General Information On Diesel Engines Diesel engines offer the lowest specific fuel usage of any other large internal combustion engine. The fact remains, two-stroke diesels with high pressure forced induction, particularly turbo charging, make up a large percentage of the largest diesel engines. Throughout North America, diesel engines are generally used in larger trucks, where the low stress, high efficiency cycle will lead to a much longer engine life and lower costs to operate. These advantages also help to make the diesel engine ideal for use in the heavy haul industry. Cars however, continue to use gasoline, primarily due to the consumer desire for a wider range of RPM. In Europe, the use of diesel engines with cars is far more common. Even though diesel engines are more efficient when throttled down, they aren't suitable for most types of aircraft. The higher compression ratios of the diesel cycle demand a much stronger block, head, and almost all moving parts in general. These stronger parts add a lot of weight, or a lot of expense, especially if lighter alloys are being used. The Otto cycle engines are much cheaper to build for these reasons, although they have long been overtaken by the turbine engines. For the same displacement of the engine, Otto cycles will produce more actual power than a Diesel cycle can, because the fuel will burn at a much faster rate, allowing more power strokes per minute than a standard diesel can offer. What this means, is that less fuel has to be carried. Additionally, commercial aircraft is normally run at preset limits, so that Otto cycle engines used in aircraft don't suffer anywhere near the efficiency penalties that land vehicles do. Heavy equipment, such as those used in mining and construction, almost always uses diesel engines. Diesel engines are also used with submarines. In these types of submarines, the diesel engine is run when the submarine is on the surface, which charges the batteries that power the submarine once it is submerged. All across the world, diesel engines serve many different purposes. They are used with almost all types of heavy machinery, and other vehicles. Gas isn't the way to go with heavy machinery, as the engines simply can't withstand the beating. Diesel has been popular for many years with machinery and submarines, simply because the engines can last for years and years. Although they won't offer as much speed as gasoline, the torque and power is still there. Why People Use Diesel With diesel engines, the compression ratio is higher and there is more power. From a technical point, the compression ratio of an engine is the comparison of the total volume of the cylinder at the bottom of the piston's stroke divided by the volume of the cylinder remaining at the top of the stroke. Gasoline ratios Serious damage to gas engines can occur if you attempt to run a high compression ratio with a low octane type of fuel. Detonation is the ignition of the fuel due to the high temperature caused by a high compression ratio that is developed by design. The fuel is ignited prior to the spark of the plugs that result in a rapid, yet uncontrolled burning. Diesel ratios Keep in mind, the diesel is a heat engine, using heat developed from the compression of air. High compression ratios are possible since the air is compressed. The hot compressed air is sufficient to ignite the diesel fuel when it's finally injected near the top of the compression stroke. Diesel engines Fuel and air in the design of diesel engines are not premixed outside of the cylinder. Air is taken into the cylinder through the intake valve and then compressed to make heat. The diesel fuel is injected near the top of the piston's stroke in an amount or ratio that corresponds to the load on the engine. Heavy duty The higher compression ratio causes engineers to design, and test the block, heads, head bolts, crackshaft, connecting rods, rod bolts, pistons, piston pins, etc., with a greater range of structural capacity. To put it in other terms, diesels are heavier than gasoline engines. Gasoline Deciding on gas and diesel can be tough, although there are several reasons why you should use diesel. 1. Diesel engines produce twice the power per gallon of fuel than gasoline. 2. A gallon of diesel is normally cheaper than a gallon of gas. 3. Diesel fuel doesn't blow up. The fact is, its hard to get diesel to burn at all. 4. Diesel engines will last four times longer than gasoline engines. 5. Diesel fuel that is untreated will last longer in storage than untreated gasoline. 6. Treated diesel fuel will last longer in storage than treated gasoline. 7. Diesel fuel treatment will cost less than gas treatment. 8. Spoiled diesel can be reconditioned to refinery specifications, as spoiled gas can't. 9. Unmodified diesel engines can be ran on vegetable oil. Diesel Versus Gasoline A diesel engine will go much farther on a gallon of fuel that the standard gasoline engine because of their designs, and due to the higher energy density of a gallon of diesel fuel. But, it also takes a bit more oil to manufacture a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gas, with the production and refining processes for diesel producing more gases that trap heat. Therefore, when you consider the relative merits of deisel and gas cars, try knocking the MPG estimates for the diesel car down by 20 percent. A diesel vehicle will cost you a bit more, so you'll get more bang for your buck from a gasoline vehicle. The nasty rumors you hear about diesel are true as well -- diesel is less refined than gas, or in other terms it's dirtier. Diesel vehicles also emit more particulate matter and NOx, both of which are serious health hazards and air pollutants. Current diesel engines are more polluting per each mile they are driven than gas engines. Using biodiesel on the other hand, will improve this situation. If biodiesel is available in your area, you'll still need to examine whether a diesel is the right vehicle for you. When you consider the facts, you have to ask yourself which models you can afford, what is the MPG, will engine be succifient for you, and the number of passengers the vehicle will accommodate. Then, given your budget, you can go from there. There are numerous gas and diesel vehicles available, all you have to do is decide which one is right for you. If you research carefully, you'll have the perfect vehicle for your entire family. Advantages Of Diesel Engines If you've owned a diesel powered vehicle in the past or if you own one now, you no doubt appreciate the qualities this engine provides you with. More torque, better fuel economy, and easier maintenance are but a few of the attributes of owning diesel powered vehicles. However, there are some motorists that still complain about the engine's weak power, especially when accelerating from a full stop. What you may not be aware of is the fact that a diesel engine can be tweaked to give more power without harming the fuel economy. Diesel engines use air compression to create combustion versus the fuel/air mixture that is required by gas engines. This attribute means that diesel engines don't require spark plugs and therefore don't need to be tuned up. Diesel fuel has a much high fuel density than gas, which results in fuel economy increases of 20 -- 30% over gasoline powered vehicles. Diesel engines are also cheaper to maintain as they have less parts than that of a gasoline powered engine. The life span of a diesel engine is also much longer. If you're looking for torque, for pulling a boat or other equipment, then the diesel engine has the supreme advantage. Diesel engines are surely slower, especially when starting from a dead stop, although when you climb hills or go over bridges, the diesel engine is surely up to the task. With trucks, diesel is normally the leader over gas engines in terms of performance and miles per gallon. Diesel trucks will get more miles than gas trucks, and the price for diesel is a bit cheaper than gas these days. And with gas prices on the rise, diesel will continue to dominate for a long time to come. How Diesel Engines Work When gas is compressed, the temperature of it will rise, with diesel engines using this very property to ignite the fuel. Air is then drawn into the cylinder and compressed by the rising piston at a much high compression ratio than gas engines, up to 25:1, with the air temperature reaching 700 -- 900 degrees C. At the top of the piston stroke, the diesel fuel is injected into the combustion chamber at high pressure, then through an atomizing nozzle, it mixes with the hot high pressured air. The resulting mixture will ignite and burn very rapidly. This combustion will cause the gas in the chamber to heat up rapidly, which increases the pressure and forces the piston downwards. The connecting rod will transmit this motion to the crankshaft. The scavenging of the engine is either done by ports or valves. To get the most out of a diesel engine, use of a turbocharger to compress the intake of air is vital. You can also use an aftercooler or intercooler to cool the intake air after compression by the turbocharger to further increase your efficiency. An important part of older diesel engines was the govenor, which limited the speed of the engine by controlling the rate of fuel that was delivered. Unlike gas engines, the air that comes in is not throttled, so the engine would overspeed if this wasn't done. Older style injection systems were driven by a gear system that came from the engine. The diesel engine is truly an advancement to vehicles as we know it. As technology gets better, you can expect the diesel engine to get better as well, possibly even proving just how much better i t is to the gasoline engine. Gas Versus Diesel Cost Due to the high compression ratios and resulting high cylinder pressure in diesel engines, they must be built to withstand a lot more punishment than gas engines. The parts that are spruced up include a thicker block and cylinder heads, pistons, crankshaft, and valves, which can be very costly indeed. When it comes to the price, gas wins this one by far. Diesel costs a lot more to own than gas, which is one of the main reasons why people tend to choose gas over diesel. Fuel cost Diesel fuel is easier to refine, taking less time to get from raw petroleum to final product from gas, giving it a lower price than that of gas. On the other hand, within the United States, diesel is priced the same or just a bit below regular unleaded gas. Noise and vibration Despite many improvements in noise isolation and engine noise technology in trucks over the last 10 years, diesels are still much louder and shake more than gasoline powered vehicles. At idle, the clatter and shake of diesel vehicles are clearly noticeable, while it can be hard to tell if the gas engine is even running. Cold weather If you've tried to start a diesel engine on a cold day, you know that gas is by far easier to start. Diesels don't have spark plugs like gas engines do, as the fuel is ignited once it's injected into the cylinder that is already under pressure. When it gets cold, the air isn't hot enough to ignite the diesel fuel. Maintenance Maintenance on a diesel vehicle is more expensive, thanks to many things including the larger volume of oil in the engine and the fact that fuel filters and water separators must be serviced more often than gas vehicles. Gasoline engines have a bigger advantage due to extended service periods on spark plugs, engine oil, and even antifreeze. Making that final choice between gas and diesel comes down to what you'll do with your vehicle and where you live. If you use your vehicle for quick, fast acceleration and rarely ever haul heavy loads, and don't plan to keep your vehicle past 100,000 miles, you may want to consider buying a gasoline vehicle. Gas runs smoother, fuel is easier to find, and they are easier to start in cold weather. On the other hand, if you plan to tow, value good fuel economy and plan on racking up a lot of miles, then you'll want to buy a diesel. Price is also an important consideration, as diesel vehicles can be a bit more expensive than gas. If you aren't worried about price, then diesel may be your best bet. For trucks, diesel is by far the superior choice for those who like to haul heavy loads on a frequent basis. Why You Should Choose Diesel The major distinction between diesel and gas lies in the type of ignition. While gas engines operate on spark ignition, diesel engines employ compression ignition for igniting the fuel. With compression, the air is drawn into the engine and subjected to high compression that heats it up. The result is a very high temperature in the engine, much high than that of gas engines. In diesel engines, air and fuel are both infused into the engine at different stages, as opposed to gas where a mixture of air and gas are introduced. The fuel is injected into the diesel using an injector where in a gas engine, a carburetor is used for this very purpose. With gas engines, fuel and air are sent into the engine at the same time, then compressed. The air and fuel mixture will limit fuel compression, and thereby hence the overall efficiency. Diesel engines only compress air, and the resulting ratio can be much higher. Advantages Diesel engines are much more efficient and preferable as compared to gas engines due to the following reasons: 1. Diesel engines have overcome the several disadvantages of earlier models that featured higher noise and maintenance costs. Now, they are quiet and require less regular maintenance when compared with gas engines of a similar size. 2. Diesel engines are more rugged and reliable. 3. There is no sparking at all as the fuel ignites. The absence of spark plubs or spark wires also helps to lower maintenance cost. 4. The fuel cost produced is 30 -- 50 percent lower than gas engine fuel prices. 5. Gas burns hotter than diesel, and therefore they have a shorter life span when they are compared with diesel engines. Diesel Or Not Diesel is often looked at as being smelly, noisy, and many think the only place for it is in a tractor. The truth to diesel vehicles is that they are slow, noisy, smelly, although they are cheaper to run than gas. Diesel engines aren't as powerful as gas engines, as gas engines produce more horsepower than that of a diesel engine. Diesel vehicles however, offer more torque than gas. Therefore, it is a very thin line as to which one is better. When it comes to power, diesel is the more expensive of the two. Diesel powered vehicles are normally more expensive to buy than gas, and the parts are a lot more expensive than gas vehicles. The diesel however, is more reliable due to it being less complicated internally and heavier to build, therefore it normally lasts longer than gas engines. Economy is always a factor as well, as will fuel prices being what they are. Now days, it costs a small fortune to fill up a gasoline vehicle, especially the bigger engines. When it comes to fuel, diesel is generally less expensive. You can fill up a diesel vehicle for less of a price, and the fuel will normally go longer than gas will. Appearance is also important. Diesel is generally loud, with the exhaust emitting black smoke when the vehicle is throttled. You can normally tell when a diesel pulls off by the black smoke it leaves behind. Keep in mind, this isn't a problem with the engine, just means that the fuel is dirtier. Tuning is also important. Gas engines are more tunable than diesel, as you can get better power increases from gas than you can with diesel. The major thing diesel owners tend to go for is turbo, as it is one sure way to match gasoline in terms of power. A turbo charged diesel can and will match a standard gasoline engine for power, if not slightly better it a bit. This is why most diesel cars come turbo charged, as its a way to keep up with the modern diesel engines of today. When it comes to making the choice, you really have to choose what is best for you and your needs. If you want power with plenty of tuning options, then gasoline engines are what you want. On the other hand, if you want power and torque, then a diesel vehicle is what you want. The choices are entirely up to you, as there are certainly plenty to choose from. Always check out the vehicle you are interested in, and find out if it will match your needs. Before you know it, you'll have a diesel or gas vehicle that will perform well beyond your expectations. Diesel Versus Spark Engine Ignition As you may already be aware of, diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline engines of the same power, resulting in much lower fuel usage. For an efficient turbo diesel, the average is 40% more miles per gallon. The higher compression ratio with diesel engines help to raise efficiency, but diesel fuel also contains around 15% more energy per unit volume than gas. Diesel engines that are naturally aspirated are far more massive than gasoline engines of the same power for two reasons. First, it takes a larger capacity diesel engine than a gas engine to produce the same amount of power. Essentially, this is because the diesel can't operate as quickly. The rev limit is slower, because getting the correct fuel to air ratio into a diesel engine fast enough is more difficult than a gas engine. The second reason is due to the fact that a diesel engine needs to be stronger to withstand the higher combustion pressure needed for ignition. Diesel engines also produce very little carbon monoxide as they burn the fuel in excess air except at full loading capacity, where a full quantity of fuel is injected per cycle. They can however, produce a black soot from the exhaust, which consists of unburned carbon compounds. Often times, this is caused by worn injectors, which don't atomize the fuel sufficiently enough, or a faulty management system that allows more fuel to be injected that can then be burned with the available air. For commercial use that requires towing, diesel engines tend to have more desirable torque. Diesel engines tend to have their torque peak quite low in their speed range which provides smoother control over heavy loads when starting from rest, crucially allowing the engine to be given higher loads at low speeds than a gas engine. The lack of an electrical ignition system in diesel engines improves the reliability. The high durability of diesel engines is also due to the overbuilt nature as well as the combustion cycle, which will create a less violent change in pressure when compared to a gasoline type spark ignition engine. Diesel fuel is also a better lubricant than gasoline, so it is less harmful to the oil film on piston rings and cylinder bores -- making it routine for diesel engines to go 250,000 miles or more without having to be rebuilt. For several reasons, diesel proves to be better than spark engine ignition. Diesel engines last a lot longer, they offer more torque, and they are also more reliable. They are also more expensive as well, although you get what you pay for. If you have never owned a diesel vehicle, you owe it to yourself to see everything they offer you -- and you'll find yourself a very satisfied customer. Industrial Diesel Engines Industrial diesel engines are any engines that are used for industrial purposes that run on diesel. Industrial diesel engines are used to power a major portion of industrial machinery, from motorbikes to bulldozers, generators, and even forklifts and trucks. They range in size from a few pounds to a few tons, with a various amount of power. The use of diesel engines is mandated by several large organizations. All NATO machinery for example, runs on either diesel or aviation grade kerosene. At the current level of technology, fossil fuels, and especially diesel are the most economical and convenient means of supplying power to a variety of equipment and even backup generators. All industrial diesel engines can be either air cooled or water cooled. The smallest engines for residential purposes will typically provide about 10kW and cost a few thousand USD. These smaller scale engines power much of the mobile machinery we see around us on a daily basis, such as trucks, farm equipment, small boats, stationary process machinery, earth movers, and so on. The medium scale industrial diesel engines can provide levels between a few hundred kW and a few thousand kW and are sold for prices in usually the thousands of dollars. These types are used in larger machinery such as larger mining equipment, oil rigs, trains, large boats, military equipment, and much more. The largest of industrial diesel engines provide 10,000 to 80,000 kW, sold in the millions of dollars, and are used for ultra heavy equipment, electric power generation, and the largest of ships. Large industrial engines can be up to 49 feet side and run on low grade diesels. In places such as China, where there is a high demand for de-centralized power sources, these types of engines are often utilized. Industral engines are classified in terms of their speed, or RPM (Rotations Per Minute). High RPM engines are normally used for the lighter, more common applications, such as trucks and other types of land equipment. Medium RPM engines are generally used for power generation. Low RPM ranges, and high torque engines are used for the biggest type of equipment, such as marine equipment and applications. For the most part, industrial diesel engines can vary in terms of size and performance. Chances are, you've either seen or used industrial equipment at some point in time. Although they cost a lot of money, they are the way to go with bigger equipment for getting the job done right the first time. Gas Trucks Versus Diesel Trucks If you plan to use your truck like a car, desiring quick, quiet acceleration and rarely ever haul a heavy load and don't plan to it for a long time, you may want a gasoline engine. Gas engines run smoother, fuel is easier to find, and gas engines start easier in cold weather. If you plan to use your truck for towing, value good fuel economy and plan to put plenty of miles on it, you may want a diesel. The price to buy a diesel truck is really high, although they can offer you a lot in return. Below, you'll find the leading vehicle manufacturers and what they offer you. Dodge The 2500 and 3500 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks are the newest 3/4 and 1 ton trucks on the road. Back in 2002, the Ram didn't have enough power with the 245 HP 9.5L. Dodge promised more powerful engines for the 2500/3500 platform and they delivered on that promise. The new base engine is the 5.7L gasoline V-8 that's not only the most powerful engine of the group at 345 HP but also revives the well known and historical Hemi name. Ford Ford helped push the 3/4 ton and 1 ton truck market to where it is today when it introduced it's international engineered power stroke diesel back in 1994. Before 1994, these diesels were poorly built and no match for the big inch gasoline engines. From 1994 to 2002, over 70% of super duty Fords were sold with the optional 7.3L V-8 diesel engine. This engine helped to put Ford among the leaders in diesel trucks, as they had more than they needed to dominate the market. Chevrolet/GMC The GM 2500/3500 twins Silverado HD and Sierra HD both come standard with GM's 6.0L gas engine V-8. This engine is ideal for 3/4 ton trucks where towing isn't a concern. The upgrades start with the 8.1L gas V-8 that's based on Chevrolet's venerable big block engine. Over the years, diesel trucks have proven to be effecient with mileage, great for towing, and easy on maintenance. Unlike gas engines, diesel engines do not have spark plugs, which means you won't need to get them tuned up near as much as gasoline engines. For those who like to haul heavy loads on a frequent basis, diesel is the way to go. You can get quite a few miles per gallon, and diesel trucks are built to go 250,000 miles or more before the engine needs to be rebuit, making them a purchase that is more than worth your money. Diesel Engines And Well Known Gas In passenger cars, the diesel engine has never really caught on. During the middle to late 70s, diesel engines in passenger cars did notice a surge in sales due to the OPEC oil embargo, although that is the only real significant penetration that diesel engines have made in the market. Although diesel engines are more efficient, there are eight historical problems that may have held them back. 1. Due to the higher compression ratios, diesel engines tend be heavier than the equivalent gasoline engine. 2. Diesel vehicles and diesel engines tend to be more expensive than gas. 3. Because of their weight and compression ratio, diesel engines tend to have lower RPM ranges than gas engines. This gives diesel engines more torque rather than higher horsepower, and this tends to make diesel vehicles slower in terms of acceleration. 4. Diesel engines have to be fuel injected, and in the past fuel injection was very expensive and less reliable. 5. Diesel engines tend to produce more smoke and smell very funny when compared to gasoline engines. 6. They are harder to start in cold weather and if they contain glow plugs, the diesel engines may require you to wait before you start the engine so that the glow plugs can heat up. 7. Diesel engines are much noisier than gas engines and tend to vibrate quite a bit. 8. Diesel fuel is less available than gas. Although one or two of these disadvantages would be acceptable, a group of them is a big turn away for many people. Even though the list above are reasons in the past as to why diesel never really took off, you can expect these reasons to get corrected and improved in the future, meaning that you will see more and more diesel vehicles on the road.
Diesel Engines Forgotten Treasures There are very few engine configurations that promise increased fuel economy and power. There are few engines that offer this in addition to reliability. Today, those across the ocean are enjoying the fruits of diesel technology revolution. Diesels have experienced a great history here in the United States. In 1980, General Motors modified their 350ci gas V8 to run on diesel fuel. The result however, wasn't that god. These engines offered better fuel economy but little else. They were very slow, and not very reliable. Mercedes Benz on the other hand, had better luck in the 1980s with an array of vehicles available with diesel engines. These great vehicles offered amazing durability although they were rough, noisy, and smoked quite a bit. Volkswagon offered diesel as well, although they had a habit for spewing blue smoke from the tail pipe. Throughout the 90s, Benz and Volkwagon offered diesel vehicles in the United States, with each generation becoming cleaner, smoother, and more powerful than the last. Overall, they were a tough sell as they still lacked the horsepower that many were seeking. Today, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Volkswagon, Ford, and many other manufacturers are offering diesels to many markets throughout the world. To put it simple, forget everything you know or think you know about diesel engines in the United States. These newer engines benefit from hundreds of technical innovations. There are several diesels in Europe that offer better acceleration than their gasoline counter parts. BMW's 120d has 163bhp, goes 0 -- 60 in under 8 seconds, and achieves 49.6 miles per gallon. Benz offers the C320 CDI SE that has 224bhp, and over 360 lb foot of torque. This car gets just under 48 mpg on the highway, with an acceleration of 0 -- 60 in under 7 seconds. Throughout North America, you won't find a gasoline engine that offers this unique blend of fuel economy and excellent performance. The reason why diesels haven't caught on in North America comes down to one word -- sulfur. We have too much sulfur in the diesel here in the United States. This cheap grade of diesel fuel will run havoc on the more sophisticated diesels offered overseas and cause an increase in emissions. There is hope however, as refiners will soon be producing what is known as ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. This will help to reduce the sulfur content from 500ppm to 15ppm. Diesel Vehicles As you probably already know, diesel engines get better fuel economy than gas, simply because they don't need to burn as much fuel as gasoline engines to get the same amount of power. Diesel engines are built heavier than gas engines, to help sustain the added stress of the much higher compression ratios. Diesel engines don't have an ignition system either, so you'll never have to tune them up. The exhaust systems will last longer as well, as the exhaust on a diesel isn't as corrosive as an exhaust on a gasoline engine. With diesel engines, it isn't unusual to see them with 400,000 or even 500,000 miles. There are some out there that have even went beyond 600,000 miles! When it comes to maintenance, 3,000 mile oil changes are a must. Diesel fuel isn't as refined as gas, so the oil will get dirtier faster. You should also replace the air and fuel filters at least once a year. If you live in a colder climate, you'll need to switch to a winter blend of fuel to prevent fuel gelling. There are several additives that you can put in the fuel as well, to help prevent your fuel from getting gel. It's also recommended that you replace the glow plugs every two years. If the temperature drops below 10 degrees, a block heater is something you should have. This will ensure starting in cold weather, especially with the heavy grade of oil that a diesel engine requires. If you take care of your diesel vehicle, you can count on it to be around for years to come. Unlike gas vehicles, diesel engines are built for the long haul, and will last you for miles and miles if you take care of them. Gasoline Engines Gas engines are known as internal combustion engines and are divided into two general classes, specifically two cycle and four cycle engines. A cycle of an engine represents one stroke of the piston or one half revolution of the crank shaft, as a complete revolution represents two cycles. With a two cycle engine, the power impulse occurs at each revolution, while with four cycle engines it occurs at every other revolution, hence the terms two and four cycle engines. Both classes have their own specific advantages and uses. For autombiles, the four cycle engines is most used. For motor boats on the other hand, the two cycle engine is most often used. The horse power of gas engines is designated as HP and also brake test HP. The IHP is the theoretical HP, which is found by figuring different formulas, in which the diameter of the bore, length of the stroke in inches, and number of revolutions per minute form the basis for calculation. The results are found by the use of such formulas. The BTHP on the other hand, is the power the engine actually develops in service, and is considerably less than the IHP. Keep in mind, this depends upon the degree of the mechanical perfection attained in the construction of the same. If both the compression and construction are good, the engine may actually reach 80 -- 88% of the intended IHP. With gasoline engines, high HP and high RPM ranges are what makes them popular. Gas engines have always been more popular than diesel vehicles, for the simple fact that they can achieve more speed. If speed is what you are after, gasoline vehicles are what you should be looking for. Although they may lack in torque and raw power, they make up for it with speed and tuning options. Diesel Passenger Vehicles Both diesel cars and light trucks are receiving a lot of attention in the United States as a near term strategy to achieve fuel economy and climate change goals. The renewed interest in diesel as of late stems from its potential to improve passenger vehicle fuel economy. The best diesel passenger vehicles of today are more efficient on fuel than their gas counterparts, helping to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent or more. There are some auto makers that are talking about re-introducing diesel into light duty markets as a solution for reducing global warming pollution from both cars and trucks. Another important reason is that the higher efficiency of diesels will provide a quick fix for manufacturers who are struggling to meet federal fuel economy standards for light trucks. Even if the efficiency benefits of diesel do yield real world improvements on the economy, the potential climate change benefits are modest. Even though diesel achieves more miles per gallon than gasoline, many are concerned about the impact that diesel passenger vehicles have on the economy. From time to time, the combustion in the engine can cause black emissions to spit from the exhaust, which is actually very bad for the economy. While gas is actually the worst, diesel is taking strides to improve engines and the impact on the economy. Diesel is getting more and more popular these days, as gas prices continue to rise and rise. Although diesel engines can have an impact on the economy, they are the way to go for those looking to conserve mileage. Diesel vehicles cost more than gas vehicles, although they will offer you more than you can expect. If you are looking for a quality ride, diesel is the way to go. Gas Diesel Hybrid War These days, gasoline prices may be crimping your your household budget. You may like to reduce the U.S. dollars that flow to the Middle East for oil, or perhaps you are motivated by your concern for the environment, or even the nagging reality that oil is a depleting resource that shouldn't be wasted. Fuel economy To put it into prospective, the fuel economy are the numbers posted on the window sticker of a new vehicle. Studies have shown that the average driver only receives 75 percent or so of the mileage figures that are on the sticker. You can use these numbers to determine the best type of vehicle for your purchase. The numbers will let you know how many MPG your vehicle will get, so you can compare vehicles and then go from there. Hybrid pricing The gas electric hybrid vehicles are normally priced higher than non hybrid counterparts, anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to several thousand dollars. Hybrids can get a lot of miles per gallon, some averaging around 45 -- 55. This is great for those who want to save money on gas, as hybrids can go many miles on a full tank of fuel and they come with extended warranties as well. Diesel efficiency Diesel powered vehicles are yet another fuel efficient option. Diesels are known for getting extra mileage from every gallon of fuel. They offer much better torque than many gasoline engines. The price differential they have over gasoline engines are usually much smaller than that of the hybrid. With plenty of options available, you're sure to find what you need to help conserve fuel. Before you make a purchase, always remember to shop around and find what's best for you. Gas Tractor Versus Diesel Tractor There are many different reasons as to why a diesel compact tractor is superior to a gasoline garden tractor. First of all, the diesel engine doesn't have the parts that normally wear out or give problems. There are no spark plugs, rotors, points, or distributor caps like the garden tractor. There is no carburetor either, that will gum up and be hard to start after being stored for a long period of time. Diesel engines can be stored for long periods of time and still start right up. Secondly, diesel engines in most tractors are water cooled. This will allow the engine to run at a more consistent and cooler temperature, which will extend the life of the engine. The typical properly maintained diesel engine can run thousands of hours without breaking a sweat -- and without having to be rebuilt. Diesel engines will also make more power. Even though gasoline tractors may be a little quicker to start with, they can't begin to match the power and raw torque that diesel engines offer. Another reason why diesel tractors are better than gas is the available attachments. Most gasoline tractors are equipped with a belly mower and don't normally have a three point hitch. This will severely limit the type of implements that you can use and also limit the tractors expandability. Most blades and scoop implements won't work with a gasoline tractor. The drive train will also limit the type of implement you can use with a garden tractor. The typical gasoline garden tractor is belt driven, while a belt drive won't pull as much load as a diesel powered tractor. You would probably not be able to use a box blade or tiller either with the average gasoline powered tractor. Hydrogen Boosted Gas Engines With the ever increasing cost of gasoline prices, auto makers are having to work overtime to cost effictively improve the fuel economy, while still meeting the strict emission requirements of today with gasoline engines. One ideal and promising way to boost the fuel economy of gas engines is to add hydrogen to the fuel/air mixture in the engine. Since hydrogen isn't available at the local gas station, selling a hydrogen boosted gas engine wasn't on the list of engines -- until now. Lack of emission A major cost and environmental advantage to hydrogen boosted gas engines are low amount s of NOx emission gas, which will completely eliminate the need for external NOx emissions control. Currently, NOx emissions control is a major cost problem for diesel engines which use expensive traps to meet the emission standards. Diesel engines particulate emissions that must be collected by a filter that should be changed periodically. Hydrogen boosted engines on the other hand require neither NOx or particulate control and require only a low cost oxidation catalyst to control very small amounts of exhaust which is formed mostly during the engine starting up and warming up. Additional cuts in emissions control requirements stem from the engine's ability to use only the clean hydrogen enriched charge during the cold start phase when 90% of emissions are generated in the emission test. Cost The hydrogen boost system is effectively a bolt on technology that can be added to an existing vehicle's engine compartment. According to those developing the system, the cost of the system is less than half of the added cost for diesel. The future Prototype hydrogen boosted engines are now be installed in test SUV vehicles that have sufficient space for the reformer and it's related system. The start of long term road testing for performance, reliability, and durability information is planned for later on in the year before the system goes further into development. Four cylinder gasoline engines will likely be the prime candidates for the technology as high gas prices continue to generate competition among the higher fuel economy models that seek MPG leadership. With gas prices getting higher and higher, hydrogen boosted gas engines offer you the chance to get more miles per gallon and not have to worry about burning up all of your fuel. Instead of having to go out and buy a diesel to conserve fuel, hydrogen boosted units will help you preserve gas. Even though they aren't available to buy right now, they will be very soon. Many manufacturers are looking into them, as they offer gasoline engines something like never before. If you own a gas powered vehicle and have thought of giving it up to go diesel, you might want to think again -- as hydrogen boost units may change the world of gas engines forever. Diesel Fuel Quality The designs of diesel engines striving to increase performance have made a lot of advancements in engine fuel delivery to the combustion chamber. The diesel engines of today are much quieter, smoother, and also more powerful. The quality of diesel fuel on the other hand has not advanced at the same rate as the improvements of engines. As soon as it is produced, diesel fuel begins to deteriorate. Less than 30 days of refining, all diesel fuel, regardless of the brand, goes through a natural process called oxidation. This process forms varnishes and gums in the fuel by causing the molecules of the fuel to lengthen and start bonding together. Now, these components will drop to the bottom of the fuel tank and form diesel sludge. The fuel will begin to turn very dark in color, smell bad, and cause the engine to smoke. The engine starts to smoke as some of these clusters are small enough to pass through the engine filtration and on to the combustion chamber. As the clusters begin to increase in size, only a small amount of the molecules will get burned, as the rest will go out the exhaust as unburned fuel and smoke. Its estimated that eight out of every ten diesel engine failures are directly related to poor quality and contaminated fuel. The build up of contamination in the fuel systems and storage tanks can clog filters, thereby causing the engine to shut down, and damage to the engine to occur. The number one reason for bad fuel is due to the increasing popularity of diesel power and the accompanying increased demand for more diesel fuel. Long ago, diesel fuel remained in the refinery storage tanks long enough to naturally seperate and begin to settle, allowing the clean fuel to be drawn apart. Now, with the demand getting higher than ever, the fuel is never stationary long enough to settle, and the suspended water and solids are passed on to the person buying the fuel -- you. The changes in refinery techniques is also a problem. In order to get more products, diesel fuel is being refined for more marginal portions of the crude barrel. This results in a lower grade product that is thicker and also contains a lot more contamination. As time continues to pass and technology gets better and better, one can only hope that the quality of diesel fuel improves. As it stands now, the quality isn't good at all. If you run diesel fuel, all you can basically hope for is that the fuel you are getting isn't contaminated. Gasoline Credit Cards With gasoline getting more and more expensive, you've probably found yourself wondering what you can do. Even with the rising costs of gas and fuel, you still need it to go places. No matter how you look at it, you are at the mercy of these prices. If you own two credit cards, changes are that you will use one of them to pay for your gas. Gas credit cards are now starting to shine. There are many individuals who are planning to apply for a gas card. Most cards are either issued by a leading credit card company or by a major retailing gas station. Along with that, there are some of the gas credit cards that give you a great deal like having discounts on gases such as unleaded, premium, and others. Gas credit cards also give you an assurance to have more approved gas bonus. If the credit card is approved, the owner of the card will not only save money on gas, but he'll also get an extra allowance for car equipment and accessories. Gas cards can also help you save a bundle on repairs as well. Keep in mind that there are some things to consider when you apply for a gas card. When you plan to apply for a card, the conditions should always be known. The benefits of the gas credit cards available should also be studied and researched in order to compare rates, features, and benefits. As the popularity of gas credit cards continue to increase, so will the offers. Gas cards also offer a positive effect for gasoline retailers as well. The customer will also earn additional incentives as well. If you plan to stick with one brand of gas, this card can generate some of the best rewards. When looking for the best type of gasoline credit card, the most important thing to do is review the terms and conditions. The present status of the card should also be reviewed in order to avoid a bad credit record. There are also several gas credit cards that will give you extra rewards and point systems. What this means, is that the card holder can earn cash back on certain purchases. The more points you get, the bigger product you can receive. The ideal purpose of applying for gas credit cards is to help eliminate the gas expenses. The credit card should help you to have a deal with gas expenses. Low interest premium cards can be the best if you can maintain the proper balance. The best thing about gasoline credit cards is the fact that you don't have to pay for them now and you can just pay later. Just don't forget to pay the bill, as you could end up getting a bad credit rating. Gas VS Diesel Boats As you may know, diesel engines aren't something you should take lightly. There are good reasons why the rush to put them in cars back in the 70s flopped. Diesel isn't the ideal power source for all applications. Engine speed Diesel engines gained the reputation for long service life early on in the history of the engines, mainly from engines that were used in commercial operations. These were big, very slow to turn engines that were usually in the 600 -- 1,000 RPM range. The long service life of the diesel engine isn't really a myth when used in the proper application. It's only a myth in pleasure craft, where the engines are operated in-frequently at high and low speeds, normally under very heavy loads and adverse conditions. Fuel consumption If you plan to engage on some serious long range travel, especially if fuel stops aren't available, then fuel consumption will become an issue. Diesel engines will normally burn 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of fuel as their gas equals. Considering the cost of the engines versus the amount of fuel you'll burn during the time you own the boat, fuel savings isn't really important. Dilemma Most questions of choice arise for boats that are in the 28 to 34 foot range where either type of engine is available with adequate horsepower. Gas engines do have the advantage that they are cheap to buy and also cheap to repair. Diesel boats are just the opposite, as for the price of one you could buy three gas engines. For the price of a smaller in-line 6 cylinder diesel, you can buy two gas engines. Therefore, cost wise, unless you really need diesel power, diesels aren't very practical. The advantage to diesel comes only at the point where the extra torque is needed because a gasoline engine would simply be under too much strain to have an adequate amount of service life. If you have a choice of gas versus diesel, your first concern should be to determine whether or not you can really afford to own a diesel, as the initial price is only part of the cost. If you simply can't afford to write a big check for routine maintenance, then you will probably be better off going with gas. On the other hand, if you have a lot of money, diesel would be your best bet. Diesel engines are great to have, although they cost a lot of money to up keep and they generally aren't the way to go for those on a budget. Diesel And Gas Prices Over the years, the prices of both gas and diesel have experienced some drastic changes. Many years ago, the price of gas was around a dollar or a little more, nothing like it is today. Back then, gas wasn't high in price although the demand for vehicles wasn't what it is today either. As the demand for vehicles grew, the demand for fuel grew as well. Other actions and events have played into the equation as well, resulting in the rising costs of fuel. Fuel is something we all need to run our vehicles, as we wouldn't be able to go anywhere without it. As you may know, a majority of the gas we get at local gas stations comes from overseas, primarily the Middle East. Therefore, we have to pay taxes and such on the gas we use, which pays for the gas as well as the shipping. If we got our gas from within the United States, one can't help but wonder whether or not the prices would indeed be lower. Diesel on the other hand, has always managed to keep a price lower than gas. Diesel comes from within the United States, so the prices are of course going to be lower. The only problem associated with diesel fuel is locating it, as many gas stations don't sell it. When it comes to the choice between the two, diesel fuel is obviously cheaper to buy. Gas is in supply more, which means that you can find it almost anywhere. If you own a gasoline vehicle, you obviously don't want to put diesel in it. If you own a diesel vehicle, then you of course wouldn't want to put gas in it either. Gas Saving Tips Are you tired of the continuing rise in gasoline price? If you are, you're not alone. In this article, you'll find a few excellent tips designed to help you save a bit of your hard earned money. First, its always best to purchase your gas either first thing in the morning or late at night. The reason for this is because gas is denser at a cold temperature, so you'll basically be getting more for your money. Secondly, check your local gas prices to find the best price available. You can check your local gas prices online as well, which will prevent you from wasting gas while driving around to look for the best price. By keeping your car well maintained, you can help improve fuel consumption. By simply tuning your car, you can decrease your fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. Also, you should keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Tires that are under inflated will cause fuel consumption to increase by 6 percent. You should also make sure that you change your oil and air filters on a regular basis as well. Other tips to keep in mind are to drive by staying in the posted speed limits, as the faster you drive you will use more fuel. Whenever possible you should use overdrive, as this will help fuel and also improve the wear on your engine. You can also combine your errands by making a list of things that you have to do, as the more you cold start your engine, the more fuel you'll be using. By taking the time to do these tips, you'll be amazed at just how much fuel you can save. Gas prices are becoming ridiculous these days, which is why you want to do your part to converse little drop that you can. Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles Most efficient overall -- Honda Insight hybrid With 60 mpg city and 66 mpg highway, the Honda hybrid has top honors as most fuel efficient in the United States. With a 1.0 gas engine mated to an electric motor, the insight was designed to make the most of the power by using low resistance tires. The bad things about the Insight include a cramped interior, seating for two, and a very odd styling. Fuel efficient mid size car -- Toyota Prius hybrid (60 mpg city and 51 mpg highway) The Prius, unlike the Honda Insight, is capable of carrying 5 people plus their gear. The Prius will generate a total of 110 HP from its gasoline engine and electric motor. The sleek shape to the Prius has a low co-efficient drag although Toyota has managed to do this with a larger, yet more driver friendly vehicle than the Insight of Toyota. Most efficient compact car -- Honda Civic hybrid (49 mpg city and 51 mpg highway) With a reputation of being the cheapest hybrid in North America, the Civic hybrid takes the great design of the regular Civic and makes it a lot more efficient. With an output of 110 HP, the Civic hybrid is very competitive for the class. Most efficient sub compact car -- Volkswagon diesel (37 mpg city and 44 mpg highway) The Volkswagon Beetle diesel is ahead of even the sub compact hybrids. Making 100 HP, the Beetle diesel may not sound that powerful, although the 177 lb-foot of torque will put shame on every other vehicle in the same class. Most efficient station wagon -- Pontiac and Toyota (30 mpg city and 36 mpg highway) The Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix are both the result of a joint venture of Toyota and General Motors. Both vehicles come equipped with Toyota engines, although a lot of the design and engineering came from General Motors. Both the Matrix and the Vibe are versatile with active lifestyles. With a fuel efficient 1.8L 4 cylinder that produces 126 HP, the Matrix and the Vibe aren't going to win a street race although they ma ke up for it with smoothness, efficiency, and refinement. Most efficient large car -- Hyundai Sonata (24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway) The Sonata is a major surprise, beating out very stiff competition. The 2.4L 4 cylinder engine is very smooth, responsive, and powerful. The suspension however, is soft, and geared more towards comfort than handling. This isn't a BMW, although the build quality is great, clearly demonstrating that Hyundai is no longer a second rate manufacturer.
InfoBank Intro | Main Page | Usenet Forums | Search The RockSite/The Web