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Jun 1, 2019 - 7 minute read

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Does My Car Have A Diesel Particulate Filter?

Does My Car Have A Diesel Particulate Filter
(Last Updated On: September 29, 2020)

How To Find Out If Your Car Has A DPF

Does my car have a diesel particulate filter? It’s a common question heard by mechanics. But, what are these filters?

Filters are one of the important parts of a car. Every car, either it has a petrol engine or diesel engine, contains different types of filters such as oil filter or fuel filter.

Does My Car Have A DPF

Does My Car Have A DPF

If we talk about diesel engine cars, then there is a special filter known as a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) which is responsible for decreasing diesel particles or soot from the exhausted gas.

A DPF is used because it is environment-friendly. Over time, the filter will have a buildup of soot. In this case, the cleaning of the filter is necessary. The good news is, in some cars, DPFs contain an inbuilt automatic cleaning system.

This system will automatically clean the DPF but not every car has this technology. In other words, you need to clean it manually or replace it with a new one.

That is why it is very important to know whether your car contains a DPF or not. In this article, we will talk about how to find out if your car contains a DPF or not.

What Is A DPF?

If you are asking the question, does my car have a diesel particulate filter? Then you probably know what a DPF is.

However, you may not know. DPF stands for Diesel Particulate Filter.

It is a type of filter installed in diesel engines to remove soot or diesel particles from the exhaust air.

In 1970, scientist discovered that the exhaust air contains diesel particles. These particles are very toxic to the environment.

Car dpf filter

Car dpf filter

In 1980, manufacturers invented DPFs for heavy diesel engines. After 2006, most diesel engine cars have this filter installed.

DPFs also require maintenance or replacement like other filters. The reason is that these filters are accumulated ash or soot.

Some cars have an indication sign installed called a DPF light – so the vehicle will give a warning or indication showing that DPF needs to be change or clean.

How Can I Tell If My Car Has A DPF?

If your car’s manufacturing date is after 2012, then you don’t need to worry because car models after 2012 have this filter installed by manufacturers.

If your car is old or manufactured before 2012, there is a possibility that it doesn’t have DPF.

How Can I Tell If My Car Has A DPF

How Can I Tell If My Car Has A DPF

This is especially true if your car is older than 2006. If that’s the case, then it likely doesn’t have a DPF.To avoid confusion, you need to check whether your car contains DPF or not. It is very easy, you just need to check out the various ways below.

Tips To Find Out If Your Car Has A DPF?

A few things to note before searching for a DPF in your car:

1. Exhaust Pipe

First of all, you should know that the DPF is a part of the exhaust pipe. You can find the exhaust pipe between silencer and catalytic converter. In some car models, you will find DPF situated in the catalytic converter.

Check if car has dpf

Check if car has dpf

You can check it by running your finger around the inside of the pipe. If it is relatively clean then you can assume that your car has DPF.

2. PEF

You will find PEF (Particulate Emission Filter) only in diesel cars , so you need to keep that in your mind while trying to find if your car has a DPF.

3. Stickers

Another trick to find whether your car has DPF or not is to carefully check the stickers . Manufacturers stuck stickers inside your cars or vehicle, you need to look for them. You can also find them on the driver’s door. The reason for finding them is that the stickers contain the manufacturer’s helpline number.

Through the number, you can confirm that either your car contains DPF or not. In some models, you might find the sticker in the bonnet . Few companies placed this sticker on one of the caps in the engine or you might find it above the bumper . There are few brands such as VW that do have DPF.

4. Oil

You can also find DPF’s existence through the oil . If your vehicle requires a low content ash oil then it means that your car has DPF.

Once you have completed these tests, then you should be able to answer the question does my car have a diesel particulate filter?

List Of Cars With DPF

If you are still unable to find out if you car have had a DPF, we have a little list for you. The fact is, there are some brands which don’t have DPF fitted inside. Following are the brands with the some of the car models that do have DPF:

  • BMW - E36, E46, 320D, E90 163BHP, Pre 2004 330D, 530D, 525D, X5. These models don’t have DPF fitted inside.

  • Mercedes ­– All pre-2003 models don’t have DPF fitted inside. If we talk about 220cdi series then some cars have DPF.

  • VW ­– All early 1.9L 69bhp, 90bhp, 110bhp, 130bhp, 105bhp and 150 bhp TDI, SDI and 140bhp PD TDI are DPF free engines. Not only that, 2.5tdi V6 and later 140bhp CR engine (until 2007/2008) also don’t have DPF. All the version of 170BHP of the 2.0TDI engine doesn’t have DPF.

    List Of Cars With DPF

    List Of Cars With DPF

  • Audi – See VW above, 2.7 V6 TDI engine doesn’t have a DPF until 2007. Avoid using 2.0 140BHP engine because it doesn’t have DPF inside and they also eat their own engines.

  • Skoda – All early 140BHP PD technology and 1.9 TDO/SDI are non-DPF models.

  • Volvo – Pre 2004/2005 diesel engine don’t have DPF fitted inside. Mostly D5 engines don’t have a DFP inside.

  • Fiat – 115 bhp and 105 bhp 1.9 8V Multijet are non-DPF engines.

  • Alfa – Alfa 2.4 JTD diesel engine doesn’t have DPF fitted inside.

  • Vauxhall / Opel – Early 1.7Di, 1.7DTi and also 1.7CDTi models which are manufactured by Isuzu don’t have DPF. Even 2.5 V6 diesel made by BMW and 3.0 V6 Diesel don’t have DPF fitted inside. Not all version of 1.9 CDTi has DPF fitted inside. The older models such as 100BHP remained DPF free.

  • Saab – 2.2 dti engines and 2006 3.0 V6 are free of DPF

  • Land rover – All old school diesel engine doesn’t have DPF. The Freelander 1 1.8L diesel and 2.0 TD4 are non-DPF engines.

  • Citroen / Peugeot – 1.9 turbo diesel engines made before 2000 are DPF free engines. If we talk about 2.0HDi engines, then some version contains DPF.

Most (not all) cars from brands such as Renault, Honda, Ford, Kia, and Toyota also don’t have DPF fitted inside the engine. There are some models which have DPF but the older version doesn’t have DPF.

Why Is It Important To Know If My Car Has A DPF?

Well, quite simply, DPFs requires maintenance or replacement. It is very important for you to know either your car has DPF or not.

Ash starts building up in DPF. It is the byproduct of oil consumption. Ash cannot be converted into gas so that it can go through the filter walls. After a certain level, a warning light will be on to indicate the driver about DPF.

DPF doesn’t only harm the environment but your car will fail its MOT test. In a few countries, it is illegal to remove DPF such as the UK and most of Europe. So, if your car doesn’t have DPF you could face a fine of up to £1,000.