Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Is It Safe to Drive With the DPF Light On?

Is It Safe to Drive With the DPF Light On?

DPF Light

Diesel particulate filters are intended to reduce soot emissions by as much as 80%. When the filter fails, the DPF (diesel particulate filter) light will come on. It indicates a partial blockage in the filter. So, what is the deal with DPFs? Read on to learn more about them.

  • You have to empty your DPF regularly in order to have optimum performance.

  • In order to empty your DPF, you have to burn off the collected soot.

  • Soot is burned off at a high temperature by driving at a speed of more than 40 miles per hour for approximately ten minutes.

  • When the soot is being burned off, you may notice that you get a hot smell from your exhaust, your idle speed is higher, and your fuel consumption is greater.

  • If the soot is not burned off, you will notice a deterioration in your oil quality. You have to make sure that your oil level does not rise above the maximum dipstick level, because if it does, you could damage your engine.

So, can you drive safely if your DPF light is on? Yes, you can. Probably. You are not likely going to be harmed. Your engine, however, is another thing. If you ignore the DPF light, and you continue to drive in your usual “gas/brake” pattern, you will probably end up seeing other warning lights come on. Then, you will have to see a mechanic for what is called “forced” regeneration. If you fail to do this, then the soot load is just going to keep on increasing.

Finally, your car will stop running properly, and at that point, yes, you will be looking at a safety issue, because you will see decreased performance levels when you are trying to do maneuvers like passing and merging on the highway. This is where “probably” comes in as far as safety is concerned. You will also likely end up incurring very costly repairs.

Never ignore your DPF warning light. You will have little time between the point where the DPF is minimally blocked, and the point where manual regeneration is the only solution. And if you fail to have the manual regeneration done, it is very possible that you will need a new engine.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: Why does my engine stall so much?

Greetings and thank you for writing in with this question! Does the Check Engine Light illuminate when the vehicle stalls? If so, a certified mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) can scan the vehicle computer for codes. This type of stalling...

Q: Changed DPF and still getting warning lights. Can't work as taxi driver, please help (Lexus 220D)

Hello. If the trouble codes are indicating that the dpfe is blocked, then there may be an obstruction in the system, or perhaps an electrical issue. The dpfe sensor functions using vacuum and exhaust gases. If there is an obstruction...

Q: After driving awhile, when idling, RPM drops below 500 & car stalls. Happens rarely but RPM fluctuates, and drops suddenly.

If you are having a stalling problem then you may have a computer code stored in memory. I suggest having the computer scanned to see if there is any codes stored and diagnose them as needed. The intake hose and...