When it Comes to DPF Cleaning Intervals, Know Your Lights

When it Comes to DPF Cleaning Intervals, Know Your Lights

This article was created to give you some valuable information on what the differing warning lights mean with regard to your DPF cleaning intervals. Much of this information comes from a great article by Todd Dills for Overdrive. The article has a great deal of good information. In this article, we wanted to break down specifically what Daniel Mustafa, Assistant Manager of Technical Development for TravelCenters of America, had to say about the four primary DPF warning lights.

In the article, Daniel shared a note of warning about ignoring these lights by relaying a story. From the article “A 2015 Kenworth came in after being driven through warning-light processes on the dash to the bitter end (the bottom icon in the image below). Repairing required not just baking/blowing the ash out of the particulate filter but replacing the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), just upstream of the particulate filter in the exhaust system, the DPF itself and a turbo, given excessive exhaust backpressure had damaged it.”

In order to avoid that scenario, Mustafa gave this advice about heeding your DPF warning lights and what each light means.

When it Comes to DPF Cleaning Intervals, Know Your Lights

Daniel Mustafa’s DPF Warning Light Breakdown

DPF Hot Exhaust Warning Light


The high exhaust temperature light indicates that passive regeneration is occurring. This occurs when the engine is under at least 50 percent of load, often when hauling on the heavier side at highway speeds. Regeneration, generally, is the process by which increased exhaust gas temperatures turn soot clogging portions of the DPF into less-clogging ash.


DPF Regen Warning Light


The “you need a regen light,” as Mustafa calls it. When it comes on, the system needs to be regenerated, whether actively or passively. It starts solid, asking you “please,” Mustafa adds, then begins to blink to signal greater urgency, and your engine begins to derate, or reduce power output.



Yellow Check Engine Light


The check engine light (yellow) starts with a 20 percent derate (reduction in horsepower output), then moves up to 40 percent, which if you hadn’t noticed the 20 percent, you will most certainly notice, Mustafa says. “Once you get to this point, you’re in trouble and you can’t do a regeneration yourself — you’re going to need a service center.”


Stop Engine Warning Light


The stop engine light (red) — [Ominously] “engine damage is probable,” Mustafa quotes the Cummins manual, he says.



Overall, Mustafa’s advice is “Get the cleaning done before it breaks…and you’ll never have an issue.” If you would like to read the entire article in Overdrive, click HERE.

We hope that this article will encourage you to pay attention to DPF related lights and get the proper maintenance done at prescribed DPF cleaning intervals. Not only will your truck run better and be more efficient, it will likely spare you a very expensive repair down the road.

If you have any questions about this article, DPF cleaning intervals or proper DPF cleaning, please contact us today at 800-954-8265. We have the best informed DPF related technical support available in the industry. We also are a full line supplier of DPF filters as well as DPF gaskets, clamps and bungs

Please call us or fill out the contact form below if you are interested in learning more. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Phone # (required)

    Your Message

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.