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Hybrid Cars

 
 
Jarlaxle
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 08:02 am
Piffka wrote:
I wish the PT Cruiser would come with a diesel engine.


It does...but only in Europe. Sad
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 10:17 am
Really??? A PT Cruiser diesel... hmmmmm. Maybe they'll start selling them here. We were talking about getting a hybrid again last night. My daughter says she'd love to have one; right now she drives an Altima. Mostly I loved how quiet that electric hybrid I saw sounded, it seemed as big a difference as a sailboat & a motor-boat. I worry a diesel won't be quiet.

Hello Gordy <Welcome to a2k> I've never heard of this duel-fuel idea, but it sounds good. You had a Trans-Am in the UK? That's seems so unusual. Very Happy (UK=Land of Minis and English Fords)

Years ago, I admit my dad was known on occasion to purchase fuel for his furnace oil and use it to fill his diesel station wagon. It was a lot cheaper but illegal, I think because the cost doesn't include a road tax. My mom made his stop, but the fuel was the same.

I am wallowing in the pain of $1600 worth of car work done over the last two days on those two cars and think I'll wash my car myself today, It is a new era of penny-pinching, but the wheels on the Vo look so snazzy, the rest of the car is shabby in comparison. I can't stand it.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 10:18 am
double post
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billy falcon
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 04:35 pm
Piffka

As long ago as 1996, passenger car diesels were not noticiable as diesels - from the inside. I've referred to our 1996 diesel Passat.

Siince that time a direct fuel injection system called the " common rail system" has been invented/developed. I don't fully understand it. Suffice to say it creates multiple explosions on each firing of a piston. This extracts more energy from the fuel and quiets the diesel engine very close to the sound of a gas engine.

One of the fun things(I'm easily entertained) about
passenger car diesels is that in moderate weather, they don't "start." By that I mean a gas engine turns over and cranks even if it is only 2 - 3 secs. A diesel goes from not running to full running with no sense of turn the key, hold key for engine to start, and drive. With diesels you turn the key and it's running.

I told you I was easily entertained. I told a friend this and he just looked at me for a while and said "You've got too much time on your hands." What did he mean?
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 06:59 pm
Hmmm, I don't remember this "immediate on" with my dad's old diesel cars, but it does sound entertaining to me.

We have a similar thing with our old Harley golf cart, which is gas powered. It is totally quiet and turns off until you press the pedal, then it roars forward (or back). I just can't figure it out.
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gordy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 02:14 am
Piffka,thanks for the welcome.yeah over here people are running diesels with everything from cooking oil to paraffin.(some fast food joints will sell you the used cooking oil for that purpose)
The government are really strict about people doing just that.In fact last week I went through two checkpoints that the police & Customs had set up.

They pull people who drive diesels then dip the tank,and if anything other than diesel comes out.you're in big trouble they prosecute you big time for tax avoidance. It's not illegal to use the cooking oil,it's because fuel tax has not been paid thats what gets them.
Remember over here we're paying around $5.40 a gallon for both diesel and petrol.

the LPG duel fuel stuff on the other hand is perfectly legal.And now with Ford and G.M. pushing it.It might become more widely available.

As for the instant on when starting diesels.In work I drive a Ford Transit diesel,and it's a new one.When starting it cranks over,maybe not as much as a petrol motor but it still cranks and smokes and smells and is noisy and is rubbish at overtaking.Apart from that it's quite good.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 02:28 am
LPG is sold in (continental) Europe since about 30 years or more (in the Netherlands, if I'm correct).

Here, you find such cars since since that time mostly in parts close to the boder, now every town has a gas station with "gas".

The main perol brands are starting this week to add 5% 'bio-diesel' to the normal diesel as a try - although Diesel isn't cheaper by that (reason: EU, to become more independent in pertrol resources).

Diesel prices in the UK are the highest Europe-wide, btw. (In most other countries, Diesel is cheaper than Super or Normal petrol)
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 09:04 am
In the US LPG is used in many homes for heating or for cooking stoves. In this case it is delivered by a supplier that specializes in that. It is also widely sold (at least in New England) at many gas stations in canisters to power back yard barbeque grills. But not for automobiles. interesting difference.
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 10:07 am
we have some busses now using bio-diesel(they carry a large poster on the side of the bus to advertise the bio-diesel use). just read that general motors has been licensed by toyota to further develop and use their gasoline-hybrid engine ! that's good news. also read a test report on the new toyota "prius" (hybrid). it's almost the size of the camry, will seat five people. the test driver managed to get about 100 km/5 liter gasoline in swift driving; he was quite impressed with the performance. (of course my 1970 VW diesel-rabbit did about as well , and the new VW turbo-diesel does even better. some automotive writers say that a clean burning diesel car is preferable to the hybrid). at canadian $30,000 the prius is still several thousand dollars higher priced than a comparable gasoline or diesel passenger car; no doubt the price will start to come down once geeneral motors starts mass production. hbg
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 11:59 am
All this is very interesting. Gordy, your story of having fuel checkpoints astounds me -- I've never heard of such a thing, or LPG, or bio-diesel being used to fuel a car.

I didn't know the current price of diesel around here.... but found some interesting websites, AAA's Current State Averages and December 2003 for all types of fuels.

All of these seemed to cost $1.75-2.00 a gallon -- propane, diesel, gasoline. I guess that sounds like a bargain to anybody in Europe!
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 12:05 pm
Diesel checkups were done here since the Federal Republic exists - and probably earlier. too.
Noadays, however, the main purpose of those checks is to look at driving time, if the carried goods are declared properly etc.

Bio diesel can't be so unknown in the USA: I'd discussed that more than three years ago on Abuzz.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 12:44 pm
Walter, we have state patrol checkpoints for commercially loaded trucks, but they are usually pull-offs on a highway and are called weighing stations. I don't know what all they check for except that they get fees based on the truck weight. I thought Gordy meant all traffic was being stopped and their fuel tanks checked.

Maybe this bio-diesel is also called something else? There was a bio-methane fuel that has had limited use. I admit, I'm not really "up" on stuff like this.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 01:22 pm
Actually, it's here like you described it: special signs (on autobahns, e.g.) slow down the lorry traffic, some have to drive to checkpoints, others may be lucky ....
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 01:56 pm
highway weigh-stations : in canada you find these along all the major highways(much like in the u.s.) and the major purpose is to check the weight (axle weight ?). overloaded rigs get pulled off not that infrequently; another purpose is however to check on the road-worthiness of the trucks. usually there are "flying squads" of the ontario provincial police (in ontario) and mechanics from the department of highways that carry out the inspections (brakes, tire wear etc) and a fair number of trucks get pulled off and have their license plate removed (more often than not these are independant truckers, gravel-trucks, sand-trucks - the big, commercial operators are usually more careful in maintaining their trucks). cars have to be taken in for an "emission test" once a year. in the automotive section of the weekend newspaper there are are often lengthy discussions about the usefulness of thes tests. some drivers complain that the tests are not reliable and that they are forced to pay for unnecessary repairs. are they right ? i don't know (have to take my car in for the first time in may - perhaps i'll have reason to scream bloody murder at that time !). hbg
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gordy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 03:18 pm
The checkpoints are like what I said.You will be driving along and you just arrive at a random checkpoint.It might only be there for an hour or so and then it's gone.you just have no idea when or where.

The checkpoints are usually in rural areas where people might have access to agricultural fuel.(this is ordinary diesel that is died red to signify that it is for agricultural use only and has no tax on it)

The checkpoints are operated by police and customs and are solely for checking for legal fuel.If those guys dip your car and red diesel or cooking oil comes out.It's mega fine time
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 12:32 am
Gordy that's what I thought you meant... checkpoints for regular vehicles, not commercial trucks. Do they only pull over people with diesel vehicles? (Just wondering!)
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gordy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 04:04 am
Oh yes It's only the diesel guys that get checked.
Thats why I like the LPG conversion.It's 100% legal.You can usually buy a car thats a bit older and not so popular(or expensive)something like an older Jag. convert it (a days work it's all bolt in) and you've got legal cost effective motoring with a bit of luxury.Sweet

As I said earlier the Trans/Am had the conversion done,as have a lot of Americian cars over here.I kinda wish I had kept that car,but it needed some work doing and an enthusiast guy bought it.

There are more Americian cars over here than you would think.Usually coupes like the Camaro and Mustang.Although pick ups and 4X4s are a common enough sight.

In fact I'm hoping that when the '05 Mustang hits the streets,prices for the old one will drop,because I wouldn't mind having one.Although it would need to be the V6.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 10:00 am
You can buy brandnew LPG cobversion cars as well - more expensive, but when you driving enough kilometers ...
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 10:14 am
Acquiunk wrote:
In the US LPG is used in many homes for heating or for cooking stoves. In this case it is delivered by a supplier that specializes in that. It is also widely sold (at least in New England) at many gas stations in canisters to power back yard barbeque grills. But not for automobiles. interesting difference.


Ford MoCo has tinkered with dual fuel (Gasoline and LPG) trucks for a long time. I had a 1976 F-150 that was setup for it from the factory and they still make 1,500 of them a year. The problem is still distribution. LPG works well for fleet vehicles that don't travel to far from their home base. Then they can be refueled overnight easily. With personal use you have a hard time finding someplace that will sell you 150 lbs of LPG along the highway at 2 am.

LNG is picking up more interest in areas where LNG is distributed directly to homes. You can park your LNG vehicle in your driveway at night and fill up when it's convient for yourself ad you pay for it on your monthly bill insetad of each and every fill up.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 10:44 am
I'm interested in getting a Prius, but, as has been noted above, the wait is absurd. I did a call that there was one for me at a dealer I'd left my name with, but when I couldn't show them THAT INSTANT to buy it, I lost out.

So I continue to drive (occasionally) a 1986 Toyota Tercel, which is incredibly cheap to run. It will need replacing, but forces are conspiring to delay that from happening, I guess. I'll try to go with the flow...
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