Dpf light flashing after 3 hours motorway driving?

Hi. I have a Mazda 6 estate (2011). We were traveling to our holiday in France today when, after 3 hours of motorway driving, the dpf light started flashing. We reluctantly carried on for the last hour of our journey but it’s still flashing. It had an oil change about 3 months ago. Don’t know what to do now. Don’t speak French but starting to panic about a breakdown on the 4 hour journey back to catch the ferry next week. Any help really appreciated.

The DPF status light is flashing.

This is your second warning, and it’s more urgent. It’s telling you a parked regeneration is necessary, and you need to perform it as soon as possible. If your Check Engine light comes on while the DPF status light is flashing, it means you need to perform a parked regen right away.

I would be extremely surprised if the Mazda Owner’s Manual didn’t address this situation, and I have to wonder if the OP has bothered to look at what it tells him about this process.

If he wants a general (not specific to a Mazda passenger vehicle) description of the situation, this should help:

If the diesel particulate filter indicator light starts flashing, have the vehicle inspected immediately at an expert repairer, we recommend an Authorised Mazda Repairer. If the vehicle is not inspected and continues to be driven, the engine may malfunction.


Yes, manual just says to contact Mazda dealer. I’m in the middle of nowhere in France and don’t want to lose a day of our family holiday and

not sure about the environmental/emissions laws in France, but here in the US, your vehicle will start to lose top speed until repair is made and Vehicle Computer is satisfied that the system is performing as designed. I do not recommend attempting the 4 hour drive home until you have a better idea of what is going on here and what the vehicle will do if you ignore the warning.

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Suggest to follow the learned technical advice above. At the next town, stop by at the town center tourist kiosk, somebody there will speak English and will be happy mark off the location of some nearby auto repair shops on a town map (plan de la ville) they’ll give you. You’re in good hands there. France is a very tourist friendly country.

You know about France’s driving safety requirements, right? The stuff you must carry in your car? If you don’t have it now, suggest while your car is at the shop, good opportunity to buy the full set of safety stuff in the same town. Might save you a big fine.

This sort of thing can be looked upon as a big pain. Or a big opportunity. Gives you a chance to explore the local area, you may find some delightful and interesting tourist attractions nearby. Who knows, you may decide to stay in this town for the remainder of your holiday.

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Thanks for the various responses. Mechanic at home seems to think if oil level is ok, then should be ok for journey home but they’re not a Mazda specialist obviously.
My wife thinks go with his advice. I’m more risk averse and siding with the responses in this thread.
Not sure what we’ll do at the moment
I’ll update with the outcome, for what it’s worth.

DPF has nothing to do with oil level. it is an emissions device. read my above warning. You don’t want to get 1 hour into your trip home and be relegated to only 25mph on a busy freeway. This may not be a France thing, but it is here. Make sure you know. This info should be in your owners manual.

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It is,


An internet article says higher speed driving is usually helpful for the dpf. Since this symptom occurred presumably after 3 hours of higher speed motorway driving, it’s possible there’s some other issue involved. For example if the engine is running too-rich ( e.g. b/c of an air leak bypassing the maf), the unneeded extra fuel injected will place an add’l load on the dpf, which could cause this symptom. Seems like a diesel-knowledgeable shop inspection is the common sense solution. They may be able to command a recharge of the dpf using their shop scan tool.

In addition to finding a qualified diesel mechanic in France (where they are surely very common, due to the number of diesel-powered vehicles there), the OP should give serious consideration to finding a new mechanic when he gets back home. A mechanic who thinks that the DPF warning situation has anything to do with the engine’s oil level isn’t much of a mechanic.

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Wondering if UK mechanic was referring to “engine oil” level? No diesel experience, but don’t newer diesel engines meter out & inject some sort of substance (diesel emissions fluid) directly into the exhaust stream as the car is driven? The driver must have to top the level of that bottle off once in a while. Maybe that is what the mechanic was referring to?

yes, that is called DEF, or Urea, or AdBlue. not oil. Heaven forbid it even remotely sound like “oil” with my drivers…