Particulate Filters – The Dangers Of Buying Used Cars

Wednesday, 26. February 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.
English: Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) built...

English: Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) built in the exhaust pipe of a Peugeot) Deutsch: Dieselrußpartikelfilter (DPF) in einem Peugeot Français : Filtre à particules (FAP) de Peugeot Citroën (PSA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may or may not be aware that the MOT rules have changed recently. One of the changes relates to the use of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) and the requirement that if a car is fitted with one as standard from new that it is intact and working properly. If it isn’t the car will fail its MOT.

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However, it seems that the only effective test that an MOT station can carry out is a visual inspection so it seems that in order to get around the rules some companies are offering a removal service whereby they remove the DPF leaving just an empty canister which looks fine but clearly isn’t working.

This infringes section 75 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which prohibits alterations from being made to a car that renders it unroadworthy. After the MOT rule change, the motor insurance industry has become more vigilant and has warned motorists that if they remove the DPF then have a crash they should consider the consequences of not having valid insurance.

Remember that if your car has a diesel particulate filter fitted and you want to avoid clogging in the first place, you need to run the car at a minimum of 50mph for a minimum of 20 minutes each month. This creates a chemical reaction that clears out the particulate filter.

Yet another potential problem when buying a used car, even with an inspection carried out by an engineer, there is no way of knowing how badly clogged the filter may be when you buy a used car. And they aren’t cheap I was told a VW owner paid £1,650 for a replacement filter. Do you really want a used car? STOP PRESS: Strangely I have just had a call from a desperate driver (oooerr missus) who thought that he would save money by taking a low cost ex demonstrator.

He’s had the car for about 4 months and the car is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. After the particulate light started to glow on the dashboard he took the car into the dealer to have it looked at and they said the particulate filter is blocked and it will cost £1,400 to have it replaced.

They then shocked him by explaining that this is a wear and tear item, not covered by the warranty. Another reason why you should never take an ex demonstrator, you just don’t know how the 50 or more drivers of the car have driven the car! By Graham Hill

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