Issues with Diesel Particulate Filters

Diesel Particulate Filters or DPF’s for short were introduced in 2009 for Diesel cars only. They are designed to prevent soot, or particulate matter from entering the atmosphere therefore being kinder to the environment. Although they can help to do this and therefor lower emissions, they are often a bit of a nightmare for many diesel owners, especially ones that do not do many long journeys. The way a DPF filter works is that it it collects this very fine soot that is produced by the engine. Every so often the soot is burnt off at extremely high temperatures, which leaves a tiny ash residue. This ash residue will overtime build up and will need specialist cleaning, but often this doesn’t need to be done until around a hundred thousand miles.

In order for the DPF to regenerate (burn the soot to ash) it needs to reach a certain temperature. The best way to do this is to drive the car at high revs for about 20-25 minutes. If you often do very short journeys and at low speeds then your car may struggle to clear the DPF. Often you will get a warning light on the car saying that it needs to regenerate. At this point you should take it on a good run on a motor way or road you can drive at about 50-60 mph for a period of time. If you do not do this it can become blocked and require professional cleaning.

Fitting your own brake pads and brake discs

Cars can be costly to run and repair and so any jobs that you can do yourself will help keep repair costs to a minimum. You do not have to be a trained mechanic to work on vehicles but many modern cars are so overly complicated that it can be hard to do so without a good sound knowledge. Some more simpler jobs may be able to be accomplished by watching video tutorials but you should only attempt to do so if you are confident you are able to finish the job as intended and safely.

One job that many people do themselves is to fit new brake pads and discs. This is often straightforward as long as the callipers are easy to remove.

When buying the new parts, you need to make sure the fitment is the same. Ideally you want to remove the old ones and double check the part you are ordering is correct. If this is not possible then you should make sure that you can return the part for a refund or exchange if it isn’t the right one.

Try and avoid doing jobs on a car when you are on your own, especially if you are going to have to be going under the vehicle whilst it is jacked up.

Has your car suddenly lost power?

You may be driving along thinking that everything is fine, when you try to accelerate and notice that your car simply will not pick up speed and limps along at 20-30 mph. This can not only be annoying but dangerous if you are on a motorway for example. Often when this happens it is because your car has gone in to limp mode. Limp mode is a function that temporarily slows the car right down to prevent further damage to the engine. It can come on for a number of reasons such as a faulty sensor or damaged to an air pipe.

If you find that limp mode comes on then you need to take the car to a garage as soon as possible. Try and get it recovered if possibly or if the garage is some distance away from your home. Most garages will usually start by putting it on a diagnostic machine to see if it brings up any error codes. From this they can usually work through the codes (if there are any) to find out what is causing the issue. If they cannot find an issue they may reset the diagnostic on the car and send you on your way. Often if this happens, the error will occur again at a later date.

Buying car parts

If you want to save a bit of money on car repairs then you could opt to source and buy the parts yourself. If you have a garage or mechanic that you wish to use you will need to check if they are happy for you to provide them the parts to fit. If you do decide to do this then obviously it will only be their workmanship that is covered by any guarantee, not the parts that you have supplied.

Sometimes you may be able to get the parts a lot cheaper than the garage quotes you but you do need to make sure that you know exactly what part you need and if you are buying second hand that it has a warranty on it and it works as it should.

Some places such as Euro car parts offer non genuine parts at great prices and if you can find a voucher code you may be able to save even more on the purchase price.



Changing Your Tyres

Regularly changing your tyres, or tyre maintenance, can have a massive impact on your vehicles performance. The type of tyres you have on can affect the safety of your vehicle. During winter months, it is advised that you use winter tyres, which are more suitable for cold and snow, and ice. Having wet tyres can improve the safety of your vehicle when it is raining. Often times, the type of tyre your car has can have significant impact on the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Having a level of competency with your car tyres, enough to know how much air is the correct amount, can help significantly with your cars performance and fuel efficiency. If you have the money to spare, going to a tyre fitter could be a great option. Tyre fitters are experts in tyres, and can help you find the suitable one for your car, taking into account how you use your vehicle, what the weather is like, and the season.