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The Diesels are Coming

Posted February 15, 2013 8:00 AM by CarDomain
Pathfinder Tags: chevy diesel mazda sedan

The coming model year is going to be a bit of a rennaissance for diesel-powered compacts and midsizes in America, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 80s. First Mazda announced back in November that they'd have a diesel Mazda6 for the North American market, and then just yesterday, Chevy revealed that they'll be jumping on board too: with a 42-mpg 2.0L diesel-powered Cruze that should be good for 148 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. Unbelievably for a diesel, it'll start at around $25K, and it'll be in dealer showrooms this summer. What do you think, would you consider a diesel now that they're the same price as a normal car?

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#1

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/15/2013 8:24 AM

Let me see, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI starts at $24K and is also rated for 42MPG highway. The Jetta TDI has already gone through at least one model redesign in the US market since introduced many years back. This doesn't sound like news to me.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/15/2013 8:58 AM

Believe the news is as VW has found Americans will by cars with diesel engines that can get good fuel mileage with out going to a hybrid. They just are trying to cash in on it.

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#3

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/15/2013 1:47 PM

I was under the impression that they have always been here, VW rabbits being one from the 70's, just not very popular due to the added price of diesel fuel in the larger metropolitan areas that and most people associate diesels with this.

Ford F350 Diesel -18 F dead cold start. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFPIobZ-dls

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#4

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/15/2013 8:03 PM

I have a bit of an odd confession to make.

The smell of Diesel for me has the slightest hint of seduction. Weird. I know.

.

It isn't that I seek it out for interludes in my nose (well not consciously at least, I do drive a diesel, but in my conscious list of advantages, opportunity to have the fumes romance my olfactory senses was not present).

.

It is mostly a factor of relative preference.

Gasoline and exhaust from gasoline to me are like cigarettes and cigarette smoke while diesel and diesel exhaust are pipe tobacco and the aroma of someone smoking a pipe.

While I generally prefer not to be forced to inhales someones smoke, smelling the aroma of someone smoking a pipe is unequivocally better than enduring the sour assault of someones cigarette smoke and wet ashtray fumes.

.

So the prospect of a greater percentage of cars on the road being diesel is mildly tantalizing.

.

Does anyone else have a mild crush on the aroma of diesel? (especially as juxtaposed to gasoline?)

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#5
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/15/2013 9:28 PM

Yea I do. I work at the local rail yard and I do rather enjoy the diesel exhaust from time to time as well. Especially the high sulfur stuff we pump. It gives the big locomotive engines exhaust a slight grilled steak smell at times.

Mix that in with all the odd smell from the assorted grain cars and what ever grains they are hauling and some times its a rather nice smelling place to be!

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#30
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/19/2013 1:37 PM

I Love the smell of diesel exhaust in the morning in the Caribbean.. old sailing days.

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#6
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/15/2013 10:35 PM

The smell of diesel exhaust usually 'transports' me back to frigid hilltops during Ulchi Focus Lens or Team Spirit.

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#8
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 8:21 AM

The smell of diesel (exhaust) usually transports me to an asthma attack.

Unless the US cleans up its diesel fuels this will be a bad thing.

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#16
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 10:44 PM

Highway diesel in the US is pretty clean. What are you comparing it to?

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#29
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/18/2013 7:47 PM

The smell of diesel fumes takes me back to the early 70's when I lived in a northern mill town and smelled the fumes from the semi tractor-trailer rigs everywhere along with the stench of the diesel buses. The fumes from modern diesel cars isn't nearly as bad, but I still smell the smell.

I can't stand the odor, but to each his own.

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#31
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/20/2013 1:30 PM

Diesel exhaust is really pretty clean. It's the vehicles that burn diesel that gives diesel a bad name. Dirty injectors and lack of maintenance causes dirty exhaust. High sulphur diesel is also a culprit. I've owned 3 diesels and really liked them. One think I liked was being able to release lots of black smoke on tailgaters by stomping down hard on the accelerator. I hate tailgaters.

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#32
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/20/2013 7:15 PM

It works for bikers who ride side-by-side and hog the roads we pay for with fuel taxes, too

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#33
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/21/2013 7:41 AM

I hate tailgaters too, scum of the earth. I have been run into at least 10 times over the years and I always had working brake lights and kept my distance from the vehicle in front.......

In the '60s, when cars had a heavy dosage of Carbon Monoxide (and often probably unburnt fuel as well) in the exhaust, myself and a couple of friends added extra air to the exhaust tailpipe by fitting some small scoops and a spark plug......we had probably the cleanest exhaust of any in the '60s! And some large flames to keep off the tailgaters...... Running down hill and blipping the throttle gave the best "display"......putting on the choke also helped......

It would not work I feel with modern "clean" petrol engines.....not enough unburnt fuel left in the exhaust after the Cat I suspect, though I have never actually tried it ever again....It was a fun teenager thing that we read about in a magazine from the USA if I remember correctly (no Internet then!!)....

It was difficult to keep it burning continuously, we had to run the spark plug continuously via a simple relay vibrator circuit that a friend made. Also, we had to open up the plug gap to monster dimensions if I remember correctly (its a long time ago!).

Getting to work at all cost us days (weeks?) of work and playing around as we did not have a clue really!!!

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#34
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/21/2013 12:39 PM

Andy, I can remember those days well. We would install a spark plug in the tail pipe and coast with the foot off the accelerator so raw fuel would get into the tailpipe. We could shoot flames over 10 feet. Just part of the car culture back in the 50's. I understand it is illegal. There were referred to as "flame throwers". We also had "cutouts" on our cars, so we could bypass the muffler and let it roar.

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#35
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/21/2013 4:03 PM

You mean like this!

When I first converted my 99 Ford F250 SD over to dual fuel I had some early issues relating to a bad vaporizer unit that was feeding way too rich at idle plus several weak ignition coils and spark plugs.

A few good high RPM revs at just the right time and it would regularly over fuel itself then burp a big rolling flame out the exhaust!

It took a few takes but a buddy of mine and I got this one on camera one night while playing with it in my yard. This one was about 3 - 4 feet out and 4 feet high when it happened!

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#36
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/21/2013 4:17 PM

Dear Ronseto and TCMTECH,

Its great to hear and "see" your experiences in this area, I did not realise that it was illegal anywhere to do that, but I never did it to a Cop car either, they kept their distance! Lucky for me.....

I had one guy drive up the pavement to get away from the flames.......it was really worth it to see him "leaving the area!".....in a very expensive and fairly new car if I remember correctly......

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#37
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/21/2013 5:48 PM

I follow and obey every law that I have ever voted for!

(BTW I don't vote.)

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#38
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/21/2013 8:15 PM

I like it!

May I license its use?

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#39
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/21/2013 9:48 PM

Sure!

It's public domain now.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 8:31 AM

The VW diesel does not smell at all! Nor does the Cummings diesel with the ammonia exhaust treatment system. The new clean diesels start and run like a regular engine. GM tried to convert gas engines to diesel in the 70's and it ruined the market for diesels in the U S for decades, they will do it again.

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#10
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 11:11 AM

"Nor does the Cummings diesel with the ammonia exhaust treatment system."

Oh yes they do! Our trucks have them with the urea systems and I can assure you that they smell like burning pee when you go into a regen cycle which seems to be about every 2 -3 running hours and you can almost see the fuel gauge drop while its doing one even with 100 gallon fuel tanks.

The two new trucks with the emission systems crap average less than 2 MPG doing the work we do and the one old truck without any emissions systems runs between 4 - 6 doing identical work. Same engines in all three I believe as well.

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#12
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 5:35 PM

Ignoring trucks & Adblue, there are cars that have been on the road for several years with Urea based SCR systems. They smell no different to their predecessors. You say they smell like burning pee, but do you know what burning pee smells like? Have you ever smelt burning pee? (How does pee burn?) Or are you just making an association with the source of Urea? I have seen, heard and smelt trucks with Urea based SCR systems for many years, and have not noticed any different smells, nor heard any reports of reduced fuel consumption. What are your truck drivers up to?

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#14
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 8:47 PM

Pee on a camp fire and you will immediately know what I am talking about.

Around here the number one advertising tool they use here for both pickups and commercial semi trucks and the like is that they are still selling trucks without the urea systems.

They are a severe pain in the back side here in the north. IT freezes if it gets below 20 degrees F and the emissions control systems eventually lock the vehicles up so they can be driven until they do a re gen cycle or get reset by the dealership service dept for a rather big fee.

The point is around here the urea systems are hated by all who have had to try and work with them and are well known for wasting fuel and good money on nothing gainful to anyone who owns them.

Basically more EPA junk stuffed down our throats that makes us spend more money buy more fuel and do less productive work.

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#13
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 6:02 PM

You must have the Navistar diesels that go into a heat cycle to burn off emissions. The 2012 Cummings in our R/V is clean at the tail pipe and can be run inside the shop with no odors. If you idle it, hot or cold no stink. It pulls 32K# and gets 10 MPG highway.

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#17
In reply to #4

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 7:42 AM

Willy Nelson's ultimate biodiesel would be made from the cannabis or hemp plant that grows fast, produces high energy fuel, and exhausts "usuable" residues (THC) back into the vehicle.

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#7

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 5:08 AM

The smell of Diesel reminds me of a fishing trip, a rough sea and being violently seasick for some hours, all due to that smell. It is not for me erotic!!!!!

One of the major plus points of Diesel in cars is that it is very unlikely to catch fire and it will not usually explode, whereas petrol can catch fire from a single spark, the fumes run into any depressions in the ground and stay there.....and catch you off guard at a later time.....if no wind of course!

Petrol gases at down to -50° C or so (from memory only!) and Diesel does not gas till around +50°C or so, a major major difference......

The quoted MPGs are nice but nothing special for a modern diesel engine, there are plenty around that are better....and have been around for many years in other countries....

Diesel cars are nice to drive as they pull well from low revs and you do not need to change gear as often, lazy driving......which I like!

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#11
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 5:27 PM

Well said A.G. Although these days I think we rarely smell the smell of burnt diesel, or see the sight of diesel smoke in Europe.

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#15

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/16/2013 9:43 PM

My brother used to use raw cottonseed oil for fuel, and his exhaust smelled like french fries. He was a great fan of diesels.

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#18

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 12:56 PM

Diesel fuel costs quite a bit more than gasoline. Is there really any cost advantage taking mpg into account?

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#19
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 1:46 PM

yes

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#20
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 2:42 PM

The as driven numbers say other wise.

Gas: 12 - 15 average. Diesel: 13 - 16 average.

http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/f-250%20super%20duty/2012

Base price range $29K - $36K and add $8K more for the diesel version.

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2012/ford/f_250/packages_options/

Engine comparison.

6.2 V8 gas: 385 HP 6.7 Diesel: 400 HP

http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2012_SuperDuty_Specs.pdf

So basically for 22 - 28% more money you get 6 - 8% better mileage and 4% more peak HP.

To make things worse.

1 gallon of gasoline has 114K BTU

1 gallon of diesel has 129.5K BTU

Plus a gasoline engine has at best 25 - 30 % efficiency while a diesel can have 30 - 45% efficiency.

So what gives? `14% more energy per volume of fuel and 30 - 50% better theoretical engine efficiency yet there is only a 6 - 8% better fuel efficiency gain?

See what emissions regs do for you diesel guys now?

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#22
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 3:18 PM

You didn't take into account the price difference between gasoline and diesel. In my area, diesel costs 45¢ mor per gallon than regular grade gasoline and that is at one of the cheapest stations.

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#23
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 4:12 PM

Fuel price differences will change with location, date and circumstance. I've recently seen here regular gas for more money than diesel.

You should also consider the law of natural selection here. If either a gasoline or diesel engine outperformed the other on all aspects pertinent of cost, efficiency, torque, etc. then only one platform would be commonly used. The inferior engine design would become museum and engineering school curiosities like the Newcomen steam engine, the Watt steam engine, the Stirling engine and other early methods of turning stored chemical energy into available mechanical energy. This is not to say that people should be complacent and accept the status quo of diesel and gasoline fueled engines. New approaches may succeed in the future, like the six-stroke engine, or the variety of hybrid designs that recover mechanical energy and even possibly one day a viable hydrogen based engine.

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#24
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 4:15 PM

Didn't think I needed too given the dismal gains that typical diesel pickups now hold over the gasoline ones so once the average 20 - 30% price increase of gas over diesel is factored in the diesel engine is usually going to be a loosing deal.

The only way you may come out head now is if you drive huge amounts of distance regularly and have near zero high cost breakdowns during the life of the vehicle which given the new diesel emission systems and their related issues is highly unlikely.

Around here we usually see a $.80 - $1.20 difference between gas and diesel.

45 cents just makes me jealous.

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#40
In reply to #22

Re: The Diesels are Coming

01/13/2014 10:51 PM

Try climbing the grade west on I 70 west of Denver without a diesel in your tractor trailer and you will be willing to spend the extra 45 cents/gal just to be able to get to the top the same day. The extra BTU's really make a difference.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 3:14 PM

TCMTech is right. The advantage disappears when you consider purchase price as new.

.

A cost advantage is often available when considering mileage and fuel cost for similar set ups.

.

There are some other advantages as well. Gobs (technical term) of torque at low RPM, typically far better longevity, and the ability to run very efficiently at idle are some of the advantages.

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#25
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 4:39 PM

I may be very different. At my age, I regard a vehicle only as a means of transportation, not as a status symbol or performance machine. My number one concern these days is economy. I don't care what it looks like, or how small it is as long as I don't need a horse to pull it. I can remember back in the 40's and 50's, the small cars from France, England, Germany and Italy that got 40+ mpg. They were generally ugly, cheap, slow and dirty (emissions), but the world loved them. Many wish we could go back to that time.

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#26
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 4:52 PM

You should consider a +-10 year old Volkswagen TDI, with a manual transmission, in any body style.

They are not too pricy at that age. They are mechanically sound (though the little plastic shit on the interior is continually breaking....nothing critical, but always annoying) and many run several hundreds of thousands of mile before needing major overhaul.

As far as efficiency, with the car plain stock and driving completely normally, low to mid 40 mpg averages are usual. With a little modification and careful driving you can get 60 mpg. That might seem outrageous, it certainly did to me at first, but having achieved a couple tanks just above 60 mpg, and having most in the mid 50s, I know it to be true.

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#27
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Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/17/2013 6:14 PM

A guy I went to college with years ago had a late 70's or early 80's VW rabbit diesel car that he modified engine and injection pump system on when he rebuilt it.

50 - 60 MPG and surprisingly zippy too!

Best part was when he floored it from idle at a stop light it would leave soot on the hood of the cars behind it!

I don't know what he did to it but it sure sounded wicked for a tiny little diesel engine and so far its the highest RPM's I have ever heard any diesel engine run at!

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#28

Re: The Diesels are Coming

02/18/2013 8:58 AM

I've got a '94 Dodge Cummins with a 5 speed and LOVE it...

Mechanical injection (no electronics to deal with).

It's got 325k Miles and will go 500K before I rebuild it....

Advantage: Life of the vehicle and extreme reliability as well as simple to repair when something does break.....

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