Letter: If you drive a diesel car, you should read this

If you drive a diesel car and don’t regularly drive it at sustained high speeds, you may want to read this advice from OnTheWight reader, Paul Carter. He offers what appears to be god advice that could save you £1,700.

diesel sign

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Paul Carter, Niton. Ed

All current diesel cars and vans are required to be fitted with some method of eliminating diesel particulate (what we used to think of as “soot”).

Some manufacturers (for example Ford) use a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to achieve this. It is an item on the MOT test – that it should be fitted and working.

Regular, sustained high speeds needed
The problem is that DPFs are inclined to accumulate particulates, and to clear it the vehicle needs regular, sustained high speed.

Many Island cars simply don’t get that. If it does not receive that treatment, it is inclined to fail.

I have noticed how many Isle of Wight vehicles are diesels, and I wonder how many owners know about this (or have been advised about it by the dealer).

If the DPF fails, it can cost as much as £1,700 to replace.

Problem cars
Cars with a reputation for DPF problems:

  • Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail 2006 – current models
  • Audi A3, A4 & A6 – 2006 to 2012
  • Skoda Octavia & other models 2004 – 2013
  • VW – 2006 – 20012
  • BMW 3 & 5 Series 2004 – 2012

It would be wise if you own a diesel to check this out.

Image: twicepix under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 15th August, 2017 4:30pm


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Filed under: Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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7 Comments on "Letter: If you drive a diesel car, you should read this"

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Fred Karno
This is a well known problem that has now been around for quite a few years now. I think without exception, every diesel passenger car and light commercial has now been fitted with a DPF. Many manufacturers have had problems, it was a technology not properly developed that was foisted on the public. Interestingly, a specific offence has been created of removing the DPF. Many owners, tearing… Read more »

I believe all Euro 5 and Euro 6 Diesel cars are fitted with DPFs, so any diesel registered after 2009 will have a DPF.


Correction, all cars going into production after 2009 will have DPFs, so existing models may not.

All diesel cars sold after *2011* will have DPFs.

Agreed I don’t know if you read Honest John but people on there discuss whether a particular car has a DPF or not. Which I have assumed to mean that there are vehicles fitted with some kind of alternative. I just wonder how many motorists on the Island appreciate that the typical mix of driving here is not giving the DPF the opportunity to regenerate, or whatever… Read more »
Thanks to Paul for raising this. A quick whizz up the M3 from time to time should clear the DPF, but my car reports an average speed (that is, not counting all the stationary periods!) is less than 20mph on the Island. As to the future of diesels, out knee-jerking government is good at poisoning markets – it did it with solar panels (quote one D Cameron:… Read more »
I had this issue with our Golf GTD it was constantly filling up the DPF, dealer wanted £300 to replace parts, or £200 + £150 for a full clean and reprogramed to blank-off EGR. Constant issues every 4-5 months DPF error then limp home mode, nightmare of disruption and expense. I contacted VW and went trawling the VW website to finally be told buy a TSI (petrol)… Read more »
This is so easy to fix, you need to get the exhaust very hot frequently. You can do this by either driving at 70 mph for 10 mins (which is impossible for the Island) or by accelerating hard in a high gear everyday. So if you are going up the dual carriageway, quickly get in to top gear and then hold your foot down on the floor… Read more »