If you've always got an eye on your expenses, you may have been concerned at the amount of money you've been spending for the commute back and forth to work. You came to the conclusion that you needed to find a car that has better fuel economy as, over time, the savings would certainly add up. With this in mind, you've recently decided to purchase a diesel-engine vehicle instead and have now pressed this into service for your daily drive into the office. However, if your journey is essentially a slow one and takes place over mostly surface streets, then you may be setting yourself up for a problem in the future. What could this be and what should you do instead?
Your new vehicle is equipped with many different cost-saving components, all of which will be music to your ears, of course. It will also have certain parts that are designed to help the vehicle be more environmentally friendly, and one of these is known as the diesel particular filter. This filter forms part of the exhaust system, and its job is to break down harmful particulates that occur naturally when the engine is running. The exhaust emissions are filtered through this device and treated to conform to stringent emissions legislation laid down by your government.
Filter in Action?
In essence, this filter will trap most of the soot content linked to the combustion process and is designed to burn it through a process known as regeneration, so it is converted into ash instead. However—and this is the potential problem for you—regeneration can only happen in certain circumstances.
Manufacturers have configured the system to switch on when the exhaust temperature gets to a certain level, but this will typically only take place when you're driving at motorway speeds. In your case, this may never happen if you are only using the car for your slow and congested drive to work.
What to Do
If your vehicle does not trigger the regeneration process, the filter could eventually become blocked and could cause issues with performance and emissions. Therefore, it's a good idea for you to schedule a longer trip once per week, so that you bring the vehicle up to motorway speed and allow the filter to do its work.
Just to make sure that everything is working okay after this long period of filter inactivity, have a word with your diesel mechanic. They will have a look at the component and clean it out if necessary.