Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

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....
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: Kia Spectra cannot downshift normally in D

I’ve seen this happen all of the time. When that happens, it means that your transmission is starting to wear out inside. Often, it’s a problem with the pump inside starting to wear. So what you want to do is...

Q: P2002 DTC Particulate Trap Efficiency Below Threshold

Hi there. The P2002 could be solved by checking the following conditions: Driving too slow or idling the engine too long will cause this code. It takes heat in the 932 F to 1112 F range to burn off...

Q: Oil drain plug and pan missing after oil change

Hello there, this is a rare accident that can occur when oil changes are performed. In this type of situation, an oil sample is taken and sent off to a facility that can perform an oil analysis. This is done...