Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Is This the "Day of the Diesel?"

Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,677
edited March 6 in General
Though popular in Europe, diesels are scarce in the U.S. Is that about to change?
Day of the Diesel (plus 10 diesels you can buy now)

Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

«13456733

Comments

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Lord, I hope so. I'm still cheesed off that a 20-year-old Isuzu pickup with a diesel engine developed when dinosaurs walked the Earth got better mileage than any straight gas car sold in the US today. Heck, I've even thought about getting the front clip from a diesel Laurel and swapping the RD28T into a 240SX to get a diesel ride.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    I just considered the hybrids for about 2 years now...really did research on them the last 6 months...and finally,,, bought a diesel !!

    The diesel 2002 jetta TDI that I got gets really respectable mileage...around 38 in town, and up to 49 mpg highway. IT has lots of power in low end....and I have a tow hitch on it.

    Only negative was the relative bad diesel smell....so I am using biodiesel from BioFuel Oasis in Berkeley, which has ASTM biodiesel at $3.70 per gallon. Yes...it costs a lot...but it is non toxic, cleaner than alot of vehicles, and a renewable resource.

    Diesels are great also because the engine lasts a long time....meaning you save the EARTH by using the engine for a long time....you save many resources and energy...versus a gas or hybrid engine, which may not last as long.

    To be fair, more and more gasoline engines are lasting longer..with 150,000 miles plus being common. I think hybrid technology is great also...but the thing about replacing batteries is just too environmentally unkind, and makes up for the gas and clean air savings.....

    I am all for a hybrid drive (HSD) Diesel engine....if and when one becomes available and the car maker does not milk people for it...... Nowadays the car dealers are charging lots of money for the hybrids....

    so I think diesel is the way to go....
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,403
    -38MPG

    -700 miles per tank

    -0-60 in 6.6

    Mercedes style.

    They're dialing my Area Code :shades:
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    They would be dialing in a lot more area codes except for the $3.70/gallon price.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,907
    $3.70??!! Sounds like you need to find yourself a NEW area code. ;)

    Current national average is over $1 less than that, and its reported as being $2.50 in my area.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    I believe the $3.70 biodiesel is in the Bay area of CA. Not known for bargain prices on gas or diesel. I think highender is making an environmental statement with using the VW TDI and biodiesel. Same as driving a Prius.

    That said biodiesel should come down some as supply catches up with the demand. Green Star supplies that area with biodiesel. They just built another plant in Bakersfield according to the president will try to get biodiesel into other areas of CA.

    http://www.greenstarusa.com/products/biodiesel.html
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,493
    The real problem here is this article is TRULY the documentation of a miracle in CA, while nobody CARES !! The building of a plant in CA might not be considered noteworthy, but if this were an crude oil refinery plant(ostensibly to produce unleaded regular for CA use), the whole state of CA; if not the USA would come out of the woodwork to STOP it WAY before the planning stages. Noteworthy, a crude oil refinery is probably much more dangerous exponentially on many more if not ALL levels, such as; health and safety, than a bio diesel processing plant. Yet there are those (again on many levels) that INSIST on NOT deviating from the use of unleaded regular despites its known and demonstrated higher costs, higher dangers ON EVERY LEVEL. So kudos to the entreprenuerial spirit. Longer term, hopefully the price of #2 diesel and biodiesel goes down and dramatically.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    It looks to me like crude oil will have to be over $60 per barrel for biodiesel to be economical. I believe that GSPI is using mostly soy beans for biodiesel production. I am not sure if they are shipped in or CA grown. I think we will always pay more for fuel of any kind in CA. We may not have any higher fuel tax. We just have limitations on how and where we get our fuel. I did not know until a recent article that only CA produced diesel was allowed to be used here. Well that makes it tough to have any kind of competitive pricing. I just look at it as the price we pay to live in semi paradise. The prices are even higher in Hawaii, which IS Paradise.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,493
    Yes, given the MAX 2.9% demand (% of the diesel passenger vehicle fleet)and the system of highway taxation, it will be tied to the price of crude oil.

    Truly that might have been the "deal with the devil" in the Faustian sense. If that is indeed true, then yes by structure almost guarantees at the very least, higher bio diesel prices.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Please read post #3...It's not me that paid $3.70/gallon but highender!!!
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    LOL...hi guys...

    Yes... I drove my newly bought, used VW Jetta to Berkeley, drove into the one door garage, and signed up and filled out the waivers and other forms. Then pumped the biodiesel. IT is required that we sign up for this alternative fuel, which was granted exemption by the STATE of California, to the howls of protest by the Oil industry . Good thing logic prevailed, but not after much concessions on the diesel/biodiesel side.

    So we pay extra.... $3.70 about one week ago, to use this renewable resource. I have to admit, I did a double take...and thought a little whether I should spend more than $1 extra per gallon , just to make a statement. Then my logic for greater good ( like it does to you all) got a hold of me, and kicked the devil that was counting pennies in me, and I filled up. THere was one old American pickup before me, and another VW Jetta after me.

    I hope the oil companies not try to smother this renewable and easy resource.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    You are right, Gagrice...! I hope biodiesel supply catches up with demand. On the other hand, I think diesels are good at the end or near middle of engine lifespan...meaning the engine lasts a long time...and thus one is saving the Earth by using a product that lasts a long time.

    Thanks for the advice, and the link to Green Star.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,684
    I think keeping a vehicle for a long time may be the best thing we can do for our environment. We are buying too much stuff that is throw away. Cars seem to be headed in that direction. Hope that TDI gives you many years of good service. Be sure and check out the tdiclub if you have not been there.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    That the Green environmentalists allowed the biodiesel plant... I think sometimes there extreme protesting is nonproductive and hypocritical, but that is off topic.

    I think most people have some GREEN cells in thier makeup, and support the recycling or conservation efforts.

    I am also hopeful that diesel and biodiesel goes down in terms of prices...

    However, due to demand and oil industry monopoly, I think it will stay relatively higher than it should be.

    FOr the record, I have been in contact with a few home brewers of biodiesel, who bought or built their own processor, and does all the work. They tell me that the important ingredient in processing is the methanol, which now still comes from the oil industry. IT used to be only $3 a gallon, but now that the oil industry figured out what people were doing, it upped the price to $4.50...even though prices for gasoline came down.

    One brewer said he had about 250 gallons of vegi oil sitting around, while he figures out where to get the methanol .

    So oil industry has been attacking biodiesel on 2 fronts, thru legislation and by extorting high prices for one of the key ingredients for biodiesel processing.

    Therefore the $3.70 price tag, even though gas prices have been dropping, biodiesel went up in price.

    OK....I hope , like Rukes says, that the prices come down. I hope the oil industry realizes that biodiesel is not competition, since crude oil and diesel will always have a buyer...
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    Thanks gagrice...I signed up there also, with same callsign.

    IT gave me alot of info also....

    I agree with the detrimental throw away lifestyle that may need to be attenuated or decreased , depending on your viewpoint.

    I do hope I get alot of years out of the jetta. THe previous owner was meticulous to the point of extreme, saving all old parts to show me and all documents. He did all his mods, so that the manifold would not clog. Lots of tricks he told me , and I found collaborating info there.

    I am using it to commute, but there are also lots of local , in town usage, so my mileage is not 49 mpg , for now. But I think freeeway definitely is close to 45+.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,493
    I would also agree. To in effect "throw away" a car or buy a new car because it needs new tires, brakes, shock absorbers, etc, really makes not a lot of sense on many levels. However on the opposite side it can make all the sense in the world. So actually MY middle ground is sculpt the host of things that it takes, so the average age of the passenger vehicle fleet can be higher. A good start is a diesel engine in a durable environment.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    Yes.. I would agreee to that...

    but here is the question:

    I have heard that many people see diesels run for 200,000 miles, even 300,000 miles.... Is that realistic ? Or the minority ?

    Of course, that is taking into consideration that one does all the maintenance and timing belt and injector pump replacements. But can the engine run that long ?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,493
    Starting off, diesels ARE a minority. Since passenger diesels are the quintessential definition of "minority" population (2.3-2.9%) I would say the TENDENCY is for those folks to not be unlike the greater population. However I see not much problem with 250,000 on up. My personal goal is a minimium of 500,000 miles. Indeed a new engine at say 500,000 miles is STILL far cheaper than a new car.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    I agree again.

    I also hear that diesels are just about broken in when they have 60,000 or 100,000 miles.!! OF course, this is up to speculation, but I think it is not too far off.

    I am hoping at least 300,000 miles. :)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Properly maintained, I would think you should see at least 300K. I have over 200K on a 1985 SAAB 900 SOHC 4-cylinder gas engine, and the only replacement as been one clutch, and no engine parts. In fact, the head's never been off, and it's still going strong. So, I think any diesel should be in good shape after 300K+.
«13456733
This discussion has been closed.