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We have less than 13,000km on our car. Been to repair twice because of the DPF (diesel particulate filter.) The light keeps coming on. The second time the mechanic told us that given our lifestyle Subaru sold us the wrong car, that we should have bought a petrol model.

Apparently these filters which are new to Subaru (and other car makers diesels) need to be run once a week for 40 minutes at 100kms to blowout or regenerate the DPF. And the Subaru salesman did not bother to tell us this even though he knew what our lifestyle is.

And eventually even if fixing every 6,000kms or so we take the the car in to fix the DPF it will need to be replaced and parts alone are $2000+, which is okay while under warranty.

We spoke with Subaru to exchange our car for a diesel. Nope. Not interested. Our problem.

Anyway, fair warning for those looking to buy a new diesel Subaru: be prepared to frequently at high speed for a long time. And do not expect Subaru to help or care, they do not, they are pretty much like any other business, which is in the business to make money.
 

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I have the diesel with the DPF. At about the same kilometres (10/2015) my DPF light came on also.


At this stage I was advised that the light also connects to the water sensor in the engine oil and that that was the message that was being generated by the computer. I was advised that there was a software update that was needed. An oil change was done and the light went off but came on again about 2000 ks later.


At this time the sensor was reset and the light went off without the need for an oil change.


All was well until the 50k service and the DPF light came on again about 1000 ks later. I had done a bit of reading and found out that there is a reset needed on a sensor when an oil change is done. I visited the mechanic and was advised that it "should" have been done but he would do it again. The light is now off and has not returned in 8000 ks.


Re the DPF usage, it does sound as if they have sold you the wrong car but is hard to tell without specifics of your driving. My dealer advised me a 20 k 80-90 kph run five days per week would keep the DPF happy and it seems to have done so but did mention it wasnt suitable if I was just taking a drive to the shops once a day. Once a week or fortnight it may get the sort of run you mentioned but it certainly isnt weekly. That may be your mechanic blaming the usage rather that seriously reserching the issue or trying to fix it. Was it a dealer mechanic or an outside shop?


Not doing that amount may not be a serious problem though as the computer is supposed to sense an issue and knock the car down a couple of gears which increases the engine revs to compensate if the car isnt being run fast enough to heat the exhaust for DPF cleaning. Even if it is becoming blocked it should give you an alert when it is becoming blocked rather than just going to the second level and requiring a mechanic.


The DPF light has two levels of severity. One is flashing and one is on solid. Unfortunately I am not near my manual and cant remember which is which. The lower level light indicates "we have an issue - drive faster to correct it" the second is "its too late now - find a mechanic". Mine went straight to the higher level on both occasions without ever giving me the first warning due to the sensor having not been reset or sensor issues.


As an aside, does anyone know how to do the sensor reset if you do oil changes at home as sooner of later I may do one.


Norm.
 

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Thank you.

This was the dealer mechanic that told us this. And we have only gotten the flashing light.

Also, a friend of mine works for a company that has 2 Toyota diesel with less than 6000kms on them and both have already been in twice. And his company was told the same thing: these diesels with the DPF have to driven regularly at high speeds for a relatively long time each. If you do not do that and continue to drive with the light flashing you will have problems.

What they were also told (as well as us) is that DPF degrades over time (how much time?) and will have to be replaced ... generally the timing being needing replacement after the warranty expires.

Subaru was negligent in not telling us this, especially when we told the salesman our driving habits. It seems that their diesel model given these limitations is only good for those living in the country or something like that. Urban/suburban dwellers no. Of course that would cut into their more expensive diesel sales so therefore perhaps their reticence to give their customers this information. Don't know.
 

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Thanks for posting this thread. I'm in the market for a new SUV and have been looking at the outback.

Been into my local dealer north of Brisbane and interestingly he had advised me to stay clear of the diesel even though I have a 30 min drive to work each day and 20 mins of that is 110 K highway driving.

Will definitely stick to petrol now, just need to decide between the 2.5 and the 3.6
 

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Will definitely stick to petrol now, just need to decide between the 2.5 and the 3.6
You need the 3.6
Yeah this has been my big dilemma. Whether to go for the more economical 2.5 of the more powerful 3.6.

Leaning towards the 3.6 as I will be doing a lot of highway driving through the week and weekends can often involve going up a few hills and will probably appreciate the extra power there.

Anyway, sorry getting a bit off topic here.
 

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MRT in Sydney sell the interface and software which allows you (or your local mechanic) to perform a DPF regen when required. They ship across Aus and internationally. I've dealt with them in the past with my old WRX.

We were very close to buying a diesel and because we live rural, I investigated having this unit on-hand should a DPF problem arise.

In the end we decided it was too much of an unknown and coughed up the extra money and bought a 3.6R.
 

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We have less than 13,000km on our car. Been to repair twice because of the DPF (diesel particulate filter.) The light keeps coming on. The second time the mechanic told us that given our lifestyle Subaru sold us the wrong car, that we should have bought a petrol model.

Apparently these filters which are new to Subaru (and other car makers diesels) need to be run once a week for 40 minutes at 100kms to blowout or regenerate the DPF. And the Subaru salesman did not bother to tell us this even though he knew what our lifestyle is.

And eventually even if fixing every 6,000kms or so we take the the car in to fix the DPF it will need to be replaced and parts alone are $2000+, which is okay while under warranty.

We spoke with Subaru to exchange our car for a diesel. Nope. Not interested. Our problem.

Anyway, fair warning for those looking to buy a new diesel Subaru: be prepared to frequently at high speed for a long time. And do not expect Subaru to help or care, they do not, they are pretty much like any other business, which is in the business to make money.
You think your problem was bad. We recently bought a 2017 diesel Subaru Outback The DPF failed with less than 1,000 kms on the clock, half of which were long highway trips that included a speeding fine. Subaru Australia blamed us for buying the wrong vehicle and not getting up to temperature. We were never advised that the vehicle was not suitable for short travel, and in any even, it was being used on longer runs.
The car computer "suggested" 33 short trips had caused the issue. The dealer had to fight to get it repaired under warranty and Subaru reluctantly agreed as a "gesture of goodwill". There is no goodwill here. Subaru Australia are are an absolute disgrace.
It would appear that the vehicle had been sitting in the dealer yard for some time and moved around frequently without getting to temperature. I am disgusted at the arrogance and complete ignorance of Subaru Australia regarding this DPF issue. They clearly have a design fault and it is about time that the ACCC takes them to task and fines them.
My suggestion is don't buy Subaru.
 

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The Diesel Particulate Filter [DPF] will be a problem with all makes and models until the manufacturers get the mechanics of DPF sorted just like they had to with the catalytic exhaust system when they were introduced. The latest Colorado, Ford Ranger, Mazda BT50, have the device. The Ford and Mazda have a recall notice on their DPF due to fire.

I did my research on the various diesel engine units when I was looking at a replacement for a XR6 ford. What I was seeing and reading into the commentary on the DPF systems around the world was this clogging effect with short driving scenario. Hence my reason for not buying a diesel. I really feel for the people who drive short distance and looking at the economy of the diesel as a deciding factor.

The FULL EURO 5 emission standard mandated in Aus, Nov 2016, are dictating much tighter standards for exhaust in petrol and diesel. The link: "http://theconversation.com/australias-new-emissions-rules-will-put-yet-another-bump-in-the-road-for-diesels-49510" might help those with Diesels and DPF.

I purchased a 3.6 Outback because of the DPF in the diesels. I did NOT purchase a 2.5 because of the Auto Start/Stop feature on the 4 cylinders. I have driven diesels for most of my working life, 43yrs, and the current crop of diesel light vehicles looked good in the engine figures.

Subaru like all manufacturers have to sort this DPF clogging and regeneration problem out.
 

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"Apparently these filters which are new to Subaru (and other car makers diesels) need to be run once a week for 40 minutes at 100kms to blowout or regenerate the DPF. And the Subaru salesman did not bother to tell us this even though he knew what our lifestyle is."

I am open to correction but this does not sound right and needs some clarification by someone in a reliable position to clarify. Yes, as far as I know, the car needs to be run for an extended period occasionally because only short trips are not good for it. So the once a week bit is a guestimate that applies if you are making lots of shorts trips during the week. Secondly, Subaru does not have a legal leg to stand on if that advice is not explicitly stated (in writing).

I am also sceptical about the necessity travel at 100 kph.

If the explanations of riegal and rabid are as they describe then it seems Subaru are exaggerating the consequences and trying to shirk their responsibility behind a half truth. If the consequences can really be expected to be as bad as indicated then Subaru have more to answer for.
 

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"Apparently these filters which are new to Subaru (and other car makers diesels) need to be run once a week for 40 minutes at 100kms to blowout or regenerate the DPF. And the Subaru salesman did not bother to tell us this even though he knew what our lifestyle is."

I am open to correction but this does not sound right and needs some clarification by someone in a reliable position to clarify. Yes, as far as I know, the car needs to be run for an extended period occasionally because only short trips are not good for it. So the once a week bit is a guestimate that applies if you are making lots of shorts trips during the week. Secondly, Subaru does not have a legal leg to stand on if that advice is not explicitly stated (in writing).

I am also sceptical about the necessity travel at 100 kph.

If the explanations of riegal and rabid are as they describe then it seems Subaru are exaggerating the consequences and trying to shirk their responsibility behind a half truth. If the consequences can really be expected to be as bad as indicated then Subaru have more to answer for.
I have a 2016 outback diesel and avg approx 800km per week.

Up until recently i had never had a problem with DPF as trips to and from work involved approx 30km of driving on the M1.

Since my last move still travel approx 40km each way to work but the majority is on 80km/h limited roads.

I am no having DPF issues and even when I took the car out to the M1 to try to burn off the soot it failed to regenerate.

Mechanics have now told me this is due to oil dilution and the car needed to be serviced. (only 3 months and 10,000 kms since last service.) The 87.5k service was booked in for another 2 weeks.

It seems that the slightly slower speeds 80 vs 110 are no enough to allow for the normal dpf regeneration and the forced regeneration is causing faster oil dilution.

I guess my only fix is to make sure I drive the long way home (M1) a couple of times a week.
 

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The Subaru DPF management code is a disaster. Going for a drive once a week to maintain the DPF is a fallacy. What compounds the issue, is the driver is oblivious to what the DPF management system is doing.

Most of the DPF flashing light issues relate to oil-dilution, caused by the post-combustion diesel injection, used to regenerate the DPF. Why Subaru couldn't have spent the few extra dollars for a dedicated DPF fuel injection system, to avoid the oil-dilution issue, I'll never know.

It’s an excellent engine with good driving characteristics, completely let down by a rubbish DPF management system.

Excellent resource: subdiesel.wordpress.com/ecu-analysis/dpf-management/


Basically, driving short trips increases soot generation and the DPF requires more frequent cleaning (oil-dilution). A regen on the highway ~100 km/h will raise oil-dilution by 0.2 to 0.3%. If you drive on the highway for 100 to 200 km, the dilution will reduce by about 0.2%. So, if you drive between say Mackay and Rockhampton every day this is the car for you. You most likely won’t ever have an oil-dilution problem, and you’ll get to the 12500 kms between services.

If, however, you get stuck in increasing traffic or at lights when the DPF management system decides to do a regen, it is relentless. It will continue until it is complete, even if it has to stop and start the regen process a couple of times - even if the car is turned off it will try to regen again once the car is started and back up to temperature and speed. In this case I have seen oil-dilution increase by OVER 2%. Do this a couple of times and you are up to 10% oil dilution which means an oil change. I’ve had an oil change at less than 2000 km because of consecutive short trips.
 

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Mine is a 2015 MY16 with 217000ks, I drive it to the train station and back (6ks total each day) Monday to Thursday. Friday I drive to Melbourne and back to Geelong. Christmas time it gets a run to QLD and frequent road trips.. I drop the oil every 6 months and I have no DPF problems... Touch wood!
 

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Just stumbled across this post - I've recently purchased a MY16 Forester (not an Outback I know), and am wondering if I should be concerned about the DPF and oil dilution in my Forester. My new Subaru mechanic warned me about the problems with the Subaru diesels because of the DPF, so am wondering if I should be worried about it with my driving habits.

I travel for work 40km each way 2-3x per week averaging about 100-110km, and live in a regional city with a mixture of driving on the highway and freeway. The car is at 160 000 km, sometimes when I am driving on 80km speed limit roads I can see the car doing a blow off (darker exhaust smoke being emitted), and sometimes when on my longer drive to work at higher speeds.

It's due for a service in 2500km, and I'll have the oil changed and have the oil dilution reset on the ECU.

Anything else in addition I can do to avoid issues with it?
 

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If your driving is mostly at 100Km/h for 40mins then you should have no problems with the DPF.

Make sure your mechanic uses the engine oil made for vehicles with a DPF (unfortunately usually the most expensive oil) as this will ensure you have minimal problems if any.

Seagrass
 

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Hi. Been in lock down for the last God knows how long. Had a 5km restriction for most of it. Usually head down the coast for a surf once a week. So 100km round trip easily. Since Feb and covid 2020, have had a 5km restriction. So haven't been able to drive far away. Today on way to work. Dpf light flicked on. 2min later it started flashing. I thought to myself, this look like trouble. Finished work, drive home after reading reviews that it will need a clean urgently. Then on my way hope the engine light flicks on as well as the (p) light. Am very worried now. Has anyone had the same experience? Any idea what it means?
 

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Hi. Been in lock down for the last God knows how long. Had a 5km restriction for most of it. Usually head down the coast for a surf once a week. So 100km round trip easily. Since Feb and covid 2020, have had a 5km restriction. So haven't been able to drive far away. Today on way to work. Dpf light flicked on. 2min later it started flashing. I thought to myself, this look like trouble. Finished work, drive home after reading reviews that it will need a clean urgently. Then on my way hope the engine light flicks on as well as the (p) light. Am very worried now. Has anyone had the same experience? Any idea what it means?

I would take it for a long drive up the Calder Hwy and come to Bendigo for lunch. That should burn it off. Going to be 37deg here today so wear your shorts and thongs.
 
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