Certainly, a car involves considerable expenses. To reduce polluting emissions, car manufacturers have devised more or less complex devices... But rather effective! Sometimes the machine jams... and the temptation to remove the diesel particulate filter rather than replacing it is great. But how can we do that? And particularly; is that legal?
Nowadays, several companies have hit the mother lode. They propose, for a fee, to remove this antipollution device on cars. The operation takes place in two stages. The first is with software use. It consists of reprogramming the computer so that it no longer takes the particulate filter into account. The second part consists of acting directly on the exhaust pipe. The DPF is then separated, vacated, and then again welded on the line. Therefore, it merely becomes a simple element of fine's passage that will escape through the silencers before being released into nature. But visually, the removal of the DPF is not immediately obvious, and some believe the operation goes unnoticed. The question is, is this legal?
At the end of 2014, article L. 318-3 of the Highway Code prohibited very explicitly "removing a pollution control device. This can result in a penalty of up to £7,500. There, it is legitimate to require the means of controlling a stripped vehicle. The tightening of technical inspections, that took place in May 2018, sharply accentuated pollution-related inspections. However, the absence of an operational DPF is not systematically detected. However, a tightening was announced in 2019. The objective is to carry out more severe inspections, intended to stop the phenomenon of stripping. Would it be unfailing? It is hard to say. There is little doubt that it depends on vehicle type and maintenance, as the government's goal is clearly to eradicate DPF and catalyst removals.
Removing the diesel particulate filter rather than replacing it seems to be the solution to all the problems. However, the operation is not without risks, and sanctions are likely to become increasingly systematic in the years to come. Moreover, most centers offering this service have disclaimers signed. Even though the cost is higher, we recommend you replace your car's DPF rather than removing it. Do you know there are simple ways to prevent this device from clogging ? Finally, removing the DPF raises real ethical concerns. What the DPF releases, can escape freely into the air and enter the lungs easily. For vulnerable people (The elderly people, children...), the consequences can be devastating.
Yes, why? The DPF was not designed to ruin your life, but to reduce the pollution of your vehicle. The european emission standards are becoming increasingly restrictive. They force car manufacturers to outdo themselves technologically to offer reliable and efficient anti-pollution systems.
The detractors of the particulate filter only see the inconveniences, less responsive vehicles, higher fuel consumption and above all the exorbitant cost of repair in case of breakdown. However, rather than fighting against this technology, why not tame it? Many motorists often do not know whether their vehicle is equipped with a DPF and above all for what it is really used. So inevitably, they ignore how to maintain it.
Because yes, you can maintain your particulate filter. First of all by not repeating short city drives, carried out at too low speed of the engine. The risk of clogging becomes higher when the trips are too short, because the automatic regeneration cycle cannot be started. The risk of clogging is greater if the trips are too short, because the automatic regeneration cycle cannot be started. Don't wait until you see your vehicle lose performance or your fuel consumption soar. Take the lead and clean your DPF by yourself, while driving.
For the most curious (or stubborn) among you, here is how to proceed. The first step consists of removing the DPF electronically. To do this, you need to reprogram the calculator so that is no taking into consideration the particulate filter. The regeneration mechanism will no longer be triggered and of course the DPF warning light will not come on, as it does in the event of a defect or blockage. The amateur mechanics who embark on this adventure use (alone or in association) various softwares: MPPS, Galleto, Ecusafe or even Winols. They can read and save the initial engine map and then inject a new one. In terms of price, you can find them from 50 £. The big question is : do you feel capable of rewriting your engine map correctly ? We leave that to your judgement.
The second part consists of acting directly and removing the DPF mechanically. The part is then unsoldered, emptied and re-soldered on the exhaust line. In this way, it becomes a simple passage for the fine particles that escape into the mufflers, before being rejected into the environment. Visually, it has to be said that the removal of the DPF is not immediately noticeable. However don't think that it is not visible.
The hardcore of removing the DPF will see above all a simplified maintenance of the car. The absence of the DPF automatically eliminates the risk of clogging and fouling of the part. It is also no longer necessary to worry about regenerating the filter or monitoring the level of additive, for vehicles with an additivated DPF. However, if the DPF clogs up, it is often because the owner of the vehicle makes numerous short trips in the city, which the diesel manners hate. The real problem probably lies in the choice of engine rather than in the anti-pollution system itself.
The disadvantages are numerous and above all not without consequences for your car :
Removing the DPF from your car is an illegal operation that can cost you dearly. The article L. 318-3 of the highway Code prohibits very explicitly since 2014 to « remove a pollution control device ». If you ignore this, you risk a fine of up to £7,500. Until then, there were countless forums explaining how to remove the DPF. The practice seems to be less fashionable nowadays, or at least it is done much more discreetly. The professionals who used to make a living out of it have now refocused their activity on cleaning the DPF. However, we would be wary of saying that the DPF removing is a thing of the past.
A first tightening of the roadworthiness test took place in 2018. The new regulations increased the number of pollution-related checks. However, the absence of an operational particulate filter was not systematically detected. The tightening of the screws in 2019 contributes to changing the situation. By tightening up exhaust smoke opacity checks, the government's aim is clearly to eradicate the removal of DPF and catalytic converters.