DPF regen


Feb 16, 2019
2013 Jetta Sportwagen
Just bought a 2013 JSW TDI and absolutely love it. Did lots of research before purchasing and am satisfied I made a good choice but do have a question I can’t find an answer for.
When, and how does a regen occur in the DPF.
Is this something that happens automatically or do I need to manually initiate the process, and if so, how do I do that?
Aside from the manufacturers maintenance schedule is there anything else I need to be aware of from a maintenance perspective?
The car has 55k miles and full service history by the original selling dealer in carfax, so I am comfortable that it was well cared for in previous life. It is a CPO car so I have 2 years warranty just in case, but don’t really want to test it.


Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Dec 11, 2001
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
There are just too many to list....
There are two types, passive and active. Passive is pretty transparent, most folks won't even know it is happening. How often depends on how it is driven, for how long, etc.

If the passive regen meets the requirements to make the differential pressure of the DPF what the ECU wants, then that's it, it will not do an active one. If the passives fail in so many attempts, an active gets started. That one is pretty noticeable. There is a slight decrease in throttle response, the engine is more "diesel" sounding, the idle is higher, the fans run full on the whole time, and some folks with sensitive sniffers may detect a "hot burning" smell.

If the active fails after so many attempts, the DPF warning lamp will come on.

I would suggest you read the owner's manual, and also read up on the CR TDI self study guide (google it, you'll find it in PDF form).

Keep in mind, some of this is more aggressive now after the emissions partial compliance fix.

Things that keep DPFs and their regen cycles happy:

Limit idle time, especially when cold... do not start the car and let it sit and idle, ever. Drive off slowly but keep the RPM in the 2500 to 3000 range as best you can until the temp gauge is up.

Try to avoid short trips, and if you do need to do a lot of short trips, plan on a good 45 minute or more trip down the highway once a week.

Try to avoid an active regen interruption... continue to drive the car, highway is best, if you notice one happening.
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Top Post Dawg
Sep 13, 2005
Round Rock, Texas
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Most people don't even notice an active regen unless they already know what to look for, as listed above. The one thing that stands out even to those who don't know is if they shut it off while it is occuring. The fans will keep running. There is a tool if you have an android phone called VagDpf that will monitor the status and show you when one is happening or current soot levels. Torque app can also monitor the temps to show when one is happening. They happen automatically with no user input required. If the light comes on you should take a long drive to ensure one completes or it will not start anymore after some time and you will end up towed to the dealer for a forced regen. Read up on these as suggested. Lots of info here as well as the documents already suggested. Active regens seem to occur about every 200 to 300 miles depending on your driving conditions (highway driving will be farther apart). If you are monitoring them they generally start at about 23.5 grams soot and will stop around 4.5 grams. VagDpf shows this clearly. You can see when one is about to start or is in progress and keep driving until it finishes
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