BMW Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaning 


At Apex, we are problem solvers; especially when our customer's pocketbooks are at stake. I much appreciate our customer Ron M. for graciously allowing us to experiment upon his car. As I explained to him, the alternative was to send him to another shop with his DPF codes. I originally contact two other shop owners for support and they both said don't send him our way. Neither shop needed the problem. The other alternative was sending him to the dealer where he'd be pounded.

Instead, after very much testing, we developed our removal and cleaning techniques through trial and error. We also have to thank the several customers who have allowed us keep their cars for extended periods while we experimented with these processes involved with the removal of ash and soot from the DPF.

Ash and soot have vastly different properties and compositions,

  • the soot is gooey, sticky, almost inky; while,
  • the ash is hard and takes the form of either flake or granule

Initially, when cleaning a filter, water will not pass through the filter. Water poured into the top of the DPF becomes trapped inside and does not pass through. Rather, the water accumulates within the DPF. It's really weird. After effective DPF cleaning,water passes through more freely. 

We've experimented and found safe and effective detergents to chemically break down the ash and the soot.

The Apex BMW DPF Cleaning process is as follows:

  • First, we baseline the car's current condition and analyze ECU data
  • We disconnect and remove the DPF.
  • We inspect and weigh the DPF
  • We soak the DPF in environmentally friendly, water based blend of common household detergents
  • Because we are environmentally conscious, we do not use petroleum based DPF cleaning products. Ash is essentially carbon; carbon is  environmentally friendly
  • After soaking, we use clean water pressurized at 3500 PSI to flush ash and soot from the filter. 
  • We repeat the soaking rinsing | process until no more particulate matter remains in the filter
  • We re-install the DPF leaving the downstream coupling loose
  • We use the heat and air pressure from the car's exhaust to dry the DPF substrate. Detergent foam bubbles out the exhaust for a few minutes.
  • Reattach exhaust aft DPF.
  • We test drive the car to dry the DPF
  • We ensure that no SCR and DPF codes persist
  • We RESET the DPF counter.
  • Despite DPF cleaning, the code 452A will remain in th ECU; but, will not cause a check engine light.


BMW DPF Cleaning Cost Breakdown

  • 1 hour to evaluate and baseline 
  • 5.5 Hours Labor to Remove & Replace DPF / per Mitchell Labor Guide
  • 2.0 Hours Labor to Soak and Pressure Clean DPF. time (Mitchell Labor Guide)
  • 1 hour to quality drive, reset condition based maintenance counters
  • 1/2 Hour to top off DEF fluid
  • 1/2 hour to perform full synthetic bmw diesel oil and filter change

Actual Invoice for BMW DPF cleaning



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