Halfords Autocentre now offering DPF cleaning services… but beware


Halfords Autocentre has now become one of the many UK garages / auto centres offering DPF cleaning services to motorists.

They claim that this new service in response to concerns over diesel car pollution, however our experience with DPF issues puts it firmly down to customer demand and high dealership regeneration prices.

When we were initial made aware of this newcomer to the DPF cleaning industry we got in touch with Halfords PR team for a little more information. What we got back was the usual press release with very little information what this new service actually offers. My requests for more information on what their DPF cleaning processes actually involves fell on deaf ears, leaving me no choice but to get on the phone to a local Halfords Autocentre to quiz them direct. My call was very enlightening.

Their website shows that they offer two types of DPF cleaning. These are a DPF Maintenance Clean and a DPF Deep Clean, below are the juicy bits from the website

DPF Maintenance Clean

Regular preventative treatment

Our DPF Maintenance Clean is a professional workshop treatment designed to be used every 6 months to prevent the build-up of soot in the DPF. Book in today and have the peace of mind knowing your DPF is being kept clean, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds.


We believe in this product, so we guarantee that should your DPF need replacing or deep cleaning we will take the cost of any regular treatments you have had with us in the previous 12 months off the repair bill, if we do the repair for you.

DPF Deep Clean

One-off treatment for blocked DPFs

DPF Deep Clean is a professional workshop treatment designed to clean Diesel Particulate Filters that have become blocked due to a build-up of soot. It is a much cheaper solution than replacing the DPF.

The treatment will include either a direct flush into the DPF on a ramp or a soak overnight, then a diagnostic regeneration of the DPF to reset the engine management system.


This deep clean treatment is guaranteed to work on 95% of cars, dependent on the level of soot and the condition and age of the filter. If it doesn’t work we’ll take the cost off the DPF replacement, assuming we do the replacement for you.

What they actually do

In my call to a very helpful “Dave” at local Halfords Autocentre, I asked for a little more information regarding what they actually do to save your DPF and I was a little shocked.

Their maintenance clean is basically just adding snake oil a DPF cleaning additive to the fuel tank. This service is charged at £35, so the additional of a useless chemical seems a little steep and completely unwarranted in our eyes, especially considering you can waste less than £10 on Amazon for a bottle of STP / Wynns Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner. Read more about DPF cleaning additives here!)

The DPF deep clean does offer a little more for your money. In conjunction with the snake oil above, they perform what was described as a “forced regeneration” (more on forced DPF regeneration here). This is the same process which a dealer regeneration would take but without a key stage. A forced regeneration is performed by heating the DPF filter to extreme temperatures to burn off the particulate which is blocking the filter. This process requires the engine to be held at high revs for a sustained period. A byproduct of this is that both the engine and engine oil will be subjected to immense heat, which is why a dealer should also perform an oil and filter change with a forced regeneration. Oil quality is a key factor when DPFs are concerned so the lack of an oil change after Halfords process is a very disconcerting. This also points to why Halford’s DPF cleaning services are substantially cheaper than dealer prices.

Our advice

Halfords deep cleaning service certainly is a better idea than having the filter removed, however if you do take the plunge we would suggest that you also treat your car to an oil and filter change with the manufacturers recommended low SAPs (low sulfated ash, phosphorus-sulfur) oil. Even with the oil change it could cost less than half of what a franchised dealer would charge.

With regards to the maintenance “clean”… don’t waste your money!

If you found this article helpful then please share it using the social media buttons below. We’d also like to hear your experience if you’ve taken your car to one of Halford’s Autocentres for a DPF treatment.

You might also find the articles below of interest.



Karl is the editor and owner of this glorious website. He currently writes for numerous environmental websites, producing content for the greater good. His experience in graphic design, Wordpress and all things automotive have helped sculpt Hypermiler.co.uk into its current form from very humble beginnings. He has numerous IT qualifications, a red belt in Taekwondo and likes craft Ales. Get in touch via our Contact Page

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24 comments on “Halfords Autocentre now offering DPF cleaning services… but beware
  1. Paul Colmer says:

    Having read in Auto Express about the poor service provided by Halfords Service centres I would be very wary of using either option.

    • Rebecca says:

      Had mine in at Halfords 2 weeks ago for Deep Clean of DPF – seemed ok for 1.5 weeks then limp mode again. Had it to the local garage as it was the only place i could get it to and turns out they’d put so much fluid in it that its burnt over and ruined the part and the connection. Tried to just replace the fluid tank and trap but its not enough and the whole DPF needs replacing. Currently awaiting the bill before sending a report and pictures to Halfords.

  2. Marcus says:

    It really amazes me that a lot of companies just don’t spend the time to actually evaluate what these so called snake oils and flushing fluids actually do to the filter itself. What long term testing has been carried out? Tap Water can have a detrimental effect against the catalyst washcoat of the DPF, so what are chemicals doing. The washcoat is the precious metal coating used on most DPFs to help burn off the soot, without this the DPF would be useless. Stick to a proper OEM refurbishing service.

  3. Helen jepson says:

    My golf has come up with the dreaded DPF problem , it has been to listers and they can’t clear it , they wanted over £2k for a new part, it then went tomhalfords for a deep clean and that hasn’t worked either despite them saying it would , so that was another £200 on top of £512 to listers, halfords say it is now as clean as if it was new and so should have worked so they think it could be the computer and not the DPF !!! having it doctored now seems appealing or I have a totally worthless car

    • James Wilson says:

      Helen jesop,

      how did you solve your VW problem?
      I have been involved with Auto DPF manufacturer for over 20 years and I am setting up a cleaning system – in competition with may others, but different.I have been cleaning things for over 40 years. Early trials have been very successful so I am looking for others who need help with this problem to prove what can be done.

      • Caerwyn Owen says:

        Hi James,
        I have a problem with my alfa 159 2.4 jtdm and typically my local garage says that it requires a dealer dpf at a cost of £2500 !!!
        What are you setting up and could it help me?
        I am currently similar to my car, trying to accelerate but constantly in limp mode !

      • Maninder dingh says:

        Hello mate,i have mazda 6 sport 2008,its dpf light start blinking from the last last week,i poured redex dpf cleaner into half tank,but its not work,my car no have now enough power,what i have to do now

  4. Helen jepson says:

    Latest on this is that halfords deep clean will never work on a VW so don’t try it

  5. Yinka says:

    I recently went to Halfords for a dpf deep clean for my E220 coupe merc. They added an additive to the tank and took the car for a 30 mile run and the light went out. All good, although i did pay for a deep clean service!. Only a few days later the light was back on. Returned the car back to Halfords and this time i ‘think’ they attempted a direct flush into the dpf and certainly a forced regeneration using the diagnostic tool. Only to be told it didnt complete successfully. I was informed i needed a new one. At no point did they offer/recommend to remove the filter, soak overnight and clean as per their website. Their argument is that it would not have worked as they had already carried the other two processes. I have complained to Halfords and am waiting for a response. How they deal with this will decide if I recommend Halfords dpf deep clean service.

  6. Leo says:

    I booked an appointment before reading comments and I regret it now. I could not even get a refund over the phone as he said it has to be done online I the booking was made online but there is no option to do it online either. I asked him if deep cleaning is going work and he said there is a 50% chance so it contradicts to what it says on their website, which I think is false advertising. When I inquired about DPF removal service he said it is illegal to do so. I would not recommend this service from Halfords. Luckily I paid through paypal so at least I’ve got the buyer protection.

  7. Malik says:

    It is not so difficult.
    Just ask any halfords autocentre and ask what they do in these services and they will not even know about it. So, you think well if they not know much about it how can they fix it and it gives you a doubt about their service.
    I had this experience few months back so, I decided to put cleaning additive myself; it worked; I was not able to get rid of warning light but the car drove real smooth. It has gone in limp mode several times previous to adding additive. It was Puegeot 407.
    But, now my 508 has same problem but adding same additive has no good effect. Instead I am using high grade fuel. I think that this has something to do with bit technical term as the can says that it wont work on automated dpf cleaner; something like that. I guess mine one is auto.
    I am using high grade fuel. Let me see if that works.

  8. Grant Elder says:

    Well I’ve booked Halfords for tommorow morning for deep clean on Ford Tourneo 2.2 custom £85 I’ve already put two bottles of Forte in tank but still have problem to the extent I LIMPED off the motorway pedal to the floor 25mph ,got my passengers out(I’m a taxi) and called AA, the van conked out and no response what so ever on turning key but an hour later as AA approached it fired up and got me home with lots of power,but now it’s back to intermittent lack of power so I’ll let y’all know what happens next

  9. Brendan says:

    Wish I had read this page earlier. Just returned from a Halfords Deep clean (£85.00); unsuccessful and no offer to soak filter over night. I would be very dubious about that claim that the deep clean is succesful in 95% of cars. I asked the mechanic and he says quite a lot of cars are not restored to functionality

  10. Jeff says:

    Nice to find this site it time…I was just about to hit the buy button to try and solve my baby beemer intermittent (10 seconds once each journey) ‘catalyser half full’ light issue.
    Looks like I’ll need a real DPF solution from people who do nothing else but fix DPF’s. I’ve ordered a bottle of Wynn’s as a one off test via your Amazon link. I’ve also reached out to my local DPF specialist for prices.
    I’ll report back.

  11. Chuck says:

    I too have suffered with a DPF fault, tried many things and additives to cure the fault, they worked for a few weeks/months but always the fault returned.
    Found a place in Warrington that will clean your DPF cost £300 and had to be without my car for a few days as i had to send my DPF to them but i wish i had done this first as ive had no running issues now for months 🙂

  12. Bought my first diesel Jaguar last year, 3 litre XF. PDF light is back on. I used Halfords DPF cleaner and gave it a 50 mile return hard drive, cleared the fault – until today, two weeks on and here I am again. Starting to regret buying diesel. Furthermore I live in London, our fearless ‘little Mayor’ has now said that as from 2019 we need to pay the additional congestion charge to drive through central London, 24 hours per day/365 days per year. I may need to go back to petrol.

  13. Nigel says:

    Took my car vw golf to Halfords for the deep clean and oil,fil change £180 which was recommended because of the clean. Drove car home it was fine for 1 week then the lights came back on again.
    I called Halfords back who replied it didn’t work and theres nothing they could do.
    If I had read the info on here first about Halfords I would’ve never taken it there.
    I took the car to a DPF specialist 1 month ago and the car is 100%.

  14. gary Cain says:

    I had my 2008 focus deep cleaned by halfords I asked if it would cure the problem and would it no longer be in limp mode
    oh yes sir I was told would you like to wait while its being done I replied quoting that if it does’t work are they keeping the car to either remove or soak the dpf
    oh no sir that is the next procedeure we put a code reader on a charge of £49.00 then see what the fault is then send the dpf to be cleaned another charge of £ 150 odd pounds but don’t worry the deep clean useually solves the problem so 5 hours later I get the call that my car’s ready and was collected by my son in law he asked if it was ok
    yes sir it should be a lot of muck came out from the exhaust but the engine management light is still on and if you want us to clear it that’s another £49.00 I told him to bring it home and yes the light’s still on also still in limp mode and a code reader say’s it’s the dpf so that was £ 85.00 wasted and to anyone thinking of having thiers done there think carefully as I think it’s a big con
    I don’t know if I can complain or try getting my money back any answer’s or advice greatly accepted
    gary c

  15. Gail says:

    Had my DPF cleaned at Halfords 2 weeks ago (Nissan Qashqai 1.5). Car was instantly running better, light had gone out and still running fine. They gave me advice on how to prevent it happening again (all standard advice I already knew, but they took the time to give it). Not trying to plug Halfords, just offering the opinion that maybe it does work for some cars. Probably depends on how clogged up the DPF is to begin with. My warning light had only been on a couple of days before I booked it in.

  16. Graeme says:

    Bought my Fiat Sedici 1.9D Multijet with a broken EGR and engine light on…had the valve replaced and it drove really well for a year before garage told me DPF now 94% blocked. Really happy this site has dissuaded me from Halfrauds “deep clean”, to be honest I had already sacked them off because they wouldn’t accept vouchers they would accept in the retail store. Crap customer service in any sector. I have now emailed a dpf cleaning service for a quote to try to avoid buying a dpf for a dar I plan to px soon.

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