Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) – avoiding an expensive bill

What is a Diesel particulate filter?

Diesel particulate filters or DPF’s have been fitted to many diesel vehicles exhaust systems over the last few years.  Manufacturers fit this device as part of their compliance with ‘Euro 5′  emission standards.

DPF’s act as a soot trap within the exhaust system and can reduce the vehicles emissions by up to 80%.  As you are driving around urban areas, particles of soot are trapped within the DPF, thus cutting emissions within our towns and cities.  The soot then sits within the filter waiting to be emptied.  The process of emptying the DPF is referred to as ‘regeneration’.   Regeneration of the particle filter occurs automatically when  the exhaust is hot, such as when driving on a motorway at speeds of over 50mph.  On this type of journey, the soot trapped in the DPF is burnt off leaving only a tiny amount of ash in the filter.

Urban driving and DPF’s

If you own a diesel engined car fitted with a DPF and are mainly using your vehicle for driving around town or stop-start runs, then you may run into DPF problems.  The AA advise  ‘If you’re buying a new car and plan to use it mainly for town-based, stop/start driving it would be wise to avoid a diesel car fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) because of the possible hassle of incomplete ‘DPF regeneration’.’

If you do own this type of vehicle, we would suggest you take time to schedule a monthly motorway run into your diary.  This small step can help to avoid expensive repairs down the line.  The vehicle needs to travel at a sustained speed with high revs, so a 20 mile trip travelling above 50 mph will help the DPF to regenerate.

Oh no! The DPF warning light has come on the dash.

If full regeneration of the DPF has not taken place for a while then first, the vehicles ECU will step in and try to control the problem.  If the ECU cannot force regeneration by changing the way the car runs then a dash warning light will appear.

DO NOT ignore this warning

If you have been doing regular motorway type runs and the light has appeared, it could indicate other problems with your vehicle.  You should go and check with your local mechanic for the cause of the warning light.  If the light has only just come on and you have been using the car for urban driving,  you could try going for a motorway run to clear the filter.  If successful the DPF will regenerate & the light will go off.  This should help to prevent the soot load building up again.  If the warning light remains on, get the car into your local garage to be checked out.

I ignored the light, oops

If you ignore the warning light and carry on driving around at low urban speeds then soot in the DPF will continue to build.  More warnings will probably appear on your dash and a motorway run will no longer be enough to clear the DPF.  You now need to take the vehicle into your local garage for repair.  If the DPF filter needs to be replaced this could well cost you over £1000.  In some cases, the filter can be cleaned out without needing to be replaced.  We would suggest obtaining advice from several garages, as often what one mechanic says needs replacing, the next mechanic may well be able to repair.

Back Home Performance are always happy to offer advice and give no-obligation quotations.


Autorama Houston 2012

Originally posted on Red Stripe Photography:

Houston Autorama 2012.  This is my 2nd year making it out to this car show.  This is one of the best car show that I’ve been to and one of my favorite.  It’s held at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston during the weekend after Thanksgiving.  This place is HUGE! I never have enough time to spend at this car show.  I have to dedicate a  day or two here if I want to check out all the cars.  Not only does it have a car show, there is a swap meet area along with toy-o-rama market, pin-up contest, monster truck, and car auction.  Little bit for everyone here at Autorama. 

Well, here some shots I got from the car show hope you guys enjoy them.




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The same but different

Originally posted on Bandwagen:

IMG_3729_666x999Photo of the week #54 – Throughout it’s long production run the Volkswagen beetle sedan changed little from year to year with just a few detail enhancements and improvements but, one of the biggest and most noticeable changes was to the size of the windows, the rear in particular. In 1953, with improvements in glass making technology, VW introduced the curved, oval shaped rear window which replaced the previous split-window which was made from two flat pieces of glass.

The oval-window body continued until the 1958 model year when the shape of the rear window changed to the more familiar and larger rectangle shape along with the dashboard design which was changed to the layout which continued to the end of production in the 70s. This photo was taken at the Lavenham Vintage VW show where we had no less than 36 oval -window beetles registered from all over Europe…

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Impulse buying, we’re good at that!

I woke up this morning to be told it was ‘Mega Monday’.  Today was expected to be the busiest ever online shopping day in the UK.  In my head this sounded awful.  I shop online to avoid queues and to find stock in places I have no intention of driving to.  ‘Mega Monday’ sounded like a lot of hard work trying to beat other browsers to the tills.  I decided instead to go to a real shop!  Local shops are great!  We should all do more to support local business!   Impulse buy of the day, freshly made scones. Yum!

Don’t get me wrong the internet has its place.  My youngest son collects TVR toy cars and I’ve spent the last month trying to hunt down out-of production models.   Hours and hours spent trawling websites, home and abroad, trying to find any he doesn’t already own.  Why on earth are there so many TVR Tuscan toy cars and hardly any other TVR models?  Anyway, after being faced with a very limited choice, I rather impulsively spent a little too much on Santa’s behalf.  Usually I’m really good.  I say usually, there was this one time when I tracked down the wreckage of the exTVR Cerbera 4.5 press car.

TVR 100 hidingTVR 100 it looks fine!TVR100 eekTVR 100 ouch!TVR100 doesn't look too bad...TVR100 it's just a scratch


It was winter 2006.  The TVR factory was on its last legs.  We’d just taken part in a very emotional ‘TVR London Thunder’ and we we’re getting everything in place for a big party for the TVR workers, the ‘TVR Thunderball’.   I had seen some photo’s on an internet forum that my favourite ever TVR had been involved in an accident.  I had always loved this car from the first day I started work at TVR and caught a glimpse of the purple leather interior.  It sounds awful purple leather in a yellow car, but trust me it just works!  When my daughter had visited the factory, she decided it was her favourite TVR too.  The ‘egg’ between the rear seats was not for helmets!  My daughter decided this was the place your cuddly toys were supposed to sit.  I loved this car so much that when the factory sold her, Dave brought her round to say goodbye to me on her final road test as a factory owned car.

Back to 2006.  I eventually tracked the poorly Cerbera down to a place in Cheshire and rather impulsively, we decided to buy her.

The good bits about our impulse buy

We bought the car as repairable salvage.  Fortunately the damage to the Cerbera, although it looks quite bad, is mostly cosmetic.  The only structural damage is a bent upper rear suspension arm.   The beautiful purple interior remains intact and it still has its special yellow clocks & dials.

The bad bits about our impulse buy

When we made our buy, the original engine had been removed as well as all the control units.

Our progress so far

Although we’ve been really busy planning and starting our business, we have made some progress.  We have managed to source and acquire all the items on our shopping list.  Everything is ready to go!

What happens next?

Our plan is to carry out a full body-off restoration.  We’d like to strip the car down to all its basic components, every last nut and bolt.  Our aim is to rebuild this very special Cerbera to the very highest standard.  All we have to do now is find some time……

You have the “Right2Choose”


The Right to Choose Campaign (Right2Choose) is an initiative by UK independent aftermarket parts suppliers, parts distributors and repairers which aims to create greater public awareness of motorists’ rights when servicing and repairing their vehicles, and to create greater trade awareness of those rights, and the consequent responsibilities and opportunities.

Information for Consumers can be found here

As a small local Independent garage, Back Home Performance is supporting the Right2Choose campaign.

What’s included in our FREE vehicle health checks?

Want to know if your cars in good health?  At Back Home Performance we offer free vehicle health checks all year round.  Whether you want to check your cars up to surviving the cold winter weather, a pre-MOT check or simply for your own peace of mind, our free service could be just what you need.  But what exactly does it include?

Free Vehicle Health Check Schedule

Our vehicle health checks all follow the same checklist & upon completion you will be given a written copy of our findings.

We assess each vehicle using a traffic light system to rate all the elements we check.  RED – Requires urgent attention, AMBER – advisory will need attention soon, GREEN – Visually OK. 

  • Wheels & TyresWe check all wheels & tyres, incl. the spare for condition.  We check the tread depth & tyre pressure.  Each wheel is checked for any damage.  We visually check the tread of each tyre for signs of poor wheel alignment and uneven tread wear.

  • Brakes – As brakes are so important to the safety of everyone, we check all aspects of the braking system.  We check the brake discs for wear, cracks, corrosion and pitting.  The brake pads are checked for sufficient friction material and signs of contamination.  We also inspect the wheel bearings for play and noise.  Brake hoses and pipes are checked for cracking, signs of leakage and damage.  We check that flexi hoses are not fouling anywhere.  We check brake pipes are secure, not excessively corroded and that there are no leaks.  Brake cables need to be checked for fraying and corrosion.  We make sure the brake fluid level is correct.

  • Under Bonnet -  The engine oil level is checked.  It is surprising how many people are running their cars on very little oil.  The antifreeze is checked for strength.  This is very important in winter as a frozen cooling system can cause no end of damage!  A visual inspection for water, oil and fluid leaks is also carried out.  We check the alternator belt for tension and any signs of wear.  We do a battery drop test to check the battery is up to it’s job and we make sure it is fixed securely.

  • Underside – When the car is on the ramp we look underneath the car.  The exhaust system is checked for condition and that it is secure.  We check for play and damage to the steering components.  The suspension is also checked.  Whilst underneath we inspect the condition of the driveshaft gaiters.

  • Lights & Electrics - All lights, the horn, wipers & washers are tested.
  • Further checks – We visually inspect around each vehicle for damage & broken glass/plastic components.  When the vehicle is driven in and out the workshop we assess the operation of the brakes, clutch and transmission.  Any engine noise or smoke is also reported on.

This free of charge vehicle health check is available to everyone regardless of what vehicle you drive and you are under no obligation to use Back Home Performance to rectify any problems we find. As always, no work will be carried out unless you instruct us to do so.

Please telephone 01253 766085 or email blackpoolbhp@btinternet.com to book yours now.

Winter driving tips for car drivers | Sainsbury’s car insurance (sainsburysbank.co.uk)
Motorists urged to take time to check their tyres (etyres.co.uk)
Just because your tyres are not bald, does not mean they are safe (etyres.co.uk)
Worn tyres warning for drivers (confused.com)

TVR T400R – Pop, Bang & loads of Colour!

popbangcolourshop.com NOW OPENTVR Tuscan T400R 2001

We’ve been shopping for weeks trying to find the perfect TVR gifts for Santa to deliver & we think these reproduction prints are something really special!

The prints are reproductions of original artwork created by contemporary British artist Ian Cook of popbangcolour fame.  He doesn’t paint using anything as convenient as a paintbrush though. Oh no.  Instead Ian prefers to paint using radio-controlled cars, toy car tyres and real tyres!  We don’t know how he manages to get results that even resemble a car, yet alone cars we can name!  We just know we are very happy he does!

Prints of Ian’s work are available to buy online at popbangcolourshop.com