What is a PPF?
A Petrol Particulate Filter (DPF), also known as PPF/GPF/OPF on some vehicles, is a device fitted to the exhaust system of modern Petrol vehicles to reduce emissions and meet European emission standards. It does this by trapping soot (Particulate Matter – PM) from the exhaust gasses while letting the gasses flow through the system.
As with any type of filter a Particulate Filter needs to be cleaned regularly to function properly. With PPF’s this is done by a process known as Regeneration which involves a combination of a catalyst function in the system and burning the soot to gas at a very high temperature leaving behind an ash residue within the PPF. Regeneration should be an automatic process taking place in the normal use of your vehicle. You may have noticed this in the form of a blast of white smoke form the exhaust on occasions.
PPFs have been in use only very recently and they are now fitted to many many new cars small engines and large alike, this extends to high powered cars also such as the VW golf R, BMW M140i, even the new Audi R8 has a PPF!
What is the problem with a PPF?
Most notable issue is the sound of very new Petrol cars fitted with a PPF / OPF or GPF as the sound is very very muted and as such high performance cars do not sound like the version before them, We have research that reveals recently that this is a big issue for customers who are buying cars for the noise and getting none at all.
If regeneration doesn’t function properly it leads to a build-up of soot affecting performance and fuel economy. Left unattended this will result in a blocked PPF, which can ultimately cause very expensive damage to other engine components. A blocked PPF is also potentially dangerous as it can cause overheating in the exhaust system and cause a fire risk. To prevent this damage most new vehicles will go into the “Limp Home” safety mode at this stage, meaning the vehicle will have minimum power barely sufficient to crawl home.
For regeneration to take place it requires the vehicle to be driven regularly at some speed on open roads e.g. motorway driving, typically driving at around 2500 RPM for approximately 15-30 minutes at least twice a month. This should keep things working. Many Petrol vehicles are used primarily in urban areas or for short stop start journeys, school runs etc as a diesel alternative and many have an auto gearbox, so the vehicle does not get the chance to heat up sufficiently and is unable to carry out a full regeneration process. Even if the regeneration functions as it should, over time the ash residue will build up in the PPF and have the same affect, ultimately resulting in a blocked PPF. For this reason a PPF is classified as a serviceable Item by the vehicle manufacturers like brake pads or air filters, and not covered under warranty. PPF systems therefore need to be maintained properly, or a solution found when they fail to work correctly.
What are my options?
To get the Sound back from your car that you initially bought it for or were hoping for then a removal of this filter is a viable option, we now supply and fit a range of Milltek and Scorpion PPF/GPF/OPF removal down pipes designed to make your car sound as it should, we can also remove the internals of your PPF and replace it back on the car with a Software we solution we have developed to delete the PPF from the ecu as well as the physical hardware removal.
If your PPF warning light or anti-pollution warning is on, please do not ignore it. Get professional advice, consider your options carefully and attend to the problem. Leaving it will ultimately cost you much more in additional repair bills and it can be dangerous.
By the time your PPF warning lights are visible your PPF will already be significantly blocked. Forced regeneration by a garage or a “blast down the motorway” is not likely to cure the problem. This will only work as preventative maintenance. At this stage realistically you only have two viable options, either replace it through an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) PPF or have it removed and deleted. CLICK HERE TO GET A MAX TUNE PPF/GPF DELETE