Not a day goes by without an email or tweet about DPFs. These troublesome filters are quickly becoming renowned for their wallet emptying powers and are attracting a lot of media coverage in the process.

The last poor soul to contact me asked about using a DPF cleaning fuel additive. This type of product is very new to the market, targeting those suffering with DPF issues.

What is a DPF cleaning additive?

DPF cleaning additives are a chemical solution added to the fuel tank which claims to aid the cleaning of a DPF filter.

The additive contains a “Fuel Borne Catalyst” which in most cases is cerium oxide. This catalyst does not help increase the temperature of the DPF during a cleaning cycle however it does work to decrease the temperature at which the soot blocking the DPF will “burn off”.

Do DPF cleaning additives work?

Update ! (2016) We’ve been speaking to some industry experts on this matter and we’d like to offer an updated view.

DPF cleaning fluids may assist with the DPF cleaning process especially if the process is struggling to reach high enough temperatures to burn off the soot blockage. This is often the case with early (2011 to early 2014) Euro 5 diesel vehicles which commonly experience DPF issues. In many cases these early cars have the DPF filters located too far away from the engine and therefore the heat required for a DPF “burn” can be difficult to reach during normal driving conditions.

Therefore an additive may be a cheap and viable solution to a blocked DPF but this by not means guaranteed, especially if the DPF is clogged with Ash rather than soot.

DPF Cleaners At Amazon

DPF Cleaning Services

Our Googling of DPF cleaners has unearthed some companies offering a DPF cleaning services. This type of filter off service is used widely in commercial application such as HGVs and construction vehicles.

This process requires the DPF filter to be removed from the vehicle, it is subjected to a process which removes the soot and ash particles which are blocking the filter. This process utilises large amounts of heat, pressure and specific chemicals to remove the blockage from the filter. This can only be performed with specialist equipment.

Costs for this serve seem to vary but in most cases it is much cheaper than a replacement filter and not illegal like DPF removal (more on that below).

DPF Filter Removal

If all else fails then do be very careful how you proceed. Removing the DPF from your exhaust system has become rather a hot topic with transport regulators across the globe, if you have the DPF filter removed you encounter issues passing your MOT or vehicle inspection.

For those in the UK please be aware that your car will fail it’s MOT without a DPF and with more stringent MOT testing for DPF particulates you might be caught out by opting for one of other DPF “gutting and remap” services now being offered. Please see the following page to see how DPF removal will effect your MOT.

Our Advice

Our advice still stands that in the first instance of seeing the DPF light you should ring a main dealer or consult your handbook. The process to kick off a DPF regeneration should be simple enough but simply taking your car out for a “thrash” but often is’t the way to resolve this issue.

However, If you’re presented with the harsh reality of a either a forced DPF regeneration or costly filter replacement we do suggest that it’s worth running some DPF cleaning additive through your fuel system. This combined with the conditions to perform a DPF clean may be enough to clean the soot from a blocked filter and extinguish your warning light.

Below is a couple of links to amazon products you might want to consider.

DPF Cleaners At Amazon

Lets hear from you!

Have you had a bad experience with a DPF? Did a DPF cleaning additive work for you? If so we’d like to hear from you – please leave details of your experience in the comments below.


If you found the above information useful then please take a look at our DPF Diesel Particulate filter freqently asked questions page

For more information on DPFs you might also like to check out the following pages