Your car is losing power, your engine is facing difficulty to operate overt 3000 Rpm, your ignition is becoming hard,... I may be found your guilty: the Particle Filter.

You have probably already hear about Particle Filter probem. At least if your the lucky owner of a Diesel car from 2005. These words is probably one the most common part's name used by the mechanics but also the nightmare for drivers. 

          The used acronym in France is FAP meaning Filtre A particules or Particle Filter or Anti-Pollution Filter. Following this introduction, you naturally could wonder what this component is good for inside a car except for being responsible of repetitive failures? 



          Contrary to the apparence, the Particle Filter plays a major role, notably for the environment and the preservation of the planet. Indeed the motor exhausts of our diesel car contain fine particle which can be harmful for the planet and carcinogenic for humans.

           To regulate the rate of these fine particle in the atmosphere the Europen Union define targets to be respected by car makers through standards called "Normes €uro". The standards objectifves are becoming severer year after year and challenge the car makers to disrupt and develop "green" technologies or let's say "less polluting".



          Even if the technology exists since 90s, the Particle Filter was first commercialised on a series car by the brand Peugeot with the model 607 on 2.2 HDI engine in 2000. This was to be compliant with €uro4 standard. Alright Alright, we are not here for a history course (I can imagine some of you thinking VERY loudly), I guess that what interest you more are:        

  • How the Particle Filter works
  • Why some failures only happen on car equipped with particle filter
  • How to maintain the particle filter
  • How to prevent the particle filter againdt failures

         Now let's start by the beginning. As indicated by it name, the filter particle filters the fine particles contained in motor exhausts of diesel cars. This process allow to reduce the density of the pollution rejected in the atmosphere. The particle filter is generally located afetr the exhaust outlet of the engine on the exhaust line.

The filter traps the particles in. With the time, particles accumulate on the filter surfaces and create congestion. This phenomenon impact negatively the performances of the engine. 

Le filtre emprisonne donc les particules qui s'accumulent avec le temps sur les parois du filtre. Cette couche de suie finit par influer sur les performances de votre moteur - Your filter is clogged. If the congestion remain, Your calculator of your car active the safety mode and degradate the performances to protect the engine. This is why you speed beome limited to 90 kph maxi or 3000 Rpm.


          If the car have been well designed, you are supposed to feel the consequences of the filter congestion. Indeed some vehicles have auto regeneration function (Ohhh yeah like a Phoenix) - Ok let's focus. La regeneration consists to force the temperature inside the filter to go up to 400°C in order to burn out the fine particles. In that case the congestion could pass as a letter in a mailbox. You might can feel some unsual jerks, or a small power increase of your engine during the regeneration phase. It is recommended to keep the engine while the regeneration in on going, otherwise the process will restart again and again after each ignition unitl it is complete.

For some specific uses, it could happen that the filter regeneration can never completed. This is mainly the case for urban journeys. The motor will hardly find the right conditions to perform a correct regeneration. Or the particules accumulation is faster than their elimination. This is likely to be the case for DAKAR citizens. Additionnaly the quality of the Diesel in western african countries is 

Il peut arriver pour certains types d'usage que votre FAP ne se régénère pas correctement malgré tout. Notamment pour des trajets essentiellement urbains. Dans ces cas le moteur peut ne pas trouver le temps ou les conditions nécessaires pour un nettoyage parfait. Ou alors que l'accumulation de particules soit plus rapide que le temps pour les nettoyer, entre autres si vous habitez une ville très souvent bouchonnée comme DAKAR. De plus vous ne serez pas aidé par le carburant mal raffiné des pays de l'Afrique de l'ouest qui promotes clogging of your engine and the entire exhaust system at the same time.

For this specific use, It is recommanded to go for GAZOLINE engine. 



          To maintain your particle filter and prevent against failure, Pour entretenir et prévenir les pannes liées au FAP, you favor : good quality fuel (Excellium Diesel for instance), you also could use specifi adds for particle filteer, Favor highway or road journay, avoid to make the engine operate to under speed, use often the motor braking for slowdown instead of the pedal braking, etc.

          That's nice all these advices but seems complicate only to make one component operates, what happen if I remove the particle filter from the car? Will my car still operate normally? The answer is YES, and you even will improve your engine performances. However, it is forbiden in Europe to remove his particle filter. You won't be able to pass the technical control (exept if your have magic power). For countries as Senegal, there is not similar laws than Europe, so their is not interdiction to remove it. But for the sake of our dear planet, Sen'Drive Solutions strongly recommand you to not go for this option.

Stethoscope checking up the car with car service icon, Concept of car check-up, repair and maintenance..


          Now that you are particle filter experts, you can turn the key on, enjoy your engine sound and see you to the next article for a new subject. Please feel free to suggest subjets that you would be interested to :-) !

Your devoted technical team - Sen'Drive Solutions

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