How Much Is a Used DPF Worth?

There are many cases where a used diesel particulate filter (DPF) may need to be resold. This article will explore how much is a used DPF worth in the market. We will look into the recycle, scrap, and salvage value of a used DPF.

How Much is a Used DPF Worth?

A used diesel particulate filter can be worth a small fortune in certain cases if it is still functional and can meet EPA standards. For example, if a truck is involved in a fatal crash and is declared a total loss, the used DPF can still be taken out and sold as a stand-alone part. A used DPF bought from a salvage yard can cost upwards of $1500.

What is a used DPF good for?

A used DPF/DOC is good as a replacement for the entire aftermarket system if your current one fails you and cannot be cleaned to restore functionality. For example, I had a case where an older model truck had its DPF fail on it, but the owner was able to purchase a used DPF from an aftermarket truck parts dealer and had it installed on his truck. The used DPF did not need any cleaning and worked great because it was taken from a newer model total loss truck.

Used DPF age with time because soot begins to accumulate from trapped particulate matter that ends of clogging the filter. The process of internal regeneration a truck is supposed to perform is usually good enough to keep the DPF from clogging entirely but over time manual cleaning may be needed. Also, if regeneration ceases to work then that can spell an early end to your DPF.

Where to sell a used DPF?

The best place to sell your used DPF is to a truck parts dealer. If you are in the market for a new aftermarket system, then you may be able to trade in your current DPF as a core for a credit/discount off your purchase. You can also sell your used/broken DPF to DPF buyers.

Because a DPF is among one of the heavier truck parts, be sure you include the original or equivalent clamps, gaskets, and brackets when selling the unit. You should also ensure the serial number is visible and that it can be verified with the manufacturer dealership.

Documentation should remain with the DPF including fleet maintenance records as well as installation and serial number information. If you’re DPF has been cleaned, you should have had those records stored to pass onto the next owner.

How much is a used DPF that doesn’t work?

DPF and DOC systems are catalyzed with platinum group metals which is a valuable commodity to recycling companies. Therefore, a DPF filter scrap value can be fairly lucrative. If your DPF is destined for the junk yard you could still trade it in for its PGM content and get on average a couple hundred dollars. Other valuable metals used in DPF manufacturing include palladium and rhodium.

There are also rebates and fee reductions available if you are upgrading your DPF system. For example, many port authorities have programs that allow you to earn a fee rebate or fee reduction by submitting the NRDE annual report completed along with engine and equipment information for tier 1 or newer engines.

The EPA’S Take

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the government body the regulates and oversees the use of DPF on diesel trucks. Each DPF is verified for use with a specific engine and/or configuration. They ensure that there vigorous testing accounts for exhaust temperature, fuel sulfur levels, lube consumption, particulate-matter emission levels, and duty cycle. 200,000 mile is what the California Air Resource Board indicates as the warranty period for DPF systems. Medium duty pickup trucks have a shorter warranty period as they range only up to 60,000 miles.

The EPA states that to choose the best diesel particulate filter for a commercial diesel vehicle, it’s important to understand the following:

  • Vehicle type, (ex. Highway/off-road)
  • Vehicle class, (class 8 tractor vs forklift etc)
  • Vehicle specifications including model, manufacturer, and year
  • EPA engine family name
  • Yearly operation hours or miles traveled.

An exhaust backpressure monitor and operator notification system must be installed with every DPF. Sometimes this sensor is not replaced or updated to match the DPF and therefore can cause issues with proper truck operation.

While trucks built from 2007-2009 were good at eliminating particulate matter, they did not however do a very good job of reducing nitrogen oxide levels. Improvements to retrofit technologies including the diesel filter and diesel oxidation catalyst led to a newer range of certified engines that led to an almost ten-fold decrease in nitrogen oxide emission levels.

Many port authorities are advocating to companies to keep a newer and modern fleet of trucks because it ensures the lowest emission rates of particulate matter, aligns better with more recent federal emissions limits, and entails fewer warranty issues with the operating engine.

Is it illegal to sell a used DPF?

It is not illegal to sell a used DPF for ‘salvage’ but if you are the owner of a diesel vehicle that uses emissions technology and you remove the DPF/DOC system then that is against EPA laws. DPF systems are meant to reduce the output of PM10, PM2.5, Ultrafine PM, and black carbon particulate matter.

When there is no retrofit device installed on a diesel truck, the effect it has on air quality is adverse. Some folks have tried to recoup the costs of a DPF delete through selling their used DPF which is not a recommended practice. Regular regeneration of the DPF should be performed to avoid a costly breakdown or repair bill. That is why we recommend continue following EPA emissions rules and DO NOT DPF DELETE!

If you want more information on maintain your DPF unit, explore topics such as mandatory opacity testing, idling reduction, and retrofits to bring emissions closer to federally imposed limits. You can also continue reading our articles on DoNotDPFDelete.green.