Home » I Love Diesels, And I’ll Miss Them When They’re Gone

I Love Diesels, And I’ll Miss Them When They’re Gone

Diesel Top
ADVERTISEMENT

Gasoline has long been the default fuel of road transport. Diesel was long used for big trucks and agricultural equipment and really only became a mainstream option for road-goers later on. In the years since, it’s been loved and loathed in equal measure. But more and more, I’ve been finding myself a fan.

In today’s world, diesel is a fuel non grata. It’s too polluting and it needs to go, say several cities around the world. Gasoline isn’t exactly an environmentalist favorite right now, but in certain quarters, enmity for diesel is on a whole other level.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Since buying a diesel of my own, though, I’ve come to love the heavy stuff. Diesel’s not a shouty, volatile fuel like gasoline. It’s smooth, suave, and not prone to explosive outbursts. Silly metaphors aside, it provides a driving experience all it’s own, and one that I find particularly valid for day-to-day life. This is both an explainer and my love letter to diesel, and it’s my wish that it sticks around for a good time yet.

20231006 170353
Love the diesel.

Grunt Is Good

So why do I love diesels so much? It’s because they rock for daily driving. That low-down torque comes in clutch on the regular. When you’re trying to push off from a stop, it’s nice to feel the shove of a diesel engine doing its thing. It’s even better if you’re hauling a big load, towing a trailer, or pulling a stump out of the ground.

I’ve driven so many petrol-powered cars that need to rev out to get going. Indeed, most of my favorite gas cars have had big grunty inline-sixes that had that torquey shove that I liked. But in a diesel, you don’t even need six cylinders. My BMW 320D has a diminutive 2.0-liter diesel with a single turbo hanging off the side. It does great with 243 foot-pounds of torque. My old Falcon barely made more than that from 4.0 liters of displacement.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sdfg
Just don’t ask about the soot on the bumper. I fixed that. Mostly.

Around town, I’m cheering. My compact sedan pulls well whenever I lean in to the throttle. I just wish I had a manual, because that would make it a real keeper. The auto box doesn’t let me enjoy enough of that diesel thrust. Honestly, driving it makes me understand how Volkswagen won so many fans with its diesels before everything went so horribly wrong.

Out on the highway, things get even better. My little diesel engine hums away, whipser quiet thanks to the the sound deadening under the hood. Meanwhile, my fuel economy starts reaching towards that magic number of 50 mpg. I’ve never quite gotten there yet, but I bet I could if I had the three-pedal model. Around town, it’s down a little, but it’s still a darn sight better than most gas cars I’ve ever driven.

Passing in the Beemer ain’t bad, either. My diesel isn’t as quick as the petrol sixes, but it does just fine. It’s got enough boost to get around a caravan or two, no problem.

Fabian Kirchbauer Photography
I’d love a BMW with the big D one day. via BMW

Admittedly, I’m mostly a fan of diesels with forced induction. That extra air makes all the difference. Without it, you can end up struggling to pass buses on the highway. Whack on a turbo or two, though, and you have an engine that can pull for days.

A great example comes to us via Toyota. A couple years back, I drove the 70 Series Land Cruiser with the old turbo V8, and that thing felt amazing. It was tough to stall with so much grunt under the hood. Put the boot in, and it whined its way up to speed like a freight train on a critical war mission. It’s addictive.

ADVERTISEMENT
Pxl 20220316 052713741
This thing was a beast. I loved it, even around town.

Another nice thing about diesels is that they can be delightfully unpicky about fuel. You can literally grow plants and turn them into biodiesel to run your car if you’re so inclined. Heck, I’ve got a mate running his older diesel truck on filtered vegetable oil, and it only took a few basic mods. He’s now driving long country miles on the cheap on a literal waste product of the food industry.

How Do They Do It: A Diesel Primer

If you haven’t heard the Good Word on Diesel, let me bring you up to speed. It’s a potent fuel that’s actually more energy-dense than gasoline. For every gallon of diesel, you’re getting 13% more energy than you could get out of a tank of gas. Right away, you’re ahead of the game when it comes to fuel economy.

Diesel is less volatile than gas, but that’s actually a good thing. This lets diesel engines use compression ignition, rather than spark ignition as used in gas engines. It also lets them run at incredibly high compression ratios, often in excess of 22:1. This allows diesel engines to run a very lean burn, with the combustion gases having a high expansion ratio thanks to the high compression. Thermodynamically, it makes Diesel cycle engines the most efficient type of combustion engine out there. Or, in simpler terms, you’re getting better fuel economy. Chuck on a turbocharger or supercharger to force some more air in, and you’re doing even better.

Furthermore, diesels tend to make prodigious torque. That’s because diesel engines typically have a long stroke length and high average cylinder pressures. Diesels tend to rev low because they need big heavy components to withstand those high compression ratios. With lower rev limits, it’s possible to create an engine with a long stroke without ending up with excessive piston speed. Put a great deal of pressure on a piston, and have it turn a big lever arm attached to the crankshaft, and you get big torque. It’s that simple.

Pxl 20220316 054101002
The V8 diesel Land Cruiser is a dying breed. I miss it already.

Sticking Around?

Diesel isn’t perfect. Pollution remains a problem as with any fossil fuel. Burning diesel releases carbon dioxide, along with other harmful gases like oxides of nitrogen and even sulfur dioxide, to a degree. None of these are good. There’s also the matter of fine particulate pollution, which can have negative impacts on respiratory health.

ADVERTISEMENT

These problems are contributing to diesel’s downfall in some quarters. German cities started banning older diesels in 2018, as did Paris a year later. In most cases, though, it’s being condemned along with gasoline in new legislation. In Australia, the federal capital has already announced a ban on selling new gas and diesel vehicles from 2035. Over in Sweden, Stockholm wants ICE cars out of the city center by 2025. In the EU as a whole, petrol and diesel cars are already on the chopping block, but now the block will look to ban sales of almost all new diesel trucks from 2040 onwards.

It seems unlikely that some saving grace will come diesel’s way. Short of worldwide civil unrest that disrupts the EV transition, we already have the technology to clean up most transport that currently relies on fossil fuels. I reckon we’ll have diesel around for some time yet, particularly in heavy-duty applications. But we’re nearer the last dance than the first one.

[Editor’s Note: I think it’s worth noting that diesel engines also have the unique – and potentially environmentally friendly – ability to run on almost any sort of oily sludge. Like, famously, used french-fry or other cooking oils! And, if you’re the sort of person that likes to imagine improbable scenarios of danger and resourcefulness, it’s good to remember that home heating oil and jet fuel like JET A are very close to diesel, so you can fill your car with either of those in your heroic disaster fantasies. – JT]

It’s not all bad, of course. EVs have plenty of torque, just like diesels, and can make great dailies themselves. Cleaner air is good for us all, too.

Even then, when I’m sitting in my own electric car, some decades in the future, I’ll still think back to my first diesel. “Man, that thing really hit the spot,” I’ll say. “I just scraped Melbourne to Adelaide on one tank, not a whisper of a complaint. What a car.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: Top Shot Markus Spiske Njhyuieliim via Unsplash License, Lewin Day, BMW

 

Relatedbar

Before Cummins, Dodge Sold This Tiny Turbodiesel Pickup And It Ruled

Someone Shipped The Greatest Diesel Minivan On Earth To America And One Of You Needs To Buy It

International Harvester Nearly Nailed The Diesel Pickup Right Before Its Collapse

 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
129 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Austin Vail
Austin Vail
24 days ago

It’s not the diesel technology that’s the problem, just the fuel. I too have a soft spot for diesels and would like to own one someday, but mostly I want one for the ability to run it on biofuels. In some places you can already buy carbon-neutral biodiesel from a pump, with supposedly equivalent or even better energy density than regular diesel. Plus of course most restaurants are willing to let you just take their used cooking oil so you can filter it and run your diesel engine on the stuff.

Seriously, there are so many different recipes and methods of making a biodiesel that diesel engines will happily run on that it drives me insane how we’re pushing EVs and not biodiesel first. You can make biodiesel out of waste products from the food industry and it won’t even compete with food production, it just reduces waste and creates a useful carbon-neutral fuel. Also running on veggie oil makes the exhaust gasses smell like French fries, and if that’s not utopian I don’t know what is.

We could be energy-independent and green if we would increase production of biodiesel nationwide and bring more diesel cars to market. The problem is simply that as long as people MIGHT run any of those vehicles on regular diesel, they MIGHT still create harmful pollution, so until diesel itself is mostly gone we can’t have nice simple biodiesel cars without all the complex emissions equipment diesels need to appease the EPA.

Diesels are vilified by governments and the press for being “dirty,” when in fact they are one of the easiest paths to a sustainable green future, if we would just run them on the right fuel.

Last edited 24 days ago by Austin Vail
JTilla
JTilla
25 days ago

I dislike diesels mainly because I live in the land of stupid bro dozers. I also have respiratory issues so that’s another reason I dislike diesel. I don’t like things with large particulate matter and after seeing the documentary on VW putting masks on monkeys to feed them diesel fumes to prove a point I have a hard time with it.

TDI in PNW
TDI in PNW
25 days ago

I am glad that I got to enjoy a diesel vehicle before they’re gone. I totally get it now.

I gave it to my daughter a couple weeks ago and after many trouble free years, I will miss many things about my 2012 Passat TDI SEL. The incredible range and infrequent fill-ups, the feel of gliding as you gently accelerate (I think it has 238 torque, similar to the BMW). Getting 42 MPG for the entire tank, regularly. Hitting the magic (for my car) 50MPG on a handful of trips. Nothing ever went wrong with the powertrain. To be fair, I won’t miss the terrible touch screen and inaccurate VW light bulb nannying.

I bought the VW (instead of another sports sedan) to slow down and it worked. Instead of a lead foot, I was finding myself hypermiling. The Passat was a sensible choice and I enjoyed it. I went back to fun and non-sensible.

Phuzz
Phuzz
25 days ago

When I was learning to drive, practically every driving instructor seemed to have a diesel, because it was much harder to stall, and so more forgiving for learner drivers who were still working on their clutch control.
My instructor’s was a Peugeot 306 diesel with dual controls (well, dual clutch and brake pedals).

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago

If you like Diesel you should love pilot ignition Diesel. It’s a Diesel engine running on a combination of Diesel and natural gas. The engine draws in a charge of lean NG which is ignited by a small injection of diesel.

Nearly stock Diesel engines can run 80% NG with 20% of the energy coming from the injected Diesel. More modified engines can reduce the ratio to 90%/10%, maybe more, its been a while since I looked into this.

The benefits are far lower emissions, especially particulates ( NG has almost no C-C bonds to form soot), much lower fuel costs and the same power delivery as running 100% Diesel. The nearly stock diesel engines can revert back to 100% Diesel in a pinch.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
24 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Dang, how many miles per gallon of diesel do those typically get? Sounds intriguing though natural gas tanks ain’t small.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
24 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

Depends on the ratio. UPS was testing pilot ignition diesel/CNG trucks a few years ago:

The UPS test group substitution rate ranged from a low of 43 percent to a high of 56 percent, with fuel economy ranging from 7.04 to 8.17 miles per natural gas

diesel gallon equivalent and diesel combined on an energy (British thermal unit)

basis. This is in the range of what would be expected given the wide range of

duty-cycles experienced by the test group and comparable to the baseline

vehicle fuel economy data.

https://www.energy.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2021-05/CEC-600-2019-026.pdf

You CAN get away with using considerably less diesel. This paper uses a Cummins ISB 6.7 set up on a test bed to accept a Diesel/CNG ratio anywhere between 100%/0% to 4%/96%.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14680874221087954

Fuel consumption goes between 6.50/0 g/s for pure diesel and 0.29/5.74 g/s on 4%/96%. Energy content of the fuels (table 4) is 42.8 MJ/kg for diesel and 47.5 MJ/kg for CNG so by weight CNG is a bit more energy dense.

If you are asking about tank size, consider this. A lot of decision makers are looking to hydrogen as THE solution for heavy trucking. Hydrogen has 1/3 the energy density by volume as CNG at the same pressure and temp. Diesel is of course even more energy dense by volume. So even with the lower thermal efficiency of a diesel ICE (30-40%) vs a fuel cell (63%) you will still get further on a gallon of CNG than on hydrogen.

Using the 2nd gen Mirai as a FCV benchmark it takes 35 gallons of internal tank volume to hold 5.3kg of 700 bar hydrogen, equivalent to just 4.8 gallons of diesel. Furthermore those tanks have to be cylindrical and they weigh 193 lbs all on their own so yes, the tanks will be an issue.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
24 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

That is a very informative reply and some of it admittedly goes over my head, but thank you nonetheless. The garbage trucks in my area run on natural gas, and now I wonder if they use pilot ignition diesels?

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
25 days ago

Thermodynamically, it makes Diesel cycle engines the most efficient type of combustion engine out there.

*Squirms in triggered engineer*

This isn’t even true for engines that get installed in cars, much less internal combustion engines in general. The Diesel cycle is generally more efficient than the Otto cycle that most gasoline engines use, true. However it is less efficient than the Atkinson cycle which was explicitly designed to be a more efficient Diesel cycle, and is used on some early gen Prius models and can be accomplished with more modern variable valve timing technologies for other engines as well.

For combustion engines in general, pretty much any turbine or x-jet engine uses a more efficient cycle from the Brayton cycle for gas turbines, Lenoir for pulsejets, and the (still limited to mostly theoretical applications) Humphrey cycle for detonation engines.

Basically, Diesel beats Otto for efficiency (in broad terms, your specific application may vary greatly), but reciprocating engines in general are at the bottom of the heap for thermodynamic efficiency and get mopped off the floor compared to anything with turbines or jets.

Last edited 25 days ago by Wuffles Cookie
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

So how about Mazda’s compression ignition Skyactiv engines? SkyactivX is supposed to be 40% TE matching the Prius Atkinson cycle engine whereas the still unseen Skyactiv 3 claimed 56% TE back in 2017 which should match if not best most turbine engines.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
25 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

SkyactivX is a Diesel cycle engine (at least some of the time) that happens to use gasoline as a fuel, and sort of mimics being an Atkinson cycle engine with fancy footwork in low-load circumstances.

Regarding the thermal efficiency, the 56% Nth number for Skyactive3 is a target not a claim, and Mazda has yet to show any real-world data even approaching that value. I wish them nothing but the best in doing it, but I am highly skeptical it is possible outside of a lab. Real world turbine values are already north of 60% with the newest aeroturbines, 70% in stationary power-generation applications with regen cycles.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

Right. Its a Diesel cycle gasoline engine that is – IIRC – as efficient as an Atkinson cycle at peak efficiency when it’s in Diesel cycle.

Regarding the thermal efficiency, the 56% Nth number for Skyactive3 is a target not a claim

Yeah, my bad. I went back and reviewed what I could on the subject and they “hoped” to hit 56%. That was in 2017 and so far bupkis. Whether that is because their goals are impossible to meet because of physics, budget, emissions, politics or economics..who knows.

Hey Autopian, how about a followup on that?

Real world turbine values are already north of 60% with the newest aeroturbines, 70% in stationary power-generation applications with regen cycles.

Which is wonderful for aviation and power stations but not useful for cars…well OK good for EVs 🙂

With turbines efficiency scales with size. I dunno how efficient a turbine small enough to squeeze under a car hood can be, especially with the reduction gears needed to harness that power.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
25 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Whether that is because their goals are impossible to meet because of physics, budget, emissions, politics or economics..who knows.

I think it’s just a fantastically hard engineering problem. ICE thermal efficiency ultimately comes down to the delta T between incoming and outgoing temperatures. New turbine engines are already running turbine inlet temps that exceed the melting point of any known material, and are kept together only by some fantastically complex cooling and super secret squirrel ceramic-matrix composites. You can get away with that on a turbofan engine that gets a $25 million+ price tag, and generates a similar amount in lifetime service work, but on a consumer product that can’t cost more than a few thousand dollars? I’m not sure how that happens.

It’s a real shame, because I think the SkyactivX technology is probably the biggest innovation in reciprocating engines in the last 50 years- it’s on par with forced induction in terms of it’s potential impact, but coming at the very end of conventional ICE consumer adoption, it doesn’t seem like it will get the showing it truly deserves.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

Fantastically hard yes but I don’t think Mazda would have made it a goal, much less announced it to the world as a goal, if they didn’t think it was achievable.

New turbine engines are already running turbine inlet temps that exceed the melting point of any known material

Maybe it depends on who you ask. America’s best and brightest engineers couldn’t figure out how to make a closed cycle rocket engine deeming it “impossible” whereas their Soviet counterparts figured out how to get that done in the NK-33 rocket engines of the late 60’s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NK-33

We didn’t find out about those engines till over 20 years later with the fall of the Soviet Union and even then they were still some of the most fuel efficient engines in the world.

It may be whatever material was used for these turbopumps has been refined for use in commercial jet engines too.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
24 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I imagine even a small turbine engine makes perfect sense as a range extender for PHEVs. Turbines were the promised drivetrain of the future, and now that it is the future and turbines actually make sense for a certain application, it’s weird and disappointing that they’re nowhere to be found.

Heck even a regular hybrid could work with a turbine engine, ECVTs use a differential drive with an electric motor and the ICE to control speed, so the turbine could chug along at its happiest rpm range both powering a generator and directly driving the wheels in some capacity, while an electric motor helps it accelerate and maintain specific speeds.

Even Chrysler’s turbine car in the 60s which only used the turbine engine for propulsion got like 19 mpg on the highway, not bad at all for a huge land yacht with the aerodynamics of a brick, it just got crap mileage around town since turbines don’t really like to rev at all, they have their happy rpm which is great on the highway but will use exactly the same amount of fuel per minute while you drive slowly, making them inefficient.

So just make the turbine smaller, run a generator off of it to take advantage of fuel used while it’s barely moving, and use an electric motor to compensate for the turbine’s inability to be practical at a wide range of rpms. Then you could have a very simple and efficient hybrid and it would be great.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
24 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

Turbines were the promised drivetrain of the future, and now that it is the future and turbines actually make sense for a certain application, it’s weird and disappointing that they’re nowhere to be found.

The problem with turbines and the reason you don’t see them is that – like the windmills they are based on – their efficiency scales with size. Turbines small enough to be used as a PHEV are notoriously inefficient, TE is typically about 15%, about the same as a Harbor Freight Predator generator. Turbines are also loud and IIRC one problem with the Chrylser turbine was its exhaust was hot enough to melt pavement. They also need a set of reduction gears which will also take up room (although I dunno if those are needed if it’s operating as a REX)

Whether small turbines can be made more efficient I dunno but its not a good starting point when you already have 40% TE Prius parts bin tech that can be scaled by simply designing the engine with one or two cylinders.

The current Prius engine is 1.8L and 150HP. A single cylinder version would displace 450 cc and should be good for 38HP, which should be fine for a subcompact. A 900cc twin with 75HP which should be plenty enough to move a CUV down the road, a 1350cc 119HP good for a larger SUV, and all the way up to a full on Camry engine for a PHEV Landcruiser.

Edit: The Chrysler Turbine used a heat exchanger to boost efficiency and lower exhaust temps so at least those issues were dealt with.

Last edited 24 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Austin Vail
Austin Vail
24 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

“its exhaust was hot enough to melt pavement.” yeah that was a myth spread by people wondering why Chrysler would crush all the turbine cars rather than sell them. I’ve never quite understood how Chrysler’s heat exchangers worked, as their diagrams are confusing, but it makes sense. If small turbines can’t make full use of the heat in the first go, just recycle the heat until they have. Supposedly the Chrysler turbine cars actually had lower exhaust temperatures than ICE production cars of the time, indicating higher thermal efficiency… they just ran at the same speed no regardless of how fast the car went, so they were only efficient on the highway.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
24 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

I edited my post to reflect the heat exchanger Chrysler installed to lower exhaust temps and boost efficency. High exhaust temps aren’t a myth though without such an exchanger.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
24 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

If small turbines can’t make full use of the heat in the first go, just recycle the heat until they have

The best way to do that is stack on more blades, ideally till the exhaust gas is cold enough to condense.

Practically that’s looong past the point of diminishing returns.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
25 days ago

What would we do with all of used cooking oil from the restaurants and food processing plants? They have been converted into the biodiesel for years.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

Burn it on site in diesel generators. That would also provide winter heat.

The48thRonin
The48thRonin
25 days ago

I had an old (non-turbo) diesel mercedes in high school, and man what a car. Comfortable, extremely loud, and very cool. Perfect for a hich schooler

Eric D
Eric D
25 days ago

I had a 2016 328d with the N47 and it was the best car I ever owned. Kerma TDI tune gave it nearly 400 lb/ft at the crank, it was awesome. Pretty sure it was quicker than my old E36 M3. Plus mid 30’s mpg around town and 45 mpg doing 80 down the interstate. Sold it when I got a company car and still regret it.

Trevlington
Trevlington
25 days ago

My wife and I have always had at least one diesel between us, since our first car purchase 20 years ago.
For me it started when my father got a brand new 1991 Peugeot 408 1.8 turbo diesel with 88bhp, some nice turbo lag and enough oomph to pull a caravan safely on the autoroute down through France. Then came his Rover 825SD with what I think was the VM motori engine. Which blew up pulling away from the lights…
Fast forward multiple parental diesels and the start of my own car owning and we eventually got a 2005 Skoda Fabia vRS. A hot hatch diesel. Torquay enough that I literally burst out laughing as I drove it home from the dealership and applied right foot to merge at just the right point in the rev range. Outrageously fast and 60 miles per imperial gallon without having to be that careful. I will be sad to see the end of diesel cars.

Ben
Ben
25 days ago

I love my diesel truck, but I do not love fixing things on it. Even stuff that’s not related to the emissions equipment is more expensive than on a gas engine. Why is a water pump $700? Why are the active grille shutters $150 more expensive than the gas version when they have fewer shutters? Don’t get me started on the rusted out exhaust hanger that killed the DEF system (which, to be fair, is emissions equipment, but the original failure was not).

I may very well drive this one til it dies, but I doubt I’d buy another one even if they were available by then. I also don’t daily drive my truck anymore so the increased fuel mileage will never remotely pay off.

I will say that I rented a diesel, manual, hatchback when I was in Ireland and that thing was an absolute delight. Much like the best boat is someone else’s boat, maybe the best diesel is someone else’s diesel.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
25 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

This is why I love diesels, but specifically old-school diesels that don’t have all the additional costly emissions parts. Basic diesel parts are expensive enough due to their having to stand up to a diesel engine’s vibration and wear characteristics. But that’s largely a solved problem on simpler pre-emissions diesels; everything like the engine itself is simply built to a known standard of ruggedness, and the powertrain will tend to outlive the rest of the vehicle.

I have a second-gen Dodge pickup with a 24-valve Cummins diesel with a manual transmission that I refuse to give up, even as it inexorably rusts into something only David could love. And if I ever have to finally replace it, I swear I’ll have to find another one of the same era in better condition. And I’m pulling and keeping that engine and transmission as spares before I send the completely used-up remains to the recyclers.

Jay Maynard
Jay Maynard
25 days ago

I’ve owned two Mercedes M-class diesels, a 2008 ML320 CDI and a 2015 ML250 Bluetec. Loved both. The ML250, in particular, would make 34 MPG at highway cruise all day long, and I’d plan trips at 700 miles between fuel stops. I got to make trips on my terms, not the car’s.

If Mercedes would sell me a new diesel, I’d trade my 2022 GLC300 on one and take the financial hit in a New York minute.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
25 days ago

Well as someone with Asthma, I don’t love diesel. And I dislike it more due to diesel vehicle owners removing emissions equipment. And of course the OEM diesel emissions scandal was bad too. And I’m not even gonna get into asshole coal rollers.

So I’m of the opinion that the faster we can replace diesel with electric vehicles, the better off we will all be… or at least those of us who like clean air.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
24 days ago

Well as someone with Asthma, I don’t love diesel.

If you believe in the hygene hypothesis maybe you should:

One of the many explanations for asthma being the most common chronic disease in the developed world is the “hygiene hypothesis.” This hypothesis suggests that the critical post-natal period of immune response is derailed by the extremely clean household environments often found in the developed world. In other words, the young child’s environment can be “too clean” to pose an effective challenge to a maturing immune system.

https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/consumers-biologics/asthma-hygiene-hypothesis

If it’s true maybe a bit of coal rolling on babies is a GOOD thing.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
23 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Nah… that wasn’t my household growing up. More likely it was my dad smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. And back then, nobody went outside to smoke.

Also all the pre-emissions cars that were being used regularly back then also didn’t help.

And the greater use of coal to generate electricity definitely had a bad effect on air quality.

Since tightening emissions and mothballing coal plants and tighting up smoking regs where you can’t smoke in places like restaurants anymore, the number of hospital admissions for asthma has been declining over time:
https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S1081120622005403-gr2.jpg
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1081120622005403

I can also tell you that back in the early to mid 2000s, I’d see a brown haze over Toronto more often than I see today.

And that is likely due to tighter vehicle emissions (particularly diesel) and shutting down coal power (there are now exactly zero coal power plants operating in Ontario)

https://www.ontario.ca/page/end-coal#:~:text=Lakeview%20GS%20(2%2C400%20MW%20)%20ceased,and%20following%20coal%20phase%2Dout.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
23 days ago

Since tightening emissions and mothballing coal plants and tightening up smoking regs where you can’t smoke in places like restaurants anymore, the number of hospital admissions for asthma has been declining over time:

That’s not what the authors are claiming though:

Although the “why” question is beyond the scope of this descriptive, population-based study, some speculations into the observed patterns can invite further debate and provide motivation for future research. An increase in the popularity of asthma education programs resulting in better disease management could be an important contributing factor to the observed reduction in asthma hospitalizations in the earlier years.21 In the 1990s, Canada was one of the first countries to establish national asthma guidelines that emphasized the importance of achieving and maintaining asthma control and the role of preventive treatment with anti-inflammatory medications, such as ICS. In early 2000s, new long-acting beta-agonist and ICS combination therapies (salmeterol/fluticasone propionate in 1999 and budesonide/formoterol in 2002) were introduced to the Canadian market,22 and a population-based study in Canada has found a substantial increase in the uptake of ICS since 2002, in particular in combination with long-acting beta-agonist, coinciding with the beginning of a sharp decline in admission rates.23 Earlier diagnosis, prompt interventions, and better management of asthma in emergency departments (in particular, the earlier use of systemic corticosteroids)24 may have also contributed to the observed decline in asthma hospital admissions. The sharp decline in pediatric admissions in the early 2000s might also be partially explained by the substantial decline in antibiotic exposure in infancy during the same period, given recent evidence on the strong association between exposure to systematic antibiotics and asthma outcomes.25 Potential bias because of reverse causality (ie, increased antibiotic use in children who have early symptoms of asthma) has been a concern in such association studies, but findings from a recent study that has revealed the mediating effect of gut microbiome in this association support the presence of a direct effect.25 Overall, the reality is likely a complex interplay of several factors spanning the environment, health behavior, and health care practices and standards.

Had the authors had better controls – like data from urban areas vs suburbs vs rural areas, data from folks living downwind from coal plants or shipping ports vs. people nowhere near a coal plant or shiping port, data from countries with tighter emissions vs countries with lax emissions etc the case for emissions triggered asthma would have been stronger. As it is this data only shows a drop in cases, and does not even claim anything but a loose partial correlation to “environment”. If anything I think the floor starting around 2008 is indicative it might NOT be emissions as if it were the trend should have continued down as emissions tightened up even further.

Last edited 23 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
21 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

That’s more of my own “put two and two together” conclusions

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
20 days ago

Yeah but as we all know “correlation does not imply causation”.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
20 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Well the way I see it, only the most daft person would believe that shutting down coal plants and cleaning up other emissions would have no positive effect on asthma rates.

And just because they didn’t specifically measure that doesn’t mean that effect isn’t there.

Last edited 20 days ago by Manwich Sandwich
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
20 days ago

Positive unless the hygiene theory holds up in which case it might even have a negative effect. You’d think given how smoky the entire world was up to just a few years ago – and much of the world still is – asthmatics would have been and would be dropping like flies.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
20 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

There is one way the hygiene theory holds up in my view… fumes from the chemicals used in cleaning.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
19 days ago

Well stay tuned. I expect the theory will either be debunked or verified in the not too distant future.

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
25 days ago

You all need the experience of a the 5.7 Olds Diesel. I’ve posted about it before, but I cannot explain to you how dangerously slow this car was. It would eventually get to highway speeds, but it was absolutely frightening trying to merge into traffic.

It belched smoke, and there was about a 8″ square area on the side of car by the exhaust that was covered in soot. It was fun to wash off, like when you take the car through a car wash after it’s covered in salt spray in the winter.

You had to plug the car in overnight in the winter. No joke, a full size wagon got 30 mph on the highway.

I would get another one in a minute, just for nostalgia…

Ronald Pottol
Ronald Pottol
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Green

Yours ran? ????

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
23 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Green

I have a feeling if I got to experience one of those old diesels, I’d buy it just so I could send it to the crusher… but not before doing my own ‘cash for clunkers’ thing where they put silica in the engine and ran it until it seized ensuring that nobody will want to buy it, fix it up and put it back on the road.

Last edited 23 days ago by Manwich Sandwich
SegaF355Fan
SegaF355Fan
26 days ago

I feel lucky that my only diesel driving experience in my life was getting to drive a rented Audi A3 (not S3) … on the Autobahn. I mean, how many people get to say that they drove on the Autobahn? Ok, well, ignoring all the German people who own cars. I mean, how many people from the US get to drive on the Autobahn? Ok, ignoring the servicemen who get posted to Rammstein or other places in Germany.

You know what? Never mind; let’s just drop-

No, I mean, I thought this was going to be much funnier but then I got down to actually writing it just isn’t lining up with how I imagined it.

Yeah? Well, same to you, buddy! No, you’re stupid.
*throws up hands in disgust*

129
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x