If the “Diesel Particulate Filter is Full Continue Driving” message shows up on your dashboard, it can be quite alarming.
You might be left wondering what the message means and how to fix and reset it.
Fortunately, as a professional mechanic, I have seen this message many times before.
In this article, I will guide you through the reasons behind this message and how to address it. Let’s get to it
What is a Diesel Particulate Filter?
A DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) is a part of your car that catches diesel particles, or soot, in the exhaust. Its main job is to stop black smoke from going into the air.
If your car’s exhaust is giving off black smoke, it means the DPF is not working right. Like all filters, the DPF can get blocked over time with the waste it catches and will need cleaning.
DPFs can clean themselves. When you drive your car fast for a long time, the engine gets hot enough to burn away extra soot in the DPF. This is called passive regeneration.
Diesel cars are made for this kind of driving, so it should work well. But not everyone who has a diesel car can drive like this all the time, which can cause the filter to get clogged.
Diesel Particulate Filter is Full Continue Driving Meaning
Now, that I have briefly explained what the DPF is let’s look at what it means when the DPF is full.
When your car’s diesel particulate filter gets clogged, it needs to be cleaned.
Since DPFs have sensors that can monitor the amount of soot in the filter when it gets full you will get the “Diesel Particulate Filter is Full Continue Driving” warning on your dashboard.
What Causes the Warning Light?
Since the cleaning of the DPF in your diesel vehicle is controlled by a computer
There are a lot of things that can cause the warning light to come on.
It could be due to the following reasons:
1. You Havent Driven Your Car Long Enough:
If you haven’t driven your car for an extended period of time, the warning light will come on.
This is because the computer needs to run a few miles before it can clean any soot from your DPF.
2. Car is Turned off during the Cleaning Process:
If you turn off your car before it has completed the cleaning process, then the warning light will come on.
3. Short Stop-Start Journeys:
Short stop-start journeys can cause the warning light to come on.
This is because it takes longer for your car to reach the correct temperature so that the cleaning process can begin.
4. Idling for a Long period of time:
Idling for a long period of time can cause the warning light to come on.
This is because idling for too long will cause soot build-up in your DPF, which will require more frequent cleaning cycles.
What to Do if You Get the “Diesel Particulate Filter is Full Continue Driving”?
Since the DPF system is self-cleaning through the regeneration process, in order to fix and reset the fault message I recommend that you continue driving.
For it to work, you need to keep the RPMs( Revolutions Per Minute) higher than 2000 and drive at a minimum speed of 50 KM/Hour.
Once you have driven for a while, the system will start to regenerate itself and clear out all the soot that has built up in the filter.
From my experience, after driving for 20-30 minutes the fault message should disappear. When it does, you can go back to driving like normal.
If the “Diesel Particulate Filter is Full Continue Driving” message comes on as well as the MIL (Check Engine Light) then this is a sign of a bigger issue.
This usually means that there is a problem with the DPF system itself, and it will need to be checked.
Other Ways to Tell if Your DPF is Full/Blocked
Besides the DPF warning light and the fault message, there are other ways to tell if your Diesel Particulate Filter is full or blocked. These include:
Black Smoke From the Exhaust
If you are seeing black smoke coming from the exhaust, this is a sign that your DPF is full.
The black smoke comes from unburned-soot particles that have been released into the atmosphere.
If you are noticing a loss of power, this could be a sign that your DPF is full or blocked.
This is because when the filter is blocked, it can’t do its job properly which means that your vehicle needs to work harder in order to get up hills and maintain speed.
Reduced Fuel Economy
Another common symptom of a blocked DPF is reduced fuel economy.
As your vehicle has to work harder in order to perform at its best, it will use more fuel than usual.