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Old 11-18-2010, 01:49 PM   #43
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Not at all MY experience.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:01 PM   #44
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The discussion of diesel vs gasoline does need more attention. Since diesel is 30% more efficient than gasoline, if everyone used diesel there would be alot more fuel available and the price would be a lot lower. Actually, the price of diesel should be a lot less than gasoline since it is much easier to refine. The reason it is more expensive is because the refineries ship most of the diesel refined in the US to Europe where there is a higher profit margin.

Another reason for using diesel is there is far less carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere for the equivalent amount of energy. Unless, of course, you have one of those stupid particulate filters that burn the particulate (carbon), in the name of pollution control. Apparently, the idiots that came up with this idea do not understand that burned carbon is carbon dioxide.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:31 PM   #45
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I believe the price of diesel is up due to the change to Ultra low sulfur diesel fuel a few years back.
We had a 1997 VW diesel Jetta (A3 generation). Sold it last month with 180K miles. It was a neat little car - lots of torque in it's stock form - fun to drive most days - but lousy in the snow. Mileage was 43 on the low side and 48 on the high side - this was before ULSD came about - lost about 2 mpg on these numbers after the introduction of ULSD.
The engine and transmission were solid in the car. The sheet metal was extremely thin, foam cushions went flat last year and the plastic bits and pieces seemed to get brittle with age.
It was kind of a pricey car to fix parts wise but I would buy another one tomorrow if I was looking for a small efficient car. It was sort of like a throw-away diesel car.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:31 PM   #46
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The discussion of diesel vs gasoline does need more attention. Since diesel is 30% more efficient than gasoline, if everyone used diesel there would be alot more fuel available and the price would be a lot lower. Actually, the price of diesel should be a lot less than gasoline since it is much easier to refine. The reason it is more expensive is because the refineries ship most of the diesel refined in the US to Europe where there is a higher profit margin.

Another reason for using diesel is there is far less carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere for the equivalent amount of energy. Unless, of course, you have one of those stupid particulate filters that burn the particulate (carbon), in the name of pollution control. Apparently, the idiots that came up with this idea do not understand that burned carbon is carbon dioxide.
Actually, the refining methods used for US and European production are different. The US method is tailored to yield more gasoline per barrel of oil, and the European one is tailored for diesel.

A huge part of the higher price of fuel in Europe is from taxes, not because a fungible commodity is magically worth more there than here. Transportation and refining capacity are part of the equation, of course, as well as demands on the purity and composition, but the fuel itself doesn't cost 3x as much in Europe, that's just the net effect of a number of factors.

I think the way we're going for internal combustion may take us to HCCI engines that run spark-ignition for startup and high-demand loads, and compression-ignition under low-power (cruise) conditions. These engines are efficient across a broad range of operation and can burn gasoline, alcohol, etc. The problems they're working on with them now are in the control systems... how smoothly and reliably the engines change between operating modes and how smoothly they run in their various modes. As fuel prices increase, it'll become more economical to invest in more expensive engines that are more fuel efficient.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:31 PM   #47
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I bought my first diesel car in 1982, it was a '79 Peugeot 504. I have owned nothing but diesels since then with the exception of my first smart. I bought a gas smart because I couldn't figure out how to get a diesel. I later did get the diesel smart.

I do own several gas cars but they are antique or classics the newest being a 1972 Jaguar XJ 6. By the way I would love to get one of the new diesel powered Jag sedans offered in Europe.

Diesel power has been around for years and it works. Unfortunately in this country it is more politically correct to be "green" no matter how much it cost. Twenty years ago the government was throwing all kinds of our tax dollars at alternate energy programs that they knew didn't work but it sure helped their reelection.

I might consider an electric car when they stop burning fossil fuel to make the electricity. Until then I'll stick to diesel.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:20 PM   #48
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Actually, the refining methods used for US and European production are different. The US method is tailored to yield more gasoline per barrel of oil, and the European one is tailored for diesel.
It is a bit more complicated than that. One of my neighbors is a manager for Chevron's international fuel transportation and he was quite informative about how the refining industry works in this country. Basically, light sweet crude is used mostly for gasoline production and heavy crude is used mostly for diesel production. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have 5 refineries where Alaska heavy crude is refined primarily into diesel. Yet, we have one of the highest diesel prices in the country, even after accounting for the high state taxes.

Some of the diesel travels by pipeline to airports where it is used for aviation fuel. Some is sold to the local gas stations and some is sold for home heating oil. But, the vast majority if the diesel is loaded onto tankers and transported to Europe. My neighbor informed me that once we started refining ultra-low sulfer diesel, the refineries could make a much larger profit, even after the transportation costs, by selling the diesel to Europe.

Note: "Refining" is a process called cracking where long hydrocarbon chains are broken into smaller pieces. Heavy crude is really long chains while light crude consists of much shorter long chains. Gasoline is a mixture of really short chains while diesel chains are longer. This is why they use light crude for gasoline and heavy crude for diesel. The term ocatane compares the burn rate of gasoline to the burn rate of an 8 carbon chain.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:20 PM   #49
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less fuel to go the same distance (can even take 4 people with me if needed) on 130 year old technology...hmmm?
Hi, I hardly think that todays diesels are on 130 year old technology, but only the basic therory.

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Jammer,

Not quite an apple to apple on gas v diesel as diesels routinely see 300k-500k before major repair/replacement (anecdotal stories of early failure aside). Marc
Hi, at 15,000 miles per year, to get 300,000 to 500,000 miles out of your diesel, you would have to drive this vehicle for 20 to more than 33 years; And at this point the vehicle would be no more than a miserable piece of junk.

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It is my experience that most cars, gasoline and diesel alike, are junked long before 300k for reasons that have nothing to with the engine. Those still on the road rarely meet the standards of those who bought them new.
Hi, one of my daughters owns a Honda with close to 300,000 miles on it; Still runs, but the rest of the car is nothing to write home about.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:10 AM   #50
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Hi, at 15,000 miles per year, to get 300,000 to 500,000 miles out of your diesel, you would have to drive this vehicle for 20 to more than 33 years; And at this point the vehicle would be no more than a miserable piece of junk.
I drive my diesel truck about 40,000 miles per year. How many years will it take to get to 350,000 miles, the estimated time before rebuild for a Cummins pickup engine?
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:46 AM   #51
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I drive my diesel truck about 40,000 miles per year. How many years will it take to get to 350,000 miles, the estimated time before rebuild for a Cummins pickup engine?
Hi, you will more than likely get your monies worth; But since you are retired, [tell me your secret] where do you go to put that kind of mileage on your truck, per year. I could understand, if it were a business truck.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:35 PM   #52
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According to the following article, lawn equipment causes more emissions than our cars.

Cleaner Air: Mowing Emissions and Clean Air Alternatives. A Fact Sheet
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:26 PM   #53
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Hi, you will more than likely get your monies worth; But since you are retired, [tell me your secret] where do you go to put that kind of mileage on your truck, per year. I could understand, if it were a business truck.
I compete my retrievers in the field trails and if I'm not driving to the training areas, I am traveling to field trials in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Last Year I also competed my dogs in South Dakota and Oklahoma. This year, in addition to field trials in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, I competed my dogs in Colorado.

After 30 years of cancer research I am finally able to pursue a passion that I have had since graduate school.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:05 PM   #54
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My wife got a 2010 Prius and when we were looking it was not priced any higher than comparable cars with similar features. Her car is loaded with leather, bluetooth, nav, high end stereo, solar panel roof with a feature that cools the interior on sunny days, etc... The price was in the mid $20Ks. From a technology stand point it is very cool car. The Prius also holds it value better than comparable cars, so it seemed like a good purchase. She gets about 49MPG on average.

My SUV I get about 19MPG on the freeway and about 15 around town. In the winter here in MN those numbers drop due to the cold. Now in both my LR3 and here Prius I put block heaters in to help warm them engines in the morning. It does help some.

I am not sure what studies you are referring to... however, I wanted to get vehicles with turbo diesels.

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I'm curious. You said that you saved about $8000 in fuel costs since you purchased the car. How much more did you pay for the car than you would have paid for a comparable car powered by just gasoline? Furthermore, how much did taxpayers subsidize the developement and manufacturer of the Prius? Of course there are additional costs to the taxpayer such as the costs associated with rescue response when a Prius is involved in an accident.

I have nothing against Prius because they do reduce demand on oil, but I do get a bit perturbed when people start talking about how much they saved. Studies have shown that the Prius is far more expensive than a comparable gasoline powered car when the total cost to the owner and the taxpayer are considered.

A better argument for Prius owners would be to just concentrate on the number of gallons of gasoline that you did not use. This is an argument that I can appreciate -- you know -- supply and demand. If there is more fuel and less demand the price of the fuel goes down.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:32 PM   #55
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Has anyone done a mileage comparison of US distances versus the European distances per fuel price? I suspect if there was a ratio of distances driven between destinations and fuel price, the US price for fuel should be more like $1.50 instead of the $5 or $6 that some of our "leaders" long for. Heck, most of our counties are larger than whole countries over there. It's certainly not hard to do 40K miles a year here.
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