Monday, 26 December 2016

VAG DPF Diesel particulate filter

Copied from


Courtesy of David Bodily Volkswagen Technical Support Specialist

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

Detailed below is important information outlining the function and features of the Diesel Particulate filter which all members of your team need to be aware of.

Diesel particulate filters are becoming more commonplace on diesel engines, particularly sizes 2.0L upwards. This is in order to reduce the exhaust emissions as required by European legislation.

The prime reason for a DPF is to reduce particulate matter entering the atmosphere. Particulate matter is found in the form of soot, which is produced during diesel combustion. The DPF traps most of the soot which would normally travel down the exhaust and into the atmosphere. The DPF can hold a certain amount of soot, but not a huge quantity and therefore it needs to go through a process called ‘regeneration’ in order to clear the soot loading. When the soot goes through a ‘regeneration’ process it will be converted to a much smaller amount of ash. The ash is non-removable. There are two types of ‘regeneration’, passive and active.

During long motorway journeys, passive regeneration will occur. This needs no intervention from the engine control unit. Due to the raised exhaust temperatures on a long journey (temperatures between 350 and 500°C), the procedure occurs slowly and continuously across the catalytic-coated (with platinum) DPF. The catalytic-coated DPF is situated close to the Engine, therefore the exhaust gas temperature is high enough (500°C) to ignite the soot particles. Due to this soot is burned-off and is converted into a smaller amount of ash.

Active ‘regeneration’ is when the ECU intervenes when the soot loading in the DPF is calculated to be 45%. The procedure lasts for about 5 – 10 minutes. Specific measures are taken by the ECU to raise the engine exhaust temperature to above 600°C, these include switching off the exhaust gas recirculation and increasing the fuel injection period to include a small injection after the main injection. The soot particles are oxidised at this temperature.

The ECU will trigger a regeneration process, if for some reason this is aborted, ie. customer slows down, stops etc, the process will be resumed when regeneration conditions are once again met, above 60km/h (38mph). This will continue for 15 minutes.

If after 2 attempts of 15 minutes, a successful regeneration has not been possible, the loading will increase. At 50% soot loading, the ECU will continue to maintain maximum exhaust temperatures of 600°C to 650°C to cause a regeneration process. The system will try to run a regeneration process for 15 minutes. If unsuccessful, the system will repeat this process for a further 15 minutes, if still unsuccessful, the DPF light on the driver display panel will then be lit.

The owners handbook states, the DPF symbol lights up to indicate that the diesel particulate filter has become obstructed with soot due to frequent short trips. When the warning lamp comes on, the driver should drive at a constant speed of at least 60 km/h for about 10 minutes. As a result of the increase in temperature the soot in the filter will be burned off. If the DPF symbol does not go out, the driver should contact an authorised Volkswagen repairer and have the fault rectified.

At 55% soot loading the DPF light is lit on driver display panel. At this point the customer should follow the advice in the handbook. If they ignore this information and continue driving the vehicle until the soot loading reaches 75% without successful regeneration, additional warning lamps will light up. At this point the customer will also be complaining of lack of power, etc.

At 75%, regeneration is still possible with the use of the VAS tester. Only when the loading is above 95%, is it necessary to replace the DPF unit.

Operating Status System Response

45% DPF Load Level 1
Normal Regeneration

50% DPF Load Level 2
Regeneration at maximum exhaust temperatures

55% DPF Load DPF lamp
Regeneration from 60 km/h onwards
("See operating manual")

75% DPF Load DPF, SYS and MI lamp
Torque limitation, EGR deactivation,

Regeneration via VAG tester only
95% DPF Load Replace the DPF Unit

The Warranty department has confirmed that if there is no fault on the vehicle and DPF regeneration has been unsuccessful due to the customers driving style and the customers failure to comply with the instructions in the handbook, DPF replacement will not be paid for by warranty.

Common causes for complaint

• Frequent short journeys – Regeneration conditions are not met.
Not recommended for sale in the Channel Islands and inner city driving.

• Customers who continue to drive the vehicle with DPF light on – Continued
driving with the DPF light on and without successful regeneration results in
excessive soot loading of the DPF, to a point where it is above 95% loaded.
At this point regeneration is not an option and replacement of the DPF is

• Fault 18434 particle filter bank 1 malfunction – Common fault code. This does
not only relate to the DPF itself, but the entire exhaust gas handling system. This
can be caused by defective temperature sensors, pressure sensors, additive
system components (if applicable), poor connections, wiring issues, etc.

Important Information

• Before diagnosing a problem vehicle or attempting to perform an emergency
regeneration, it is important to obtain a full diagnostic log and read out relevant
measured value blocks. These MVB’s contain important information on the
condition of the DPF system and are essential in diagnosing the fault. When the
DPF light is illuminated, it does not necessarily mean that the DPF requires
regeneration. For further advice, please contact Technical Support with the
information from the diagnostic log and MVB data.

• If a problem vehicle arrives with the DPF light, the engine management light and
the emissions light on. If during your diagnosis and reading of relevant MVB’s,
you find that the soot loading exceeds 75% (but is still below 95%), an
emergency regeneration procedure must be performed with the VAS tester.
Further to this, the customer needs to be educated. They need to understand
why the lights have appeared on the dash panel. Their attention needs to be
brought to the owners handbook instructions, so that they are aware of what the
DPF light means and what to do when it appears. This should prevent
unnecessary repeat visits for regeneration purposes.

I have also found that as the car gets older 30K+ miles, you will notice that the regeneration takes place more often. 

ALWAYS, check your oil before any long journey, as DPF regeneration can use a fair bit of oil.

Some questions and answers that may help;

Question: The glow plug symbol is flashing. Why? What should be done?

The DPF regeneration has not been completed during normal driving and now DPF has reached its maximum saturation at which it can still be regenerated. The limit value depends on variant and Model Year, but is in the range of 105% - 125%.Possible causes for this are:

a.) Frequent short distance journeys, i.e. high soot loading while at the same time regeneration of the DPF does not take place because the conditions necessary were not fulfilled.

b.) Frequent interrupted regenerations, i.e. the engine was switched off during regeneration. Applies to short journey drivers who have at least fulfilled the conditions for triggering regeneration. If the glow plug light flashes, the vehicle

a.) Engine running since start for longer than 2 minutes.
b.) Calculated saturation higher than 80%.
c.) Coolant temperature over 70°C for at least 2 minutes.
d.) No DPF-relevant faults stored in system.
e.) A defined vehicle speed threshold must have been exceeded (e.g. for >80% loading, 100 km/h)

Question: Under what conditions is regeneration interrupted/ended once it has started?

Answer: Normally when regeneration has been successfully completed, or:

a.) After a maximum regeneration time (20 - 25 min.).
b.) If the engine is switched off or has stalled.
c.) If the engine is left idling for a long time (5 - 10 min.).
d.) If 1000°C is detected by the exhaust temperature sensor.
e.) If during regeneration, a fault is detected on the components relevant for combustion (injection/intake system).

If a regeneration is interrupted once started but before it has been 50% completed, the glow plug lamp flashes on the next engine start (cold or hot) and regeneration begins again once the operating conditions (see 3) have been fulfilled.

Question: How long does complete regeneration take? 

a.) In the most favourable case? b.) In the least favourable case?

a.) Under constant conditions, i.e. the exhaust temperature necessary for regeneration always lies above the required value, for example during motorway/cross-country driving, the average regeneration time is 10 minutes.

b.) Vehicle conditions such as long down-hill descents, frequent driving in the low-load range (city driving, idling) allow the exhaust temperature to fall. If the conditions for triggering regeneration were fulfilled, the active regeneration time can be extended up to 25 minutes (depending on engine type). If complete regeneration is not possible within this period, the regeneration will be interrupted.

Question: How does regeneration affect the oil life?

Answer: On each regeneration or attempted regeneration, a certain diesel fuel amount is injected into the engine oil which reduces the oil life. If the "INSP" light in the instrument cluster comes on, the engine oil is exhausted and must be changed. Failure to do so could damage the engine

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Windows Command Prompt "shortcuts"

%ALLUSERSPROFILE% - Open the All User's Profile
%HomeDrive% - Opens your home drive e.g. C:\
%UserProfile% - Opens you User's Profile
%temp% Opens - temporary file Folder
%systemroot% - Opens Windows folder
Hopefully this should be enough for now. :-)
Run commands
Calc - Calculator
Cfgwiz32 - ISDN Configuration Wizard
Charmap - Character Map
Chkdisk - Repair damaged files
Cleanmgr - Cleans up hard drives
Clipbrd - Windows Clipboard viewer
Cmd - Opens a new Command Window (cmd.exe)
Control - Displays Control Panel
Dcomcnfg - DCOM user security
Debug - Assembly language programming tool
Defrag - Defragmentation tool
Drwatson - Records programs crash & snapshots
Dxdiag - DirectX Diagnostic Utility
Explorer - Windows Explorer
Fontview - Graphical font viewer
Ftp - ftp.exe program
Hostname - Returns Computer's name
Ipconfig - Displays IP configuration for all network adapters
Jview - Microsoft Command-line Loader for Java classes
MMC - Microsoft Management Console
Msconfig - Configuration to edit startup files
Msinfo32 - Microsoft System Information Utility
Nbtstat - Displays stats and current connections using NetBios over TCP/IP
Netstat - Displays all active network connections
Nslookup - Returns your local DNS server
Odbcad32 - ODBC Data Source Administrator
Ping - Sends data to a specified host/IP
Regedit - registry Editor
Regsvr32 - register/de-register DLL/OCX/ActiveX
Regwiz - Reistration wizard
Sfc /scannow - Sytem File Checker
Sndrec32 - Sound Recorder
Sndvol32 - Volume control for soundcard
Sysedit - Edit system startup files (config.sys, autoexec.bat, win.ini, etc.)
Systeminfo - display various system information in text console
Taskmgr - Task manager
Telnet - Telnet program
Taskkill - kill processes using command line interface
Tskill - reduced version of Taskkill from Windows XP Home
Tracert - Traces and displays all paths required to reach an internet host
Winchat - simple chat program for Windows networks
Winipcfg - Displays IP configuration
Management Consoles
certmgr.msc - Certificate Manager
ciadv.msc - Indexing Service
compmgmt.msc - Computer management
devmgmt.msc - Device Manager
dfrg.msc - Defragment
diskmgmt.msc - Disk Management
fsmgmt.msc - Folder Sharing Management
eventvwr.msc - Event Viewer
gpedit.msc - Group Policy (< XP Pro)
iis.msc - Internet Information Services
lusrmgr.msc - Local Users and Groups
mscorcfg.msc - Net configurations
ntmsmgr.msc - Removable Storage
perfmon.msc - Performance Manager
secpol.msc - Local Security Policy
services.msc - System Services
wmimgmt.msc - Windows Management
access.cpl - Accessibility Options
hdwwiz.cpl - Add New Hardware Wizard
appwiz.cpl - Add/Remove Programs
timedate.cpl - Date and Time Properties
desk.cpl - Display Properties
inetcpl.cpl - Internet Properties
joy.cpl - Joystick Properties
main.cpl keboard - Keyboard Properties
main.cpl - Mouse Properties
ncpa.cpl - Network Connections
ncpl.cpl - Network Properties
telephon.cpl - Phone and Modem options
powercfg.cpl - Power Management
intl.cpl - Regional settings
mmsys.cpl sounds - Sound Properties
mmsys.cpl - Sounds and Audio Device Properties
sysdm.cpl - System Properties
nusrmgr.cpl - User settings
firewall.cpl - Firewall Settings (sp2)
wscui.cpl - Security Center (sp2)
Windows Environment Commands
%ALLUSERSPROFILE% - Open the All User's Profile
%HomeDrive% - Opens your home drive e.g. C:\
%UserProfile% - Opens you User's Profile
%temp% Opens - temporary file Folder
%systemroot% - Opens Windows folder
Wupdmgr - Takes you to Microsoft Windows Update
Thanks to The New Tech for the original forum posting.
Microsoft Office run commands If the Microsoft Office is installed you can use following run commands to run its components:
winword - Microsoft Word
excel - Microsoft Excel
powerpnt - Microsoft PowerPoint
msaccess - Microsoft Access
outlook - Microsoft Outlook
ois - Microsoft Picture Manager
winproj - Microsoft Project

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Baby sleep - tip 1

If the baby is struggling to sleep after being held, a tip is to place a muslin under your T-shirt whilst the baby is being fed.

Then, when the baby is placed in their cot / basket / bed for their sleep, place the muslin in with them at the same time.

The theory is, your scent is transferred to the muslin, so when its placed in with the baby, they can smell the scent, and are tricked into thinking that they're still close to the parent, and feel secure, and so they'll sleep.

Information in this blog is from my own personal experience / observation and only for my own reference.  If you find it useful, then great, buy it shouldn't be considered "gospel", and your own experience may and will differ as each baby / situation is different.

Baby Sleep cycles

Everyone has  sleep cycles.
In babies, these last 45 minutes.

Babies can stir, or wake themselves up in between these cycles, and my squirm, or cry for a few seconds.

This is normal, and shouldn't be concerning.

Leave them alone,  and observe.

The baby will self-settle, and drift back off to sleep.

This self-settling is a crucial, and important skill that all babies need to develop so that they remain calm and relaxed as the grow.

Information in this blog is from my own personal experience / observation and only for my own reference.  If you find it useful, then great, buy it shouldn't be considered "gospel", and your own experience may and will differ as each baby / situation is different.

Baby Swaddling, self-settling

Babies often have involuntarily moments.  This is normal as the muscle control is still developing.

When babies are sleeping, these movements can actually cause the baby to wake them selves, either from the jolt of their own movements, or when they hit themselves in the face.

To help with their sleep, to keep them undisturbed, simply swaddle the babies arms.  This helps keep the babies warm, stops involuntarily arm movements, and gives the baby the safe reassurance, similar to when the were in the womb.

Information in this blog is from my own personal experience / observation and only for my own reference.  If you find it useful, then great, buy it shouldn't be considered "gospel", and your own experience may and will differ as each baby / situation is different.

Baby feeding - bottles / teats

Bottles and teats, and blockages.

Bottles, and teats all come in different shapes, sizes.

Different sized teats means that they're designed for potentially a better, or more comfortable fit in the babies mouth.

The different "numbered" teats generally mean that the "hole" at the top is a different size.  This means that they can "flow" more milk during the feed.
Generally speaking the teats are either numbered from 0 to 3, or by babies months starting from "0+", progressing to "3 months+" and so on.

Some teats have a "valve" in them (for example Tommee Tippee teats have them) to help with the "return" of air back into the bottle as the babies drinks the milk out of the bottle.

At some point during feeding your baby, you may wonder why isn't the milk being drank, even if the baby is swallowing.
This may be due to the teat nozzle becoming blocked with the milk power.
This happens, and isn't a big deal.

Simply remove the bottle from the babies mouth.  With the bottle upright verticle, with the teat pointing upwards, give the bottle a gentle firm squeeze.
This is to push some air that's at the top of the bottle out through the teat nozzle.
This will effectively squirt the blockage out.
It helps if you position the nozzle close to, but not touching your own lips.
You'll then feel a gentle jet of air on your lips when the blockage has been squirted out.

Alternatively, with the bottle removed from the baby, with clean hands / fingers, give the teat nozzle a quick squeeze, or roll the nozzle between your index finger and thumb.  Depending on the size of the nozzle, you may even be able to see through the opening, down into the milk.
You only want to visually inspect the nozzle, ensuring no blockage, and then squeeze the bottle again so that a jet of air hits your lips, confirming that the nozzle is clear.

Now that its clear, continue feeding your baby.

As your baby grows, and gets stronger at sucking from the bottle, blocked nozzles become less if an issue, as the baby will be able to suck any blockages from undissolved milk powder straight in during their feed.

Information in this blog is from my own personal experience / observation and only for my own reference.  If you find it useful, then great, buy it shouldn't be considered "gospel", and your own experience may and will differ as each baby / situation is different.

Baby blog - feeding

Bottle feeding.

Have a baby bib / muslin ready, and perhaps a cushion to place under your arm for support.

During the first few days, the baby may appear to have "pool" the milk in their mouth when drinking.  This is probably down to the fact that they're getting used to drinking larger amounts of milk in one sustained period.

Also, when born, their stomach is only the size of a plum stone, so it fills up quickly.

So, burp regularly (every 15ml) to start with.

Also, with the bottle, ensure a that its sealed around the babies mouth like a nipple would have been.  This helps when the baby tries to swallow, as the milk is less likely to flow out of their mouth, and down their throat.

If the baby cries, is mildly distressed during a milk feed, it'll just be wind / air that they have swallowed during the feed.

Prop up the baby in one hand, by placing / leaning the babies chest in palm of your left hand, thumb and ring finger under each armpits, and head resting on the middle and index fingers, and rub their back with the other hand.
The majority of the babies weight will be supported by the finger and thumb that are under the armpits, and the palm of your hand, so their leaning forward into your hand if that makes sense.

Any trapped air / pocket of gas will "burble" up eventually, and the baby will burp this out.

Alternatively, you may notice that the baby passes wind during the feeding session which is also a good sign.

During a feed, the baby will often fall asleep, as the milk is soporific.

Simple massage the babies leg / foot during the feeding session, and gently push the bottle teat into the babies roof of their mouth to keep them awake / stimulated, to remind them that their still feeding, and that the bottle is still in their mouth.

As a visual queue, you can watch the babies throat as they swallow so that you can see the baby drinking.

Information in this blog is from my own personal experience / observation and only for my own reference.  If you find it useful, then great, buy it shouldn't be considered "gospel", and your own experience may and will differ as each baby / situation is different.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

SQL SERVER Indexes, Clustered, Nonclustered, Covering, Include, Key Ideas


A database index is very much like the index in a book: the book index has an alphabetized list of topics with page numbers to the location of the data.

A database index has an ordered list of values (made up of one or more table columns), with pointers to the row in which the value and its corresponding data reside.
Without indexes, any query or data modification causes the SQL engine to search the referenced tables from the top down. This is akin to searching for a piece of information in a book by reading it from page 1. A single well-placed index can shorten your query time from dozens of minutes to under a second.

There are two kinds of indexes in SQL Server: clustered and nonclustered.


A table can only have one clustered index, because the clustered index sorts the rows in the table itself.
Every table in the database should have a well-chosen clustered index to aid data retrieval and modification.

Ideally a clustered index should be:
·         Small (of a small data type)
The clustered index key is the pointer contained in each clustered index. If you therefore have a clustered index key that is large – for example, a 16 bit UNIQUEIDENTIFIER – indexes will take up much more space than if the clustered index key were smaller (e.g., a 4 bit INT).
·         Unique or highly selective – The more selective an index, the more efficient.
·         Ever-increasing – The clustered index orders the rows in the table. If the clustered index key is ever increasing, new rows are added to the end of the table. Otherwise, new rows are inserted in the middle of the table, and the database engine must reorganize the data on disk more often.
·         Static – A frequently changing clustered index key will cause rows to be reordered within the table, causing unnecessary overhead.


A nonclustered index is a separate physical structure from the underlying table. It contains the values for the included columns – called index keys – along with pointers back to the corresponding table row. On a table that has a clustered index, each nonclustered index’s pointer is the clustered index key.

Note that a nonclustered index is ordered, but it does not alter the order of the rows in the table.

There are few hard and fast rules for indexing. You have to see what works for your database over time. There are whole books dedicated to indexing strategies.
Here are a few general indexing guidelines:
·         Each table should have a clustered index that is (ideally) small, selective, ever increasing, and static. (Note that a table without a clustered index is called a heap.)
·         Implement nonclustered indexes on foreign key relationships – in other words, on columns that are likely to be used in JOINs.
·         Implement nonclustered indexes on columns that are frequently used in WHERE clauses.
·         Do not implement single-column indexes on every column in a table. This will take up space unnecessarily, and cause high overhead on INSERTs and UPDATEs.
·         In multi-column indexes, list the most selective (nearest to unique) first in the column list. For example, when indexing an employee table for a query on social security number (SSN) and last name (lastName), your index declaration should be
 ON dbo.Employee (SSN, lastName);
·         For the most often-used queries, consider a covering nonclustered index. A covering index is one that contains all the columns requested from a table.
CREATE INDEX IX_BORK_222 ON dbo.BORK (col3, col1, col2)
Convering indexes risk being wide objects and taking up lots of space.


To understand INCLUDE, you first must understand (a little bit) the structure of an index.
An index is organized in a b-tree hierarchy – each node of data (in the case of our index IX_BORK_111, col3) has two nodes beneath it – the left node higher in the sort range, and the right node lower, like this:

 …3……….7….    child nodes of 5
 1…4……6…9..   leaf nodes

3 and 7 are the child nodes of 5.  1 and 4 are the child nodes of 3. 
The lowest level nodes are called leaf nodes, so 1,4,6,and 9 are the leaf nodes.
The SQL engine walks through the tree to find the values it needs…

If we create our covering index like this:
CREATE INDEX IX_BORK_222 ON dbo.BORK (col3, col1, col2)
then each node in the tree will contain values for col3, col1, and col2.  That can take up a lot of space.  

But in our query, we don’t need to search based on col1 and col2….we only search based on col3.  
The other two columns are just there to be returned in the SELECT statement.


INCLUDE lets us make the index smaller, while still supplying our SELECTed columns.
First, here’s the index declaration: CREATE INDEX IX_BORK_333 ON dbo.BORK (col3) INCLUDE (col1, col2) 

Each node in the tree will contain the value for col3. 
But only the leaf level nodes will hold the values for col1 and col2.
That’s how INCLUDE makes the index smaller – the rest of the tree doesn’t contain extra, unused information.
The SQL engine performs its search based on col3, finds the leaf level node(s) that match, and there at the leaf level is the rest of the information we need.

Key Ideas Review

Key ideas mentioned:

·         Clustered index – small, unique (or highly selective), ever increasing, static index on a table. (only one CI can exist on a table)
·         Clustered Index Key – the pointer to the row in the table.
·         Indexes let queries find data faster.
·         Nonclustered indexes are separate objects from tables.
·         Index Key – the values contained in the nonclustered index.
·         A covering index is ideal – it gives the query everything it needs, without having to touch the table itself (that’s called a bookmark lookup).
·         Nonclustered indexes take up space, so you don’t necessarily want a lot of really wide covering indexes. Use with discretion.

One final point: Remember that indexes must be updated every time data is updated or inserted into the table. The more indexes, the longer your inserts and updates will take.

Indexing is a balance between supplying enough to support your read operations, and keeping insert/update overhead low.  

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Garage Door Defender setup

Garage Door Defender setup

Total cost £39.72

Garage Door Defender (for up and over doors, secured into a concrete flat base)

70mm Steel Shutter Padlock

16mm 210mm length Masonry drill bit

2 Rawl Type Bolts M10 x 70mm

Monday, 1 February 2016

Free 2 for 1 Meerkat Movies Voucher Odeon Cineworld 20160202

Here's another free 2 for 1 Meerkat Movies voucher.

Voucher can be used online, and is valid for the dates

2nd February 2016
3rd February 2016

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Beef Bolognase

200g minced beef
1 tin of tomato
Smoked paprika
Worcester sauce
400ml Beef stock
Tomato puree
Large squirt of tomato sauce
Italian herbs

And a mix of:
Red wine

Friday, 15 January 2016

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Free 2 for 1 movie voucher, Meerkat Movies 20160112

Here's another free Meerkat Movies voucher.
To be used for showings at Cineworld and Odeon (possibly others).

Valid on
12th January 2016 (20160112)
13th January 2016 (30160113)

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Quick Ministrone

Heat oil
Chop 2 red opinions, and add
Chop 3 cloves of garlic, and add
Make 750ml of chicken stock and add
Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Add 1tsp of paprika
Add 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
Add 1tsp of mixed herbs
Add 1 tin of butter beans
Add 1 large squirt of tomato paste
When the pan comes to the boil
Add 100 of snapped spaghetti and stir (the pasta can stick)
Salt, pepper

Cook till pasta is tender, then turn off the heat, and wait 5 to 10 minutes for pasta to swell.
Add handful of frozen peas to cook in the soup (via residual heat)