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DPF Accumulation Runaway

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  • DPF Accumulation Runaway

    I had the DPF light come on during my 20km trip to work on Friday. This was the first time it had occurred in the 18-months of ownership of my MY16 Prado. Just over a year ago, I started getting white smoke clouds - a software "upgrade" and a couple of forced burns by the local dealer seemed to fix the problem. The DPF soot accumulation level fluctuated between around 20% and 100% whenever I checked. This was like I expected it to be.

    Then yesterday (Friday) on the way to work the DPF light came on. When I got home, I plugged my CAN analyser into the vehicle and was surprised to see the accumulation level at 162%. A read of the DPF booklet suggested that the condition was "normal" and that I should drive the vehicle at over 60km/h for at least 30 mins and it would correct itself.

    So today I took the Prado up Perth's northern freeway to the end and back. Cruising at up to 100km/h, I was alarmed to see the accumulation level just keep climbing and climbing. The DPF temperature stayed below 500C, which from previous experience it seemed to require for an effective burn. Around half way through the journey, I tried holding the gear selection with S4 (visible in the attached chart as RPM around 2700RPM). This seemed to cause the DPF temperature to trail off and when this occurred, soot accumulation escalated. Next, the DPF warning light started to flash. After leaving the freeway and stopping for a few minutes, I limited the speed to just over 80km/h. The DPF accumulation continued to rise and finally the Prado went into "limp mode" about a kilometre from home, with the engine and traction control lamps illuminated and jarring gear changes.

    I suppose that this series of events is familiar to other owners but I was surprised at how quickly the DPF could deteriorate to reduce the performance to "limp mode". My guess is that the 5th injector has failed.

    I'll be calling the local Toyota service department first thing on Monday. It is a pain in the backside because I need the vehicle for carrying tools and materials for my work.

    Click image for larger version

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    The two charts cover the same journey. Speed and RPM are logged more frequently - hence the horizontal scales appear to differ.

  • #2
    looks like the 5th is blocked ,as you suspected. The ECU can squirt in a lot more diesel via the cylinder injectors to get around this and raise the DPF temp , but the time this happens its too late , the filter is almost blocked with accumulated carbon , keeps getting blocked the more you drive it , and nothing short of a cleaned injector and a forced burn will blow it out. Has it been serviced by Toyota ? becuase they are supposed to do an ultrasonic injector clean every 20k. i say supposedly because it hasnt been added to the service logbook items as yet ( Nov 19 models like mine )


    • #3
      Thank heavens that you now have a 10 year warranty on all things DPF. Tell them to fix it pronto and to give you a car to tide you over. Mention the on going class action for good measure.


      • #4
        Originally posted by 404pug View Post
        Thank heavens that you now have a 10 year warranty on all things DPF.
        I called the local dealer first thing on Monday morning. Without hesitation, the service rep said bring it in. I asked if it was OK to drive it in "limp mode". The rep ran of to check on this and came back saying is would be OK to drive the 5km. Driving a automatic transmission Prado in limp mode is not a fun thing. Each gear change is jarring: probably to encourage reluctant owners avoid unnecessary use!

        The diagnosis was that the DPF was clogged due to the 5th injector also being clogged. Toyota's solution is these cases is to replace the filter element, injector housing and injector itself - a task that they told me would take 7 hours once the parts arrived. We were able to pick up the car late on Tuesday. I was told that the design of the filter itself has been changed to a "different type of ceramic" that cleans itself more efficiently (presumably during a burn).

        My observation was that the dealer was prompt and, with the new injector, injector housing, filter and (yet another) software upgrade, Toyota's response was thorough. Hopefully, the components are the same as the latest models and the problem has been solved. I hope this is the standard response now, which should be reassuring to owners who encounter a DPF failure over coming 10 years. I expect most city dwellers will encounter the issue sooner or later.

        I didn't mention the class action - there didn't seem to be a need. The dealer was onto it promptly, explained what they were going to do and got onto it. One thing that they could do better is to hold a replacement kit in stock for a faster response. I asked about a forced burn switch for the dashboard but this was not an option in my case. From what I've read on Pradopoint, the switch is not particularly useful anyway. Oh, and one other point - the rep said they had run out of loan vehicles (or perhaps they only loan them to paying customers - hence the substantial service charges).


        • #5

          I use loan vehicles as my preferred Dealer is half a days hike. Loan vehicles are in demand tho, and in my case need to be booked about a month out.
          I find the manual burn button useful when about to drive over very long stretches of tinder dry spinifex, and especially spear grass - so long as you can find a Dealer who can enable the custom mode.
          I've hit the button 4 times and it works very well, cleared the DPF to 0% most times.


          • #6


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