Is it legal to remove the DPF from our Hyundai Santa Fe?

We have owned a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CDI 7-seater for three years but recently it has displayed the engine management light. Our dealer carried out a diagnostic check and revealed it was a clogged DPF. He cleaned it and the car was fine for the last 500 miles, but now the warning light is back on. The thing is, most of the mileage is carried out on long journeys involving motorways. Indeed, the days leading up to the second occurrence involved a 200-mile journey on the motorway and a previous motorway run the night before the warning light came on. To replace the filter is extortionate. What are our options? Is it legal to have the filter removed? There seem to be plenty of companies offering this service. It seems the days of high mileage diesels are over.

Asked on 30 November 2013 by GHA, Stratford-upon-Avon

Answered by Honest John
You're right. The days of diesels running to 200,000 miles with no trouble are long gone. Most are likely to cost at least £5000 for new DPFs, DMFs, EGRs, turbos, turbo plumbing and, on some, timing belts before they get to 200,000 miles or six years old. It is illegal to remove the DPF, but the EC law on that is not yet heavily enforced in the UK (though it could be at any time without warning). It might be possible to have the DPF cleaned out properly using the ceramex process by Unipart or Alliance auto centres, or by KwikFit.
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