Is my diesel car suitable for mainly short journey use?

I have recently bought from main dealer BMW 3 1.8diesel auto As I do regular short journeys but have a long run say every 7/10 days that it would help a Diesel engine which I understand does not enjoy short runs unlike petrol engines. It is the first diesel car I have owned so would appreciate any help you can give please.

Asked by George Speller

Something called a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) has been required in the exhaust of diesel cars since 2009 though some cars registered before 2009 will have had one fitted too.

DPFs reduce diesel particulate (soot) emissions but the technology is not without problems – AA patrols are regularly called to cars with the particulate filter warning light on indicating a partial blockage of the filter.

As with any filter they have to be emptied regularly and for a DPF this process is called ‘regeneration’ – the collected soot is burnt off at high temperature to leave only a tiny ash residue.

Passive regeneration takes place automatically on motorway-type runs when the exhaust temperature is high.

If your car has a DPF fitted the handbook should tell you the driving conditions required for DPF regeneration.


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