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VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old March 25th, 2012, 20:24   #1
dieselyeti
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Default DPF replacement interval?

I did a search and found a little info on this, but not a whole lot. I read on another forum that the particle filter has to be replaced at around 100k. The reason being the regen cycles build up ash over time to the point where the thing gets totally clogged. Replacement cost is scary, so I'm wondering what the story behind this is.
I assume the emissions warranty covers the DPF to 100k; after that you're on your own. Also read during the search about a DPF cleaner fluid by Caterpillar/Cummins that is supposed to reduce ash formation. Sounds like potential snake oil, but I have no idea. Apparently the '09 particle filter is integral to the NOx converter which is why it's so expensive. 2010 design is different.
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Last edited by dieselyeti; March 25th, 2012 at 20:28.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 20:31   #2
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I believe the dpf is under 80K federal emissions warranty if I read manual right. The dpf plug up is going to depend on a number of factors I would think. It may plug up faster if you have a lot idle time for example. then again, it my be just pure math that under x gallons of fuel burned produced x grams of carbon/soot and at the magic number +- tolerance you have a finished dpf filter. I was thinking that the dpf goes goodbye at the first time it gives trouble.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 20:45   #3
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The service manual says to check it at 120,000 miles and then every 10,000 miles after that. When it gets full you will have to replace it. Nobody really knows when that will be (yet). My hope is that by the time mine gets full, somebody will have figured out a way to empty it out so that it doesn't have to be replaced. The only known DPF replacements so far have been premature failures (like a bad sensor that prevented regenerations) and were covered by warranty. Only time will tell.

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Old March 26th, 2012, 05:04   #4
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Check this out...you might find it interesting:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=324067
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:00   #5
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Couple things:

The ECU monitors the DPF loading, this is how it knows when to start a regen process. However in some cases, if the regen criteria is not met, or the process is halting, it may be necessary to do a manual regen via scan tool initialization.

If a regen fails, or the DPF is beyond what the regen can do, you'll know because the ECU will illuminate a light on the dash.

DPFs eventually will get some ash buildup in them. The ash is the byproduct of the regen process. Soot (Particle Matter, or PM) burns away and leaves a hard, crusty white-gray ash that can accumulate in the DPFs substrate over time.

There are a couple ways to deal with DPFs that can no longer function as designed. The most common way is cleaning, which involves removal of the unit and placing it into a device specifically designed to clean them... usually they use ultrasonic sound waves to break up the hardened ash, then blow it through the unit via compressed air (think of it like a kidney stone).

In extreme cases, they may cut the end weld open and clean the substrate out that way, then weld it back up.

Volkswagen sells a 'remanufactured' DPF for much less than a new one, that is (I assume) been cleaned and tested for flow in a proper machine.

In any case, I'd not lose any sleep over it.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:58   #6
Jack Frost
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselyeti View Post
I read on another forum that the particle filter has to be replaced at around 100k. The reason being the regen cycles build up ash over time to the point where the thing gets totally clogged

Just to be a bit anal retentive, but the particulate filter does not have to be replaced at 100k, but when it becomes filled with ash. That could be any mileage.

The amount of ash in the DPF is estimated by the ECU's calculation of the pressure differential across the DPF or in other words, it restriction to the outflow of exhaust gases. That restriction could also be an accumulation of unburnt soot or it could be ash or it could be a dead squirrel inside (if such a thing is possible). If the restriction cannot be removed by a forced regen, then the DPF is replaced.

VW has in their maintenence schedule a check of the DPF at a certain mileage as you indicate, but I wonder now if they would recommend the DPF get replaced at 100,000 miles regardless of its condition.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 11:19   #7
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Good data here, thanks guys. It seems like a ridiculous oversight that VW would design a DPF that can't be cleaned/serviced (intentional? Hmmm) Add to that the 2009's design has the DPF integral to the NOx converter (design changed in 2010) which partially accounts for the exorbitant replacement cost. A link posted to a parts site pegged the replacement cost at $2700. A reman unit would still be expensive.

Not being very familiar with these things, is it conceivable to drill 1/8" holes in the thing top & bottom and just blow it out w/compressed air then braze over the holes? I guess the alternative would be a DPF delete, if someone can come up with the software to keep the ECU happy. At any rate, it sounds like something I won't have to worry about for a long time.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 13:04   #8
JSWTDI09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselyeti View Post
Good data here, thanks guys. It seems like a ridiculous oversight that VW would design a DPF that can't be cleaned/serviced (intentional? Hmmm) Add to that the 2009's design has the DPF integral to the NOx converter (design changed in 2010) which partially accounts for the exorbitant replacement cost. A link posted to a parts site pegged the replacement cost at $2700. A reman unit would still be expensive.

Not being very familiar with these things, is it conceivable to drill 1/8" holes in the thing top & bottom and just blow it out w/compressed air then braze over the holes? I guess the alternative would be a DPF delete, if someone can come up with the software to keep the ECU happy. At any rate, it sounds like something I won't have to worry about for a long time.
A couple of minor points:
1) in 2009 models the DPF is combined with the DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst) not the NOx Storage catalyst which is under the car in the exhaust system. However, you are correct in that these 2 components were separated in the 2010 model year.
2) 1/8" holes would probably not be big enough, but I hope that someone figures out a way to clean out the DPF before I need one.
3) DPF delete tunes are already available from some tuners, but we can't really discuss this topic here.

Have Fun!

Don
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Old March 26th, 2012, 14:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselyeti View Post
Not being very familiar with these things, is it conceivable to drill 1/8" holes in the thing top & bottom and just blow it out w/compressed air then braze over the holes?
I don't think there is any way of blowing soot out of the DPFs. This concept I think is an old mechanics method of extending the life of air filters by blowing compressed air backwards through the filter. I see it in old operaters manuals but not in the new ones. I imagine the reason why is because the method does not leave behind a very effective filter. Given that air filters are so cheap and our engines and the mechanics time is so expensive, why bother?

The DPF (or at least the modern ones that are put in our cars) consist of an almost solid matrix of porous ceramic material. The soot get trapped deep inside the substrate where it would be almost impossible to dislodge. When it burns, the residual ash is many times smaller and is even more difficult to dislodge.

Think of it. Ever get ash ground into your clothing? Is there any way of getting it out? That stuff stays!

Others have said that with other diesel DPFs, it is possible to blow out the ash. That could well be. But where that is true, I would suspect the DPF is not designed to be as effective as the ones that are put in our TDIs. The standards for our TDI is very much higher than that of trucks or trains. If they had to live up the our standards, they would be put out of business.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 00:20   #10
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reverse flush with water and detergent.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 09:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWTDI09 View Post
A couple of minor points:
1) in 2009 models the DPF is combined with the DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst) not the NOx Storage catalyst which is under the car in the exhaust system. However, you are correct in that these 2 components were separated in the 2010 model year.
2) 1/8" holes would probably not be big enough, but I hope that someone figures out a way to clean out the DPF before I need one.
3) DPF delete tunes are already available from some tuners, but we can't really discuss this topic here.
Ok, it was the oxidation cat then? I knew it was one of those expensive bits, just couldn't recall which. These are the two units joined by a weld and not clamped? It's almost like VW realized they screwed up and changed the design the next year. I think the subframe has to be lowered to access/change this assy?
From what I've gathered so far, the DPF is not able to be cleaned; even cutting it open and blowing it out is apparently ineffective? Best choice for now sounds like a reman unit unless you'd want to take a chance with one from a boneyard.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 17:07   #12
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I would be very surprized if they can even remanufacture them.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 18:22   #13
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Instead of replacing DPF, we need someone to try this DPF cleaning method. Looks like access to the top of the DPF can be had through a temperature sensor to inject the fluids.

Here's links to the cost of fluids and equipment. Looks like $350 plus shipping (assuming it can be shipped to US).

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Old March 29th, 2012, 09:57   #14
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350 is almost half way to removing the DPF problem in the first place.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 19:49   #15
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350 is almost half way to removing the DPF problem in the first place.
"Removing the DPF" is illegal.

It's only $75 for the cleaning fluid. Split the cost of $275 for the pump among many users and the cost per DPF cleaning drops. If this cleaning method works, a vendor could rent the pump with fluid purchase. My guess is most would rather pay say $200 total for a cleaning rather than the cost of a DPF delete and tune or a DPF replacement.
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