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Diesel-Powered Daily Drivers are on the Rise
Home Autos & Trucks Maintenance
By: Vincent Platania Email Article
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Diesel power is popular all over the world, but not for the same reasons. In America, diesel power is traditionally used to power commercial and industrial vehicles and equipment. In Europe, it is used for the same purposes, and it is popular for use in regular vehicles as well. Why is that? Europe has much higher fuel prices than America does, and diesel is much more economical than gasoline overall. While gasoline may cost less per gallon – depending on the season, due to heating costs – diesel can deliver more miles per gallon, effectively reducing the operating costs of a vehicle. For this reason, more diesel cars were sold in Europe than gasoline cars, according to a survey.

During the '70s gas shortage, diesel tried to make a place for itself in the American car market, but that failed, due to the poor engineering of the American car manufacturers’ attempt to rapidly develop and produce these cars. The cars produced were loud, expensive to maintain, produced a foul smelling exhaust, and were less reliable than traditional gasoline-powered automobiles. This created a stigma that has affected the reputation of diesel-powered automobiles, until now. J.D. Power and Associates has predicted that the number of cars powered by diesel will triple on America’s roads in the next ten years.

Diesel is much cleaner now than it was 30 years ago as well, not only in terms of exhaust, but in other aspects, too. Federal requirements dictate that diesel engines must meet standards that limit the odor, noise, and emissions significantly. They also get up to 40 percent better fuel economy than gasoline engines and produce enough power to satisfy most needs of the American speed demon.

One way diesel has become a much cleaner fuel is through the development of ULSD (Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel.) ULSD eliminates 97 percent of sulfur, which is a major cause of pollution. There are still a few states that do not allow the sale of diesel-powered passenger vehicles. Manufacturers are developing ways to use ULSD to meet requirements in all 50 states.

Along with the new ULSD, there are other technologies that can help reduce the emissions of diesel. Daimler Chrysler and GM both are developing engines that inject a substance into the combustion chamber during ignition that help the diesel burn more clean. A new catalytic converter is being introduced by Honda that greatly reduces the levels of nitrogen oxide that leaves the exhaust system.

More Advantages of Diesel-Powered Engines

Because larger pickups, agricultural equipment, commercial transportation vehicles, and industrial equipment do not have the same emission requirements as passenger vehicles, the people and industries that use these types of vehicles or equipment rely on diesel power. This is because the engines produce more power and last longer, due to less wear and tear and a lower frequency of maintenance intervals.

Diesels have a longer maintenance interval because they don’t have to work as hard as gasoline-powered engines. Diesels operate at less than 50 percent of the rpm's that a gasoline engine operates at. This is because a diesel engine produces most of its power; whereas a gasoline engine idles. A gasoline engine’s peak performance averages at about 4,200 rpm's; whereas a diesel engine’s peak is between 1,500 and 2,000 rpm's. This result is less wear and tear per hour or mile. Diesels also produce much greater torque than a gasoline engine does, enabling the use of lower gear ratios, resulting in much better fuel economy. This is all because of the difference in how the engines utilize their fuel.

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Author Vincent Platania represents the Amsoil. Source of the World's Best Synthetic Lubricants - Motor Oil and Filters Visit

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