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DPF Info - All CR-TDI Owners Should Read This

Discussion in 'Mk5 Ibiza Guides (6J) 2008-2017' started by nightflight, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. nightflight

    nightflight Active Member

    May 18, 2009
    Likes Received:
    rather than the wishy washy paragraph in the manual, this is what all cr-tdi owners should be told with their new car.


    Courtesy of David Bodily Volkswagen Technical Support Specialist

    Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

    Detailed below is important information outlining the function and features of the Diesel Particulate filter which all members of your team need to be aware of.

    Diesel particulate filters are becoming more commonplace on diesel engines, particularly sizes 2.0L upwards. This is in order to reduce the exhaust emissions as required by European legislation.

    The prime reason for a DPF is to reduce particulate matter entering the atmosphere. Particulate matter is found in the form of soot, which is produced during diesel combustion. The DPF traps most of the soot which would normally travel down the exhaust and into the atmosphere. The DPF can hold a certain amount of soot, but not a huge quantity and therefore it needs to go through a process called ‘regeneration’ in order to clear the soot loading. When the soot goes through a ‘regeneration’ process it will be converted to a much smaller amount of ash. The ash is non-removable. There are two types of ‘regeneration’, passive and active.

    During long motorway journeys, passive regeneration will occur. This needs no intervention from the engine control unit. Due to the raised exhaust temperatures on a long journey (temperatures between 350 and 500°C), the procedure occurs slowly and continuously across the catalytic-coated (with platinum) DPF. The catalytic-coated DPF is situated close to the Engine, therefore the exhaust gas temperature is high enough (500°C) to ignite the soot particles. Due to this soot is burned-off and is converted into a smaller amount of ash.

    Active ‘regeneration’ is when the ECU intervenes when the soot loading in the DPF is calculated to be 45%. The procedure lasts for about 5 – 10 minutes. Specific measures are taken by the ECU to raise the engine exhaust temperature to above 600°C, these include switching off the exhaust gas recirculation and increasing the fuel injection period to include a small injection after the main injection. The soot particles are oxidised at this temperature.

    The ECU will trigger a regeneration process, if for some reason this is aborted, ie. customer slows down, stops etc, the process will be resumed when regeneration conditions are once again met, above 60km/h (38mph). This will continue for 15 minutes.

    If after 2 attempts of 15 minutes, a successful regeneration has not been possible, the loading will increase. At 50% soot loading, the ECU will continue to maintain maximum exhaust temperatures of 600°C to 650°C to cause a regeneration process. The system will try to run a regeneration process for 15 minutes. If unsuccessful, the system will repeat this process for a further 15 minutes, if still unsuccessful, the DPF light on the driver display panel will then be lit.

    The owners handbook states, the DPF symbol lights up to indicate that the diesel particulate filter has become obstructed with soot due to frequent short trips. When the warning lamp comes on, the driver should drive at a constant speed of at least 60 km/h for about 10 minutes. As a result of the increase in temperature the soot in the filter will be burned off. If the DPF symbol does not go out, the driver should contact an authorised Volkswagen repairer and have the fault rectified.

    At 55% soot loading the DPF light is lit on driver display panel. At this point the customer should follow the advice in the handbook. If they ignore this information and continue driving the vehicle until the soot loading reaches 75% without successful regeneration, additional warning lamps will light up. At this point the customer will also be complaining of lack of power, etc.

    At 75%, regeneration is still possible with the use of the VAS tester. Only when the loading is above 95%, is it necessary to replace the DPF unit.

    Operating Status System Response

    45% DPF Load Level 1
    Normal Regeneration

    50% DPF Load Level 2
    Regeneration at maximum exhaust temperatures

    55% DPF Load DPF lamp
    Regeneration from 60 km/h onwards
    ("See operating manual")

    75% DPF Load DPF, SYS and MI lamp
    Torque limitation, EGR deactivation,

    Regeneration via VAG tester only
    95% DPF Load Replace the DPF Unit

    The Warranty department has confirmed that if there is no fault on the vehicle and DPF regeneration has been unsuccessful due to the customers driving style and the customers failure to comply with the instructions in the handbook, DPF replacement will not be paid for by warranty.

    Common causes for complaint

    • Frequent short journeys – Regeneration conditions are not met.
    Not recommended for sale in the Channel Islands and inner city driving.

    • Customers who continue to drive the vehicle with DPF light on – Continued
    driving with the DPF light on and without successful regeneration results in
    excessive soot loading of the DPF, to a point where it is above 95% loaded.
    At this point regeneration is not an option and replacement of the DPF is

    • Fault 18434 particle filter bank 1 malfunction – Common fault code. This does
    not only relate to the DPF itself, but the entire exhaust gas handling system. This
    can be caused by defective temperature sensors, pressure sensors, additive
    system components (if applicable), poor connections, wiring issues, etc.

    Important Information

    • Before diagnosing a problem vehicle or attempting to perform an emergency
    regeneration, it is important to obtain a full diagnostic log and read out relevant
    measured value blocks. These MVB’s contain important information on the
    condition of the DPF system and are essential in diagnosing the fault. When the
    DPF light is illuminated, it does not necessarily mean that the DPF requires
    regeneration. For further advice, please contact Technical Support with the
    information from the diagnostic log and MVB data.

    • If a problem vehicle arrives with the DPF light, the engine management light and
    the emissions light on. If during your diagnosis and reading of relevant MVB’s,
    you find that the soot loading exceeds 75% (but is still below 95%), an
    emergency regeneration procedure must be performed with the VAS tester.
    Further to this, the customer needs to be educated. They need to understand
    why the lights have appeared on the dash panel. Their attention needs to be
    brought to the owners handbook instructions, so that they are aware of what the
    DPF light means and what to do when it appears. This should prevent
    unnecessary repeat visits for regeneration purposes.

    I have also found that as the car gets older 30K+ miles, you will notice that the regeneration takes place more often.

    ALWAYS, check your oil before any long journey, as DPF regeneration can use a fair bit of oil.

    Some questions and answers that may help;

    Question: The glow plug symbol is flashing. Why? What should be done?

    The DPF regeneration has not been completed during normal driving and now DPF has reached its maximum saturation at which it can still be regenerated. The limit value depends on variant and Model Year, but is in the range of 105% - 125%.Possible causes for this are:

    a.) Frequent short distance journeys, i.e. high soot loading while at the same time regeneration of the DPF does not take place because the conditions necessary were not fulfilled.

    b.) Frequent interrupted regenerations, i.e. the engine was switched off during regeneration. Applies to short journey drivers who have at least fulfilled the conditions for triggering regeneration. If the glow plug light flashes, the vehicle

    a.) Engine running since start for longer than 2 minutes.
    b.) Calculated saturation higher than 80%.
    c.) Coolant temperature over 70°C for at least 2 minutes.
    d.) No DPF-relevant faults stored in system.
    e.) A defined vehicle speed threshold must have been exceeded (e.g. for >80% loading, 100 km/h)

    Question: Under what conditions is regeneration interrupted/ended once it has started?

    Answer: Normally when regeneration has been successfully completed, or:

    a.) After a maximum regeneration time (20 - 25 min.).
    b.) If the engine is switched off or has stalled.
    c.) If the engine is left idling for a long time (5 - 10 min.).
    d.) If 1000°C is detected by the exhaust temperature sensor.
    e.) If during regeneration, a fault is detected on the components relevant for combustion (injection/intake system).

    If a regeneration is interrupted once started but before it has been 50% completed, the glow plug lamp flashes on the next engine start (cold or hot) and regeneration begins again once the operating conditions (see 3) have been fulfilled.

    Question: How long does complete regeneration take?

    a.) In the most favourable case? b.) In the least favourable case?

    a.) Under constant conditions, i.e. the exhaust temperature necessary for regeneration always lies above the required value, for example during motorway/cross-country driving, the average regeneration time is 10 minutes.

    b.) Vehicle conditions such as long down-hill descents, frequent driving in the low-load range (city driving, idling) allow the exhaust temperature to fall. If the conditions for triggering regeneration were fulfilled, the active regeneration time can be extended up to 25 minutes (depending on engine type). If complete regeneration is not possible within this period, the regeneration will be interrupted.

    Question: How does regeneration affect the oil life?

    Answer: On each regeneration or attempted regeneration, a certain diesel fuel amount is injected into the engine oil which reduces the oil life. If the "INSP" light in the instrument cluster comes on, the engine oil is exhausted and must be changed. Failure to do so could damage the engine.
    #1 nightflight, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
    J400uk likes this.
  2. Biker

    Biker Full Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Some good info there cheers nightflight :thumbup:

    Having read all that info, the thing that spring's to my mind is "why didn't Seat include an indication of level of contamination of the DPF on the dash display". Had you some warning that the DPF was starting to clog, you could plan your route and adapt your driving style to help clear it at an early stage, possibly avoiding expensive visits to the dealers :think:
  3. nightflight

    nightflight Active Member

    May 18, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Probably for the same reason they don't include all the above information with a new car
  4. golfgtipaul

    golfgtipaul Active Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Likes Received:
    thanks, an interesting read.
  5. Nath.

    Nath. The Gentlemans Express

    Jan 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I'm at my local Seat dealer at the moment waiting for them to do my Leon's first service.

    There are a lot of Seat suits here and I am earwigging all of the conversations they are having around the coffee machine. :lol:

    Anyway it seems that the manager here has a customer with a 1.6 TDI CR with ongoing DPF/regen problems. One of the suits here is in the technical department and I overheard that they have currently got 1500 1.6 CR cars regestered with DPF/regen problems in the UK :(

    Not good :no:
  6. Thug T

    Thug T Guest

    hi can u tell me how i find out what percentage my soot particles have reached.,... as im worried as i have been driving with lights on for a week now... how would i know whether it has gone over the 95% mark....
  7. nightflight

    nightflight Active Member

    May 18, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Really? your a brave man.

    short answer.. there isnt an easy way.
    long answer.. you need the dealer's diagnostic system, VCDS which can read the info from the ECU.

    The simple way to tell if your dpf is blocked up over 95% is the DPF light is on, the glow plug light is on, (the exhaust warning light may or may not be on too) you'll have no turbo boost and the car wont rev above 2500rpm.

    You really REALLY shouldn't be doing anything other than going for an immediate regen run as soon as that DPF light comes on, if you don't, the DPF will just get more and more full, and will quite quickly get to the point whereby even a dealer can't force the DPF to clean itself, and you'll need a new one at the cost of about £1000.

    Get your car out for a regen run, get on the motorway (or a long stretch of NSL) and just keep driving at 2000rpm until the light goes out
    If it hasnt gone out within an hour then get pull up, and get it towed to your local dealer (this way you'll get a courtesy car from the AA) and get the dealer to look at it, as either

    a) your DPF is royally screwed.
    b) there's a problem with the DPF ECU or sensor which is causing a misreading and thus the warning lights, even though the DPF itself is fine.
  8. Thug T

    Thug T Guest

    i wasnt aware of the problem that much so i carried on driving... I dont know if u know but switchin the car on n off on motorway sometimes resetts it... so whenever i have done that the glow plug light goes off and the car carrys on working fine but with the dpf exhaust light illuminated....

    when i put it on the diagnostic machine about two weeks ago, it came up with the fault of sensor in the exhust...
    the following symptoms u said..
    "The simple way to tell if your dpf is blocked up over 95% is the DPF light is on, the glow plug light is on, (the exhaust warning light may or may not be on too) you'll have no turbo boost and the car wont rev above 2500rpm."

    are exactly what is happening with my car.. do you think it is worth giving it still to the dealers for an hour emergency regeneration.. or do u think that will not make a difference...??
    they charging £120 for the hours work....
  9. nightflight

    nightflight Active Member

    May 18, 2009
    Likes Received:
    get it to the dealers and pray mate, if you've been doing that then i would hazard a guess that your DPF is well and truely knackered.

    My local dealers only charge for 30mins labour to do a regen, (all they do is plug in a laptop and sent a technician out for a drive in it til it clears) your main concern is that this forced regen won't be enough and you'll need a new DPF filter which is going to be a lot more expensive, either way, you HAVE to take it to the dealers to nget sorted.
    (OK, i lie, you could contact custom code and see if they'll do a DPF delete and remap for you, it'll cost about the same as a new DPF filter, but it'll stop you getting the same issues again in the future, but it'll also bump up your insurance premium)

    If you brought it locally, then take it back to where you got it from, they should have explained all this to you when you brought the car, but it seems that a great many dealerships aren't doing so (mine certainly didn't) so you may have more waggle room, but, the fact that you've driven your car, repeatedly, with warning lights on is, IMO, completely stupid and highly likely to invalidate your warranty as you've not taken "due and reasonable care of the vehicle" , warning lights are there to warn you that somethings isn't right, why you'd just reset them and carry on with something not right, especially when you've got a warranty that will get pretty much anything repaired for free, is beyond me.

    Hope you get it sorted without breaking the bank.
    #9 nightflight, Jul 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  10. Chaza123

    Chaza123 Guest

    Yeah I agree with nightflight, you should of had this towed to your dealer straight away as when the coil light/engine fault light comes on you are not supposed to drive the car under any circumstances as it states in the manual. I was told if you drive with the lights on it can cause further serious damage particularly burning out your cat & getting a new one is not cheap also you may require a full oil change & a new filter!

    My Seat well and truely died (unfortunately! as I had mine towed away for the 3rd time nearly 2weeks ago & I have had to get a new car as this one with this filter pure & simple has caused far too many problems & is not suitable for distances I drive! Dealers really need to sort this issue out of advising people as I know if I had of been told about the filter in the first place I would never got the Diesel!

    Seriously though mate get it to your dealer!
  11. JBS Sales

    JBS Sales Guest

    Morning All,

    As yet we are not currently offering a DPF delete for the CR engines, However should the demand be there for it to be done we can look into doing this.

    We would Ideally be needing 15+ names to be looking into carrying out the development.

    Hope this is of some use and look forward to hearing back from you.

    Seb Hampson
    Parts/Sales Advisor
    #11 JBS Sales, Jul 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2010
  12. skeat12

    Apr 23, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Isn't the 170 in the Leon's?
  13. JBS Sales

    JBS Sales Guest


    I apologise for this didn't mean to type 170, I will ammend this now!!

    Many thanks

    Seb Hampson
    Parts/Sales Advisor
  14. skeat12

    Apr 23, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Not sure there's even 15 2.0 CR Ibiza's registered here. :whistle:

    Might be able to get 15 of the 1.6 CR's they seem to be having more DPF problems than the 2.0.

    Unless you mean a combined 15 of both :D
  15. JBS Sales

    JBS Sales Guest

    The development of the software for the 1.6 and 2.0 will differ greatly so would require 15+ either 1.6 models or 15+ 2.0.

    Hope this is of some use.

    Many thanks
    Seb Hampson
    Parts/Sales Advisor.
  16. Minxstie

    Minxstie Guest

    I have a serious problem with my 1.6 Tdi CR Seat Ibiza, they have had it for almost 3 months now after it's third failure on me.....

    I W A N T M Y M O N E Y B A C K ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Going to court now, have an appointment with a solicitor on Monday..................
  17. Minxstie

    Minxstie Guest

    Any help greatly appreciated..

    Hi Nath, could you contact me please...
  18. stuarttunstall

    stuarttunstall VAG Parts Specialist

    Apr 27, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I am due to order a new Exeo 2.0 TDi 170 on Saturday... I am now a little concerned that it may be more trouble than it is worth with DPF issues..

    At the moment the "Sport Tech" is excellent value compared to a standard "Sport" but it only comes as a diesel:( The equivelent 2.0Tsi Petrol is £2500 more with the same options fitted:(

    Reading the useful info here, I think that I may be OK, and not have to many issues, as I live in a village just off a main national speed limit road, and were ever I go, 95% of the time is at leasts 10 miles of national speed limit driving I don't think I should fall into the slow, stop start driving area...

    What do you think? should I be OK with a TDi with a DPF?

  19. markmeus

    markmeus Mark Graham

    Jun 9, 2007
    Likes Received:
    It seems to be the 1.6 that has the most issues, and someone also noticed a trend that it seems to affect mid 2009 cars more.

    So you'd probably be fine with an Exeo, haven't seen any Exeo DPF threads, though Exeo's are probably under represented on the fourm.
  20. Minxstie

    Minxstie Guest

    Hi Stuart,

    I have had terrible trouble with my Seat Ibiza 1.6Tdi CR Sport, it is all down to the DPF system it has, I have learnt all about DPF's, soot accumulation, percentages, temperatures, regeneration, etc, etc, etc, I would suggest that you arm yourself with as much information as you can prior to ordering your choice of car. Look at reviews on the net, use the experiences of others who have already bought the vehicle you have your eye on.... I WISH I had done much, much more research BEFORE ordering my car..... You can just 'Google' reviews on Seat Exeo 2.0 TDi 170 and see what pops up... Also motoring magazines can have some good reports, reviews, letters sent in by readers, etc... The 'Which' website is a good one to look at...

    Just be sure you are buying the right car for you and your driving needs......

    I wish the best of luck and happy hassle free motoring.....


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