Thursday, December 10, 2009

Eco-Bloggers Diesel Drive 2009 - The Diesel Myths


I grew up, living 25 years of life, having the wrong perception of diesel. I must admit that I am a noob in petroleum, gas and cars. But I do know very well that my car cannot run without petrol! And so, I was truly enlightened by the BMW and Petronas team during the 2 days of Diesel Drive to Hutan Belum in Perak.

If I could still remember, when I was young, my dad used to have a diesel Pajero as a company car. And that's how the perception of diesel stuck with me for the rest of my life till last week. I used to think it's less-powered, dirty, noisy and it's only for trucks and lorries. Partly it was true because afterall, you do see many trucks and lorries using diesel and the emissions from their exhaust pipes are smoky black! Thus, I think I have an important mission today to bust some of the myths of diesel and diesel engines.

A myth is defined as "a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone." Therefore, what you heard about diesel all these while might be the myths you're stuck with!



Myth #1: Don't assume that everything you heard about diesel or diesel engines is true.



Ivan Khong fueling up.
Photo taken by Aaron


Myth #2 : Diesel powered vehicles are slow, sluggish and underpowered.

That's not true from my real experience with BMW diesel drive last week. The diesel powered vehicles are capable of outstanding performance. Today's diesel engines has the latest in turbocharger and fuel injection technology, which has placed diesels high on the performance scale. Turbochargers tend to improve power at high engine speeds.


Survey from us shows that Efficiency is in line with Dynamics!

Photo taken by Aaron


Myth #3: Diesel are used for towing because of high torque and low horsepower.

Torque, is also called moment or moment in force. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist or twisting force. For example, a small tape motor, the one you find in home audio systems has high RPM, low torque and a large pump motor has low RPM, high torque. And RPM (revolutions per minute) is a unit of frequency of rotation.

While there is some form of truth there, many manufacturers are actually coming out with diesel engine passenger vehicles due to advancement in diesel engine technology and apparently Audi is one of the first to run diesel under racing conditions with reasonably good results too.


Photo taken by Aaron

Myth #4: Diesel engines are loud.


I certainly have experienced this. Don't all trucks and lorries that run on diesel are noisy? This myth was true for the longest of years, but thanks to the innovation of a feature called "pilot injection," modern diesels have become extremely quiet. By introducing a small dose of fuel, just a few ten-thousandths of a second before the main shot of fuel, the combustion is hence "softer" and noise is reduced considerably. The BMW diesel engine powered car is decently quiet.


See Dad, no smoke!
Photo taken by Aaron


Myth #5: There must be smoke, if not no power!

This is the greatest myths of all times. I do see billowing black smoke from trucks and lorries and I was then clouded (pun intended) by the thought that diesel must emit black smoke so that it has power! But today's diesels have come an extremely long way in almost eliminating the unburned fuel and sod formerly associated with diesels. Power and torque can be made without the black smoke.

While older generations of diesel engines are well known for billowing diesel soot (the black smoke emitted from the exhaust pipes), new diesel engines utilize clean diesel technology, such as diesel particulate filters and exhaust gas recirculation systems, to greatly decrease the amount of polluting emissions. In fact, due to breakthroughs in clean diesel technology, diesel engines now emit less harmful greenhouses than a similar sized gasoline engine. And diesel fuel has a 10 percent higher energy content than gasoline and also provides additional lubrication to the engine.


Heng proves that the tissue is still clean!
Photo taken by Aaron

There is a one-to-one relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency. Because diesels are more efficient than conventional cars, they generate less carbon dioxide (about 20% less CO2 I was told) However, diesels emit larger amounts of two other pollutants which are:
  • Particulate Matter: Diesel particulates are harmful to human health as well as aesthetically unpleasant.
  • Oxides of Nitrogen: While less visible, is a key ingredient in the formation of urban smog, and also can contribute to the formation of acid rain.

So is it a big deal? Well, according to the California Air Resources Board, they are. Currently only a handful of vehicles—from Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW—can pass California's strict diesel emissions guidelines.



We stop by at Gerik Petronas for toilet breaks...
Photo taken by Aaron


Myth #6: It's hard to find diesel fuel/pumps.

Hahahha.... this is so not true. In all 900 Petronas stations nationwide, all of them are equipped with diesel pumps. It's much easier to pump diesel nowadays because the diesel pumps have a smaller pout than the petrol pumps so drivers would not have the pump-wrong-fuel problem again.

Petronas Dynamic Diesel is formulated with superior detergency to prevent injector fouling, excellent corrosion protection and good antifoaming quality, by delivering satisfactory engine performance for optimum power and improved fuel economy. For more info, please log on to their website on their Dynamic Diesel here.


Sashi says, go pump Petronas Dynamic Diesel now!
Photo taken by Aaron


Please correct me if I am wrong. I might know my wines and which region it comes from but when it comes to fuel, I am lost! But I'm slowly but learning more about cars and fuel. I hope you can look at diesel in a different light now and I have put it in a way that even a noob like me would understand. So girls out there, brush up on your diesel knowledge. By the way, the diesel fuel is not BLACK! (I've always thought it is....) *blushes*



25 comments:

Tey said...

Can't wait to blog abt #BMWDrive!!! no time to edit / upload pics la FML... )=

Sean said...

i guess eventually though, many of us might start driving those hybrid petrol-electricity cars for environmental reasons...

Bananazക said...

Great torque on diesel talk! Thanks.

suituapui said...

I also had all those wrong ideas about diesel. But usually those vehicles on diesel emit A LOT of VERY BLACK smoke leh...e.g. when stepping on the gas when the traffic lights turn green. Maybe it depends on the car or how well they maintain it!

zewt said...

what you said is true. in fact, 60% of vehicles in europe now runs on diesel and they are extremely efficient and environmental friendly...

BUT!!!...

the quality of diesel in europe is much better than those offered here. currently, europe is running on EURO 5, i think those currently being offered is EURO 2? and that was only offered recently. diesel available here in the past are rubbish.

in order for a diesel engine car to perform at its optimum, it requires good grade diesel.

eiling lim said...

Tey: Do it!

Sean: I would to if they are available at an affordable price. Maybe in the future.

Bananaz: Thanks.

STP: It depends on the efficiency of the engine and the diesel actually.

Zewt: What you said was right. I asked Petronas about the intro of Euro4M into M'sia and they say it's the govt's call. I think they should introduce sooner as many people are waiting for the new fuel.

Anonymous said...

Another paid posting?

TheGunner said...

"What you said was right. I asked Petronas about the intro of Euro4M into M'sia and they say it's the govt's call. I think they should introduce sooner as many people are waiting for the new fuel." - eiling

The other manufacturers are too. Merc, Audi, Peugeot, and all the European manufacturers have plenty of diesel engines in their stable.

Many of them are adopting a wait-and-see attitude to see how the public responds to BMW's diesel push.

Ford is bringing a diesel version of their Focus next year, but Mercedes is withholding the introduction of their variants.

Even BMW themselves cannot bring in their best diesel powerplants simply because of our diesel grade. What we're getting with the 320d and 520d, are actually BMW's entry level diesel engines.

eiling lim said...

Anon: This is not a paid posting. Paid postings are under "commercial break"

The Gunner: Thanks for the clear picture. Actually most of my friends are also adopting the wait and see attitude until the govt introduce the Euro4M.

Corgi 1960 said...

Holy smoke.....thanks for that eduacational blog. I thought manufacturers are moving to battery cars to make it more environmentally friendly.

PS. Yes, Petronas kiosk does have that diesel outlet but the ratio is abt 1:20, and queuing behind a few trucks and waiting is not a good feeling too.
And welcome back......from down-under!

Anonymous said...

I like your top photo.

You are a model, prettier than most car models.

CheaHS@n said...

Wow! That's a very detailed Eco-ol eye opening facts about diesel. Yeah those days Papa used to have problem with black smoke when cops often flagged his car. Thanks

Anonymous said...

You may not be paid to write this posting but you were invited to the outing in expecting you to blog?

Pencilman said...

I think I read somewhere that vehicles running on petrol needs more regular servicing to continue running, hence, their 'clean' appearance while one on diesel can just keep going without any services. Go figure...

Myhorng said...

im impress with the tissue 1. still i hate u guys.

eiling lim said...

Corgi 1960: hey thanks! long time didn't hear from you. How's life? Latest updates are all 900 stations have diesel but not all stations have stand alone diesel pumps for lorries. so diesel cars might have to queue.

Anon: Thanks for the wonderful compliment although I am not qualified to be a model! haha...

CheaHS@n: Thanks! Hope you find this educational like I do.

Anon: When we were invited, we were told that it's up to us whether we want to write about it or not. The reason why I wrote is because I find the whole event enlightening and I never learn so much about cars and diesel before. I feel that people like me out there should know something about this and thus I blogged about it.

Pencilman: This is somewhat true because I read that the diesel cars can go on for long distances without much servicing or problems. On the downside, some maintenance procedures are more expensive. Diesels need about 12 quarts of oil, compared to five or six in gas engines, and diesel fuel filters and water separators need close attention. But gas engines have spark plugs and ignition components that need replacement.

eiling lim said...

Horng: Aiyoh... why you hate us?!! Love us preezzz!

CUMI & CIKI said...

wa.. i think u just killed 50% of the myths i believed in... thx for setting the record straight.. so informative.. like!

imantulen said...

I really wonder what 'Anon' is gripping about? I suggest 'Anon' re-read what Eiling has actually written....

Is it all about BMW or Petronas??? No! it was about DIESEL & our ingrained perceptions on it...

Eiling, for what it's worth - it WAS indeed very educational....

you could have spent the whole posting talking about how good the BMW was, but NO, instead you were surprised & puzzled about this fuel called 'diesel' & you dug in and found it does not jive with what you know about it all along....

you learnt something, you decided to let us know about it... for this, a big thank you! for such a good write-up....

and 'shame to you, Anon'...

eiling lim said...

Cumi & Ciki: Thanks babe!

Imantulen: Hey, thanks for reading and understanding what I wanted to convey. No worries, I'm used to those comments! haha...

TheGunner said...

I spoke to Sashi a few times about this, and I do know he feels very strongly about this whole EfficientDynamics and diesel thing.

Building on the point by Pencilman, just think of it this way, heavy commercial vehicles all use diesel engines. Why?

Torque - Diesel engines have inherently good low-mid-range torque characteristics, making them very suitable to haul heavy loads. In passenger cars, the same amounts of mountainous torque translates to responsive, on-demand acceleration.

Economy - Even if petrol and diesel are priced the same, you will still get better mileage running from a diesel engine. Which is why diesel is popular in Europe, because in Europe, long-distance driving is the norm, and drivers would definitely prefer a car with longer cruising range per tank.

Durability - Diesel powerplants are almost bullet proof - the main reason why it receives such widespread commercial use. Their inherent robustness allow them to take all the abuses of commercial usage and also gives owners the economy of extended service intervals.

One draw back of diesel, from the perspective of a petrolhead at least, is that diesel engines redline at 4,000 - 4,500rpm. So, those used to high-rev driving may feel a little 'tak syok'.

eiling lim said...

The Gunner: hey thanks for the info. I learnt a lot from what you have just written and you summarized it into something so easy to understand! It's great!

Anonymous said...

imantulen,

This posting is a prequel of BMW commercial;
http://eiling.blogspot.com/2009/12/bmw-efficient-dynamics-ultimate-driving.html

eiling lim said...

Anon: I am not doing a BMW commercial for god's sake. I wrote it because I was happy. Too bad if you don't like it.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I liked it! :)

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