ℹ️ DPFs require a number of prerequisites to regenerate properly.
When struggling with DPF issues many people advise you to ‘just give it a blast up the motorway’ to get it hot. Typically if you need to do that to get it to regenerate then there will be an underlying issue.
To start regenerating there needs to be enough fuel (try to keep above ¼ tank) and also needs to be up to full operating temperature. Lots of short journeys (so it doesn’t get up to temperature) can be at fault hence the usual advice people give, but there are many other reasons…
Once the above conditions are met then other pre-requisites need to be functioning such as exhaust gas temperature sensors, DPF pressure sensors, EGR, glowplugs amongst others. Other codes in the engine section can also hamper regeneration or disable it.
🚗 Here we have a Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCI booked in with occasional engine management light and puffs of smoke every now and again.
📊 Diagnostics showed the code for the DPF performance which we documented and cleared.
🔍 Live Data monitoring suggested 352 miles since the last regeneration and when it did it only regenerated for 2 miles (incomplete).
Further investigation and self test showed
– glowplugs working fine
– EGR movement and flow fine
– exhaust gas temperature sensors apparently OK
– DPF Pressure sensor also looked to be operational.
With less than a quarter of a tank of fuel in it we went and filled up and then took it for a drive to get it up to temperature to see if it would regenerate.
With a full tank of fuel we got it warmed up, but even so the dashboard needle stayed JUST UNDER the mid point. We turned off the heater fans in the cabin and watched on the diagnostics and the temperature stayed at 80°C and dropped to 77-78°C with airflow over the radiator.
The culprit here looks like the thermostat and it wouldn’t get hot enough to attempt to regenerate. Thermostats sticking open and a cold running engine we see quite often and with no codes present are troublesome to diagnose if your vehicle doesn’t have a temperature gauge on the dashboard. Even with no DPF then a cold running engine will be inefficient and cost you at the pump.
⚠️ Keep an eye on your coolant temperatures and schedule in for regular diagnostic health checks and Engine Carbon Cleans to keep things running sweetly.
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