Got a motoring-related question?

There’s a hilarious thread running on the popular online forum called “ guide to stereotyping cars”.

It’s a great piss-take on the kinds of silly questions that are frequently posted on the Motors section, but also how those who respond frequently give away how little they actually know about cars or motoring.

“I know absolutely nothing about cars (or any mechanical or electrical device) but I regularly give advice on the motors forum,” quipped one poster.

On the one hand, it’s reassuring to know that the frequent posters on this forum don’t take themselves too seriously (it’s very entertaining, after all).

But on the other hand, if you have a serious question that needs a correct answer, this may not be the best place to go. The more obscure the question, the more likely you are to get answers of wildly varying veracity.

In fairness, you may at least get a steer or a lead that will help you find a definitive answer to your question, but if you don’t have the time to mess around or lack the confidence to know if you’ve found your answer, there is a great, free service that can help.

It’s called, and its run by two of the most reputable and experienced motoring journalists in Ireland: Paddy Comyn and Shane O’Donoghue. It has a section where you can post any motoring-related question at all.

“On there is no such thing as a silly question. No matter how small or complicated an issue seems, we’ll help.”

I recently posted them one of those obscure motoring questions that even the motoring-obsessives in my social circle couldn’t answer with any confidence.

Q: What were the first diesel cars on the Irish market to come with diesel particulate filters as standard or even as an option?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a fan of ‘Bangernomics’, which is the art of buying and running an older used car for next to nothing.

Diesels now represent a good choice for banger motoring because they started to get really good from about 10 years ago, according to the motoring press. Not only is the fuel consumption better, but it has lower emissions and can do higher mileages. Diesel is cheaper too, as well.

A diesel seems a no-brainer for our next banger, but if we do, my wife is insisting on one with a DPF because she has asthma and strong environmental conscience. (she also wants it to be less than 140g/km co2 emissions, three 3-point rear seat belts, do 50mpg and not be too MPV-ish. Oh, and cost less than €3k).

No amount of online research could help me come up with a definite list of diesel cars that would fit the bill.

A day after I posted my question, the answer arrived neatly into my email inbox.

“This one took a little bit of research, but according to Peugeot, it was the first to market a car with a diesel particulate filter in Ireland with the 607 saloon,” said Paddy. “Then in 2002 Peugeot introduced the DPF on its 307 2.0-litre HDi model. They came into general use around 2005 onwards. Ford told us that its cars came with DPFs from then on. I am not sure of your budget, but perhaps a Ford Focus C-Max diesel would make sense? This car would be a top choice for you.”

The good news is we’ve now found our ideal car, thanks to The bad news is they are popular, so we’ll have to wait for a year or two before we can afford the earliest one.

Ah well.

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