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
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
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
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 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Gas Tractor Versus Diesel Tractor
There are many different reasons as to why a diesel
compact tractor is superior to a gasoline garden
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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
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 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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
make up for it with smoothness, efficiency, and
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
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