DPF Cleaning

Clean Diesel Particulate Filter

DPF CLeaning Machine FSX

DPF or Diesel particulate filters have been part of the truck emissions systems since 2007. Your vehicle probably has a DPF filter if it was built after 2007. Overall, DPF’s have a proven and successful track record of removing soot particulate matter from the exhaust stream.

What is a DPF and how does it work?

A DPF is a large cylindrical ceramic filled can with thousands of small cells… like a honeycomb. It captures diesel particles and soot and prevents them from being emitted from the exhaust stream. As the fuel passes through an oxidation catalyst, the chemical reaction generates heat, transforming soot into ash but this ash can build up and can clog the filters. This eventually causes a rise in backpressure in the exhaust, which affects engine performance, lowers fuel economy and durability (cracks can form in the ceramic substrate, which is irreversible damage). Restriction sensors on the DPF then force regenerations to try and purge the growing ash inside the DPF cells.

What is regeneration?

Regeneration is the process of removing excess soot from a DPF clogged with ash and soot. There are usually two ways to regenerate the engine:

  • Passive Regeneration (while driving ): Vehicles that run at highway speeds for 20-30 minutes will typically regenerate on their own.
  • Active Regeneration (while parked): Low speed vehicles or those that make frequent stops may not produce exhaust temperatures that are high enough to regenerate the engine during regular operation. These vehicles require a timely parked (or active) regeneration to prevent permanent DPF or engine damage.


Most 2007 or later-model vehicles come with DPF status lights that alert drivers when it’s time to regenerate.

→ A solid DPF status light is the first indication that regeneration is required.
→ A flashing DPF status light is a second warning to the driver that regeneration is required.

In some cases, you might need to take the DPF unit off the truck to be cleaned, if on-vehicle regeneration is not enough or if you are getting a numerous requests for parked regeneration. As you well know, this results in downtime. Some of our clients keep extra (clean) DPF units on hand to reduce downtime. They also reduce downtime by managing and maintaining these systems, proactively. DPF’s need routine maintenance, just like the engine – Improperly maintained DPF’s can cause unnecessary regeneration and clogs the DPF quicker.

How does Altruck Clean the DPF?

Altruck uses the industry-leading FSX DPF cleaning system to provide superior maintenance of your DPF’s. Some machines only clean one end of the DPF or focus on the centre of the DPF. The FSX Cleaning Machine features Air Knife Technology (Streams of high-volume air) on the inlet and outlet (both sides of the filer) sides of the DPF filter and each cell of the DPF. A DPF can have up to 6,000 individual cells. This process ensures that the filter is cleaned properly, longer duty cycles between cleanings and promotes full life expectancy of the DPF. The machine collects the ash deposits via an ash vacuum. We then, dispose it properly along with our waste oil. A standard DPF cleaning using the FSX machine takes 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the build-up of ash and soot. A thermal cleaning using the FSX machine’s TrapBurner takes about nine hours.

  • TrapTester 7 Air Flow Test Bench — The cleaning process starts with an evaluation of the DPF condition. The tester measures airflow before and after cleaning to ensure compliance. The TrapTester subjects the filter to roughly the same amount of airflow the filter would experience while on a truck travelling down the road at 60 mph.
  • TrapBlaster 7 Pneumatic Cleaner — Air knife scanning technology directs air through high-pressure jets to provide cell-by-cell cleaning in both automatic and manual model.
  • TrapBurner Thermal Cleaner — for thermal regeneration of filters. It thermally cleans the DPF in compliance with OEM specifications.
  • SootSucker Dust Collector — A two-stage HEPA filtration system captures waste from the cleaning process, eliminating the problem of dust settling back on the filters.

A manual override feature on the TrapBlaster allows our technicians to adjust the cleaning during the process. An adjustable nozzle system allows us to clean under filter flanges and recessed cavities. Our technicians can also adjust the machine to clean filters of various height and diameter. Intervals for DPF cleanings depend on the engine size and manufacturer, plus operating conditions. Truck operators should consult the truck OEM or engine manufacturer for DPF cleaning intervals.

For further details about Altruck’s DPF cleaning service using the FSX machine, including pricing and scheduling, please do not hesitate to contact us at 519.578.0810 or 905.681.6500.




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