Diesel could cause breakdowns motorists warned

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Motorists have received warnings that they could face unforeseen breakdowns during winter due to problems with the diesel that is sold on British forecourts. Under the EU regulations, fuel providers have been forced to mix conventional diesel and petrol with higher amounts of bio-fuels that are environmentally friendly. However, experts believe that the increased concentrations in bio-diesel could be leading to the high number of breakdowns due to build-up of some thick gel in the engines of vehicles.

Last month, companies offering breakdown services saw an increase in call-outs from drivers who had the engine filters blocked by the substance immediately after winter set in. RAC teams attended to 600 incidents last month and this indicates that thousands of the 9.4million drivers in Britain could have their vehicles affected this winter. The call-outs that RAC attended to last month are more than twice the blocked diesel filters that they attended to in November 2012.

Last winter, the RAC attended to 2080 cases, and this suggests that total number of drivers who had problems with their filters could be as high as 8650. This means that if the increase continues until March around 18500 people could have such problems this winter.

The problems are greatly seen in diesel engines with most people facing these problems living in the north east. The fault can be seen in vehicles made by different manufacturers, vehicles of any age and fuel bought from any supplier.

Although it is unknown what causes the malfunction, many believe that it all narrows down to the effects of cold weather on bio-diesel, which according to the law has to be added to different road diesels. The European Union sets the minimum and maximum amount of bio-fuels that have to be added to the conventional fuels; however, the levels have been on the rise because of a bid to cut down on emissions.

Diesel retailers can include the maximum amount of biodiesel in the fuel sold in forecourts of 7%. However, the minimum amount has been increased from 3.29% in 2009/10 to 3.5% in 2010/11, 4% in 2011/2012, 4.5% in 2012/2012 and 5% from this April to April 2014.