Over the last few years cars that are fueled by diesel have become more and more popular as a result of better fuel economy. This not only benefits the amount of times the owner needs to fuel up but also the environment. However any of these savings that are made in the short term, are being over shadowed by what can sometimes be a four digit repair bill.
In accordance with regulations all diesel vehicles that have been made since 2008 are now fitted with a diesel particulate filter. These trap soot and other particulates that are harmful in the exhaust and this is what reduces the emissions. It also reduces the road tax of the vehicle although doesn’t have much impact on the car insurance. Although many drivers are finding that these filters need to be replaced a lot quick than they first anticipated.
The reason for this is because they are becoming blocked which a result of short and frequent journeys. Jon Quirk is the head of editorial at autotrader.co.uk and he has said, “Diesel particulate filters have a self cleansing process built into the software of the car, so after a long journey 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 doesn’t have time to initiate.
“We’ve heard of numerous national patrols being regularly called out to service cars as a result of particulate filter warning lights illuminating, indicating a partial blockage of the filter, with short distance driving being a contributory factor.”
If your journeys are mainly within towns and start stop driving you should avoid buying a new diesel. The AA has said that they are called out regularly to vehicles that have the particulate filter light on which suggests a blockage.
Depending on the model of the vehicle the repairs can be very costly. For example a particulate filter on a Fiat 500 1.3 diesel which was made between 2009 and 2013 will cost approximately £1200 to fix, whereas the same problem on an Audi A4 which has a 2.0 litre diesel engine which was manufactured between 2007-2010 will cost around £2000, this is according to Auto Trader.