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Author Topic: Anyone roll in a diesel?  (Read 4146 times)

louie the lumberjack

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Anyone roll in a diesel?
« on: July 30, 2015, 02:07:57 am »
My next car purchase will happen shortly, as my current ride (Jeep Patriot) is becoming far too snug for my three kids in the back.  Due to my 80mi+ commute and the need to hold three, one option I am looking at is the VW Passat TDI.  Its an enourmous car and holds three in the back handily but had has a turbodiesel option that gets over 40mpg on the highway.  The downside is that however poorly the Jeep is able to handle dirt it probably handles it better than the VW.  I can overlook that to a point, as I have been known to explore the occasional dirt trail:
https://wethearmed.com/r-r/the-official-post-your-pictures-thread/msg310568/#msg310568

My only experience with diesel engines are USAF high voltage bucket trucks.  Anybody know anything more?  Common things like service intervals, cost of ownership and the like.  Is it worth the hassle?  I live in Phoenix so cold starting isnt an issue and after filling up yesterday diesel was $2.49 vs $2.74 for 87.

louie the lumberjack
Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

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    sarge712

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #1 on: July 30, 2015, 03:10:35 am »


    Ford 550 Super Duty diesel. Drives like a logging truck.

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    Grant

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 06:48:15 am »
      I have a 99 Dodge diesel, dad has a '02 Dodge and a '99 Ford.

      A few points:

      #1.  A lot pricier to buy (generally).
      #2.  With that said, resale value is generally QUITE a bit higher as well.
      #3.  Maintenance and parts are generally a bit more as well, however it seems like every pickup (Note, only pickup experience) has averaged out very similar, due to non-motor costs being as common.   

      #4.  Diesel is cheaper.......NOW.   12 years ago diesel was half the price of gas.  It's a few cents cheaper now......2 years ago, diesel was a good 50% higher than gas (around here at least).   

      #5.  If you're taking longer trips, diesel has an advantage over less fuel stops.
      #6.  Unsure how this pertains to cars: less acceleration than a typical gasser, but will pull a gigantic load to top speed 3X as fast.
      #7.  Also unsure on this, as unfamiliar with brand new diesels:  Somewhat longer maintenance in between servicing.

       I long said that small diesel motors in lightweight vehicles would be a good thing for manufacturers to do, especially now that technology has advanced.       
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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 10:49:47 am »
    I almost bought the Jetta Wagon TDI instead of the Subaru - it was a lot of fun to drive, had plenty of zip, and goodly amounts of space. VW's electrical systems reputations (and my personal experience therewith) had me decide away from it, though.

    I do wish Subaru would release the turbodiesels that are at play in the rest of the world here in the US.

    Langenator

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 12:51:45 pm »
    When it comes to passenger car diesels, VW is THE experts in the U.S..  Of course, VW and maybe Mercedes are pretty much the only makers who've been doing passenger diesels for the past several decades.

    What I wouldn't give for a Toyota HiLux diesel like we had for tooling around the FOB at BAF.
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    Mikee5star

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 01:26:02 pm »
    I have only ever heard two complaints about VW diesels, initial costs which are steep for all diesels, and I have heard that VW spare keys have to come from Stuttgart Germany and are several hundred.  I know little about the Passat specifically, except that Gail Banks uses one as his daily driver.

    '90, '97, '00 Ford diesels in the past, and '02 Chevy diesel currently all pickups.
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    louie the lumberjack

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #6 on: July 30, 2015, 05:20:09 pm »


    Ford 550 Super Duty diesel. Drives like a logging truck.



    That would be nice during rush hour. Does it come in blue?

    I'll have an appointment to check it out after work.  I was under the impression that the bad wiring was from the factory in Mexico that assembles the Jetta; the Passat is made in TN! Other than the initial sticker price it looks like its a wash, especially if I buy the maintenance plan from the dealer.  I suppose I will let you know how it goes.

    Of course, it was brought to my attention the Grand Cherokee also has a diesel option.  :whistle

    louie the lumberjack
    Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

    booksmart

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #7 on: July 30, 2015, 05:25:08 pm »
    The VW I had experience with was an '83 Volkswagen Rabbit Wolfsburg Edition... made in Wolfsburg, Pennsylvania.  Heroic car... gave it's life to protect mine. *sniff*


    They may've improved things by now ;), but I've always seen electrical problems brought up with regards to VW.  Usually small, niggly problems that are annoying, but not enough to outright trash the car.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #8 on: July 30, 2015, 11:09:14 pm »
    The Passat diesel is a very highly rated passenger car.   The mileage is phenomenal and the damned things are cavernous inside.  Not your first choice in the dirt, as you say, but very capable on the highway. A neighbor has one and absolutely loves it.  She says they quit flying on vacations because the car is cheaper and more comfortable.  My last experience with a VW was a '99 Golf.  Great car with no electrical gremlins at all.  It developed a fuel leak at the top of the gas tank but the dealer handled the problem to our satisfaction.

    I'm not sure I'd go with one of the current line-up of Jeep products given the number and scale of recalls currently being experienced by Fiat-Chrysler.  :shrug
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    louie the lumberjack

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    So what did I get?
    « Reply #9 on: July 31, 2015, 11:08:32 am »
    Okay, it accelerated pretty well.  Handling was what I expected from a German car.  The TDI only comes in the higher end trims so it was reasonably comfortable. 

    One thing I couldn't shake though, it is just so...boring.  The Passat ultimately felt like a giant marshmallow; like something my mom would drive.  It felt better suited for a version of me that exists in an alternate universe wearing a sweater vest, loafers and cuts loose on the weekends by playing euchre at the old folks home.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, its just not for me.  So I went across the street and test drove a Charger.  The six cylinder felt the same way the Passat did so I did what anyone here would do and checked out the R/T.  So much for saving on fuel right?  :rotfl

    That car is amazing.  I'm not going to elaborate further, but I will say if you have the means, I highly recommend it.  Ultimately though, my wife reminded me that I went out to the desert two weekends ago to shoot and that I am anal retentive enough to never let my kids eat in that car--let alone take it anywhere near a dirt road.  Cooler heads prevailed and I found a Grand Cherokee on the CPO lot.  The diesels on those only come in the overland trim which is way over my price range.

    I'm not sure I'd go with one of the current line-up of Jeep products given the number and scale of recalls currently being experienced by Fiat-Chrysler.  :shrug

    I asked about that.  Since it was at the Fiat-Chrysler dealer those recalls were already taken care of.  There have been five recalls on this Jeep and all five have been fixed.  I paid for the extended warranty so I should be good until it reaches 100,000 miles.  :thumbup1

    louie the lumberjack
    Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

    booksmart

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 12:00:12 pm »
    My wife's been happy with her JGC for the past 11 years... it's gotten a little shaky lately, though. Hopefully, it holds together long enough for me to finish paying off the Subie, so we can get her started on a new car. *crosses fingers for luck*


    Dunno if I'd've picked black for a car in the desert, though...

    sqlbullet

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 02:19:35 pm »
    I have a 2005 Jetta Wagon TDI.  Great car.  Just over 100K miles, everything still works fine.  The only bad thing about the car is it makes my Honda V45 look like a gas guzzler.
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    Mississippi556

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 05:36:01 pm »
    I have a diesel I enjoy much.  But, it is a Kobota M4030 5 cylinder farm tractor.  Love it.

    But, seriously, friends who had diesel Oldsmobile cars years ago had trouble with them and that turned me off.  My family has diesel trucks, however.  Ford F-250 Powerstroke and Dodge Cummins.  Both have been extremely reliable.  Many hundreds of thousands of miles with only routine maintenance.

    Now that we have turbo diesel direct fuel injection cars like the VW TDI, I am gravitating back in that direction.  I do have a gasoline turbo Mazda car that has direct injection, which is only one step away from being a diesel.  it has been the most reliable car I've ever owned, despite that it is a performance car that I have "enhanced" in many ways to raise horsepower considerably.

    A couple thoughts about the technology: 

    Direct fuel injection injects the fuel directly into the cylinder rather than through the intake manifold or throttle body.  The fuel is under extremely high pressure - about 1,500 to 2,000 psi.  This allows very precise metering and control of the fuel, very fine atomization of the mixture, precise changes in air to fuel ratio depending on operating conditions, allows variable valve timing to control all aspects of engine operation, and is what drastically increases both fuel mileage and power. 

    It is complex, however.  Because there is no fuel ever going through the intake manifold or through the intake valves (only air), there is no cleaning of the passageways or the back side of the intake valves.  They get gummed up over time.  Fuel injector cleaners and additives in the fuel tank only clean the injectors.  They do nothing otherwise  I do nothing to touch this grime.  It must be manually cleaned by removal of the intake manifold and using high pressure blasting techniques (usually ground walnut shells) or extremely strong solvents.

    This is costly. For most people it has to be done by the dealer.  I can do it myself.  I can't speak to how frequently this type of cleaning is required in diesel engines.  In my direct injection turbo car, it has to be done about every 45,000-60,000 miles.

    The other thing is that diesel and gas direct injection engines tend to be turbocharged.  That is a good thing and a bad thing.  I love turbos.  They can make a small displacement engine behave like a big V8 in power while still getting good fuel economy when cruising.  Turbos spin at over 100,000 rpm and because of the high rpm tend to have a useful live of between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.  To preserve their life it is very important to have regular oil and filter changes, more frequently than with non-turbo engines (every 3,750 miles in mine).  It is best to run full 100% synthetic oils like Mobile 1 or Shell Rotella T-6.  The temperature of the center shaft bearings in a turbocharger approaches 1500 degrees F.  Ordinary dino based oils can break down under that heat. If that happens, the turbo can go out very quickly.

    Is this technology worth a slightly more frequent oil change interval, a higher grade oil and a bit more maintenance?  I say absolutely.  My little Mazda 3 is making about 350 horsepower and still gets 28-29 mph on the highway.  Even when I get aggressive with the "go" pedal, it still gets about 22 mph.  It can go close to 160 mph and runs the quarter mile in 13.2 at 108.  I now have had the car seven years and have 115K miles on it.  Other than routine maintenance and recently finally getting the turbo rebuilt, it has been trouble free. 

    That level of performance may mean nothing if you are looking at a VW TDI, but what it means is that the technology is fully developed.  The cars are very reliable, combine high mileage with good pickup, but are complex.

    I could see a VW TDI in my future.
    « Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 05:59:23 pm by Mississippi556 »
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 11:50:37 pm »
    Modern common rail diesels run pressures much higher than 2K-3K PSI.  1K-BAR (15,000 PSI is common, and some third gen common rails run at up to 44,000 PSI.

    I really hope my next diesel is either a M35A2C with the D turbo OR a 78 bronco that is relatively rust free and ready for a cummins 4BT swap.
    Utah

    Mikee5star

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    Re: Anyone roll in a diesel?
    « Reply #14 on: August 01, 2015, 01:14:05 pm »

    I really hope my next diesel is either a M35A2C with the D turbo OR a 78 bronco that is relatively rust free and ready for a cummins 4BT swap.

    My next diesel.

    I would love a "gray market" A 8 with the diesel v-10 but that's out of my price range. More likely is 90's powerstroke swap into something else, most likely a '73-79 ford
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