All diesel cars are fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). These are filters that catch the soot that comes out of the exhaust, which lowers the emissions produced by diesel-fuelled vehicles.
Writing to Honest John, a diesel driver asked if their DPF light should repeatedly come on in their car. They explained that they only tend to drive short distances and wanted to know whether repeated issues were a common problem.
The news provider responded by explaining that it’s easy for a DPF to become blocked by soot if it’s only driven short distances at low revs. The reason is that the filter has no opportunity to burn off the soot that it’s collecting – which is how DPFs regenerate.
“The best thing to do is always use Super diesel and always drive at around 200 rpm from start-up because that puts less soot into the DPF and helps the engine heat up faster,” it stated.
The RAC notes that a DPF should last for at least 100,000 miles, but that it can fail sooner if it’s not properly maintained. That means it’s important to regularly have your diesel vehicle serviced to ensure you’re getting the best out of every component in your car.