IAM warns about quick fix modifications

DPF removal, ECU chipping and xenon headlights can be bought from backstreet garages but are illegal and hazardous to road users' health.

It is true that many drivers enjoy making aftermarket modifications to their cars but unfortunately some choose to purchase those that are actually illegal.

Figures show that the top three illegal aftermarket modifications that drivers have been buying into are; having their diesel particulate filter (DPF) removed, fitting xenon headlights and reprogramming or chipping vehicle electronic control units (ECU).

As a result, this has prompted road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) to issue a warning about these modifications, reminding drivers that they are not only illegal but they can also be dangerous to the health of the vehicle's occupants and other road users.

Speaking about DPF removal, head of technical policy at IAM Tim Shallcross said: “DPF removal has always been illegal but since 1 January 2014 has also been reason to fail an MOT. Some garages are blatantly still doing it. In short – they are selling a service that’s killing people.”

Sometimes people face issues with their DPF because it can clog up and fail. The chances of this happening are higher when driving in urban areas because the DPF is not running at the optimal temperature here.

Yet while getting this repaired can be expensive, having it removed results in an increase in the level of deadly pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions that the vehicle produces. This can be hazardous both to the environment and the driver's health.

Xenon headlights are also dangerous because they do not have a self-levelling or washing function, which in turn means they can dazzle oncoming vehicle and can cause an accident.

Additionally, getting the ECU chipped comes with a large array of hazards. Drivers who get this will be unable to buy aftermarket warranty and may find that their insurance policy is invalidated.

If you are having any problems with your vehicle it is best to go to a trusted dealer for a service such as Car Shop. They can fix problems with your car in a way that is reliable, safe for the driver and other road users and within the bounds of the law.

  • On: 15 July 2014
  • By: CarShop

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