Friday 27 September 2013

What is a DPF?

photo of cut-away diesel particulate filter, DPF
Cross section of a diesel particulate filter
Your diesel car could save you money on fuel consumption, but did you know that nearly all new diesel cars are fitted with an eco-friendly component which is leaving some motorists with unnecessary replacement part costs? The part in question is called a Diesel Particulate Filter or DPF.

It’s fitted to your car's exhaust to trap soot and reduce emissions. The part was introduced to bring cars in line with the ‘Euro 5’ standard on emissions. But depending on how you drive your car, you may need further assistance.
image of diesel particulate filter clogged with soot and ash
Soot and ash on diesel particulate filter
The DPF usually cleans itself when the engine runs at high speeds - a process called ‘regeneration’ that takes place automatically on a longer journey when the exhaust temperature is high. Because many cars don’t regularly get this sort of use and the majority of journeys consist of short commute to work, the school run or a trip to the shops, the regeneration process may not initiate and a warning light will illuminate to show that the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is partially blocked.

The DPF must then be cleared; this can be carried out at your regular service interval with a DPF treatment to help maintain the efficient operation of both the DPF and the fuel system. If the problem is too severe, you may need to have a costly repair of the diesel particulate filter.

Help is at hand
If you have a diesel car and use it primarily for short journeys, the Good Garage Scheme's member garages can help with a special treatment for a blocked Diesel Particulate Filter that aims to combat the adverse affects of stop/start driving on diesel vehicles.

This treatment for your car will:
  • Extend the life of Diesel Particulate Filter
  • Minimise running costs
  • Maximise fuel economy
  • Maintain engine efficiency
  • Reduce emissions
  • Provide peace of mind

Angelo Chillari, Administrator of the Good Garage Scheme, said: “Our member garages can offer a treatment that has been developed to economically benefit the consumer, as complete replacement of the filter is costly and can also prove to be a recurring problem.”

If you are concerned about your diesel particulate filter, contact your nearest Good Garage Scheme member for further advice.

Friday 20 September 2013

MOT Repairs Costing UK Motorists Billions

According to recent research from Allianz Your Cover Insurance, two in five cars fail their MOT test every year in the UK. Motorists are then reported to pay more than £2 billion in repairs and the cost of a second MOT to get their vehicle back on the road.

Here are the Top 5 reasons vehicles didn’t pass their MOT according to Allianz Your Cover's research:
  • Damage to tyres (28%)
  • Problems with the exhaust (17%)
  • Windscreen wiper blades need replacing (14%)
  • Defective headlights (12%) 
  • Brake lights not working (10%)
Not only do these items cost motorists money in MOT bills and repairs, but damaged tyres and dysfunctioning brake lights are a real danger to all motorists. These are items that car owners should regularly check, but most of us lead busy lives and do not find the time.

Your local Good Garage Scheme member would be happy to check your tyres, lights, windscreen wipers and exhaust and advise if any need replacing. Simply visit and find a local trustworthy garage. The Good Garage Scheme website has over 600,000 customer reviews so that you can read feedback from previous customers before you visit.

It's like having a friend in the know!

Friday 13 September 2013

Off to Uni With Your Car?

Over the next week or two, university students will be packing their cars and heading off to university either for the first time or returning for the new academic year.

If you are taking your car and keeping it on or near the university campus, you will want to be able to locate the closest trustworthy garage, should you need a helping hand with your car.  

The Good Garage Scheme is a network of over 2,400 independent garages throughout the UK that work to a Code of Conduct and have their customers’ best interests at heart.

The easiest way to have peace of mind and convince worried parents that you are organised is to download the Good Garage Scheme’s free app for your phone. 

From there you will be able to type in the town or postcode of your new university home and find a local Good Garage Scheme member to service or repair your car should you need to do so before you travel home again.

The app is free and was chosen as a Top App by The Sunday Times in 2011 and 2012. Visit the Good Garage Scheme website and download the app today.

The Good Garage Scheme…it’s like having a friend in the know!

Friday 6 September 2013

Mind the Dazzle

Autumn is here, and it’s time to prepare the car for the season ahead.
Shorter days bring low sun earlier in the day. According to the Department for Transport figures, dazzling sun was responsible for twenty-three crash fatalities in 2010. Before starting an afternoon journey, try to ensure you have a good pair of sunglasses with you.
If the sun makes it difficult to see, slow down. If the sun is behind you, then it’s in the eyes of oncoming drivers who may not be able to see you. Low sun can dazzle you through your mirrors so check over your shoulder for vehicles in your blind spot.

Make it easier for other drivers to see you by turning on your headlights before sunset and keeping them on for an hour after sunrise.

Leaves falling from trees can cause more hazardous driving conditions both on the road and to your vehicle.

Hard acceleration or braking can cause skidding while dips and potholes hiding under the leaves covering the road can cause other problems.

Always make sure your windscreen is cleaned inside and out as low sun will highlight grime and scratches and ensure your wiper blades are in good condition.

Also, clear out the tray-like area under the bonnet, below the windscreen. They can fill up with water when it gets blocked with leaves. The water then seeps into the car’s electrics, causing expensive and potentially dangerous damage.

The Good Garage Scheme would like to thank the IAM (Institute for Advanced Motoring) for their advice on driving in autumn.