Step-by-step guide to dismantling and cleaning a DPF using ultrasound

The particulate filter (DPF) is an essential part of modern diesel engines, helping to significantly reduce pollutant emissions. However, over time, the DPF can become clogged, resulting in a loss of engine performance and an increase in fuel consumption. Ultrasonic cleaning is an effective method of unclogging a DPFS and restoring it to full efficiency. Here are the details.

Step 1: Preparation

Before starting ultrasonic cleaning, it's important to be well prepared. You'll need :

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  • An ultrasonic tank large enough to hold your DPFS
  • A PAF cleaning solution
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Breathing mask
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket spanner
  • Jack
  • Wheel chocks

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Step 2: Removing the DPF

To begin the process of removing the diesel particulate filter (DPF) in complete safety, place your vehicle on a flat surface and make sure it is well chocked to avoid any risk of accidental movement.

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The first crucial step is to allow the engine to cool down completely before carrying out any work. Working on hot components could result in serious burns. 

Once the engine is at room temperature, locate the exact position of the DPFS on your vehicle. It is usually located between the turbocharger and the exhaust pipe.

Then consult your vehicle's owner's manual carefully to find out the specific procedure for removing the particulate filter. Each model has its own technical characteristics that need to be taken into account. As a precaution, disconnect the vehicle's battery to avoid any accidental short-circuit during the operation.

When you are ready to work, carefully unscrew the clamps that hold the FAP in place on the exhaust system. Take care not to damage the seals at this stage. Finally, carefully remove the particulate filter from its position, taking care not to knock or scratch it against other vehicle components.

Stage 3: Ultrasonic cleaning

Once the diesel particulate filter has been removed from the vehicle, you can proceed to the crucial step of ultrasonic cleaning. Carefully fill the ultrasonic tank with the recommended DPF cleaning solution, strictly following the manufacturer's instructions on dosages and precautions for use. 

Then immerse the FAP completely in this solution, making sure that it is well covered and that no air bubbles remain in or around the filter. 

 These air pockets could hinder the effectiveness of the ultrasonic cleaning process.

When the DPFS is correctly immersed, start the ultrasonic tank and leave it running for the time recommended by the manufacturer. The high-frequency sound vibrations will then disintegrate and break down soot deposits and other particles embedded in the filter. 

Once the initial cleaning cycle is complete, switch off the ultrasonic tank, but leave the DPFS to soak in the solution for a further 30 minutes. This step allows the disintegrated residue to lift completely from the walls of the filter for optimum cleaning.

Step 4: Rinsing and drying the PAF

  1. Remove the DPFS from the cleaning solution and rinse it thoroughly with clean water.
  2. Use a soft brush to remove soot and ash residues from the DPFS.
  3. Leave the DPFS to dry completely in the open air.

Step 5: Refitting the DPFS

  1. Once the DPFS is dry, reassemble it in your vehicle by following the reverse procedure to disassembly.
  2. Connect the vehicle battery.
  3. Start the engine and run it for a few minutes to allow the DPFS to dry completely.

Further advice

We recommend that you clean your DPFS every 80,000 to 120,000 km. If you notice a loss of engine performance or an increase in fuel consumption, it's possible that your DPFS is clogged and needs cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaning is an effective method of unclogging a DPFS, but it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the cleaning solution and ultrasonic tank.

If you're not sure you can do the ultrasonic cleaning yourself, it's advisable to call in a professional mechanic.

Conclusion

Ultrasonic cleaning is an effective and relatively simple method of unclogging a DPFS and restoring it to full efficiency. By following the steps described in this guide, you can clean your DPFS yourself and save money in the process.