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Skoda Octavia VRS Petrol and diesel MK3 / FL buyers guide <2013

skoda vrs diesel which oil

With prices of the mighty MK3 Octavia VRS becoming more affordable every day, the market for arguably the UK’s best value fast family mover has grown exponentially. 

From the forecourt, the VRS retails around £26k before you bolt on a load of options however, now that MK3s are approaching 6 years old there are some serious bargains to be had. In fact, a few clicks on Autotrader might just toss up a tidy looking example with less than 70k on the clock for under ten grand. That’s a whole lot of car for the money. It also make’s me cry a bit inside considering I paid nearly £22k for mine at 3 months old. 

Obviously, buying at the bottom of the market has its drawbacks, so we’ve put together a buyers guide to help you navigate through the used MK3 VRS market.

This article is very much a work in progress. When I bought mine, the MK3 was only in its second year, now with nearly 6 years under it’s belt we’re finally seeing common issues arise. Please do contribute to this article in the comments below. Tell me what I’m talking utter sh*t about and please do help fill the gaps and add your thoughts.

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Skoda Octavia i ii iii Mk1 Mk2 Mk3 owner manuals Inc VRS

Skoda Octavia owners manual

Since we posted our link to the Skoda Octavia MK3 iii services manuals, we’ve literally had one person ask where they can get the owners manual for their beloved Skoda Octavia. Since we love our fellow “octy” owners, we thought we’d publish links to all the manuals available on the Skoda website for all three marques.

You can view the manuals on line or download them by simply selecting your model year from the drop down list. Kindly, Skoda have also included the radio manuals too. Aren’t we lucky!

Skoda Octavia Manuals

Skoda Octavia Mk3 (5E)
2012 to Present 


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Skoda Octavia Mk III 2013 Workshop, Service, maintenance & repair manuals downloads inc VRS

Skoda Octavia Mk3 3 iii workshop service manusla download free

If like me, you’ve got a beautiful MK3 Skoda Octavia, you’ll know what a pain it is working without the proper manuals. Well, that’s about to change.

We’ve been lucky enough to have sent the links to the full range of manuals for your trusty MK3. The pack includes Service, engine, gearbox and repair manuals to name but a few. In fact, we’ll only bl00dy got 21 of them. 

Since we’ve been so nice as to link to them for fellow owners, please do help the site out by sharing this page on social media for all your fellow Skoda Octavia owners. These types of documents should be in the public domain and you certainly shouldn’t have to pay for a manual on a car you already own.

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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


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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.


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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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
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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