Diesel exhaust particle size distribution and total number concentration were measured at different positions along the exhaust system of a practical light-duty passenger car diesel engine. Continuous particle size measurements during the diesel cold start were made in 12 particle size ranges using the ELPI particle size analyser. Three engine speeds were studied using a step cold start procedure to the set load and speed condition. The exhaust system had an oxidation catalyst with hydrocarbon absorber and two silencers. Particle size distributions were determined upstream and downstream of the catalyst and the two silencers. There were considerable variations in the particle number and size distribution after the cold start. The catalyst was shown to act as a store for fine particles and there were further particle losses across the two silencers. There was a large overshoot in the particle number just after the cold start and this was shown to be mainly an overshoot of fine particulates at 40nm.