Signs of a Failing DPF

Turborevs features an article explaining the signs of a failing DPF. Find the best DPF cleaners at Turborevs.

Being delicate devices, diesel particulate filters are sensitive to even the slightest of tampering. Since DPFs are a crucial device in the exhaust system of diesel-powered vehicles, ensuring that they are working optimally is necessary. However, many remain unaware of the signs and signals that would indicate that something is wrong with the DPF.

To ensure you remain informed about your vehicle’s crucial DPF, Turborevs features an article explaining the signs of a failing DPF.

Signs of a Failing DPF

DPF filters are essential in making diesel-powered vehicles slightly more eco-friendly as they filter out the soot produced by the engine. Since these filters have limited capacity, ensuring their maintenance at all times is a must. However, in case something feels off with your DPF, the following signs may indicate that your diesel particulate filter is failing.

Engine Light Goes Off

DPF light goes off when there is something wrong with it

The DPF has a designated engine check light on the dashboard that indicates pressure and temperature within the filter. If there is an issue with the pressure or temperatures, the light will go off. The light going off could either mean that the filter is clogged-up with soot, or there is a more serious issue. If a DPF cleaner fails to sort the issue, you will have to visit a professional.

Lower Engine Performance

Since the engine’s performance has a direct link to the DPF, a clogged filter can result in reduced engine efficiency and lower horsepower. This is caused by a backup in the engine, as exhaust emissions get trapped within the exhaust system. 

The more exhaust gases that build up within the filter, the less air there will be for the fuel to burn. This results in the engine becoming sluggish and weak. Acceleration will take a direct hit, and the engine will have to spend even more power to push out the trapped gases.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Reduced fuel efficiency is  sign of a failing DPF

As the filter gets clogged up, the engine will have to utilise more power to push out the exhaust gases. This process will burn more fuel than usual, resulting in your vehicle’s fuel efficiency plummeting. The engine will have to consume more fuel just to output the same performance as before.

If you witness a sudden reduction in mileage, it could be a sign that your DPF is clogged-up or simply failing.

Pungent Odour

As the soot gets clogged-up and gases start to accumulate within the exhaust system, you are bound to notice a pungent smell coming from the exhaust. Exhaust gases are extremely dangerous for people if inhaled in excess, and with such an immense build up within the system, these gases could be lethal. 

If the smell is noticeable for a while, contact a professional right away to ensure your own safety.

Trouble Starting

As the gases build up within the exhaust, the engine will have more difficulty starting. In some cases, the engine might not even start until the pressure of the gases is released. If the engine starts with the pressure build up within the exhaust, it could potentially suffer damage. This is why a safety mechanism is set in place that stops the engine from ignition. 

In case your vehicle’s engine has trouble starting, it could indicate that there is something off with your DPF.


DPFs are an essential device within diesel-powered vehicles, and knowing the signs of a failing or damaged filter is crucial if you own a truck or semi. There are several signs that could be indicative of a failing DPF; however, the above-mentioned signs are some of the most common ones that serve as a sure-fire way to know whether your DPF is working optimally or not.

Find some of the best DPF cleaners at Turborevs and take your car’s performance to new heights.

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