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DPF is a sack of sh*t

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by dmal, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. dmal
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    dmal Member

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    Well after this morning I'm on my 3rd RAC call out in 3 months. This one after a 280 mile journey from London to Ireland (ie- not a 'school run'). Basically I dont really know what to do now. I cant rely on it at all and so I dont know whether its worth owing it anymore. I'm really sad about this as I think it looks awesome, drives awesome, has an awesome feel to it and I generally just love everything about it. Everything except the part where I cant drive it anywhere without it clogging up and requiring an RAC call.

    A real problem seems to be the conflicting advice given to me. The manual says go over 60kph and 2000rpm in 4th or 5th gears. The first RAC guy who came out said to drive at 60mph in 4th gear and get the revs near 3000rpm. He said driving at 70mph stops it regenerating. If that is true then its nice of the manual to not mention this.

    The next time it happened the RAC guy said 60mph was too fast and to do 40-50mph in 4th.

    Today the guy said that was rubbish and just drop it into 3rd, hit 4000rpm and ragg the engine for 10 mins until the exhaust gets hot enough to blast a cloud of smoke out the back.

    This is a terrible bit of new technology and does sod all for the environment seeing as you have to drive in a rubbish gear, burn loads of fuel and then get rescued by another van in the end anyway! :banghead::banghead::banghead:

    My advice to anyone considering buying an Audi diesel with a DPF is simple- DONT!


    ps- I've posted this in the Diesel forum as well, in case people dont see it here. Let me know if I should merge them/ delete one.
    #1
  2. Whiteatom
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    Whiteatom Member

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    Why not get DPF removed and get a remap ie custom code , gets rid of all your problems and more power , torque and a hell of alot more driveable.
    #2
  3. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    I read that some guy was putting it down to the type of oil used for servicing not being correct. What brand of diesel are you using?
    #3
  4. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    Well I been driving my A3 2.0TDI-170 SE DSG with a DPF for 22 months and 25,000 miles and have not had and problems at all.

    Have you taken it in to a dealer to have it checked out?

    I understand there have been some software updates to the ECU in connection with DPF problems on some models. Although mine was not showing any problems at all, the software update was applied when it went in for it's first service at 18,500 miles
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  5. Nelson_R32
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    Nelson_R32 Member

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    Is the light orange or red? i.e. is it telling you to regenerate or telling you there is a fault? As someone mentioned there is indeed a software update required on some vehicles.

    Where was that web link that suggested a small amount of two-stroke oil in the diesel tank would help reduce regenerations? Did anyone actually ever try that?
    #5
  6. trims
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    trims Member

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    Had some DPF problems to begin with - see earlier threads.

    However, the engine was reprogrammed when the car was in to have the steering rack sorted under warranty and I have since stuck to low-sulphur diesel: BP Ultimate, Sainsury's City diesel, etc.

    No problems with DPF since then, but fuel consumption hasn't improved: 34-38mpg real average. Considering that's mixed urban short stops, or motorway blasts I guess I shouldn't be too disappointed?
    #6
  7. panamadi
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    panamadi Strider

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    Can you actually have the DPF removed-a guy at superchips told me it wasn't possible due to the exhaust temp sensor being linked to it..
    #7
  8. FazS3
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    FazS3 Member

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    sorry lads but what is DPF how does it work?
    #8
  9. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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  10. FazS3
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    FazS3 Member

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    learn something new everyday lol
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  11. samuelt
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    samuelt Member

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    so far i have been lucky i have had the car for 2000 miles and 3 months i usualy drive round town and sometimes to my parents 50 mile back road journey, so far i have not had any issues. I would take it to Audi and get some advice. Also if you get no results try Seat or VW garages as they also use the exact same engine there service department might just be able to help.

    I phoned about the DPF replacement pipe-- cant rember who though! they told me that they had stoped producing them as they were having problems. -- is this still the case???
    #11
  12. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    Mine has been ok and I haven't had any ECU updates carried out. Guess its luck of the draw. Hope you get it sorted.
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  13. dmal
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    dmal Member

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    Used any diesel for the first month but now it either Shell v-power or BP Ultimate only.

    Its already had its first 20k service. I did read somewhere that they make the software more sensitive after the first servicing so its tries to regenerage more often. Unfortunately in my case that means its just fails more often.

    From what the rest of you (DPF owners) are saying it seems like there might be a problem with my car in particular. I'll take t back to Audi after xmas and see if they can find the issue.

    How much does that little computer te RAC/Audi-Breakdown plug into the car to get the engine readings and to override the ECU?
    At least ith that I would be able to see the exhaust temps and force a regeneration. Audi really should show you the exhaust temp as thats the only way to know if you're doing the right thing to get it clean.
    #13
  14. dmal
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    dmal Member

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    The orange exhaust icon appears on the DIS screen. I then try to clear it but then the glow plugs light starts flashing and the car feels like its pulling a lead trailer and has no acceleration and revs can only get to about 2k very slowly.
    #14
  15. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    As far as the computer the RAC/Audi-Breakdown use it is almost certainly a mobile version of the full VAS 5051/5052 system used by dealers. I've seen a technician at my dealers use one with my car. These particular ones would be very expensive (around £10,000) but you can get a copy of VAG-COM from Ross-Tech in the US. This is a software program that will work on any laptop. The actual software is free to download but it needs a cable which acts as a security 'dongle' to plug in to the Diagnostic port on your car. Not sure of the current price but I paid £129.00 + £42.45 shipping for the MicroCAN version direct from Ross-Tech back in March. Their service is excellent with the cable arriving within a couple of days by Fed-Ex. Have a look at their website at www.Ross-Tech.com.
    #15
  16. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Audi do have terrible DPF problems, there's no point anyone trying to deny it.
    Sitting in a chinese carry-out last night, I was reading a new(ish) issue of Auto-Express as I waited.
    Letter from a bloke in there, extremely hacked of with Audi and their DPFs too.
    The magazine acknolwedged they had had umpteen complaints about it.
    It isn't DPF technology itself.
    Other manufacturers manage to fit DPF's without any problem.
    Audi just seem to have a problem applying it to their cars.
    #16
  17. dmal
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    dmal Member

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    The breakdon guy yesterday said Peugeot have terrible problems with it too.
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  18. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Maybe they do too, but there are still plenty don't.
    I don't recall it ever being mentioned in any BMW or Alpina forums, for example.
    Certainly no problem with the DPF in my D3 (9000 miles).
    #18
  19. dmal
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    dmal Member

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    Was considering getting a BMW around the same time I bought the Audi..... wish I had..... or even bought a petrol A3. I'll never buy another diesel.

    Speaking of petrol A3s, there doesnt seem to be too many of the 1.8-2.0L A3s on the mkt.
    #19
  20. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    That's a bit kneejerk.
    Just avoid Audi (DPF) diesels.
    My A3 diesel was a right lemon, I didn't let it taint my view of all diesels.
    #20
  21. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    its another reason for me to go back to petrol ! I think they are classed as service items, i'm sure they are around £500 and need changing at 72k - although thats on a Ford not VAG.
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  22. daveyjp
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    daveyjp Member

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    Plenty of DPF problems with diesels in Pugs - look up PSA FAP problems - thousands of them. Mazdas aren't troublefree either, neither are Fords. A neighbour has a 2.0TDCi Focus - 7,000 miles pootling round town and the DPF has given him a problem - for his driving profile he shouldn't really have this car, but it's his money.

    How it's driven is paramount - the VW brochures even state DPF fitted vehicles shouldn't be sold at all on the Channel Islands where max speed is 40mph.
    #22
  23. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Any other 'premium' manufacturers having DPF problems though?
    I'm not saying BMW are faultless vehicles, but DPFs never seem to get mentioned.
    #23
  24. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    My brother works at Saab, they have problems with them clogging too.
    #24
  25. jfarhead
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    jfarhead Member

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    Could it be that the DPF needs to be cleaned as opposed to regenerated. As I got into a bit of a mess with the moron that serviced my A4, I found out there is a difference.

    Regenration will burn off any carbon that is clogging up the DPF, this will be cleared as described above, through raising the exhaust temperature etc...

    Cleaning the DPF however seems to be completely different. If the vehicle is using incorrect engine oil, alot of the extra additives (ferred to as "Ash") will get thrown out the exhaust and caught in the DPF. Some of this stuff gets stuck and will not get burnt off during regeneration. Hence why they stress to ONLY use VW 507.00, which has a lower "Ash" content produced.

    If you had your car serviced by a "specialist" that is "special" in more than one way, then there is a possibility he dumped the "recommended" oil which "is fine" for your car because "you'd be the first person ever to have a problem" with it...

    But as this seems to be a big problem across alot of vehicles, it may not be the case. Hope I don't get similar problems with mine...
    #25
  26. steve184
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    steve184 Active Member

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    no problems with mine whatsoever, and i do the worst stop and start town driving mileage you can imagine - put it this way my average mpg is only ever barely over 30!

    Never ever had the dpf light come one - don't even know what it looks like!
    #26
  27. Nelson_R32
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    Nelson_R32 Member

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    This issue appears to be DPF and Pump Duse engines as no other engine has problems in the Audi range aside from 140 and 170 PD engines.
    #27
  28. Dandle
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    Dandle Member

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    My BMW holds the revs longer in each gear(auto) when its regenerating the dpf, it gets so hot you can feel the heat from under the car when you get out. This happens every few thousand miles. Maybe people with manual cars should try holding it in gear longer every so often so the dpf can heat up and regenerate.
    #28
  29. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    My brother mentioned them getting hot too, said there was reports of a Saab setting dry grass under the car on fire...
    #29
  30. dmal
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    dmal Member

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    Well the return journey was completed without the need to call the RAC :icon_thumright: Way to go A3!!

    For this journey I pretty much drove it in 4th and 5th and ignored 6th. I kept the revs in the 2-3k range as this seems to be when the DPF regenerates. The obvious cost of doing this is MPG, for an almost 300 mile journey I averaged about 37-38mpg.

    So to conclude, they have added a wonderful environmental filter that causes you to burn more fuel!

    PS- The garage that cleaned it last week said they had to drive for a long time to clear the DPF. I'm wondering if the problem is that the car doesnt give you enough time to clear it yourself and the only way the garage/RAC is able to do it is they can override the 'limp' mode to keep it going.
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  31. Rodney
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    Rodney New Member

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    Seats suffer from the same too i've heard, call me a complete noob but why not just remove the pesky thing, i know if working its a nice thing to have but if its causing problems can you just remove it?
    #31
  32. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    This is what the guy in 'Autoexpress' was complaining about.
    Saying he was sold his A3 on the back of economy, but has been told he has to trash it to keep the DPF happy!
    #32
  33. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    It could well be related because I have a 170 TDI with a DPF fitted and an DSG geabox and I have never even seen the regen light come on or had any problems with the DPF in 29,000 miles. But having said that I normally drive in 'tip-tronic' mode, so I decide when to change gear rather the the DSG's electronics.
    #33
  34. Carl.S
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    Carl.S Member

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    hi guys;

    just so you know it is possible to force a regeneration via vagcom and anyone who may require this information is welcome to pm me and i'll try and put something together! :)

    also we are working on dpf bypass software on our 170 passat....just a bypass with stage1 feels great ;)
    #34
  35. Ibis
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    Ibis New Member

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    That's interesting because the recent software upgrade cured my longstanding rough "transit" issues but now the car is completely flat when taking up drive in 1st - in fact it often nearly stalls.
    Not always though- if you blip the throttle gently at idle sometimes nothing happens and sometimes it jumps to 1500rpm - very odd and not satisfactory!
    #35
  36. daveyjp
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    daveyjp Member

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    Anyone else with a DPF and DSG may have noticed the car regenerating the DPF. Mine did it over the course of last night and this morning for about the third time since I bought the car.

    In D the car holds onto the revs longer so rather than change at about 2,000 it changes at about 2,500. This means the car is in a higher gear. At 30 the car is usually in 4th, at 40 in 5th. During regen it's in 3rd and 4th at the same speeds. Tickover also increases from about 750 rpm to about 1,000. This behaviour lasted for about 5 urban miles and about 2 miles of NSL dual carriageway.
    #36
  37. Roach
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    Roach New Member

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    Just to add this I have never seen the DPF light come on on my A4 and my mileage is 17K after 1 year. This is with a custom code map installed at 3K as well and a 50/50 mixture of motorway and urban driving.
    #37
  38. Twizzler
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    Twizzler Member

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    The combination of dpf and S-tronic works without problem assuming that all onboard systems are functioning correctly, the car isn't being used solely for short journeys and the vehicle hasn't been modified in any way that is likely to cause an increase in emissions through the exhaust. Once you diverge from this difficulties may occur. The most likely causes of dpf problems are failed sensors, the wrong oil, an engine mis-treated from new, a performance modification that takes the dpf system out of its design envelope and many short journeys.
    The dpf isn't a sack of ****. It works correctly within its design envelope.
    #38
  39. bropa09
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    bropa09 New Member

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    I bought my car (170 TDI S-Line DSG) in Oct 2007 and have done 15,000 miles in it. I've not had any issues with the DPF, I don't even notice any regenerations. I think you definitely need to see the dealer.
    #39
  40. JBS Sales
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    JBS Sales Member

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    We have done a DPF removal and tuning in the past, been on the test vehicles for a while now and showing great improvements!

    If you give us a quick call and ask for Nino, I am sure you can have a chat with him about it.

    01246 455005

    Mike
    #40

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