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How to View DPF Data Using an OBD Gauge Monitor: A Comprehensive Guide

Emission Mission: Understanding DPFs

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) have become an essential component in modern diesel engine vehicles, particularly in countries like ours where environmental concerns and regulations are increasingly stringent. Here's a brief background on the role and significance of DPFs in Australia, especially in the context of 4x4 vehicles:

The primary function of a DPF is to reduce emissions from diesel engines by capturing and storing particulate matter (soot) from the exhaust gas. This is particularly important in diesel 4x4s, which are often used for both urban and off-road driving.

Popularity of Diesel 4x4s: Diesel-powered 4x4 vehicles are popular in Australia for their off-road capabilities. This has led to a significant number of these vehicles being fitted with DPFs to comply with emission standards.

DPF Challenges in 4x4 Vehicles: The operational conditions of 4x4 vehicles in Australia, which often involve a mix of city driving and off-road or rural use, can pose challenges for DPF systems. For instance, DPFs require a certain level of exhaust temperature to effectively burn off accumulated particulate matter, a process known as regeneration. Frequent short trips or low-speed off-road driving may not provide sufficient heat for this process, potentially leading to DPF clogging issues - more on this later!

Maintenance: There is a growing awareness among 4x4 owners about the importance of proper DPF maintenance. This includes understanding the vehicle's regeneration process, driving habits that facilitate this process, and recognizing signs of DPF issues.


Important DPF Gauges

Regeneration Status: Many modern systems provide information about whether the DPF is currently undergoing regeneration, how often regenerations are occurring, and the duration of each regeneration cycle. This information can be useful to assess the DPF's functioning.

Soot Load % (Ash Accumulation): A direct or calculated measurement of the amount of soot or ash accumulated in the DPF. This helps in determining when the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced.

DPF Soot Mass: This parameter measures the actual mass of soot accumulated in the DPF. It's a critical metric for understanding how full the DPF is and determining the right time for regeneration. By monitoring the soot mass, drivers and technicians can get a direct indication of the filter's condition and avoid excessive soot buildup, which can lead to reduced performance and potential damage. Regular monitoring of soot mass helps in maintaining efficient operation and prolonging the life of the DPF.


My vehicle does not report DPF data: How to access DPF gauges?

Many vehicles on the road today don't provide standard reporting for crucial DPF-related gauges, leading numerous drivers to seek aftermarket solutions for enhanced data access. This is where the ScanGauge range steps in to bridge the gap.

Introducing the ScanGauge2 and ScanGauge3 – these devices offer an abundance of 'standard' gauges compatible with any vehicle that supports the OBD2 protocol. Users can access a wide array of essential readings, including coolant temperature, RPM, Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP), Boost, and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of your vehicle's performance.

But the real game-changer is the built-in X-gauge feature. This innovative function allows you to customize and program vehicle-specific gauges tailored to your make and model. This feature is especially valuable for monitoring parameters that are not typically included in standard vehicle diagnostics. Some of the most sought-after custom gauges include automatic transmission temperature, Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT), and, most pertinent to our discussion, an array of DPF-related gauges. It is worth noting however that the DPF related X-gauges available are only for certain of vehicles. Check out our X-gauge codes list that we already have developed.

It's also worth mentioning that the latest ScanGauge3 features an innovative X-gauge auto scan capability. This feature eliminates the hassle of manually sourcing and inputting X-gauge codes. Instead, the ScanGauge effortlessly interfaces with your vehicle's ECU, automatically detecting and integrating non-standard, vehicle-specific gauges. This includes gauges such as transmission temperature, exhaust gas temperatures (EGTs), DPF-related gauges, and more.

Instructions on how to manually enter X-gauge codes, particularly for ScanGauge2, can be found in the user manuals:




Want to Access More Than Just Gauges? A Handheld Diagnostic Tool Is Your Answer

While the ScanGauge range offers a robust solution for monitoring essential vehicle parameters through the OBD2 port, including those related to the DPF, some drivers and technicians may seek even deeper insights or need to perform specific functions that go beyond passive monitoring. For those who require advanced diagnostic and maintenance capabilities, including the ability to initiate a DPF regeneration manually, a handheld OBD diagnostic tool presents the perfect option.


The Need for Advanced Diagnostics and DPF Management

Monitoring DPF soot levels and regeneration status is critical, but for some, especially those who frequently engage in driving conditions that don't favor automatic DPF regeneration (like short urban trips or extensive idling), being able to manually trigger a DPF regeneration can be a saver. This capability ensures that the DPF system is maintained in optimal condition, preventing clogging and prolonging the filter's life, which can otherwise lead to costly repairs.

Introducing the Vident iLink400

The Vident iLink400 is a highly recommended budget friendly scan tool that caters to the specific needs of DIY vehicle vehicle owners, including those with diesel engines equipped with DPFs looking to perform service and maintenance functions such as DPF regeneration, service resets, injector coding and more. 

For a deeper insight and guidance on performing a DPF regeneration on an OBD scan tool, explore our latest article, "Toyota DPF Regeneration With an OBD Scan Tool," available on our partner website, AZscanners. Specializing in handheld OBD diagnostic tools and equipment, AZscanners provides expert advice and resources for your automotive needs.

If you have any questions on OBD2 gauge monitors or OBD scan tools please feel free to contact us directly.