Diesel Engines: Friendlier For The Environment And Your Pocketbook

It wasn't too long ago that being stuck behind a diesel-fueled car meant you needed to roll up the windows to avoid the nasty smelling emissions. Of course, most cars and personal trucks ran on gasoline, so you just tried to stay away from the big rigs. Things have changed. People have found that it is more economical to drive a diesel vehicle than it is to use gasoline. In addition, federal regulations have made this fuel less stinky and safer for the environment. Here is what has been going on.

Greener Diesel

The Environmental Protection Agency began regulating the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel back in 1993. However, it wasn't until 2006 they became more determined to get it lowered. They gave the fuel industry until 2010 to lower the amount of sulfur from roughly 5,000 ppm to a mere 15 ppm. The previous high amount of sulfur meant that the catalytic converters in the vehicles could not function properly to clean out all the soot and pollutants as the fuel burned. This resulted in high CO2 emissions from the exhaust. Engines now have a particulate filter that burns any harmful byproducts in a manner that turns them into carbon dioxide and water. 

Easier on the Pocketbook

While a diesel engine vehicle is going to cost you more to purchase, the savings on operating it will more than make up for it over the life of the auto. Since diesel now burns cleaner, the internal engine parts do not get as gunked up. This will keep them from wearing down or causing mechanical problems that will cost you money. A diesel engine uses less fuel than a gasoline engine. Even though diesel costs more than gasoline, the fuel efficiency is such that you will save quite a bit of money.

If you are in the market for a new car, consider going with one that has a diesel engine. More car manufacturers are adding diesel trucks to their offerings. There are also a number of sedans and hatchbacks available. You may even be able to request a gasoline model you want to be changed to have a diesel engine. It is best to have it done at the factory, but there are some mechanic shops that can do it for you. Consider making the switch, you will be reducing air pollution while saving money at the diesel depot.

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