However, the DPF is actually responsible for more turbo related failures than you might think. Here we explore what effect a blocked DPF can have on a turbocharger and how to identify and prevent turbo failure. 

DPF’s (Diesel Particulate Filters) were first introduced in January 2005 with the Euro 4 emission standard. Diesel particulate levels were reduced to extremely low levels to reduce the allowable amount of particulate matter (PM) released into the atmosphere. Reducing the size of particulate matter from the combustion process to this level was not technically possible. This meant that all diesel vehicles after September 2009 were fitted with a filter. This helped by  capturing soot and other harmful particles, preventing them entering the atmosphere. A DPF can remove around 85% of the particulates from the exhaust gas.

A blocked DPF will not work correctly and can cause turbo failure, to clear this blockage there are two types of regeneration which are commonly used to remove the build up of soot. Newer vehicles engage active regeneration, the process of removing the accumulated soot from the filter by adding fuel post combustion to increase exhaust gas temperatures and burn off the soot, providing a temporary solution. Passive regeneration also 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 to clear the DPF. Constant short distances are not good for the exhaust system and can cause turbo failure.

Useful information and questions also answered in this article;

So, what happens to the turbo when a DPF is blocked?

How can you prevent these failures from occurring?

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