Motorists Risk MOT Failure By Removing Filters
New rules mean that any vehicle missing its diesel particulate filter will - from February 2014 – fail the MOT test. The purpose of the device is to filter the residual particulate matter caused by incomplete combustion of the fuel, matter which would normally then escape into the air through the exhaust. This material incorporates carbon, organic chemicals, sulphate, nitrates, ammonium, sodium chloride and mineral dust which pollute the environment.
So, why remove a filter? Some drivers remove them to increase engine performance, although this usually requires remapping of the ECU, the computer that controls your car and its engine. Modern DPF filters also have to ‘regenerate’ when the filter is close to being full This involves heating any trapped material to an extremely high temperature so that it becomes gas. This heating process makes the engine use more fuel than normal, encouraging some drivers to simply take out the filter to solve this issue.
Removing this part makes a vehicle less environmentally friendly which the government rightly considers unacceptable. MOT testers must soon ensure that the filter is present on any vehicle equipped with one when new. If missing, he/she will issue a fail certificate
Minister Discusses Diesel Particulate Filter
Roads Minister, Robert Goodwill, revealed: “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. This change to the MOT tests makes it clear – if you have this filter removed from your car it will fail the test”.
Dangers Of Air Pollution
The Government has claimed that air pollution causes twenty-nine thousand deaths per-year, and costs the health service about fifteen billion pounds. Particulate matter plays its part in these statistics. Furthermore, its effects are considered “more significant” than those from other air pollutants. As such, chronic exposure can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease/lung cancer. Evidence suggests that there is no safe limit for exposure to fine particulate matter. There are wider environmental impacts too. Why? Because particulate matter incorporates nitrates, sulphates and ammonium that drive acidification (conversion of a substance to acid) and eutrophication (excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water). Both can damage natural ecosystems which can cause habitat loss and affect biodiversity. Particulate matter also contains black carbon that contributes to global warming. Best leave your filter on, then.