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New Diesels Are Coming

Posted by christopherh (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 6, 07 at 8:15

I just read where Mercy B has announced their new diesels are 50 state legal as far as emissions go. So is Chrysler's. And VW is also introducing a clean diesel. As well as Ford.

So once all the states are forced to allow deisels, we can again buy a car that gets an honest 50 mpg and have as few moving parts as a diesel. And they'll last too.

25 years ago my Bunny got 50 MPG. The car fell apart before the motor did.

I'd buy one over a hybrid any day.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

Since VW's Jetta diesel wouldn't pass '07 polution standards, they extended the production run of '06 diesel Jettas (and Beetles?) right through the end of December, so there are still new ones on dealer lots. I think they have a Touareg diesel still too, and will revive the Jetta diesel with a new cleaner-burning engine for '08. BMW is considering some diesels as well.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

its about time. diesel is the way of the future.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

The Touareg gets through a loophole based on vehicle size and will be available in very limited quantities this year. Looks like Audi and some other manufacturers will be using DCX's BLUETEC (their caps, not mine) system, though some may not label it as such.

It's not so much that diesels cannot pass the air regulations as the air regulations were written without regard to diesels. None of the treehuggers seem to care that diesels put out far less CO2 (a proven "greenhouse gas") than gasoline engines even without BLUETEC or other technologies; they were focused on NOx, which is what did in current diesel technology. It's shortsighted to quit selling vehicles that get excellent fuel mileage out of a fuel that's easier to refine than gasoline, less volatile than gasoline (does CARB ever count how much gasoline is lost to vaporization while it's being transported and pumped?), and, in biodiesel form, non-toxic (easier to clean up the mess in case of a spill or accident). Nope, the NOx numbers are up; to he!! with any other advantages. :-(


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

Among the biggest reasons diesels didn't sell was because of California. They adopted the most stringent pollution laws and four other states copied them. And when you take California, Noo Yawk, Taxachusetts and smaller populated states like VT, CT and ME you've eliminated a large chunk of potential sales.

But the new diesels will pass the CA laws so they can be sold in all 50 states.

We can reduce our dependency on oil if more people buy diesels. The only one that would be happy with this would be the Feds. Because they TAX diesel fuel at 22 cents per gallon as opposed to 18 cents for gasoline.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

I heard that 40% of cars in Europe are running on diesel. This is hard to believe. Does anyone know if it's true? Also wondered, being in VT...if a car is bought out of state, will Vt allow me to register a diesel?


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

I'm not sure of the overall percentage, but at least 40% of the new vehicles sold are diesels. Our European friends have figured out that the benefits of diesel outweigh the disadvantages, so they have designed a tax structure for fuel that rewards diesel purchasers.

As for registering a diesel in one of the "CARB-following" states, you'll need to check with your local DMV. There are rules about only bringing in vehicles of a certain age or mileage, to prevent people from making a road trip and bringing back one of those demon vehicles. :-p


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

Are the bugs supposed to be of the diesels as far as cold winter starting? I remember an insurance salesman buying a Merceds in the late 60's and that thing wouldn't start well in the cold. The dealer told him that nothing could be done and that he should install some type of heater. That worked well in the morning when he was home. He got stranded few time while out on calls and only kept the car one winter.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

Sure, the new diesels can start in any temperature that the oil is not like molasses. The same computers that help gas engines start at low temps allow the preheaters in modern diesels to adjust the time needed to warm the intake so that the engine can start. Older diesels had a set time for preheater to warm the intake. The newest diesels use ultra high pressure injectors to atomize the diesel droplets so that the engine fires off easily.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

My '03 VW has an insulated battery case to help the battery cope with cold temperatures, heated fuel lines to help prevent gelling, three glow plugs which are there for the sole purpose of heating air for the cabin (the newer VWs have electric heaters which are even better) and more glow plugs for the engine, and requires synthetic motor oil and gearbox fluid that does not thicken like dino oil at very low temperatures. It will start at any temperature a gasoline-engine car will start. I think my record has been below -20F.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

I spoke with my local VW dealer and was told I can buy a diesel in New Hampshire, but I cannot register it as a NEW vehicle in Vermont. But I can buy a USED diesel VW here in VT and register it.
Hey, this is a state that voted in a Socialist for US Senate and a Republican governor on the same day.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

Hey, this is a state that voted in a Socialist for US Senate and a Republican governor on the same day.

Is it something in the water? :-)


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

See if you can catch a rerun of the series futurecar on one of the discovery networks. They're developing cars that run on compressed air. Makes the diesel subject sort of like talking about how great 8 tracks would be.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

They're also coming out with "hydraulic hybrids" too. The new UPS trucks will be using this tecnology. And when placed in an F150 it got nearly 60 MPG.

But diesels are now a proven clean running vehicle, the fuel is plentiful, readily available and will reduce the need for foreign oil when used in mass quantities. And biodiesel is the diesel fuel of the future, so that reduces the oil dependency even more. And they last a lot longer than the unknown hybrid batteries.
And even if they get the price for the replacement batteries down to a couple grand as opposed to the ten grand today, that's like saying "At a certain time you WILL need to spend $2,000 on your car". "When? Well, we don't know yet, but plan on spending that money". That's like saying that you'll need to spend two grand on a new transmission at some point in the life of the car. Would you buy a car knowing you WILL need to replace the tranny? I wouldn't.

And you don't need to go to the dealer when you have a problem as most mechanics can work on a diesel.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

That's one of the most frustrating aspects of not seeing diesels as widespread. While people like to talk about propulsion through hydrogen or fuel cells or compressed liquids, all of these technologies have one serious drawback or another (not good for highway cruising; no infrastructure for fuel delivery; etc.) and are years away. And anyone who thinks that these propulsion systems can be manufactured without an impact on the environment is not thinking very clearly.

Diesels can be as clean as gasoline engines. They do not require a substantially different fuel or maintenance infrastructure. They are just as happy in stop-and-go traffic as they are on the highway. And even if they are not as squeaky clean or economical as we might hope they could be, they are here now. Certainly they could function as an interim step between dino-fuel and whatever technologies work best in the future and we could reap what benefits we can until the perpetual-motion machines arrive.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

The compression ratio sets the upper bound of efficiency for an internal combustion engine. Therefore, the diesel engine with its much greater compression ratio (compared to a gasoline engine) has potential for better efficiency than its gasoline conterpart. But this high compression also creates the need for heftier parts, bearings, and increased noise to deal with.

A diesel engine may be harder to start at high altitude because of reduced air density. Glow plugs provide a very good assist for starting a diesel.

Since the formation of nitrous-oxide increases with temperature and pressure, it becomes one of the problem components in the exhaust when the operation of a diesel engine approaches it maximum torque (lugging). Dropping to lower gear and spinning the engine faster at lower torque reduces, but does not eliminate this polutant.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

"...The compression ratio sets the upper bound of efficiency for an internal combustion engine. Therefore, the diesel engine with its much greater compression ratio (compared to a gasoline engine) has potential for better efficiency than its gasoline conterpart. But this high compression also creates the need for heftier parts, bearings, and increased noise to deal with..."

And heftier parts mean longer engine life. That's what killed the diesel in America. In 1980 GM used a car 350 engine and converted it to diesel. It was a total disaster. The engine wasn't strong enough to handle the conversion.
And the new diesels are every bit as quiet as a gasoline engine. No longer can you hear a diesel 300 yards away.

"...A diesel engine may be harder to start at high altitude because of reduced air density. Glow plugs provide a very good assist for starting a diesel..."

I had them in 1982 in my Bunny.

"...Since the formation of nitrous-oxide increases with temperature and pressure, it becomes one of the problem components in the exhaust when the operation of a diesel engine approaches it maximum torque (lugging). Dropping to lower gear and spinning the engine faster at lower torque reduces, but does not eliminate this polutant..."

They are JUST as clean out the exhaust as the gasoline engines. They pass the CALIFORNIA emissions so they're fine.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

A diesel engine may be harder to start at high altitude because of reduced air density. Glow plugs provide a very good assist for starting a diesel.

Interestingly, since modern diesels are almost uniformly turbocharged, high altitude often leaves them in better shape than normally-aspirated gas-engined vehicles at high altitudes.

Since the formation of nitrous-oxide increases with temperature and pressure, it becomes one of the problem components in the exhaust when the operation of a diesel engine approaches it maximum torque (lugging). Dropping to lower gear and spinning the engine faster at lower torque reduces, but does not eliminate this polutant.

True. There's some discussion now that the introduction of post-combustion treatment (like BLUETEC, etc.) can allow the combustion event to produce more NOx than current restricted values because now it can be cleaned up before it leaves the vehicle.

That's what killed the diesel in America. In 1980 GM used a car 350 engine and converted it to diesel. It was a total disaster. The engine wasn't strong enough to handle the conversion.

In fairness, IDI diesels in general were smoky and slow. While the 350 conversion was a disaster, it did not explain the marketplace failures of the diesel Chevette, Ford's Topaz/Tempo diesels, diesel Corollas, etc., none of which used poorly-converted gasoline engines.

And the new diesels are every bit as quiet as a gasoline engine. No longer can you hear a diesel 300 yards away.

Well, the diesel passenger cars are. Diesel pickups and SUVs are still quite loud for reasons that I think have more to do with gaining attention than converts. Something macho about driving a vehicle that sounds like a dump truck, I guess.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

We have the 2005 passat diesel. It did not come with any kind of heater, block heater or anything. We needed it this past winter when we got into negative below zero weather since we keep the car outside. When we bought the car the VW dealer said the diesels did not need a block heater - THEY WERE WRONG!

My 2002 taurus has a block heater.

Anyway, other than that, the car is awesome. Silent, non-smoking and gets 40 plus mpg. We have had many diesels over the years. VW rabbit (52 mpg stick shift), 2 mercedes, and currently an excursion as well which we use almost exclusively for towing a trailer.

The ticket to starting in very cold weather is anti-gel. So if you get somewhere, the fuel won't gel. Also, let those glowplugs warm up, they don't start "instantly" like a gas engine. Although our new diesel is close.

Diesels are awesome, great mpg, and the engines last a lot longer.

They are currently making a new diesel engine for the grand cherokee, but it is expensive. I am sure it will be popular. There is quite a diesel cult out there. Not to mention the biodiesel fuel people. and Those that make their own fuel out of cooking oil.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

When we bought the car the VW dealer said the diesels did not need a block heater - THEY WERE WRONG!

My previous diesel lived outside for a few years of Minnesota winters. It always started -- even at -20F. No block heater; couldn't plug one in if I had one. The dealer is not incorrect when he says they don't need one. I'm not sure why yours was difficult to start, but mine (same engine as yours) was no problem as long as I followed "the rules" (winterized fuel, wait a few seconds till the glow-plug light goes out, etc.). Heat? Well, heat was a little hard to come by for a few miles. That's why the new TDIs have electric resistance heaters for the cabin instead of relying solely on coolant temperature.

OTOH, if I had a nickel for every time I heard a dealer spout something (s)he thought I wanted to hear, I could buy my very own V10 TDI Touareg. :-p


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

Yeah - I don't know why we have problems with this passat. Although it generally only gives us problems when we let it sit over a weekend or several days without driving and then try and start it. And it has been 0 F or below outside overnight.

We didn't have this problem with our mercedes. Although we were able to plug those in at night. But when I drove them to work, I had no problems starting after they sat all day in a frigid parking lot. Cranky, but they would start. Those old mercedes diesels were rock solid. Weird shifting trans though.

Someone told us that they used to have heaters on the newer VWs but they had a problem with them catching on fire so they removed them. Just never replaced them though did they. Can't verify if this is true or not though.

Love the passat otherwise though.


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RE: New Diesels Are Coming

I know the old aircooled VWs sometimes were fitted with gasoline-powered heaters so you got some heat in the wintertime. :-o Since the introduction of the current U.S. turbodiesel line, VW didn't even offer their own block/engine oil heater. But there were aftermarket ones. To my knowledge, causing fires with these was rare. This is the first winter that I put a winter front on the car (again, not a part offered by VW until this year [????]) and the warmup time is dramatically shorter in the very cold weather. It's more fun to drive in winter now.

Something that has become a bit of an issue for some diesel drivers this winter is the lubricity of the new ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel. I understand that, this being the first winter with fuel of such low sulfur content, that refiners are sometimes winterizing too much and sometimes not enough. I've been doubling up on the cetane booster/anti-gel just as cheap insurance. While lubricity is not much of an element in starting, making sure fuel is nowhere near cloudy and cetane gets a bump surely cannot hurt starting.


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