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Volkswagen Scrappage Scheme 2017 targets older diesel vehicles, continues to leave Euro5 “fixed” vehicle owners picking up the bill


Volkswagen UK have announced that they will be offering up to £6,000 “Scrappage” in exchange for any make or model diesel vehicle (Euro 1 – 4) when buying a new car.

The move comes as the SMMT announced that new car sales have plummeted by 9.3% in August 2017 with consumer confidence at an all time low “thanks Brexit”. In fact sales of new cars fell short of figures from 2013 according to a recent SMMT press release. Link here

Those with Euro 5 vehicles have been left high and dry yet again by the VW. Not only have they been left with broken cars following the VW emissions fix they are not eligible for the scrappage scheme despite continuing to belch illegal levels of NOx into the atmosphere. More here

What will happen to my old car?

All vehicles acquired by VW in the scheme will be “taken off the road and scrapped”. This is actually great news for the environment as Euro 1-4 vehicles do not  have the stringent emissions control systems which feature in newer Euro6 cars such as a DPF filter (in most cases).

Can I just buy an old diesel car and use it for the scheme?

Unfortunately not. According to VW, “Trade-in diesel must have been registered in the owner’s name for at least six months.” 

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Posted in Scrappage Scheme

VAG DPF (VW): Which OBD2 II ELM327 Dongle should I use? Bluetooth / Wifi?

We’re big fans of the VAG DPF app (full review coming very soon) its a great tool for tracking DPF regeneration and soot loading – the problem is we’re constantly being asked which dongle to choose. There are literally a million different OBD2 II dongles out there, all claiming support all manner of different protocols. The problem is that many simply do not work.

Many of the incompatible units we’ve seen are Chinese “knock offs”. These cheap, poor quality adaptors do not support the full ELM327 specification required for the VAG DPF app to work. Buying one of these cheap adaptors is a waste of money and a wasted wait of  a 3 weeks express boat delivery. Avoid like an emission “fixed” Audi A3 😉

We got in touch with the author of the VAG DPF app Daaren, he suggests using either a Scantool Obdlink LX or the wallet friendly Vgate iCar 2. Being the tight careful man that I am, I chose the Wifi version of the Vgate iCar 2. This dongle works perfectly with the app and my 2015 Skoda VRS 184 TDI Euro 6 (CUPA Engine) however not all apps support Wifi dongles. I swiftly returned the unit in flavor of the Bluetooth dongle.

The Bluetooth version of the dongle is pure perfection. It fully supports VAG DPF, the ELM327 specification and a whole host a other apps available on the Play Store such as Torque pro or Dashcommand from the App / Apple Store. It’s also cheap as chips!

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Posted in dpf-diesel-particulate-filter

VW Emissions Fix: “VAG Emissions Rollback” could be the real fix you need

We’ve been following many of the facebook and forum threads focused on reversing the ea189 emissions fix. Whats become apparent is that most of these services are simply a remap aimed at disguising the fix and the horrendous effects it has on vehicle performance and efficiency. They’re not aimed at preventing further damage to vehicles components such as the fueling and emissions systems (Injector / EGR / DPF). In fact many of these “back street” remaps will simply compound these issues  (Read more on that in our previous article – Can the VW VAG EA 189 NOx emissions fix be reversed? Is a remap the answer?)

Today the tide has turned. Today we have been approach by a “national tuning” network who plan to roll out a  “VAG Emissions rollback” service. The key thing here is that this is not a remap or tune. This is a roll back to what they call a “pre-VAG-patch state”. If their claims are in fact true, this could be the answer for those owners who have fallen victim to the VW Group’s damaging ea189 emissions fix.

The good

We’ve spoken to many owners trapped in a car they longer trust and are unable to sell due to financial issues or PCP contract periods. A rollback could be the key to restoring the reliability, performance and economy they have come to expect from their VW / Audi / Seat or Skoda vehicles.

Sure, EGR failure is possible in any diesel vehicle, but at least you’ll know it wasn’t at the hands of the VW emissions fix farse. You won’t be waiting for the engine management light to go or listening for every unexplained rattle or knock. You might actually be able to trust your car again.

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Posted in emissionsgate

Could the 2040 ban on petrol and diesel cars ignite an ebike revolution?

ebike revolution uk

With the impending ban on diesel and petrol cars planned for 2040 could an ebike revolution be on the horizon? Could the move to electric be exactly what the industry needs?

Ebike sales have been booming over the years with technology driving advancements in design, range and choice. Ebikes are not the niche market they once were with sales expected to be increasing by at least 20% year on year.

In a report released by the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry, the UK place 7th in European ebike sales. This accounted for 5% of all european ebike sales in 2016.

An Affordable alternative

With electric cars still commanding a premium over petrol and diesel cars, ebikes could represent a viable alternative for those who lack a viable alternative to their car, such as those in semi rural areas with poor public transport. Ebikes could be what the UK public needs to overcome their fear of electric power, enabling them to see a world that isn’t powered by fossil fuels.

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Posted in ebikes

Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to target lorry drivers and operators cheating vehicle emissions

dvsa commercial emissions cheating

From tomorrow (August 2017) the Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will target lorry drivers and operators who try to cheat vehicle emissions. The action is in response to evidence showing that drivers and operators are using emissions cheat devices to cut the cost of operating. 

DVSA enforcement offices will be looking for commercial vehicles that circumvent, cheat or modify their vehicles causing a detrimental effect on emissions systems. 

These include:

  • Using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
  • Removing the diesel particulate filter or trap (DPF Removal or Gutting)
  • Using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid (Adblue / Urea)
  • Using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions (Remap)
  • Removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR Blanking)

Any vehicle found cheating their emissions systems will be given 10 days to rectify. Those failing to comply within this time will be fined, repeat offenders could have their vehicles deemed unroadworthy.

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Posted in emissions

XtremeAuto / Maypole / Universal Roof Bar Review – Skoda Octavia Estate – Amazon

When looking for some roof bars for my 2105 Octavia VRS Estate, I was immediately drawn to the Thule products. Yes they look great and come highly recommended but I found it very hard to justify three figures for something I’ll use once in a blue moon.

After some research on the Briskoda Skoda owners forum I was pointed in the direction of the XtremeAuto / Maypole / Universal Roof Bars available from Amazon

These aluminium bars look every bit as good as those from Thule but with one major difference… Price. You can pick up a pair of these for just £39.95 with free delivery if you have prime. Click here for Amazon prime if you don’t have it – you need it in your life. 

With such a low price it doesn’t matter if they are stashed away in the garage or shed for months or years at a time only be be used for the off tip run or like me to carry a 30 year old canoe to some smelly river in rural Rutland. Unlike many people who opt for the Thule bar I don’t feel pressured to have them attached 24/7 365 to justify the huge outlay.

With these bars being so cheap they certainly don’t feel like an inferior product in any way. They come well packaged and and include comprehensive instructions for piece of mind. Read on our our full review.

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Posted in Product Reviews

Is the UK government really going to ban all new Petrol and Diesel cars by 2040?

london smog

The UK’s Environment secretary is set to reveal plans to ban the sale of Petrol and Diesel cars in the UK by 2040. 

Yes, you did read that right.

The environment secretary Michael Gove will reveal plans this coming Wednesday which will force all new cars from 2040 to be Hybrid / Electric. 

The shocking move is in response to the UK’s disastrous air quality issues around major cities and towns which could be responsible for up to 40,000 premature deaths per year. 

A government spoksman said “Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible. That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.”

The banning of all petrol and diesel cars will be part of a series of proposals under the Government’s Air Quality Plan. The plan will also outline proposals to force councils to clean up the UK’s dirtiest roads and create huge investment in low emission public transports and charging infrastructure.

We’re also led to believe that a scrappage scheme will be rolled out to the help remove our most polluting diesel cars (Euro 4 and bellow).

We’ll know much more tomorrow when the plans are fully revealed to the public – we’ll keep you updated. Until then let us know what you think in the comments below.

Posted in emissions