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Diesels in the News



  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    It's funny that there seems such unity that these early GM diesel experiments ruined the rep of diesels.

    The real reason that there are not many diesels in North America.

    Low, low, low, gasoline prices during the past 25 years!

    When fuel is inexpensive, efficiency does not have mass appeal.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    efficiency does not have mass appeal

    Most of the early diesel cars were not that much fun to drive either. And they smoked with the high sulfur diesel. I understand people not considering diesel cars. If they ever drove a new Passat TDI or E320 CDI out on the open road or through the mountains they would have a different opinion.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I also would agree, and my how things have changed! When the Japanese cars first came over, they were inexpensive enough, but NO WAY I would have paid money for those products (late 60''s early 70's products).
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    (late 60''s early 70's products).

    Honda was not much of a car even in 1978. I had nothing but problems with my 1978 Accord. And the dealer was 75 miles from home. I wanted a diesel Dasher and the wait was close to a year. So I bought the Accord for my long commute. Live and learn.
  • amccomamccom Posts: 2
    OK guys.
    lets hear from a real chevy diesel owner not hearsay.
    I am driving a 1987 6.2 L diesel. Non turbo. mileage now about 389,000. no head work or failure, no gasget failure, no injection pump failure, honest highway mileage at legal speed limits 24 mpg... Smells wonderful with high sulfur fuel, after all MBTE causes cancer...sulfur diesel does not. Frankly, idiots are the ones who had bad luck with chevy diesels... sometimes also called detroit diesels. Would I buy a new one if the GD EPA would permit it....sure you bet. Does it rock you bet... it has 24 to one compression...what do you expect. Only trouble I have with the truck is typical body rust..which is even worse with [non-permissible content removed] cars. Does it smoke.. Geee I hope some.. I really am disappointed that at almost 400K it still does not smoke enough. It also starts in cold weather. But like all REAL diesels when it gets below or near ZERO they all need to be plugged in.. even [non-permissible content removed] models, Would love to buy a new truck but not too impressed with mileage in the IZUSU diesels now in all GM products.
    The solution to this fuel crisis is more supply in the US so the camel jockes can not black mail us
    ALSO THE 6.2L ENGINE WAS NEVER EVER A GASOLINE ENGINE. THAT STUPID RUMOR JUST WILL NOT DIE. Am I a happy diesel bet. Not too many heavy duty gas [non-permissible content removed] trucks that get a real 24 mpg. New ones are so smogged up mileage is not even close to the older models. It just sounds good since most people never owned a real diesel.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    5.7L diesel was the problem GM diesel, not 6.2L.

    Frankly, idiots are the ones who had bad luck with chevy diesels. sometimes also called detroit diesels

    GM was the idiot for bringing the 5.7L disaster diesel to market, not the unfortunate individuals that purchased them.
    5.7L diesel was NOT a Detroit Diesel. It created an engine transplant industry during the time it was on the market.

    Are yout trying to create a NEW rumor?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Clean Diesel Presentation in CA

    I say, Why demonstrate clean diesel in California? California prohibits clean diesel passenger vehicles and allows high emissions commercial trucks that spew 100's of times the emissions.
    Let CA enjoy the pollution while non-CARB states enjoy high mpg clean diesel passenger vehicles.
  • it takes time to change perceptions. CA is one of the largest car markets, without it manufacturer's can't get their cost of production down to competitive levels. So I am all in favor of politicking in California.

    John, a California native wanting diesels.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Isn't CA overwhelmed with electric vehicles that were mandated by CARB? Just kidding. ;)
    Sure, it would be nice to have CA open to diesels, however, at this point in time CA has done nearly as much damage to the future of diesels as GM did in the late 70's and early 80's for those of us old enough to remember.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Daimler Diesel Rise

    Better start offering some of these diesels in production if they ever hope to see more diesels than hybrids. Better yet, Daimler should offer both hybrids and diesels and let the consumers decide.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I was in Miami, FL for the fuel "crisis" in the late 70's. Strictly an odd even gig. Just swap plates if you need to. :)
  • ok, I will accept a hit for closing down diesels.

    But this is a hugely profitable market that can't be ignored. The number of HD diesel pickups here in CA is astounding. We own two Duramax duallies right now.

    It makes sense to buy an HD pickup that gets 23 mpg, even though it never gets used for HD.

    You may have to trust me, the market is very lucrative here.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I call your attention to the fact that only 2.3-3% of the passenger vehicle fleet 232.2M is diesel.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    It makes sense to buy an HD pickup that gets 23 mpg

    If you could get a midsize PU with a small diesel that gets 30-40 MPG would you drive that instead of the Duramax?
  • lol of course. Easy decision.

    I am holding out for the new SporTrac with a diesel, or the new Mazda 5 with a diesel. I gotta believe that these are both in the next 2 years.
  • ok, I am sure your numbers are correct but let's find out more about them:

    Are these CA passenger cars? If so, sales haven't been allowed here for years.

    The only diesels here now are HD pickups, leftovers from the 80's, and out-of-states.

    So your statistics don't surprise me, in fact they would be very high for CA.

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    You may have to trust me, the market is very lucrative here.

    I believe it. California has created a niche for diesels and increased their values.
    I drove my TDI Wagon for nearly a year then sold for $200 less than I paid for it new to a dealer in CA that made a nice profit on it. CA dealer sold it for more than MSRP.
    Once a diesel vehicle has 7500 miles, it can legally be sold used in CA.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    NO, the 232.2M is the usa passenger vehicle fleet. So in the country 2.3 to 3% micros out to 5.34 to6.97 M vehicles.

    I read somewhere that CA has 27M vehicles? (dont quote me here) so 2.3 to 3% would be 621k to 810k MAX.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Once a diesel vehicle has 7500 miles, it can legally be sold used in CA.

    It is a sellers market. Only one 2005 Passat TDI Wagon listed on autotrader in CA. Asking price with 8000 miles, $32,000. I feel I am under cutting the market asking $29,000. I still have 400 miles to that magic number. Three perspective buyers lined up.
  • ok, but not even a smidgen of the 3% are the modern generation, electronic injection, turbo-charged, intercooled, etc.

    The new generation sold in Europe are more efficient, quieter, and more powerful than the gasoline engines in the USA.

    So where do you think sales are going to go once we get the low sulfur fuel and modern engines over here?

    To me, performance is a moot point. It will get down to arguing over whether the extra $1,000 or so for the vehicle so equipped will be worth it.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    Since you are a CA diesel user, then of course you know the cetane and sulfur content has been higher and lower than the other 49 states, not to mention a slight premium per gal of #2 diesel. Yes, by virtual of the lower grade diesel and historical perspective they (the majority) are not specifically designed to use 15 ppm low sulfur diesel. I happen to know my 2003 TDI CAN run the new 2006 standard fuel. Almost by your definition, it is all of the above. I would hope the majority CAN run the 15 ppm low sulfur diesel with little to no modifications.

    I would agree. Even that "slightly" higher premium has a B/E pay back cycle. Some common ones are

    1. 20-25k per year vs an average of 12-15k.

    2. with up to 6 years or 50-60k miles.

    As a perspective in my estimation the "quickest" would mirror the 12% population GROWTH of SUV passenger vehicle fleet. This happened over app a 21/25 year period from app 2% of the population: for a growth rate of app .4% to .48% per year or less than half of one percent per year!! Snail races engender more excitement.? Keep in mind the hype of the run away growth predicted in many media forms of the "killer SUV's" :)
  • well, I hope everything is ok. Not sure the manufacturers would sell diesel engines if they had to pull them in for rebuilding.

    You bring up a valid point though, we did have to take the two DuraMax's in for some injector work. They were smoking more than they should. GMC blames the fuel.

    I haven't had any problem with my tractor engine (IVECO brand, Italian made).

    There are tons of John Deeres, Cummins, Cats, and Deutz's all running fine doing irrigation pump duty, all on CA fuel. I think the DuraMax's aren't as well built as the others.

  • A previous poster provided a link to the diesel version of the Mazda 5 as a vehicle of choice. I'll go one further and say that whichever manufacturer produces a diesel powered full-size minivan (if that's not an oxymoron) will probably get my next minivan purchase!

    I need a minivan to carry a bulky load, pull a trailer on trips, and deliver decent fuel economy. I *don't* need a van that goes from 0-60 in 7.5 seconds - if I *need* that kind of acceleration from a dead stop, I'm doing something wrong.

    The car companies are all gunning for higher horsepower and, occasionally, slightly improved economy. A turbo-diesel may not deliver quite the same horwepower, but it would provide torque, which is what most users really need, and should deliver significantly better mileage and driving range while doing it.

    Obviously, the manufacturers feel that Americans wouldn't buy it, so nobody will step up and produce a diesel minivan. I'd like to believe that the populace is more open to the possibility today than a few years ago, but some manufacturer has to provide a viable product or the question will go unanswered. People buying minivans are more into practicality, or else they wouldn't be buying a minivan in the first place, so the market *should* be there. Minivan buyers often look at the numbers, and the numbers for a diesel minivan should be pretty attractive.

    Comments, anyone?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Chrylser is expected to offer a diesel minivan in Canada in 07 as an 08 model. For whatever reason, only Canada has been mentioned to receive the diesel minivan.

    here is an article that mentions the disel minivan program
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I would look at the small size MB/Dodge Sprinter. It is a great diesel with 5 speed automatic. Mine made into a conversion with all the extra weight, gets easy 22 MPG. That was all mountain road driving. I will update when I get to go on a long trip.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I would tend to wonder about the drive line of a diesel mini van. Its drive line is complicated as it is in the gasser. With the extra torque, etc. with a diesel I would wonder about its longevity. Great concept however!
  • What ever happened to Mercedes bringing in a version of the Smart Car? Wouldn't it be grand to have a diesel running that - that would have to yield 80 or 90 MPG if not more.
  • The other day, a guy from Chrysler (forgot his name) was on C-span and gave an excellent talk with big prominence for diesel. This guy really gets it from A to Z.

    He explained all the advantages of clean diesel, then did an excellent job explaining how it could tie into biodiesel and how this could support the American farmer. And how these dollars could stay in the country instead of going to the petro-terrorsists (my characterization). Best speech I heard yet from US auto guy who really gets potential of diesel. I still think the hybrid thing could turn into a huge flop and backfire on the Japanese. I would love to see the Germans (and please Fiat - come back) kick some butt for a change.

    Separately, I've heard of research going on on some kind of bacteria that lives in salt water that produces its own oil that is similar to biodiesel. So the proposal is to flood a desert the size of the Sonoran desert with sea water (which could reduce sea level rise) and an area that size could produce all the liquid fuels required by the US.

    The petroterrorists better start diversifying their economies real fast.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I wish I had seen that speech.

    The Smart car diesel is still held up by the EPA. They are selling as fast as they hit the showroom in Victoria, BC. I talked to one owner that gets 75 MPG in town. I can tell you they far outsell the hybrids up there. The only Prius you will see are taxi cabs. Did not see a private Prius in a week Of wandering the island. Very nice place.
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Posts: 423
    Chrysler has their marketing pitch down well. Show me the product. forums have a long string on the algae growth. The neat thing is that production doesn't all have to be in the same local. It can be distributed throughout the country. I just wish POTUS had mentioned biodiesel in the same breath as ethanol. I frankly am surprised that Exxon hasn't turned a large percentage of their record profits to develop the bio-fuel industry. Profit margins would be much easier to control domestically.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    It may be that the land best suited to this process is mostly in Federal control. Getting past the environmentalists would be very difficult. Many times environmental entities are their own worst enemies. Can you imagine trying to get a permit to flood the Mojave desert for the purpose of making biodiesel?

    We will have to be in dire straits before anything that radical will happen. I mean nearly out of oil. Maybe 50 years, even 100 years or longer.

    Don't forget Exxon is spending 8 or more billion to process the Natural gas to diesel in Qatar. I don't think that will strap them for cash though.
  • I don't want to change the topic but Pres. Bush said something in his speech to Congress about sawgrass. Did anybody else pick that up?

    A local radio station interviewed a guy from Alabama Univ based on that word in the Pres' speech, "Sawgrass' and apparently sawgrass can be a major player in ethanol production. It can create more ethanol than corn as the entire 5'-6' plant is used as opposed to just the seed from corn. It also only takes one unit of energy to produce four units of ethanol from sawgrass. Plus sawgrass can grow in a poor soil. Sounds promising...

    Can you imagine the median strips on all our interstates growing grass to use for energy?

    I also seen something on TV the other day about bio-deisel being made from hemp oil. Anybody else see that?
  • nwngnwng Posts: 663
    sorry, the germans cannot kick japanese's butt in gassers and they also cannot kick japanese's butt in diesels.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    sorry, the germans cannot kick japanese's butt in gassers and they also cannot kick japanese's butt in diesels.

    Very thoughtful contribution. I will contemplate your words for ages.
  • Global warming is changing everything. Nuclear power now looks benign, even "clean" in the face of global warming threat. There is already a split among enviros about nuclear. The more enlightened ones are quietly going pro-nuclear.

    Personally, if nukes could be made safe enough and the waste dealt with, I would like to see thousands of them built and the power used to pump thousands of cubic kilometers of sea water into the deserts to produce biodiesel and cancel out sea level rise. This would also produce downwind weather benefits. Imagine what a country like Australia could do with a concept like this.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I agree. I think we will have to be to the place where the environmentalists have their power shut off before they will go along with either nuclear or flooding the deserts.

    Geo-thermal is another source of untapped energy. We have many places in the West that are hot spots for geo-thermal activity. They get blocked because of location.

    Hawaii is perfect for geo-thermal power generation. They are stopped by superstition. They still ship coal to the islands to generate most of their electric. My electric bill is about $400 per month with no AC or heat. Hawaii is getting into wind generators and biodiesel production.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    Nimby! Nimby! Nimby! The USA now is very aware, due to Hurrican Katrina the main provider of those energy products the Northeast is addicted is located in the southern states.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Hum. I don't want to get into a big debate over this, but i don't think "the environmentalists" are the enemy here. Every enviro i know is pro-diesel, especially, obviously, biodiesel.

    The big oil companies don't have the capacity to produce as much diesel as a general conversion would take, and it would open them up to local/independant fuel(biodiesel). Follow the money. ;)

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    1. Producing #2 diesel is a natural byproduct of producing unleaded gas.

    2. In fact producing diesel takes less upstream resources.

    3. They can also buy the less than premium grade light sweet crude and up to 30% cheaper per barrel

    4. In fact this cheaper stuff is infinitely more available.

    5. It also requires less investment capital (facilities) to process diesel than unleaded regular.

    6. for "environmental reasons" sale of new diesel cars 2004 and up are banned in 5 states.

    7. I do agree with you on one point with multiple consequences, #2 diesel has app 37% advantage over unleaded regular. Another is #2 diesel can be gotten/harvested from a lot of old and creatively new processes; such as: crops, waste streams (multiple multiple), algae, coal, natural gas oil even,. etc, etc, yada, yada. In fact compared to diesel, unleaded regular is truly a one trick pony.

    Below is a Chevron web site FYI.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I don't agree--but i also think your post is largely orthagonal to mine. Taking less upstream resources has zero to do with refining capacity, for example.

    Part of the reason diesel has become more expensive recently is because it's in comparatively short supply due to refining capacity. Of course, as we all know, it's produced from oil like gasoline ( a by-product--not exactly ). In fact, diesel climbed more than gas as an effect of the refinieries damaged/disabled due to katrina because gasoline was considered more "critical path" to keep the country running, and, you know, more voters care about gas process.

    You were right to put "environmental reasons" in quotes.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    ..."I don't agree--but i also think your post is largely orthagonal to mine. Taking less upstream resources has zero to do with refining capacity, for example. "...

    So in effect your post agrees with what I am saying unless

    you were not around during Hurricane Katrina!? But you did say you more voters use unleaded regular ie passenger vehicle fleet of 97% with a diesel of less than 3%. President Bush directed the remaining but functional refineries switch from processing #2 diesel to processing unleaded regular. Plus he did lower the environmental standards during this period also.

    If what you are saying is true then he should have just let the unleaded regular shortages develop and let the price rise even further than they did? I would have been totally ok with the diesel prices going down!? So in fact it contradicts your assertion! :(:)

    So that I am not unclear if the demand were more 50/50 as in Europe, #2 diesel COULD be sold as a min 30% cheaper (lower costs etc) So this "CHEAP" price of unleaded regular is enjoyed due to the 97/3% demand dynamic.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    It could be a power play over the ULSD mandate also. I understand that it is getting harder to buy the lower sulfur crude oil these days. There is no logical reason for diesel to cost more than designer unleaded gas.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Ruking, perhaps i don't understand what you're saying? I'm saying that current high diesel prices are because we don't have the diesel refining capacity to meet demand. I don't understand what assertion you're saying is contradicted?

    I agree with the last paragraph entirely.

    I also agree that a power play over ULSD could be part of the issue.

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    Let me ask it this way, if the current demand is less than 3% and the diesel refining capacity is at say 99% ( I DO NOT know this to be true) then why would the oil guys want to increase the capacity to 6%( for example) with no increase in demand? They wont even do that for the increase in demand for unleaded regular!!??
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    What i'm saying, and i believe that the salon article along with others also state, is that diesel demand is above capacity. Remember, diesel is 3% of _cars_, semis and the like all depend on diesel, and the demand is therefore far less elastic.

    Remember the rolling blackouts in california? It turned out that was market manipulation by enron, not "environmentalism" as cheny's taskforce claimed.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    It would be interesting to know how much diesel is used on road including the trucking industry. That is part of the ULSD mandate and could be playing a role in the current supply shortage. Throw in heating oil and it is anyone's guess when the price will be back in line with unleaded.
  • If I were Mexico................
    ............ I would build a massive refinery to produce all the products in demand in the US and it could be shipped by pipeline into the existing pipeline system or barged to anywhere along the Gulf or East coasts. Then they can build one on the west coast and supply California at mouth-watering profits.

    No wonder most of Mexico's population is trying to get out. These shortages have been going on for years and Mexico has done zilch to capitalize on it even though they can build a refinery with very little enviro objections.

    We haven't built a refinery in 30 plus years. Hello Monterrey? International capital would gladly finance this.

    In fact if a stock company arose to do just this I would buy shares in a heartbeat.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Hello Monterrey?

    The system in Mexico is so currupt that getting anything done is difficult. They have plenty of oil and I think they do sell us finished product. Years ago we went down their to fill up it was a fraction of our prices. Now it is about the same and very questionable quality. Seems like a no brainer if we can get through the politics.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    ULSD and more diesel cars

    The same technology will be available for other DaimlerChrysler vehicles, such as the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Jeep Liberty SUV and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    Honda, Nissan and BMW also showed diesel technology at the Detroit show.

    Diesels are less complex than gasoline-electric hybrid systems and easier to install. The price premium is less, too, usually $1,000 to $1,500 for passenger cars. Diesel-electric hybrids are another consideration, but the added cost of the diesel engine with the hybrid components would likely be out of the price range of most consumers.

    Be nice to have more choices than VW. Evolved from a Rabbit
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