All you diesel pickup truck owners out there, try to convince us why its better than a gas engine.
Several years ago I owned a VW pick up (caddy) from 1981..
Averaged nearly 45 mpg, with adequate power and good durability..
But these were overpriced and too small inside...
Succumbed to rust, but now I wish I still owned it..
Do you feel that the overpricing made up for your fuel savings in the long run ?
The '81 price was about $9,400, I think..
The Diesel option was $700 back then. Of course, I bought used, and still paid a premium..
No question that this has paid off; plus the resale was quite a bit better...Remember, this was really a car, based on the Rabbit of that time, but heavy duty..VW has made the mistake of placing their head in a place where the sun never has shone...
You saved $700 in fuel costs, must have owned it for a few years. A diesel on a pickup now can cost an extra $5000 easy.
I drive a diesel, but it's not a truck. I thought I posted a response yesterday, but I don't see it here, so maybe I got interrupted or never posted it.
At a $5,000 premium on top of an already high-line pickup, and if the prices of gasoline and diesel stay about where they are, then there isn't a quick financial payback.
But people buy diesels for different reasons. As pointed out in another thread, even if the mileage you get with a diesel dips with speed or a load, you're still doing better than you would with a gasoline engine.
Diesels offer higher torque down low, which improves drivability and provides pulling power. In my diesel, I don't need to downshift going up big hills; there's plenty of torque, even in overdrive.
At least for the VW diesel I own, resale is much better than the gasoline versions. After three years of non-high-mile ownership, my car is worth about 80% of what I paid for it. I don't know if diesel pickups enjoy a similar premium, but, if they do, then the lower total cost of operation is a consideration.
Perhaps the best reason to buy a diesel, though, is that it can burn alternative, non-petroleum fuels today. Even George W. Bush now thinks that's a good idea. While there are some flexible-fuel (ethanol-gasoline) pickups available, most light trucks are not equipped to run on mostly ethanol. Any diesel you buy today can run any percentage of biodiesel as soon as you get it off the dealer's lot.
Putting a ribbon magnet on one's vehicle is an okay way to show that one supports our troops. But so does buying a vehicle that doesn't require petroleum and government intervention (troops) in corrupt regimes to run.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that diesels drop mpg's quicker than a gas when pulling a load, so this perception that you need a diesel for pulling is not entirely correct, the diesel is actually more valuable when not pulling a load. The 8.1L gas is a long stroker so it also gets good power at lower rpm's, probably not the case w/ ford's V10, not sure about the big dodge gas. It has been said that biodiesel actually takes more fuel to produce than is derived from using it as a fuel. When I had my gm diesel rebuilt they found many tiny cracks on the head, rather than pay big bucks for brand new heads I located some at a wrecker, but we found them all cracked too, we had to go thru about 1 dozen heads before we found 2 that weren't cracked, point being it seems that the high compression beats a diesel to death eventually.
A diesel engine that is designed and built properly does not get beat to death by compression -- any more than a gasoline engine eventually "burns up" from spark plugs firing millions of times. Diesels typically handle cylinder compression double that of gasoline engines and, on the newer common-rail systems, fuel pressure can hit 35,000 psi -- about ten times higher than even direct-injection gasoline engines. The problems come when you try to convert engines designed for gasoline into engines which can run on diesel. GM is a particularly noteworthy example of how not to do this. The lack of good diesel technology at GM is a large part of why GM invested in both Isuzu and FIAT. Fat lot of good it seems to have done them.
And while creating biodiesel from plants may take a larger amount of energy right now, biodiesel compensates for that by being non-toxic (you wouldn't want to drink it, but it wouldn't hurt you if you did) and much cleaner-burning than petroleum diesel or even gasoline. Both factors ultimately save energy when treating the "aftermath."
The idea of using plant oils for diesels is not new (Rudolf Diesel designed his engine to run on peanut oil). Perhaps fueling the vast fleet of diesel engines out there now with plant oils is not economically feasible. But I would bet that further research in crops and crop genetics or fuel synthesis would yield plant species which have higher (or higher-quality) oil yields or require less agriculture. In the meantime, biodiesel can be ready a lot faster than hydrogen fuel cells and it can burn in pretty much any diesel engine out there.
Funny, every time I tell someone how I was disatisfied w/ my gm diesel they automatically think it was the old chevy 350 that was converted. I had the 6.2L, built and designed as a diesel from the ground up by detroit diesel then a subsiduary of gm, one of the largest manufacturors of heavy duty diesel engines in the world still. Bio diesel is unavailable to most americans so any debate about gas/diesel must consider this fact. I'm not a biodiesel expert but I understand that it will not help w/ the co2 output problem. The only viable solution to this energy mess is more nuke plants producing hydrogen at night for our cars. Gotta go catch survivor !
CO2 is not the dangerous one, and biodiesel doesn't really produce much more CO2 than dino-diesel. In addition, there is some solid testing going on with organic materials (algae derivatives) which do a surprising job of cleaning up diesel emissions. Again, this whole thing essentially is in its infancy. Now that biodiesel can be a realistic alternative, it might be prudent to spend some money on research to improve the processes used to produce and burn it.
And people need to catch on to diesels. Most people think of the slow, stinky, sooty trucks out there burning their rotgut dino-diesel. I've actually had people drive my car without telling them it's a diesel and it really breaks their stereotype of diesels. There needs to be a market for them. I'm just saying that we're far closer to biodiesel and ethanol use (even as a portion of petroleum-based diesel and gasoline) than we are to hydrogen cells and viable electric vehicles. There really isn't much of a penalty to a modern diesel anymore.
Except the high initial cost that may never be made up w/ fuel savings.
I remember the rabbit truck, it was about the highest mpg vehicle around. Why did it get better mpg than a regular rabbit ? I suppose it was as much of a truck as an el camino or ranchero. Steveo are you saying biodiesel produces more co2 than regular diesel ?
I was able to milk an average of 50 mpg from the Golf , but only 45 from the car based truck, beaglebuddy..And you have made some good points, worthy of consideration..If a man drives but 10 to 15 thousand miles annually, then a $5,000 Diesel investment may not be economically feasible....
I would think that the CO2 emissions from either fuel to be about the same.
I understand that there is a bit less energy in vegetable oil; but the great thing is that this will help with self-sufficiency - which is vital to our nations well being...
Far too much stress is placed on the environment and safety; and far too little on economics...
In Europe, the Diesels are soon to take 50% of new car sales...
With that many, it would be interesting to hear some truth about their environment and if they have anything similar to our huge city in a basin problem( Los Angeles)..
"...or the original Ford falcon Ranchero...."
I had one of those! A '64 with the 260 V8. But the "Rancheroo" was first built in 1957. And quite rare today.
But back to diesels. In my business we have a lot of exhibitors that travel the country doing craft shows. And they pull cargo trailers that range from 20 to 40 feet long. Many are 5th wheel goosenecks. And they all want a reliable vehicle. So 90% of the traveling crafters I do shows with drive Ford F350 Crew Cab Dually Diesels. It's by FAR the tow vehicle of choice. The average purchase price is just under 50 grand. (These things are loaded!)These guys put over 50,000 miles a year on these rigs and they want reliability. They love the brake controllers on the trucks. Anti lock brakes on the trailer! Only one has had any problems. And the DEALER said it was a lemon and started the paperwork for the owner. He now has another F350. Dodge 3500 Cummins comes in a distant second and GM brings up the rear.
As far as these guys and girls go, there is no other choice than diesel.
One of the reasons we're in the situation we're in right now is that we don't take into account the total cost of operation. Someone buying a Hummer H2 does not directly pay the costs of the extra pollution that is generated, the extra maintenace required on roads because an H2 is so much heavier than other vehicles, or the cost of supporting armed forces and whatever else is associated with keeping a steady flow of crude oil. I wouldn't say that we pay far too much emphasis to economics; if we paid more attention to the right stuff, we probably wouldn't be trying right now to clean up after some tin-pot dictator and a bunch of folks to whom life apparently means little.
In Europe, they're taking several steps to manage the congestion and pollution cars bring to urban areas. In London, you are charged to enter the city (a toll, but it does not go to the General Fund or strictly for that particular road, as they do here). The more popular the time of day, the higher the toll.
They're also starting to tax cars by their carbon footprint. Since CO2 is a primary contributor to greenhouse gases, in an effort to reduce the amount of CO2, some locales require cars to be rated for the grams of CO2 they produce per kilometer, and they tax ownership of that car based on that rate. That automatically starts pushing people toward diesels and hybrids. You still can buy and drive a gasoline-powered car if you want, but you'll pay for what it does to the environment.
"Someone buying a Hummer H2 does not directly pay the costs of the extra pollution that is generated, the extra maintenace required on roads because an H2 is so much heavier than other vehicles" How do people pay costs of pollution ? Also heavier vehicles pay higher registration, at least in my state they do.
The costs of pollution and road repair and all that are paid by taxes, almost all of which are not based on the vehicle you drive. You don't get a separate bill from the EPA or from the city/town you live in. They don't ask on your income tax what kind of car you have (unless you're claiming a special credit).
In this state, a former governor got miffed that it cost so much to register his Porsche every year that he got legislation passed to put a ceiling on the registration fee. There's no way the fee covers what it used to, so the income lost either resulted in more program cuts or had to come from somewhere else. Commercial registrations (semi-trailers, etc.) are a different deal.
When car exaust enters the air as smog or whatever nobody is paying to clean it up, it just blows away to elsewhere, I don't believe they have found a way to clean it up. Gasoline has a tax per gallon so if you use more gas you pay more taxes. Maybe the people driving electric cars and hybrids are not paying their fair share of road taxes, and what about the cost to deal w/ their old battery systems when they stop holding a charge, all that lead and acid is certainly toxic to the enviroment.
When car exaust enters the air as smog or whatever nobody is paying to clean it up, it just blows away to elsewhere, I don't believe they have found a way to clean it up.
I can't speak to ways to clean up pollution after the fact but there is a lot of cleanup done before generation. PCV, EGR, catalytic convertors, lower-sulfur or unleaded fuel, and what's left of the CAFE fuel standards all play a part in creating air pollution (as do other, non-vehicle sources, but I'm sticking to the topic here). We are all paying for the EPA and the FTC and all those other city, state, and national government functions that make and enforce those laws and for vehicle manufacturers to add these devices to engines.
However, the government created a tremendous loophole in classifying minivans, pickups, and SUVs as trucks exempt from those regulations even if people use them as cars (the spirit of the law instead of the letter of the law). And everyone pays pretty much the same in road taxes whether they're pounding the roads with a three-ton-plus Lincoln Navigator or a one-ton Nissan Sentra. Everyone's insurance has gone up because of increased damage claims made by people in cars who've been hit by a truck or people who don't know how to drive trucks to begin with. There's nothing proportional about that.
Gasoline has a tax per gallon so if you use more gas you pay more taxes. Maybe the people driving electric cars and hybrids are not paying their fair share of road taxes, and what about the cost to deal w/ their old battery systems when they stop holding a charge, all that lead and acid is certainly toxic to the enviroment.
Hey, I think electric hybrids are horribly oversold. They don't get the mileage the EPA promises (and the manufacturers sell). The battery issue is a ticking time bomb (what is the resale value of a six-year-old Prius when the buyer knows that battery replacement in a couple years could run a few thousand?); not to mention the relative lack of choice in where you get it serviced because your corner garage can't do a lot with the drivetrain without investing in specialized equipment (and I'll bet Honda and Ford and Toyota don't all use the same diagnostic equipment). The batteries can be recycled, but it's nothing anyone has experience with on a large scale and I suspect there are some surprises in store.
There are many LEV and ULEV vehicles out there, and that's a good thing. But we really don't tax cars and trucks much by use. I think we should. Just let people pay their own costs without a free ride from anyone else. Seems much fairer to me.
The price of smog control equipment is certainly included in the price of the vehicle, and the epa enforcement is the same be it a little econobox or an suv. How is the goverment paying more to enforce regs on gas guzzlers ? I pay more road taxes on my big truck than if I drove the same amount with a little car, so I am paying my share.
That may be true in your state, but it is not true in many of them. States calculate that kind of use tax differently. Some capture it in an excise tax at point of sale. Others have yearly registration fees. Some states probably have both. My point is that basing a use tax on the value of the vehicle is a bit of a crock, basing it on weight is better, but basing it on something like CO2 output -- or even CO2 and weight -- is a much more accurate way of determining the impact of a vehicle on the environment. That way the Prius driver gets a break appropriate to everything but the disposal fee for the battery (which can be handled when it's time to get rid of the battery) and the person who insists on looking gooooooood while putting his/her 12,000 miles a year on an SUV pays appropriately for the damage -- and the privilege.
BTW, emissions regulations for trucks (including pickups, vans, and SUVs) were far behind those for cars, and, for the biggest rigs, still is (which is why a Jimmy can get away belching more soot and smoke than any diesel car can get away with). I also believe the gas-guzzler tax does not apply to trucks. So I have to pay the GG tax for a BMW 750 but I don't have to pay it on a Hummer. That's not right, considering the damage each does to the environment (hint: much more for the Hummer).
Use more gas and you pay more taxes, fact. Paying more money for a diesel engine when you may never recoup the savings is a waste of resources also.
Christopherh, what you describe would be a good use for a diesel as one would reach 100k miles in 2 years and begin to save on fuel at that time. Also that much driving w/ a gas engine will require many more stops for fuel which could be a nuicance, still people do it, there are plenty of gas rv's out there and they are not underpowered.
I never argued otherwise -- people who use more gasoline (or diesel, FTM) do pay more in taxes. My point, which I obviously am not expressing clearly enough, is that fuel taxes do not pay for the entire public cost of operating a motor vehicle. Maybe they do in your state, but I'll bet there are somewhere around 49 others in which fuel taxes go to the general fund or in which money from the general fund is added to fuel tax revenues to cover auto regulation, pollution cleanup, road maintenance, etc. In fact, I don't know of any state that breaks down costs to reflect the individual costs incurred by each class of vehicle.
I also agreed that, for many users, the purely financial payback based on today's current costs (including whatever premium sellers can charge because diesels are "hot") is many years out. However, doing the right thing is not always a matter of what's cheapest or what is best for only me. You asked diesel owners to provide reasons to buy a diesel. You got them. Just because they don't fit into your personal situation or beliefs does not invalidate them. If all you want is a shooting gallery, go aim at someone else.
There are many LEV and ULEV vehicles out there, and that's a good thing.
Yup. My Expedition is ULEV.
But Steve, you're still railing against a body style. The Hummer is nothing more than a Chevy. It has a Chevy engine, Chevy transmission, Chevy rear end, etc. Yeah, it's ugly as sin, but it's still a Chevy. And the H3 is a Colorado. The Colorado is a bad truck to begin with but they added a heavier body to an already overloaded 5 cylinder engine. Now, put a small DIESEL in the H3 and it would be a good truck.
I just wish the GOVERNMENT would get out of the way and let the people drive diesel cars and light trucks. But when they are banned in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Noo Yawk, and California, that's too many places where they can't be sold so the manufacturers won't invest in the diesel. And that's a shame because my '81 Rabbit diesel got 50 MPG. That was TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO! And if they were allowed into all parts of the country they would sell and our dependence on foreign oil would drop. My wife would want a Jeep Liberty diesel. But we can't get one because the crunchy granola types think they know best what's good for us.
Steveo, I still don't understand who is cleaning up air pollution. Also you seem to be arguing for diesels from an enviromental point of view, but aren't treehugger types against diesels for that very reason ?
Treehuggers don't like the visible soot from older-technology diesels and diesels currently emit more NOx than gasoline (or hybrid gas-electric) engines. However, their dislike for diesels is yet another example of an issue not well thought through. While diesels do emit more soot, the particles are large enough to be filtered by our lungs -- and, anyway, in Europe diesels are now being fitted with particulate filters that trap that material before it ever leaves the tailpipe. There is more NOx, but much of that is caused by the low quality of diesel fuel in this country (some of the worst fuel available in a developed country because we-all like our stuff cheap).
While a diesel is doing all this, though, it also emits far less CO2 than most gasoline engines (contributing to less of a greenhouse effect) and it gets better mileage (I use less fuel; the truck delivering fuel makes fewer trips; and less petroleum has to be pumped out, transported, and refined -- that's good for the environment, too). Europe, which is way ahead of the U.S. in caring about the environment, has gone diesel in a big way despite the disadvantages because the advantages significantly outweigh them.
The air pollution cleanup ... well, let's see: There's the EPA, which regulates fuel mileage (CAFE), establishes baseline pollution limits for car emissions (but, interestingly, does not do that for truck emissions), and administers a Superfund used to clean up toxic waste sites (including oil refineries and auto junkyards). There are local government agencies (like California's CARB) which impose further limits on emissions, specify different fuel blends to be sold in different areas (here in Minnesota gasoline has to have a certain amount of ethanol in it and diesel has to have a little biodiesel in it), and monitor local pollution levels. I'm sure everyone working in those agencies gets a regular paycheck and benefits and the Superfund needs replenishment as companies duck their cleanup responsibilities while going bankrupt. Then there are the people in car companies and oil companies and local governments responsible for making sure the federal paperwork is filled out properly and that the laws are being met and/or enforced. And let's not forget the financial and life costs of the quagmire in Iraq, a country which I believe we'd be ignoring completely if we could live without so much cheap oil.
None of these folks and none of these laws are free, yet since very little of their costs can be apportioned to individual vehicle owners based on the impact their vehicle(s) have on the environment, we all end up paying our portion in our taxes. If you have a high income and drive a Miata, you probably pay more than your share, while someone who can just afford the lease payments on their big truck or Lincoln or VW Touareg pays less than their share. That gives those preferring a vehicle with high fuel consumption a free ride. (People who need trucks for business reasons are a different deal, IMHO.)
As for railing against a body style, I admit I have pretty much defined gas-guzzlers as SUVs. But a Hummer H2, to use an example, outweighs a Chevy Suburban by about 1200 pounds and a Silverado by about 2000 pounds. For the Silverado, that's half again as much. The Hummer weighs 3000 pounds more than a "full-size" Chevy Impala and 2000 pounds more than a gas-guzzler-tax-paying BMW 750iL (I find it hard to believe the Hummer is providing more space in the front seat for its single occupant than an Impala or 750iL does). Hardly puts a Hummer in the same league, if you ask me.
We've all seen signs on roads that limit vehicle weights. We all (should) know our physics; that it takes more energy to move a larger object at rest than a smaller object at rest. These rules exist for a reason; the popularity of vehicles far larger than typical needs dictate is, I believe, a response to the fact that fuel is cheap. If people had to pay $6+ a gallon for gasoline, like they do in, say, Holland, the only people left with Suburbans and F-150s would be the ones who really need them. And Hummer would be one more sour note in GM's song of woe.
To quote Steve...However, the government created a tremendous loophole in classifying minivans, pickups, and SUVs as trucks exempt from those regulations even if people use them as cars (the spirit of the law instead of the letter of the law). And everyone pays pretty much the same in road taxes whether they're pounding the roads with a three-ton-plus Lincoln Navigator or a one-ton Nissan Sentra. Everyone's insurance has gone up because of increased damage claims made by people in cars who've been hit by a truck or people who don't know how to drive trucks to begin with. There's nothing proportional about that...................
Our government has really fumbled the ball here, and after so many years has yet to rectify this situation.
I suspect they are trying to protect the remnants of the American auto industry..
I believe we should be far more united with Europe in protecting the environment - that their approach is more balanced and fair..
We have a government that responds too easily to the pressure groups rather than the people in general.
The environmentalists and their supporters are probably the single strongest pressure group in Washington and many state capitols as well.
I feel that national interests are more important; that we must no longer continue to be dependent on Islamic oil..
One of the solutions to this problem is the Diesel and a much higher standard for fuel economy...
87 Chevy 2500 6.2L OlDS based crappy deisel heads probalby cracked to death, but STILL running. 19 years... 675K miles...Still getting over 19MPG Towing the 6 horses! any gas vehicles that claim that? no? case closed.
but to continue. 80 caprice Wagon OLDS 350 deisel on third set of head bolts. they just don't make them strong enough. but it always pulls the prowler 21' trailer and still gets 30MPG. 79 OLDS POS, dead in the parking lot, I may rebuild it, I may just pull it apart and scrap it. not sure yet.
and my daily driver MB 300SD turbo deisel. 280K about 27MPG.
I have toyed with the idea of running used veg oil, I can get it free from MANY of the resturants around here. that requires heating and filtering and pumps and still requires deisel to run off of, but it gets MORE power and free fuel. or setting up a biodeisel still to make my own... plans plans, plans...
That's a tremendous amount of miles, surely the exception. My buddy had an international scout w/ about 300k miles on it b/f he gave it away, it was running very strong. I always sell my trucks b/f 100k so this issue does not matter to me.
Didn't see a WORD about the XS NOISE from those little high pitched diesels. The cabs might be sound insulated but pity the nearby pedestrian.
Um, the noise is only excessive at idle, not while driveing. are you saying you preferr the NOISE of those rice tuners tailpipe? how about the BASS from the average RIDE blinged out? nahh, I'll take the clackety idle and smooth quiet drive of a diesel any day! only high pitched noise I can think of with a diesel may be the TURBO, but it would make the same noise on any car/truck gas or deisel.
i would think a diesel over electric hybrid, would be a great way to go. something like a small diesel to keep the battery pack charged, run the air and accesarys, then use an electric drive motor on each wheel, giving all wheel drive and also allowing for all wheel steering.
Posted by: bill_h (My Page) on Sat, Mar 4, 06 at 20:10
i would think a diesel over electric hybrid, would be a great way to go. something like a small diesel to keep the battery pack charged, run the air and accessories, then use an electric drive motor on each wheel, giving all wheel drive and also allowing for all wheel steering.
A capital idea..
What noise ?
All machinery generates sound, some pleasant, some not so pleasant. I like the prattle-rattle of the Diesel, but now some are nigh silent..
As a man can easily tell, I am biased in favor of the Diesel engine, but only for those who drive more than 15,000 miles per year..
An average of 50 mpg for 100K miles in the old now rusted out '85 VW Golf is the reason for my bias. Zero engine trouble once proper maintenance was adhered to..
Mercedes is better, and costs twice as much !
What Noise???????????????????? Must nead a hearing aid.
Um, the noise is only excessive at idle.. ?????????????????????? Less noise when revved up? -- hearing-aid must be installed backward
Don't just drive one sitting in the cab...stand beside the road when a diesel drives by. From inside the xost is aimed away from you. As a pedestriasn its aimed at you at knee level- much louder.
The big diesels (real trucks) have a deeper throatier lower pitched sound primarily I spect cause they are 1] turnng at lower rpm's than the little ones and 2] the stack is 10 feet high aimed up.
I just phoned a friend with a 2002 Dodge P/U. Big V8 etc...
He'll cruise on highway about 1700 rpm with max power at about 2800 rpm. By comparison the big (real) diesels are governed at 2100 or so and usually not revved over about 1600 and anymore cruise about 1200. Suck em down to 1100 for short distance sometimes.
the quaint rattle you hear from a diesel is caused by the rod banging against the preignition detonation at idle, at full RPM, with light load (ie. from a car or light truck) the preignition noise is absorbed by the other cylinders operating smoothly. with a "big rig" there is no such thing as a light load. except perhaps on a bob tail. the more load you have the more noise you will have.
"rod banging" --sure. Do I see snow? :-)