How Much Does Professional DPF Cleaning Cost?

By on 12 October 2020 / Leave a comment Updated on: 17th February 2021

Vehicle repairs are never cheap. Dealer repairs may give you peace of mind when your vehicle isn’t running at its best, however, we all dread the collection day. Mainly due to the unsightly invoice they slide over the reception desk. Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning services are no exception to the rule, take the cost of a cleaning additive and multiple it by at least 10 times and you’re getting close. That’s before you acknowledge the inconvenience of being without your car.

Independent results show that £150+ for a DPF cleaning service is not uncommon. While bills for a replacement DPF, will often run well into the thousands. These are just the service costs, once you factor in the possible cost of a hire car it really starts to add up.

Why Is DPF Cleaning So Expensive?

All garages, main dealers and independents alike, have a bunch of costs associated with keeping their businesses afloat. The buildings, machinery and tools that they use all require large monthly payments, this causes them to charge the notoriously “high” labour rates. With the DPF being a part of the exhaust system, it is not always easy to remove and clean, when needed. Years of heat cycles and road debris severely affect the exhaust systems integrity and quickly rust and seize bolts. This can add extra hours and parts to the bill at no fault of the garage.

DPF cleaning is also by no means a simple process for a specialist. The process, whether removing or not, often requires specialist machinery to remove the layers of build up and clear all blockages.  Specialist machinery, software and tools, unfortunately, are not cheap and have limited uses. All these factors soon build the price.

A quick mention for those who require DPF replacement. These items are complex, relatively new technology and there are limited supply options. This is the reason for DPF’s being so expensive, paired with the labour activities required to fit a new unit.

How Long Does It Take to Clean my DPF?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer we can give here, as it will vary with each application. Every vehicle will house the filter in a different location, there can be complications with exhaust removal and cost will vary massively depending on the process the mechanic is using to clean and restore the filter.

Less severe build ups can usually be cleared without removing the DPF unit, using a forced regeneration activated via specialist software. Expect the process to take an hour or so, depending on the scale of the deposits in the filter.

Those that require DPF removal for chemical/ heat treatments are likely to lose their keys for at least a day, possibly longer, depending on the ease of filter removal and the number of vehicles currently having the same work performed.

Can I Clean the DPF Myself?

At this stage you are most likely considering the possibility of performing the task at home instead. Many amateur mechanics perform their own servicing and repairs at home, so why not tackle DPF-related issues as well?

Depending on the option you pick, cleaning your DPF at home can be a very simple and inexpensive task. Not only will you save a good chunk of money, but the repairs can be performed at any time that suits your schedule, without handing over your keys and being without a vehicle (or stuck with a nasty, expensive hire car).

Those who are considering cleaning their DPF at home should always ensure to take all relevant safety precautions, following product instructions carefully and asking experts if they are unsure about any of the steps involved.


Professional DPF cleaning services definitely have their place. Most of us will turn back to the dealer in times of need as it can greatly alleviate any stress about your vehicle not running correctly. After a few hours or maybe a day you will be returned your keys and a vehicle back to full health. Though this will likely be followed by an unpleasant receipt that makes you wonder whether garage services were really your best option.

Tackling a DPF clean at home can be a very simple task, it doesn’t require specialist tools or expert knowledge but shows good results and thousands of motorists undertake the process every year. Maybe it’s time you gave it a try for yourself.

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Jack Gill

Car journalist and fully qualified mechanical engineer, Czok’s newest contributor and long-time automotive writer. Lifetime passion for all things automotive, from new supercars to rusty old hatchbacks. If I’m not behind the wheel, I’m likely under the bonnet or browsing the classifieds. Having spent over 5 years in the automotive industry and under the bonnet of my own car at home, I want to share the knowledge and learning that I have gained, with others without the time to study or the expertise, who just want their car to get them from A to B every day. We aren’t all interested in trawling through endless internet pages and forums. I aim to gather all the information up and roll it into a quick summarised format, to give only the information you really need.

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