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Old 09-22-2010, 04:00 PM   #1
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Cleaning the DPFE?

Have a 02 Focus Zetec with ~ 21K mi. Under a steady highway condition I got a P0401 code CEL. Did some checking and seems this problem is common to Fords with a DPFE.

Searched the forum concerning fixing DPFEs and found "If you're really feeling tricky, remove the EGR and clean it with carburetor cleaner. I fixed the one on my Aerostar that way- after I broke a cheap DPFE from Autozone."

Since mine has just started to cause problems thought would give a try to clean it.

Appreciate any advice from others who have tried cleaning the DPFE?



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Old 09-22-2010, 04:29 PM   #2
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where do you guys always find these cars with low miles?
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:50 PM   #3
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There is nothing to clean in a DPFE. it contains two solid-state load cells and some supporting electronics, the two load cells are where the 'differential' in dpfe comes from.
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:24 AM   #4
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I wrote that quote. I was talking about cleaning the EGR not the DPFE. The DPFE is the part that the two air lines from the exhaust run to. It samples exhaust gasses to see if the EGR is needed.

You should also test the EGR for proper operation before cleaning it. To do this use a clean or new vacuum line, connect it to the EGR vacuum port, use your mouth for suction. It does not take much, the EGR diaphragm should work with just the amount of breath it takes to fill your cheeks. You will feel it work if it works. Use your finger to see if the EGR valve is moving. Before putting the EGR back on- clean the black stuff out of the cylinder head where the EGR is bolted. You'll need a shop vac or other vacuum cleaner to suck as much of it out as possible. You might have to use an old flat head screwdriver to scrape the black.

I think that with your mileage and age, you're going to find that your EGR diaphragm is not working. You'll suck on it to try to get it to work, and hear all the air pulling in from the diaphragm indicating a leak.

I'd also consider physically removing and thoroughly inspecting all your vacuum lines. Another vacuum leak somewhere could be causing the EGR not to function. It would be a good idea to at least check the PCV which has been known to have problems. This kind of damage is due more to age than to the condition or mileage of the vehicle. Rubber decays over time.
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:40 PM   #5
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If you are new like me a diagram really helps to visualize what to do !

After much searching this is the best diagram I have found for making the changes for Hack #2

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