Diesel cars and lorries are set to be exposed to closer scrutiny during their MOT tests from February 2014. This is due to the fact that a test of the diesel particulate filter, the DPF, will now form part of the standard MOT for these vehicles. A car which has had a filter fitted but is no longer present will receive an automatic fail. This tough addition to the MOT for these vehicles has been announced by Robert Goodwill, the Road Minister.
The point of the DPF is to ensure that solid particulate matter, which comes from exhaust gases, are trapped. This style of filter has been commonplace for over 20 years and it plays a key role in helping cars to meet emissions standards in Europe. The filter also plays a strong role in improving the quality of air and it plays a role in maintaining health standards. Any owners found driving a car or lorry which does not have this filter in place, or driving with the filter having been removed, will be deemed to be committing an offence. This is due to the fact that a vehicle without this filter will not be capable of meeting the emission standards expected in the United Kingdom.
This filter must be in place for diesel vehicles
Robert Goodwill released a statement about the change in testing for diesel vehicles, stating; “I am very concerned that vehicles are being modified in a way that is clearly detrimental to people’s health and undoes the hard work car manufacturers have taken to improve emissions standards. It has become apparent the government had to intervene to clarify the position on particulate filter removal given the unacceptable negative impact on air quality.” It was also made very clear that any vehicle which has had this filter removed will automatically fail its MOT.
One of the reasons why some vehicle owners remove the filter is due to the fact that the filters require regeneration on a regular basis. This is due to the fact that there is a residue created by burning the soot to a gas, which takes place at a high temperature. If this process is not carried out properly, the build-up of soot can congregate, eventually impacting on the performance of the vehicle. Vehicle owners concerned about a lowering of performance levels have removed this filter but anyone continuing to do so will be committing an offence and running the risk of their vehicle failing its MOT.