On the Internet, it is not difficult to find an offer of a service that offers „getting rid” of the problem of DPF in the car. Many car owners choose to do this without seeing anything wrong with it, and what is worse, they are convinced that the removal procedure is fully legal. It turns out that awareness in this regard is low and many drivers are unaware of the consequences of cutting out the DPF from their vehicle. Social organizations dealing with environmental protection are increasingly intervening and the effects of their actions are already visible.
The main task of the DPF filter is to clean the exhaust gases from soot. Along with the increase in the number of cars, air pollution in cities increased, so filters began to be used to reduce the emission of harmful particles into the air we breathe. The raw exhaust fumes from diesel engines are more poisonous than those of their gasoline counterparts.
So why do drivers want to remove the DPF filter? Diesel engines have gained popularity due to the lower cost of diesel fuel compared to gasoline. Initially, diesel engines were installed in trucks and buses, i.e. in vehicles with high mileage. Over time, passenger cars began to appear, but too short routes, standing in traffic jams and developing low speeds in congested cities make the process of burning the filter, including poisonous gases, practically impossible. By design, diesels are designed for long distances. Failure to ensure the proper combustion temperature, e.g. by driving for several minutes on expressways, leads to clogging of the DPF. The rescue is the hydrodynamic filter regeneration in DPF Master Flash or service firing, which generates additional costs such as oil change. And here comes the temptation to cut out the DPF filter. It only takes a few moments to find an advertisement nearby on the internet.
Is just cutting out the filter prohibited? Advertisements that appear on the Internet often mislead the customer. The cut itself is not forbidden, but the law is broken when the vehicle with DPF was interfered with on public roads. The owner of such a vehicle may withhold the registration certificate and a fine. But is it just him?
We have cases in Poland where the owner of the website in which the DPF filter was removed also suffered the consequences of advertising this type of service. In Jelenia Góra, the activists of the Lower Silesian Smog Alert, together with the Frank Bold Foundation, brought a case to court against the owner of the website where DPF was removed. The mechanic defended himself before the court that he informed his clients that the cars in which DPFs were cut are not intended for driving on public roads, that they were only to take part in rallies. In the lawsuit, the activists indicated that the removal of DPF is a practice inconsistent with environmental protection and significantly increases the harmful substances in the air. This was also confirmed by the opinion of an expert in the field of automotive technology, appointed by the court, where you can read „(…) the measurements of the smoke coefficient made at various vehicle inspection stations confirm that the lack of a particulate filter significantly increases the amount of harmful substances in the form of soot emitted into the atmosphere, highly poisonous and carcinogenic exhaust fumes both for the car user and the entire environment ”. The Foundation’s lawyers also referred the case to the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection „(…) we indicated that the DPF removal offers mislead consumers because they do not contain information that a car with a removed DPF filter is technically inefficient and must not be driven on the roads.” – In my opinion, one of the fundamental problems is that people do not realize that DPF removal is harmful and illegal. And one of the main reasons is that you can see advertisements for similar services everywhere in the public space – explains the lawyer. – The average citizen sees it and thinks – if such offers hang on popular classifieds websites and nobody removes them, then everything must be OK. Removing these types of ads is the first step towards making the public aware that cutting out DPF is definitely not OK.
It is also worth paying attention to the consequences of driving a car with a removed DPF at home and abroad. As already mentioned, in Poland, during the roadside inspection, the police may keep the registration certificate, issue a ticket and send you for technical tests. Removal of the DPF filter leads to a change in the vehicle’s equipment as stated in the vehicle approval. The vehicle with the DPF removed will not undergo a single technical inspection. Abroad, using a vehicle with a cut-out filter ends with a fine, e.g. in Germany we will receive a fine of EUR 1,000 – EUR 5,000, in Austria EUR 3,500, in the Czech Republic – CZK 50,000 (about PLN 8,000), in Great Britain 1 000 pounds.