Autogas

London motorists are being warned of another expensive potential risk from diesel cars – blocked Diesel Particulate Filters that, if ignored, could result in a £1000 bill.

Glasgow-based finance broker First Vehicle Leasing has also issued some unconventional advice to help drivers unblock them – speed up!

A DPF is part of the vehicle’s exhaust system that traps ’soot’ particles created during the normal operation of a diesel engine, helping to cut down on harmful exhaust emissions.

In order for a DPF to work effectively, it needs to be emptied regularly, which takes place when the exhaust reaches a high temperature. This occurs either through passive regeneration – on motorway-type runs, or active regeneration – via the car’s engine management system.

Regular stop-start traffic will result in the DPF becoming blocked, which at the very least will mean the car won’t run properly. Worst case scenario is the need for a new DPF, likely to cost upwards of £1000.

Drivers of diesel vehicles used mainly for city driving will see a warning light on their dashboard, warning them that the DPF needs cleaning.

Speed up to save the DPF

First Vehicle Leasing is thus telling people to break free of the city and head for the open road – the more open, the better.

Andy Watson, business development manager at the broker, said: “If you do not do this, you may need to have the filter replaced, and this cost is unlikely to be covered under the vehicle’s warranty.

Watson goes on to recommend a petrol-engined vehicle for city centre driving, which can be just as economical, with the added benefit of a cheaper price per litre at the pump. What’s more, there’s no potential Diesel Particulate Filter horror story to keep you awake at night.

Interesting advice in the light of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s proposed £10 Congestion Charge diesel surcharge for cars that, from 2020, don’t meet the latest Euro 6 emissions legislation. Another blow to the fortunes of diesel cars in Britain’s major cities?