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Hello everyone! Sorry for this being a long firs post.
I have trawled the whole “interwebs” and I came across with the same issues: Captiva (Antara) DPF problems... Loss of power, black smoke, frequent regeneration.

My Captiva got so bad that the black smoke would look like a video game cheat code! The drivers behind me would close their windows and wave their hands in front of their nose!
I was worried that if the black smoke would happen in front of the Plods I would be in deep trouble. (Left alone it would be a M.O.T fail!)
Therefore, I have decided to replace my DPF!
Disclaimer: I am not a professional mechanic!
Do it at your own risk!
The options were the following:

New DPF from Chevy or authorised OEM (Very expensive!)
Used DPF from EBay (£325.00) Not guaranteed to be in good shape
DPF cleaning service (minimum £180.00 and might not solve the issue working as a temporary fix)

I have opted for a manufactured DPF. It comes clean from soot and has warranty.
This can be bought on Ebay for £447.00. (It comes with new brackets and gaskets!)

Contra DPF

Optional tools:

Extension adaptor set:

Car retainer clips and tools

WARNING: (engine must be cold!)

  • Tools
  • Replacement DPF
  • A/C refill voucher
  • Jacks or car ramps
  • Lots of patience!

I have checked the workshop manual and the instructions were very vague.
I will use as a guide and give the tips that I learned to during my struggle.

Step 1: With the car on the plain level, remove the negative battery cable. Remove then engine cover and the plastic cover on the top of the radiator. Use the clip removal tool.

Step 2: Once the plastic bits are removed, you can have access to the bolts that hold the headlights. Remove both headlights and you will gain more space to work.
(put subtitles on!)

Step 3: recover your air conditioning refrigerant or let the huge leak that “suddenly appeared” get rid of the refrigerant! (I tried to remove the DPF without removing the refrigerant pipe, unfortunately this is not possible! On the bright side… you do not need to remove all pipes as per workshop instructions)
Once you got rid of the refrigerant. Disconnect the pipe in the photo. Wrap the ends in cling film to avoid contamination. Put them aside, you can also unbolt the relay box (yellow) to give more access.

Step 4:
  • Remove the turbocharger heat shield (engine must be cold!)
  • Remove the clamp holding the DPF tot the turbo ( discard gasket)
  • Disconnect the exhaust temperature sensor 1, the differential temperature sensor (using grip pliers) 2 and the O2 sensor (I think)! 3
  • Remove the DPF front heat shield

RAISE THE CAR AS YOU NEED ACCESS FROM UNDERNEATH. You must remove the under shield at this

Step 5: (my own trick… not part of the workshop manual instructions)
Unbolt the oil return feed pipe and the clamp. With some wiggle, it will come out. Put in a plastic bag to avoid contamination.

Step 6: With the turbo oil return pipe out of the way. You will have easier access to the bolt and nut that hold the DPF to the engine block. (Right hand side) do the same on the left hand side. If you manage to remove the nuts in red and remove the bracket from underneath the car it will save your with the wiggle to get the DFP out of the engine bay)

Step 7: Go underneath the car and remove the exhaust front pipe (3 nuts) discard the gasket, as it will be deteriorated. *You can buy a new one here: Genuine Vauxhall ANTARA Exhaust Manifold to Front Pipe 96350814 for sale online | eBay (if you do not buy the kit from Contra as they provide new clamps and gasket)

Step 8: The DPF should be loosen by now. Ask a friend to be underneath the car and have the stronger person from the top of the car. Wear googles for protection as soot and other crap will be falling on the person underneath. Work as a team manoeuvring the DPF out of the way. It is a pain in the arse!

Step 9: Once you have the DPF out remove the brackets and all the sensors.

NOTE: If you bought a replacement from Contra the DPF will be a bit fatter than original one. Do not bother with the middle holding brackets, as they will no longer fit!

Step 10: Remove all the parts from the old DPF that need to go on the new one:
  • Sensors
  • Brackets
  • Holds
  • Rear heat shield
Once the DPF is reassembled. Do not overtighten any of the brackets, as you have to align then with the bolts on the engine block.

Step 11: Lower the new DPF to the original with the help of somebody. Replace the gasket in the turbo connector and attach the DPF to the turbo. (do not tighten it fully yet! ).

Step 12: Insert the upper bolts (if your DPF is the same as the original) on the engine block. Replace the turbo oil feed pipe (hand tight it to allow you to move slightly.

Step 13: Re-attach the front heat shield and the brackets (if you are reusing them) Once you put the heat shield bolts you can tight the oil feed pipe and reattach the hose.

Step 14: tighten the DPF to the turbo (Tighten the clamp to 9 N·m (80 lb in)
Connect the exhaust differential pressure sensors ( note! If you used the Contra DPF one of the tubes will be fatter than the original. Use hot water to expand the hose and fit it to the new DPF ( I used a hose clamp as I didn’t have a substitute!)

Step 15: Put the turbo heat shield and reconnect the AC pipe (replace the O-ring seal)

Step 16: once everything is connected, switch on the car to see if everything is working, as it should.
If the car runs as normal replace all the components and the plastic covers.

ALL Done!!! I will update this thread if I remember bits that I forgot to mention.
Just had my daughters done while a clutch was replaced
In which case just watch the frequency of the demanded Regenerations. It might not be full with Soot, but it might just be gradually becoming full of 'ash'. Ash is not expelled so therefore it gradually consumes the space that the soot would normally be retained for burning. Hence the regeneration capability for burning soot is diminished over time creating more and more frequent regenerations.
Local garage did mine, removed the subframe, all pretty straight forward after that.

284 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Just had my daughters done while a clutch was replaced

Local garage did mine, removed the subframe, all pretty straight forward after that.

It should not be on such a pain if you do in a proper garage, I made my life more difficult because at first, I wanted to remove the DPF without disconnecting the air conditioning pipes. (spoiler alert: is not possible)

I am not a professional mechanic either! Just don't have money to pay for one lol!
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