Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

doddicus
Posts: 3
Joined: 02 Dec 2020, 12:12

Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

Post by doddicus »

Good morning all
My C3 has developed a warning when i start it up ...it Bleeps and a message is displayed saying "Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging" and another "Particle Filter Additive Too Low : Repair needed"
To cut a long story short i have just finished self isolating and the car has been stood for 10 days.....every other day my lad went out to fire it up so i didnt get a problem with the battery........when i parked it up there was not much fuel in it (55 miles worth) and because of isolating i couldnt leave the house to put some diesal in.
I left for work yesterday morning and called at the local Petrol station and stuck £10 in (car was fine on the run to the petrol station).....as i was pulling into the car park at work is when i got these messages on.
When i finished work i took it for a spin up the Motorway to get the engine hot.....kept it in 4th gear doing approx 70mph.....on returning home i switched the engine off and started it back up.....the messages re-appeared.
I spoke to a friend who has advised me to try using Cataclean Diesal DPF Cleaner........would this solve the issue does anybody know or would anyone have any other recommendations as what to do.

Hell Razor5543
NOT Alistair or Simon
Posts: 11081
Joined: 01 Apr 2012, 09:47
x 1183

Re: Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Hi, and :welc: to the forum.

My first question would be "How many miles has she done?". This is because some Citroens have a particulate fluid that does not need topping up often (unlike AdBlue, for example), and those messages suggest there is not enough fluid to make it safely to the next anticipated service.

I would also suggest you post the vehicle VIN here (it will, for security reasons, be automatically obscured so only forum staff can read it), so that if there are two or more possible fluids that could be used they can let you know the correct fluid to use.

I think that what will need to be done is for the fluid to be topped up, and the counter to be reset (normally the system does not have a level sensor, so it counts the number of times it uses a measure of fluid, and when it gets low it throws up the warnings). However, those with far more knowledge than I will be able to give you far more information.
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 02 Dec 2020, 12:37, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 22037
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2236

Re: Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Well the warnings are there for 2 specific reasons:

1) The particle filter is still clogged and
2) The additive level is too low.

What is the mileage of the car?
When was it last topped up with DPF additive?

If the estimated additive level is too low then the vehicle will not be able to undertake assisted regeneration - which means the only way regeneration is going to occur is when the exhaust gas temperature reaches 550° C instead of only 450 °C it would need when assisted.

So I would arrange to get your additive fluid topped up (which will require a diagnostic tool to inform the engine ECU this has been done) and then fill the tank up with fuel afterwards and go for a spin. You don't need to do 70 in fourth gear - just get the engine warm and go for a spin at about 40-50 MPH minimum for an uninterrupted drive where possible.

I suspect the frequent starting of the engine during lockdown without driving has clogged the filter as it has not been allowed to get to operating temperature and then undertake a regeneration. Not a good idea, and you would of been better off leaving the car and just charging the battery up when you were ready to use the car normally again.

doddicus
Posts: 3
Joined: 02 Dec 2020, 12:12

Re: Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

Post by doddicus »

GiveMeABreak wrote:
02 Dec 2020, 12:36
Well the warnings are there for 2 specific reasons:

1) The particle filter is still clogged and
2) The additive level is too low.

What is the mileage of the car?
When was it last topped up with DPF additive?

If the estimated additive level is too low then the vehicle will not be able to undertake assisted regeneration - which means the only way regeneration is going to occur is when the exhaust gas temperature reaches 550° C instead of only 450 °C it would need when assisted.

So I would arrange to get your additive fluid topped up (which will require a diagnostic tool to inform the engine ECU this has been done) and then fill the tank up with fuel afterwards and go for a spin. You don't need to do 70 in fourth gear - just get the engine warm and go for a spin at about 40-50 MPH minimum for an uninterrupted drive where possible.

I suspect the frequent starting of the engine during lockdown without driving has clogged the filter as it has not been allowed to get to operating temperature and then undertake a regeneration. Not a good idea, and you would of been better off leaving the car and just charging the battery up when you were ready to use the car normally again.
the car has done 92,000 and ive never added any DPF additive.....im not very mechanically minded and only do the usual oil and water checks.
I apologise for my ignorance........is Cataclean a DPF additive?

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 22037
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2236

Re: Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

Post by GiveMeABreak »

No. The DPF additive is a specialised Cerine based fluid that is in injected into the fuel tank automatically when fuel is added. The tanks (or pouches) are stored under the vehicle near the rear and are generally 3 litres (depending on engine and model) and are partially filled at the factory. The process is automatic and computer controlled - you do not manually add anything into the tank yourself. They require topping up at about 70k miles or so with the correct additive depending on engine and build date. It is extremely important to use the correct fluid for your vehicle and some types cannot be mixed.

If it has never been topped up in the 92k miles then I suspect it is empty! When this happens, assisted regeneration cannot take place and then your filter will start to block. Once it blocks to anywhere over 70% it may not be possible to regenerate - so it is important not to ignore the warnings or leave it in this state.

I suggest you take it to a decent garage and ask them to top the diesel additive fluid tank up. However, if your DPF is blocked it may also benefit from a clean - even Halfords offer a DPF cleaning service now - light or deep clean.

doddicus
Posts: 3
Joined: 02 Dec 2020, 12:12

Re: Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

Post by doddicus »

Is it an expensive repair.... Any rough ideas on how much this would cost

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 22037
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2236

Re: Risk Of Particle Filter Clogging

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Additive fluid can be bought in 1 litre containers - but it is cheaper to buy the 3 litre filling kits as often at this sort of mileage the tank will most likely be near empty. DPF Fluid is roughly about £33 per litre, but you can get the 3L packs that come with a filling kit if you are doing this yourself - but you will still need somebody with Diabox or a compatible diagnostic tool to reset the additive counter.

This is the cost of owning a diesel which needs to be factored in - you do get better MPG, but you will need to top the additive up once, maybe twice over the vehicle's lifetime and the DPF filter can be cleaned to prolong its life, but they should have a life of about 120k miles or so depending on vehicle and filter type and of course how the car is driven.