Damian James' Blog: 24 July 2009 - Diesel particulate filters
27 July 2009
Damian James is Head of Transport Provision for Bracknell Forest Council and a technology champion
I read on this week's ACFO bulletin about ING Car Lease reporting on the issues around diesel particulate filters. As we all strive to reduce our CO2 to a minimum this clever piece of technology helps reduce emissions even further by collecting soot.
This AA article sums it up all rather well.
However, as with most technology there is a potential downside. So as filters become more common with Euro5 my advice at the moment is to avoid unless you have no choice. I have had experience of these filters in a previous life and they have caused tremendous problems for vehicle downtime and expensive repairs not covered by the warranty.
One of my first questions when looking at diesel vehicle purchases would be has it got a DPF? If it has, can I get a model without one? The public sector is often quoted as being an unsuitable match for DPF's. Short journeys at low speed are the worst thing for the filters as they quickly become partially blocked. If regeneration does not take place quickly then it has to be a trip to the dealer for the blockage to be removed.
While there continues to be a choice on selecting a diesel model with a filter and one without, education is the key. It is up to fleet managers, drivers, dealers and manufacturers to make sure the right driver is in the right vehicle. Find out what type of driving is the norm and select the right vehicle for that application. It's not really that difficult but somewhere the message is not getting through.
It doesn't really surprise me though because when I looked at a new car brochure recently there was a tiny passage somewhere near the back giving a vague warning about the vehicles with filters and their appropriate usage.
Not very clear or very helpful.
My plea to the manufacturers is lets have more training for the vehicle sales staff and more information to potential buyers so we can all avoid what could be a major problem.