Diesel - Fuel of the future? - David Woollard
Caught a snatch of the news yesterday about Ford investing in a new/existing production facility as a high tech diesel engine factory.

The reporter said Ford was making this investment as it regarded diesel as "the" fuel of the future.

Ten years ago I thought diesel fuel was encouraged by our "leaders", recently less so......are we going the other way again?

Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Michael
I think all the signs are that diesel is coming into vogue again but for the right reasons. Personally, I was never a diesel fan. Too noisy, smelly, slow, etc, however, I had a bmw 530d for a year and recently had a golf tdi for a few weeks. The experience completely transformed my perception of diesels. Not only are they more economic than petrol equivalents, they are nicer to drive in that they are more responsive and offer quicker acceleration on the move (when you need it). The 530d offered 0-60 in less than 8 seconds, for anyone interested in traffic light gp starts, but the real performance was in the 50-70 range where it outperformed the 535i. In fact you needed a 540i to beat it. Just a tad pricey though.

The new co2 based car tax laws makes driving a diesel even more sense, more-so when new diesels conforming to euro iv emisission standards will not be penalised. Not sure what my next car will be but diesels are top of the list.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Tom Shaw
I've used a variety of normally aspirated diesels for the past nine years, and when I first changed over from petrol I found a notable drop in performance. Just recently I've had the use of a 1.25 Fiesta Ghia and when I got it I was looking forward to a much quicker drive. I was surprised to find that the difference between it and my Saxo oil burner was barely noticable. Diesel is still a lot more economical than petrol, and performance seems to have caught up.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Andrew Bairsto
Its the old storey we buy fuel in volume and not weight .So diesel appears to be more economical than it is if a proper comparison was made.I have a XM 2.5 td and it is very good ,quick ,quiet and very good economically.But it will not pull the skin of a rice pudding.When I tow my caravan on the flat it will cruise at 60 to 70 mph but come to a small hill and you are down into second gear.I am sure this is due to the gearing to make the performance nearer to that of a petrol.My old petrol xm would leave this one for dead and had no problems towing.But as not many people as a percentage tow I do not suppose it is that important to vehicle manufactures.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Darcy Kitchin
My old XM 2.1 TD was a super long-legged tourer, returning an uncorrected 44mpg for 130 of its 150 K miles. Put 1200 kg of caravan on the back and it was adifferent story, even the slightest incline would cost you a couple of gears, and hill starts would fry the clutch. BTW I used to pine for a 2.5 TD with the extra bhp so your 'van must be a real beast.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - John Slaughter

Yes, this has been mentioned before - diesel has a virtually identical calorific value as petrol, but because of its higher density you get about 14% more energy in a gallon of diesel than a gallon of petrol. This accounts for much of the economy benefit.

What's the CV of cooking oil Andy - have you checked?


Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Basil Fawlty
Are the drivers 14% more dense too?

Sorry, crap joke.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Alvin Booth
I believe Tony has got it spot on when he says the Chancellor realised that he was losing revenue from the public gradually switching to diesel.
I don't know what the ratio is at present between sales of diesel or petrol but it was 23% a few years ago. As regarding which is the most enviromental fuel it depends who you believe. Diesel car magazine quote many authoritive sources who say that petrol is far more carcinogenic than diesel and due to its more efficent use it follows that less pollution is caused.
Ford saying that diesel is the fuel of the future?, I also read VW and Mercedees making similar statements a few months ago.
I changed to diesel cars 12 years ago and can't envisage going back to petrol again unless of course Gordan decided to halve the cost of petrol which is unlikely to say the least.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Michael
I think all of what you said is true of old diesels, Andy, but have you tried the new common rail, pump duse, hdi, ecu controlled, ones? It's these new types that have impressed me from a driving perspective, although I've seen a few counter comments regarding the loss of simplicity of maintenance on the new ones.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Andrew Bairsto
I agree the new common rail vehicles appear to be very good but Citroen have reduced the permited towing weight with these new engines on the C5.(from 1500kg to 1000kg)This makes me think that although they are more efficient in some ways and produce less polutuon there is price to pay and that is real pulling power.
A land rover disco 2.5td is a brilliant towing vehicle but because of its gearing the power band is very much down the rev range enableing it pull very heavy loads up hill and down dale.I am shortly to take delivery of a Ford Explorer with the high output 4.2 petrol motor so the xm will not have to do so much work .I have a caraving friend who tried a new omega with common rail diesel motor and came to the same conclusion no guts.But for every day normal use it would be perfect.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Ash Phillips

Not according to their June 2001 Equipment & Specs brochure.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Andrew Bairsto
What to they give for the uk on a 2.2 estate automatic?, in Germany it is 1000kg
the old xm 2.1td auto estate was 1500kg
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Ash Phillips
Saloon: 1500 Kg across the board except V6 Auto at 1400 Kg
Estate: 1300 Kg for 1.8i 16V & 2.2 HDi Auto
1400 Kg 2.0 HDi 90 HP
1600 Kg V6 Auto

doesn't seem that consistent.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Ash Phillips
Oops, all other estates are 1500 Kg.

Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Mark (Brazil)
I've heard it mentioned a number of times, but I don't actully know what a "common rail" diesel is.

Help ?
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Ian Cook

Its a direct injection system whereby fuel is fed from a high pressue pump into a manifold (or common rail), and the delivery into each cylinder is achieved by discreet valves mounted on the common rail, one for each cylinder. Each valve is electronically signalled from the ECU.

Older indirect injection engines have a lower pressure pump which sequentially directs fuel to each mechanical injector - i.e. the pump acts as a distributor. Here all control over the injection profile is mechanical, i.e. centrifugal advace of the pump and engine pressures etc.

If I've got this wrong, someone will soon tell me!

Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Mark (Brazil)
so, now I know.

Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Tom Shaw
Now if only Formula One switched to diesel......That would see some spectacular developments.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Darcy Kitchin
Tom, agreed, but not nearly so glamorous. I believe there exists aVW Golf diesel rally car.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Chris
Tom Shaw wrote:

> Now if only Formula One switched to diesel......That would
> see some spectacular developments.

Like no more refuelling at pit stops?

The 14% increase in density doesn't account for the 30-40 % benefit I get in my diesel BX over the equivalent petrol. Crude as it is, it also does almost the same mpg as the most high-tech of hybrid petrol/electric cars, without the batteries, electronics and other fancy stuff. And of course biodiesel offers near zero (net) carbon emissions with existing engine technology. Hybrid petrol/electric anyone?

Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Riz
Unfortunately diesel fuel dosen't have the explosive properties (low ignition temp) as compared to petrol, hence you would never be able to rev anywhere near 18,000rpm like F1 engines commonoly do.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Nick Ireland
There is obviously something good about some diesel engines for performance work. They are used in offshore power boat racing and sometimes beat boats with 2 x 6litre Lambo V12s fitted.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Tom Shaw
Formula One engineers are probably the most advanced of any profession you could name. If they were allowed to advance diesel engines to their limits the gains in performance would be enormous. On economy alone, I could not envisage using a petrol engine car as my main vehicle.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Ian Cook

That's interesting about the towing weight reduction to 1000Kg on the C5 (presumably the 2 litre HDi 110BHP?). Has this been published/advertised?

I tow a 1200Kg caravan with a Xantia HDi 110, and that is geared at 29 mph/1000rpm in fifth. It tugs superbly and rarely needs a downshift to 4th on motorway inclines - except Shap, of course!

Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Andrew Bairsto
Its not the 2.0 but the 2.2 all cars in Germany have the towing weight allowed printed in the Log book for both braked and unbraked trailors.Who decides what this figur is I do not really know except we have to abide by it.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Andrew Bairsto
This was for the automatic 2.2 hdi estate
David's Diesel questions - afm

Ten years ago I thought diesel fuel was encouraged by our "leaders".

Ten years ago I was working on ventilation for a car park. The emissions for gaseous nasties (CO, nitrous oxides, etc.,) were given in the CIBSE guides. I was very impressed by the figures for diesel emissions which were something like 30% (I think) of petrol engine emissions. This was the justification for the (then) reduced excise duty on diesel. Most diesel engines were then fairly agricultural, so an incentive was required to sell the stuff to car drivers.

Are we going the other way again?
Yes, we are, because fairly recently (2-3 years?) it was discovered that although the gaseous emissions were relatively 'clean', the particulate emissions contained one of the most carcinogenic compounds known. This was the reason for the hike in diesel fuel duty, much to the disgust of hauliers and taxi drivers.

Diesel as "the" fuel of the future?
Yes, because diesel engines can be run on vegetable derived oil; you could say it grows on trees. See greasecar.com and other such sites for more details.

Does anyone have details of the particulate emissions? Is soot produced in oil burning boilers (red diesel) similarly carcinogenic, or is this stuff produced by the additives in diesel IC fuel?
Re: David's Diesel questions - Tony Cooper
Being of a cynical nature I would suggest that the increase in diesel fuel duty a few years ago was more likely a result of the Chancellor of the Exchequer realising what a lovely lot of money he was passing up.
It doesn't matter which government we have (and I don't like the one we've got) but I expect they will all keep our extortionate fuel duties where thay are or at best just tinker with them.
UK motorist have become used to paying them. What happened to the diesel fuel lobby efforts to reduce this tax! I was sorry to see it fizzled out without them achieving anything substantial.

I am convinced that diesel is the fuel of the future and my next vehicle will be an oil burner.

Has anyone calculated, in an unbiased way, the total impact of the use of diesel versus petrol in comparable vehicles? I mean by this the cost of refining through to environmental damage" cost.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Stuart B
Hello, I'm back, nearly went away as I didn't like the Backroom anymore, but Mark (Brazil) persuaded me otherwise.

There is some evidence that the most carcinogenic compounds in the particulate "aerosol" come from the engine oil. Do not know if that is true, but there is also evidence here in Sweden that while bio diesel is CO2 neutral it actually is more carcinogenic.

Regarding carcinogens petrol itself contains one of the most "proven" carcinogens which is benzene albeit in reduced quantities lately. Of course this is one of the gases you breathe in when you get the petrol smell on refuelling.

Quite frankly a load of tosh is talked about particulates as if its only compression ignition engines, (aka diesels) that produce them. All engines which are burning HC fuel must produce them, its just a case of how big are the particles. CI engines get the blame because the particle size used to be big enough to see with the naked eye. But now with the "better" combustion systems the particulate aerosol is finer and not so visible. Its not been defined yet whether its better or worse for you. GDI petrol engines produce the same weight of particulates as modern CI engines.

Just to go off on a slight but related tangent, who heard the interview the other day on BBC with the medic who proved that smoking tobacco caused lung cancer. In those days apparently the increase in cancer was being blamed on...... the motor car, either the exhaust or from compounds in the tarmacadam. Just shows times do not change with road transport being thought the root of all evil.

Cheers all,
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - afm
OK, agreed. Maybe I should have said that "this was the justification for the hike in diesel fuel duty".Whether it's true or not is another matter.

Probably someone's published a scientific paper about a toxic compound and it's concentration in diesel fumes. The Chancellor has leapt on this with great glee. Given time, someone will publish another paper which will completely contradict the previous ones. I doubt that diesel fuel duty would then be reduced.
Re: Diesel - Fuel of the future? - Brian
What the high rate of tax on diesel in the UK does is make our transport costs for industry far higher than, for example, France where the cost of diesel is 2/3 of what it is here, and therefore makes our industry less competitive in comparison.

Value my car