Diesel Particulate Filter Warning Light ON – What Should You Do?

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  • Diesel Particulate Filter Warning Light ON – What Should You Do?

The complexity of modern diesel engines has greatly increased from their predecessors. Moreover, modern diesel engines have a variety of auxiliary components that are designed to cut down on the number of toxic pollutants. It is where DPF comes in to use. The present laws mandate the need for diesel particulate filter. So, it will be very unsettling when a diesel particulate filter warning light turns ON your dashboard.

In the following blog, we will discuss the

  • Location of diesel particulate filter warning light.
  • Why does the DPF warning light turn ON?
  • How to prevent it?
  • How to turn OFF the DPF warning light?

Where is the Diesel Particulate Filter Warning Light Located?

Where is the Diesel Particulate Filter Warning Light Located

As we already know, the Diesel particulate filter is an essential exhaust part that plays a major role in reducing the emission. Hence, it prevents the clogging of the exhaust system. So, when there is an issue with your DPF, then your diesel car will flash a diesel particulate filter warning light on the dashboard. It is an orange warning light. A burning or regeneration is required when the orange DPF light starts to flash. It simply indicates that the filter is clogged.

On the other hand, Diesel Particulate Filter is an exhaust after-treatment device whose role is to trap the soot particles. It is located within the exhaust system.

When you check with the OBD scanner, then it may show the P2002 trouble code indicating clogging of DPF. You may also face the P2463 trouble code upon checking with the OBD scanner after the orange warning light signal.

What Does Diesel Particulate Filter Warning Light Signify?

When an engine’s passive regeneration fails, and active regeneration is required, a diesel particulate light will illuminate to alert drivers. Passive regeneration occurs continuously, while on the other hand, active regeneration is a more forceful form of automatic DPF cleaning. However, it needs to meet a number of requirements.

The engine control unit monitors the particulate level inside the DPF. In reality, it monitors the pressure decrease across the DPF. Thus, increased pressure loss results in further blockage, necessitating immediate regeneration. With the help of the data, it signals the DPF to regenerate whenever it is necessary. Therefore, when the soot level reaches the threshold capacity of DPF, the engine will send signals to reduce the particulate level. When the DPF isn’t able to minimize the particulate levels, it will turn ON the diesel particulate filter warning light.

The soot will continue to accumulate if you neglect the light until the system enters a “limp” state in an effort to stop any damage from happening. This limp mode lowers your top speed to lessen the soot entering the filter. Thus, the engine gives you a chance to preserve the filter if your car is in limp mode.

If you stay in limp mode for too long, the soot will accumulate to a point where forced regeneration is no longer a choice. If your automobile ever enters limp mode, be sure to take immediate action to avoid replacing the filter, which can be quite expensive.

Reasons Behind Activation of DPF Warning Light

There are basically three main reasons which can cause the illumination of DPF regeneration light.

Filter Clogging

Due to short-distance travel, the engine is not able to reach high temperatures, which is necessary to burn off the particulate matter. Since it does not burn the particulate and convert it to ash, it will lead to clogging of the filter.

Sensor Malfunction

The sensor’s malfunction can also result in the DPF lights turning ON. The major reason behind the malfunction can be faulty wiring or a sensor issue. It falsely activates the DPF light on the dash when the sensor malfunction because they transmit the wrong signals to your engine control unit.

DEF System

The DPF warning light may also come ON if there is a problem with the DEF system. There can be many reasons that can affect the DEF system. It can be due to a low DEF level or a DEF injector issue. A malfunctioning exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve and defective spark plugs can result in the DPF malfunctioning and the illumination of the DPF warning light.

How to Fix Diesel Particulate Filter Warning Light?

When your car engine shows the DPF regeneration symbol, then your engine might require regeneration.

You can perform an automatic or passive regeneration by driving at a constant speed. Maintaining the constant speed allows the engine to attain its maximum operating temperature before commencing active regeneration. After achieving the optimum temperature, the fuel will be fed into the after-treatment system. While you drive, sensors detect the back pressure from the exhaust and instantly add more fuel to your engine to raise the temperature in your DPF and burn off any built-up soot.

A vehicle must travel at speed for up to 45 minutes before commencing regeneration at this level. Short trips will cease the active regeneration process, producing poor outcomes.

Even after driving for a long duration, if your warning light does not go OFF, then you have to take a few more steps. You will hear a beeping sound. It’s alerting you that you should do a parked regeneration as soon as possible.

Here are the necessary steps:

  • Park your vehicle.
  • Set the gearshift to neutral.
  • After that, engage the parking brake.
  • Depress the parking brake, then press it again.
  • If you have a clutch pedal, depress and release it.
  • Lastly, press and hold the REGEN button on your dashboard for a brief period of time.

It may take half an hour to finish the regeneration process. In the meantime, your engine’s RPM will rise but drop after completing the regeneration.

Can I Drive with ON Diesel Particulate Warning Light?

Driving with an ON DPF warning sign is not hazardous. However, if you ignore the DPF light and keep driving, the soot buildup will cause ECU to shift into “limp mode” to protect the engine.

In such a scenario, you will need to run a force regeneration. You may have to replace the filter if it does not regenerate or if Limp mode does not get deactivated. It is prohibited to operate a vehicle without a particle filter or to remove the filter. Depending on the damage and the car, more extensive repairs could cost thousands of dollars.

If your diesel particulate filter warning light is on, it’s important to take action immediately. Don’t ignore the warning light! Contact a qualified mechanic or dealership as soon as possible to diagnose and fix the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Diesel particulate warning light indicate?

The diesel particulate filter (or DPF) is a crucial exhaust component in diesel-powered vehicles that helps to lower emissions and avoid exhaust system clogs. If the diesel particulate filter is clogged or unable to clean itself, the DPF light will turn ON.

Is it safe to drive with DPF warning light?

You can drive with a diesel particulate filter warning light. By driving for 40 to 50 minutes will help the engine to reach the high temperature causing the burning of soot particles. However, even if your DPF light does not go OFF, it is recommended to take your car to a mechanic.

What are the causes of the DPF warning sign?

The cause of DPF warning lights can be broken pressure sensors. It could also be due to an issue with your exhaust and injection system.

How to prevent the DPF warning light?

You can prevent a DPF warning light from showing up by passive regeneration. It involves taking your vehicle for long drives causing the car to reach a temperature where the particulates can turn into ashes. Another way is active regeneration. It involves an increase in the amount of fuel to increase the temperature of the exhaust.

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Richard Author
Automotive Specialist , Spare Vehicle Part
Hey, this is Richards. I am a mechanic by the day and a blogger by night. I like to share about day-to-day problems people face in their cars and their solution.
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