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Qantas develops Hypermiling program to cut its fuel bill by $40 million a year

qantas hypermiling

The Australian airline Qantas has taken airborne Hypermiling to a new level by developing a program which could cut its fuel bill by as much as $40 million a year.

The airline has spent the last five years and millions of dollars developing a new flight planning program which will allow real time flight planning for the most efficient route available.

The new program utilises an array of live weather data together with millions of flight data points to create what they call a “cost map” which can select the most efficient route for pilots. The system, built with the help of the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics promises to make flights much cheaper and fuel efficient for the airline by calculating routes beyond the capacity of previous router planning systems.

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Research shows that over 500 number plates are stolen a week in the UK

number plate thefts stealing crime

Over 500 number plates a week are being stolen in the UK by criminals targeting unsuspecting motorists, leaving many suspected of crimes from fuel drive offs to armed robbery.

Figures obtained by the AA show that over 25,000 plates were stolen in the UK last year in order to clone cars to be used in a wide variety of crimes. Criminals are using these plates to “clone” a similar make or model of car, making the vehicle much harder to trace back to the person/s committing the crime. The nature of these crimes vary, from petty driving offenses such as speeding and parking tickets to armed robbery or violent / gun crime.

Our local community in Stamford, Lincs has seen a large increase in the number of plate thefts in the past few month, prompting us to write this article. We hope that this article is of some help to both prevent and deal with the consequences of this crime.

What to do if your plate is stolen

If your plates are stolen you should report this to the Police as soon as possible. Do not ring 999, call 101 and report the offence to to your local force making sure that you obtain a crime number. Take detailed photographic evidence of your car and ensure you record details of your correspondence with the authorities. To prevent any fines for not displaying your number plates we suggest that the vehicle is removed from public roads until replacement plates are fitted.

If your plates are used on a cloned car to commit an offence it will be up to you to prove your innocence, the details above will go a long way to help you with this.

Can you drive your car on the road with no number plates?

Quite simply, no. You face a fine of up to £1,000 with incorrectly displayed number/ missing plates. You should not drive any vehicle on the pubic road with either missing, damaged or illegible plates. It is your responsibility and even the most understanding officer may still fine you even if you are the innocent victim of number plate theft. More details can be found on the Gov website below

https://www.gov.uk/displaying-number-plates

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Posted in car crime

VW Golf diesel DPF FAQ – Regeneration, Cleaning and Owners manual (diesel particulate filter) MK5 MK6 MK7

The humble VW Golf, Germany’s modern day peoples car and probably one of the most popular German cars ever to grace a UK drive way. Thing is, apart from the epic performance models such as the legendary GTI and R, most of them are diesel and you know what comes with diesel… the dreaded DPF.

We’ve pretty much done DPFs to death on this site but we’ve noticed that apart from our coverage of #deiselgate, we’ve neglected to cover the plucky Golf and the issues surrounding its diesel particulate filter in any detail. We’re about to fix this.

History

Before I get too deep into the Golf’s diesel woes, let’s cover the history of the Volkswagen Golf Diesel. Back in ’76 (a full two years after the Golf went on sale)  VW equipped the Mk1 with a 1.5l diesel heart. This non turbo charged oil burner managed a whopping 42MPG from its 50BHP power plant. That’s a long way from the triple figure power numbers from present day cars but pretty damn good for a car back in the 70s. In fact, this diesel engine made the Golf one of the most fuel efficient cars of its time. 

Over the years, the VW diesel engines have come a long way. The MK2 saw the displacement jump to 1.6l and up to 1.9 in the Mk3 (yes, I had one of theses and it was a great engine!). 

Which Golfs have DPFs

From the mighty Mk1 all the way up to the dull Mk4 (yuk!), Golf diesels escaped the impending doom of the DPF. Euro 5 emission regulations were introduced in 2005, so too was the need for something to stop carcinogenic diesel particulates from spewing out of Golf exhausts across Europe. To keep emissions inline with EU regulations VW had no choice but to fit the Golf with a diesel particulate filter (DPF for short). 

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Posted in dpf-diesel-particulate-filter

New DVSA MOT figures reveal a 411% increase in the number of diesel cars failing emissions test since DPF changes

DPF removal gutting MOT test fail pass diesel particulate filter

Figures from the DVSA have revealed that over four times the number of diesel cars have failed the MOT test since the introduction of new emissions testing rules.

Since 20 May 2018 the UK government has changed the MOT rules for diesel vehicles. These changes will result in a “major fault” if the MOT tester:

  • Can see smoke of any colour coming from the exhaust
  • Finds evidence that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been tampered with – this captures and stores exhaust soot to reduce emissions from diesel cars

More on the MOT changes in our previous articles – MOT DPF deisel changes

An MOT “major fault” calls for the vehicle to repaired immediately and can not be legally driven on the road until it has fully passed it’s MOT. Not having a valid MOT can result of a fine of up to £1000.

The figures speak for themselves

Fuel type20 May 2017 to 19 November 2017 20 May 2018 to 19 November 2018
Petrol292,468505,721
Diesel58,004 238,971

As you can clearly see from the figures above, the new MOT rule has seen over a four fold rise in the number of vehicles failing the MOT test due to the new rules.

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Posted in dpf-diesel-particulate-filter

Supermarkets “slash” fuel prices as crude oil price tumbles

In the uncertainty of Brexit and the UK’s political mess, it’s a welcome distraction to hear that fuel prices are being “slashed” by supermarkets.

The move by major supermarket fuel suppliers including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons has seen 1p a litre shaved off prices with more to come as wholesale prices tumble. 

The recent cuts in wholesale fuel costs are a direct result of increased production by Opec. This increased production (thanks to Mr Trump) during a time of reduced demand has seen crude drop to less than $62 a barrel. This represents a 29 per cent drop from a four-year high of $86.29 just over a month ago.

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Skoda Octavia MY19 documents confirms new pricing for VRS245 and says goodbye to the diesel 184

It’s been months since Skoda closed the books on its performance family mover but finally it looks like you’ll be able to secure yourself a nice VRS, as long as its petrol.

What the spec sheet (below) confirms is that the old Euro 6 184 diesel has been dropped in favour of the 150PS version, and you guessed it, no more diesel VRS. Our sources suggest that Skoda were unable to make the 184 engine meet even stricter Euro 6 emissions targets, especially when Euro 6c brings in “real world” testing conditions. Either way, I think the move to petrol is good for the VRS brand, the diesel version just didn’t quite cut it. It’s just a shame that the option for 4WD is still absent from the VRS.

The new MY19 Octavia VRS will only be available in a TSI petrol 245 with prices starting at £26,965 OTR with no extras. The addition of a DSG gearbox in an estate body will bump the prices to £29,245.00. By the time you add some nice paint, virtual cockpit, 19″ rims, the Canton speaker upgrade and a sunroof you’ll be in a hole for well over £30k. 

The standard trim level is pretty good but there a few options you really shouldn’t do without.

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The Gasoline Particulate Filter FAQ

gpf

Like it or not, emissions regulations will tighten significantly for all fossil fuelled vehicles. This means more technology, more costs and much much more to go wrong.

With the fall out of dieselgate, many motorists are now opting for petrol. In fact record numbers are switching to petrol and alternatively fueled vehicles as the demonisation of diesel powered vehicles continues to gain momentum.

Unfortunately petrol engines haven’t escaped the emissions crack down. The latest advance in petrol emissions control technology is the GPF or gasoline particulate filter. 

What is a GPF Gasoline Particulate Filter

A GPF (Gasoline Particulate Filter) is an inline exhaust filter designed to capture soot particulates in direct injection petrol engines (GDI). Much like a DPF, it comprises of a honeycomb like filter structure made from a synthetic ceramic material.

As exhaust gasses pass through the filter, soot particles are captured. These filters are highly efficient, capturing in excess of 90% of airborne particulates which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

In Germany, theses filters are referred to as Otto particle filter (Ottopartikelfilter or OPF)

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Posted in emissions