How to clean a DPF

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In this video I'll show you the easiest and one of the most effective ways to clean your DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). Air cleaning will remove some of the built up Ash only. This method will remove nearly all of the Ash, Soot and even other contaminants that may have gotten in there.

Detroit Diesel, Cummins, International, Caterpillar, etc. It doesn't matter. It will even work on light duty applications.

Hi Folks. Today I want to show you a cheap, easy and effective way to clean a Diesel Particulate Filter, or "DPF".
Now in this example I'm using a heavy duty Diesel Particulate Filter out of DD15. A Detroit Engine. Now here you see one of the DPFs. This particular engine used two DPFs working together in what they call a "1Box". The number of filters used or shape or size and anything like that doesn't really matter. The overall purpose of the filter is the same. It's there to trap and collect Soot from the Engine. Now we won't go into how to regenerate these filters or how they work that way, that's for another video. This is just about cleaning them when they've reached the end of their service life. When they're filled with Ash.
Now most manufacturers are going to recommend that you replace these filters. They're going to have exchange programs set up where you give them your dirty filter and they'll give you a previously cleaned filter that they've cleaned themselves. This usually costs a lot of money. Some manufacturers have authorized cleaning procedures that can be done at your local shop for example. Air cleaners are typically what's used. We've found that Air cleaning is not very effective. A lot of manufacturers are not getting away from that. They're not recommending it, they don't endorse it. Air cleaning leaves a large percentage of the filter plugged. You're not getting full flow through it after it's cleaned. Manufacturers are now starting to go to a liquid cleaning process. It's a little fancier than what I'm going to show you here but it's also a lot more expensive. What I'm going to show you now is very effective. We've had great luck with it.
And it really couldn't be simpler. We're just going to pressure wash the filters out. This method looks pretty crude and you wont find it in any manual from any engine manufacturer but it works! We've ran this by some of the head trainers from people like Cummins and Detroit and they wont go on record to tell you this but they'll give you a nod when you tell them that you're doing it.
You want to make sure not to use any chemicals or cleaning solutions of any kind. Just straight water. Heated water preferably. You also want to spray in the opposite direction of the exhaust flow to push the soot and ash back out the way it came. If you're using high pressure don't get too close to the cell walls. You don't want to damage the substrate or knock out some of the plugs at the end of the cells. You'll be able to see the soot and ash coming out the back side of the filter as you spray it. Just continue to spray until the water coming out of it looks relatively clean. Be sure to get the entire face area of the filter. The outside edges can hold a lot too. This method is also very effective at getting contaminants out of the filters. If, for example, you've had a ruptured EGR cooler and you've had coolant enter the system, you can wash it out. I have access to an air cleaning machine but it's to the point now where it rarely gets used. This is usually the preferred method.