A crackdown on the removal of diesel particulate filters means from last month it will be an instant MOT failure. The Government’s move follows a spate of problems affecting DPFs on cars driving in urban areas. Broken DPFs have caused cars to enter ‘limp mode’ restricting acceleration. This has led some drivers to remove the DPFs. However, you can just clean it.
Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: “I am very concerned that vehicles are being modified in a way that is clearly detrimental to people’s health and undoes the hard work car manufacturers have taken to improve emissions standards. It has become apparent the government had to intervene to clarify the position on particulate filter removal given the unacceptable negative impact on air quality. This change to the MOT tests makes it clear – if you have this filter removed from your car it will fail the test.”
Cataclean® corporate development director Graham Fraser said it is especially important to take notice of the Government MOT law change as March is traditionally the busiest time of the year for MOTs (see notes to editors 2).
“The key message to motorists is to take care of your DPF,” he said. “Removing the DPF is no longer an option and risks invalidating your car insurance, making your car illegal to drive. Cataclean® can provide a simple low cost solution. Providing it is used before the DPF has broken, and the vehicle is treated with Cataclean® once a quarter, it can prevent the DPF from becoming clogged. Cataclean® does this by cleaning the engine, lowering soot emissions, by up to 60pc, reducing the need for constant regeneration of the DPF.
“We would also emphasize that Cataclean® has other benefits for all diesel, petrol and hybrid cars and vans. It can reduce emissions by protecting your catalytic converter and also improve fuel efficiency and performance.”
Cataclean® comes in an easy to use 475ml bottle designed to pour into a fuel tank. It can be bought for around £16 at all good motor factors including Euro Car Parts, Culmac (in North West region) GSF, Jim Barrow (in North West region), CES (UK) Ltd, Andrew Page as well as Halfords stores and Halfords autocentres.
Under EU legislation, any diesel motor produced after 2008 should have a DPF fitted as standard. It works as a filter to trap harmful particles and soot, preventing them from escaping and therefore reducing carbon emissions by up to 80%.
Diesel cars most affected by problems are those which spend their time in congested, urban areas. DPFs have a self-cleansing process built into the software of the car, so after a long journey, or on a motorway drive, they are meant to regenerate and re-cleanse. However, if the car spends a lot of time performing short journeys, the DPFs can become clogged because the regeneration process does not have time to initiate. This can lead to cars entering ‘limp home mode’ whereby they will not accelerate very quickly or even become speed restricted.
If a DPF fails it can leave drivers with hefty, four-figure bills for a replacement.
A recent report on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours said fuel companies and motor manufacturers had been compiling details of DPF problems. The UK Petroleum Industry Association and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told the BBC online: “We are aware that motorists in some parts of the UK have experienced incidences of diesel fuel filter blocking problems. There is no pattern in fuel retail outlet, age, type or brand of vehicle, or the age of the filter affected. We are actively investigating the situation, through British Standards Institution, to achieve a swift resolution and limit any inconvenience to affected customers.”
The Downstream Fuel Association, which represents organisations throughout the supply chain, from storage to the forecourt, told BBC online it was also involved. It added the investigation was open to all lines of inquiry and it was premature to draw any firm conclusions at this stage.
The Daily Mail reported that the AA says that it is regularly called out to deal with cars with the particulate filter light on – indicating a partial blockage of the filter.