PDA

View Full Version : Gas or diesel, should I hold out?



cs
06-10-2008, 01:11 PM
I keep playing with this idea of getting a diesel Rabbit or Jetta and making my own bio diesel.

So I need to repleace my car anyway, but it isn't pressing, yet. I've been keeping an eye on Craig's List and the local paper and I've seen these deals come around on Jettas, but they are all gas burners. Some even have claims of 38mpg on the highway. While some are more realistic at around 28.

My Ford Tarus gets around 20-22 in town and as much as 28 on the highway and it has a V6 and is an automatic.

I keep seeing these deals on these Jettas but just can't seem to pull the trigger because I have this diesel thing in my head.

Chad

Bob Roncace
06-10-2008, 01:32 PM
Chad;

I have a 2006 Jetta TDI and it gets great mileage (45-47 mpg is typical) on my 66 mile round-trip commute, running straight dino-diesel. The current model is known as the A5 body style, but it's not the mileage champ of the TDI line... . Previous generations were known as A4, A3, etc.. and these were lighter than the A5 with essentially the same engine (though the injection system did change for '06), and therefore got even better mileage. The change over to the new body style came in mid year 2005.

If you really want to go whole hog on the bio-diesel you may run afoul of warranty issues on a newer model. Note that VW will not honor the warranty on the fuel system if you choose to run 100% bio-diesel. They currently allow a mixture of dino-diesel and bio-diesel as long as it's no more than 5% bio.

If you haven't already found it, much more info on the TDI is available from this forum: http://www.tdiclub.com/

Good luck!
Bob R

Popeye
06-10-2008, 01:34 PM
hold out for the diesel vee-hickle

cs
06-10-2008, 01:37 PM
BTW I failed to mention that I'm looking on the cheap and not on the new, so warrenty issues ain't an issue.

Chad

Kaa
06-10-2008, 01:43 PM
...and making my own bio diesel.

I take it, you have a surplus of free time, investable capital, and space in your backyard? :-)

Kaa

cs
06-10-2008, 01:52 PM
Appearantly you missed my thread on making diesel. Here is the llink. (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79622)

That thread kinda got waylaid and hyjinked, but I still was able to learn a few things there, in e-mails and web sites. Making diesel doesn't seem that difficult, time consuming or space consuming. Using a water heater and a little bit of plumbing you can make the stuff. It may take about 3 or 4 hours, but this is not standing over it working, this is getting it started.

And besides using the spreadsheet that I created (and I think it is linked in that thread somewhere) I was able to figure out the cost advatntage of making diesel and came to the conclussion that if I made 20 gallons every other week I could impact my fuel expenses dramaticly.

Chad

Kaa
06-10-2008, 01:59 PM
Appearantly you missed my thread on making diesel. Here is the llink. (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79622)

Yes, I did miss it.

But now that I've looked at it, it doesn't make me any more impressed.

By the way, do you know who will give you WVO for free?

Kaa

cs
06-10-2008, 02:04 PM
and a couple of other things that makes diesel more attractive, even if I can't make my own or I can't get WVO, Diesel even at current prices is still a big savings in fuel cost.

chad

Rick-Mi
06-10-2008, 02:12 PM
I keep playing with this idea of getting a diesel Rabbit or Jetta and making my own bio diesel.

I keep seeing these deals on these Jettas but just can't seem to pull the trigger because I have this diesel thing in my head.

Chad


What deals? I've considered picking one up too, but haven't seen any "deals". I have wholesale access and nationwide dealer auction prices at my fingertips. From everything I have seen, VW diesels are breaking the bank pricewise in high demand!

Aside from that, making your own fuel will probably be a loser for all the reasons stated last time you brought it up.

cs
06-10-2008, 02:18 PM
The deals I'm seeing are on gas burners, not diesels, that is why I can't seem to pull the trigger.

I'm really starting to think that diesel might be a better solution even if I didn't make my own.

The biggest reason brought up before was about the avalibility of free or cheap WVO and this could be an issue, but not here yet. Biodiesel has not caught on here yet.

Chad

High C
06-10-2008, 02:21 PM
BTW I failed to mention that I'm looking on the cheap and not on the new, so warrenty issues ain't an issue.

Chad

You'll likely not find a VW diesel on the cheap. Go to eBay and search for Volkswagen diesels and you'll see what I mean.

Your Taurus is probably the cheapest ride you could possibly have right now, as long as the transmission holds out. They're very costly on those old Tauri.

The VW gassers are usually gas hogs.

cs
06-10-2008, 02:29 PM
Y
Your Taurus is probably the cheapest ride you could possibly have right now, as long as the transmission holds out. They're very costly on those old Tauri.



Yep that is where we are starting to get. The tranny is starting to slip a little bit. I've had some slippage on days when there is a lot of in town driving and it is hot. On the highway not so, but sometimes it does shift hard. Last tank I noticted a drop of about 2 miles per gallon which is another sign of the slippage.

I'm ready to move on. The Tarus filled that gap when I needed something quick and cheap. I made money on the car and it still is a plugging alone (had to put a starter in it).

But like I said I'm starting to look hard and besides I really need to get back into a straight shift.

Chad

LeeG
06-10-2008, 02:43 PM
get a good deal. I'd hold out for a pre-2008 Scion Xb with the 1.5 l.

Dan McCosh
06-10-2008, 02:45 PM
Just noticed $4.80/gal for diesel, with regular gas here at $4.07.

cs
06-10-2008, 02:50 PM
Based on those fuel prices, 550 miles a week and a diesel getting 45 mpg, you would spend $117.33 bi-weekly on diesel.

When compared to a gas burner you would need a car that got 38 mpg and your fuel cost bi-weekly would be $117.82

Chad

Thorne
06-10-2008, 02:56 PM
Sounds like you've got the Bio-Bug bad...so just give in and experience it!

I paid 20k for a 2003 Jetta TDI wagon with 44k miles, but regard the additional expense for the diesel wagon as an investment, not part of the operating expenses.

In other words, a diesel will always be worth x% more than the same model gasser, so when I sell it I'll get a fair portion of the additional cost paid back. This is much like getting a hybrid car, 'cause if you factor in the difference in purchase price between that and a standard small gasoline-powered car you'll never save enough fuel to pay that difference.

As for your home biodiesel production, sounds like you need to also experience that, spreadsheet or no spreadsheet.

As above the critical question is what is your source for WVO? Once you get that source you will need to keep it -- that means not missing any required pickups among other responsibilities.

Depending on what you come up with for biodiesel production gear and WVO, you may find that you need to make more than you can use -- this is called economy of scale. Not that you'll have a problem finding a friend to sell the biodiesel to (under the table), but you'll need to be very careful to test the fuel to make sure it doesn't foul up your other customer's tanks and engines.

adampet
06-10-2008, 03:02 PM
Go for the diesiel..

We have a parent at my school that converted a MB 300TD Wagon to run on WVO. They buy through a co-op a local guy started(lots of deep fried seafood around here) and pay around $0.50- 0.75 a gal.

Looks like the way we are heading...


Adam

Edited to add: it's always interesting to smell them drive in. There are noticeable differences in the smell of the car depending on the source of the WVO

cs
06-10-2008, 03:04 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, all good ones. Some of those answers are part of what I was looking for in that other thread.

There are several things that play into factor here. One is my need to get myself another car. Another is the cost of fuel. Another is the mileage I put in going to job sites (disregarding what I get paid per mile). Also the need to buy on the cheap. Last but not least enviromental impact, emmisions and fuel use.

The biodiesel has gotten me intrigued. It appears with very little effort that I can make what I need and if I run into an excess problem I can always look at getting my wife a diesel or repleacing my truck with a diesel.

Testing is something that I've read is important also.

Chad

cs
06-10-2008, 03:24 PM
One of the Jettas I found that seems like a good deal is a 92 Jetta. They claim that they get 38 mpg on the freeway at 75 mph. He confirmed that was what he said via e-mail and it is a gas burner.

I have a hard time believing those numbers based on what reserarch I have done. That car is an hour and half away so just a trip to go look at it is a little much.

Makes me doubt other stuff they say about the car also.

Chad

High C
06-10-2008, 03:29 PM
...92 Jetta. They claim that they get 38 mpg on the freeway at 75 mph...

Sounds pretty optimistic.

This site has a lot of real world MPG info on a great many models. They didn't have a '92 gasser, but do have a '91.

http://fueleconomy.org/mpg/MPG.do?action=mpgData&vehicleID=7899&browser=true&details=on

Keith Wilson
06-10-2008, 03:30 PM
Chad, you might want to check the repair records of recent VWs in Consumer Reports before you take the plunge on one, gas or diesel. It isn't pretty. There are a lot of other fuel-efficient cars that are more reliable.

Gonzalo
06-10-2008, 03:31 PM
In my 2004 Corolla, my lifetime average is 35.75 mpg in mixed driving. You might do better since you drive more highway miles than I do, so expenses comparable to the diesel aren't out of reach, given the ratio between diesel fuel and gasoline cost.

Of course, the Corolla isn't very glamorous, and you wouldn't have a cheap biofuel option that you might with the diesel.

51,000 miles and the only repairs I have done are to replace one tail light and one storage compartment door (the little one where I keep my sunglasses. The ash tray would go there if I still smoked.) I have replaced normal maintenance and wear items like tires and filters. No brakes yet, though.

Bob Roncace
06-10-2008, 03:32 PM
Chad;

Since you're looking at used, have you tried Craigslist? There 's currently four pre-2006 Jetta TDIs in the Knoxville, TN, listing and two more in Nashville. (Yeah, I know Knoxville is not too close to Chattanooga, I used to live in Tullahoma.)

Bob R

cs
06-10-2008, 03:40 PM
That site for fuel economy I had bookmarked earlier today.

I will try and take a look at repair records.

Glamourous has gone out the window with the rise of fuel cost.

I've been using Craig's List, but based out of Chattanooga. It pulls in even from areas like Altimont (near McMinville). I need to look at expanding and looking at the Knoxville area. Most of my highway miles take me right through the heart of Knoxville at least once a week. Well actually on the bypass around Knoxville being as they shut 40 down through town.

Chad

Keith Wilson
06-10-2008, 03:58 PM
Try here:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/models/used/volkswagen/jetta/reliability.htm

Thorne
06-10-2008, 04:31 PM
Folks around here routinely drive out of state to purchase small diesels -- don't let the distance limit your choices.

brad9798
06-10-2008, 06:54 PM
Around my parts, diesel is the latest scam ...

87 octane is 3.89 a gallon ... diesel is 4.35 ... so much for it being cheaper.

cs
06-10-2008, 07:18 PM
Brad the difference is with a diesel you will get a lot more mileage per gallon and it actually works out to be cheaper.

BTW here is another Jetta with claims of 40mpg

1992 Jetta (http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/car/715372971.html)

Chad

garland reese
06-10-2008, 07:38 PM
My used to be father in law had one of those VW diesel trucks back in the 80s. He got great mileage on that thing.

I have an old diesel, but it ain't no econbox. I get 14 mpg, no maatter wheter I'm in town or on the road.... It's up for sale.
I bought a bike last Fall, and have ridden it, weather permitting, to work and such. I get around 42 or so mpg in town. There's an HD guy at work who rides pretty much every day, rain or shine.

I don't mind the cold, but I do not like to ride in wet weather.
If I did not have to use the highway to get to work, I'd get one of those scooter things. Even the larger ones get 60 or 70 mpgs, and they have ones with built in storage.

Of course, I'm not transporting kids around anymore though, so I have more options I reckon.
my commuter:
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc116/jg3031/Photo0044.jpg

brad9798
06-10-2008, 07:49 PM
Chad, for most trucks/SUVs, that is simply NOT true.

For a VW, it IS quite true ... but most diesel applications do not get enough additional mileage to justify the purchase price.

In your case, buying used, it makes PERFECT sense ... and SMART sense!

brad9798
06-10-2008, 07:52 PM
Actually, let me adjust my last post ... if diesel engines typically get 20-30% more mileage (passenger cars only), it simply evens out with the price of diesel being 20-30% higher.

My point: They have us coming and going.

Think back two years ... diesel was about 20-30% LESS than gasoline ... AND they got 20-30% MORE mileage. It was the smart thing to do then ... not so much anymore.

Well ... unless you take into consideration less parts ... longer engine life.

For most folks/driving habits= gas
For those that will keep a car for 500,000 miles=diesel is the better choice.

jack grebe
06-10-2008, 08:04 PM
Get a diesel Benz......an older 5 cyl, say 85 on back. Then will damn near burn anything, and will outlast anything on the market.

PeterSibley
06-10-2008, 08:17 PM
http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL282/9443996/17245530/307179403.jpg

TMny
06-10-2008, 11:18 PM
In the states around 1980 the market value of large cars / light trucks dropped 30% (or so) and small fuelefficient stuff increased vastly ... we are currently seeing a re-run.

The tdis have a pretty good reputation; VW diesel cranks/blocks are very durable but the 70s/80s heads/gaskets were problemmatic; diesel on LI is now $5/5.50 /gal.

In addition to the fact that the US lacks adequate diesel refining capacity, many states have forbidden diesel imports for years due to emissions issues -- there are artificial restrictions on both the vehicle and fuel supply now , so you might hold off with gas until you find the nice deal. VW parts aren't cheap.

sawcutmill
06-11-2008, 06:05 AM
Hey CS~ here is a a toyota diesel link
http://rav4world.com/index/diesel.html

cs
06-11-2008, 06:56 AM
Looks cool, but I'm not in the market for new. Wish I was though.

It is hard to find any diesel vehicle on Craigs list or even in the paper. The first day that I started looking there was a diesel Jetta on Craigs List. I called that day and it was already sold. I have not seen another one in my range yet.

Chad

hansp77
06-11-2008, 07:34 AM
You've done the preliminaries Chad, and apparently are still interested in making it- so
now as already said- get your oil supply sorted out and start stocking up. Obviously you have the space to store oil, and to process it into BD- so start filling that space up with oil.
THEN once that is happening- think about the next steps.

I thought getting free oil around here would be easy- its not. Everyone I have approached is already locked in- not to biodiesel/WVO users but most of them to oil recycling companies.
Thankfully making Biodiesel or converting my truck to run on WVO was an afterthought rather than a primary reason for getting it- so I am not too miffed. I may consider buying recylced oil at a later date- but am in no rush so far.
Good luck.

Popeye
06-11-2008, 07:45 AM
saw a news piece on tv , didn't catch exactly where in the world , but it looked 'middle eastern' , the country had been sanctioned , duh, and fuel was either not available or very pricey , black market diesel was going for 12 dollars a litre

taxi drivers were pouring veg cooking oil (canola) straight out of the bottle into their fuel tanks

cs
06-11-2008, 08:31 AM
My used to be father in law had one of those VW diesel trucks back in the 80s. He got great mileage on that thing.

I have an old diesel, but it ain't no econbox. I get 14 mpg, no maatter wheter I'm in town or on the road.... It's up for sale.
I bought a bike last Fall, and have ridden it, weather permitting, to work and such. I get around 42 or so mpg in town. There's an HD guy at work who rides pretty much every day, rain or shine.

I don't mind the cold, but I do not like to ride in wet weather.
If I did not have to use the highway to get to work, I'd get one of those scooter things. Even the larger ones get 60 or 70 mpgs, and they have ones with built in storage.

Of course, I'm not transporting kids around anymore though, so I have more options I reckon.
my commuter:


Garland I had been thinking about getting a motorcycle. I really want one and it would save me some gas, but (and isn't there always a but?) the company put a memo last year that said we couldn't use a motorcycle on company time (i.e. job site visits) because of Workmans Comp.

Being as a big part of my job is going to job sites, kinda shots that one in the foot.

Chad

Gonzalo
06-11-2008, 08:43 AM
Chad, check out the 2000-2006 and earlier Honda Insight. 58+ mpg highway according to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybrid_sbs.shtml. It's a two seater, and small, so it might not fit your needs in other ways. I don't know how comfortable it would be on the highway.

I have a friend who really likes his. He says it drives great. He has a long commute, combination of country roads and highway.

I've read of conversion kits that allow you to plug them in at night and use only the batteries for short trips.

High C
06-11-2008, 08:51 AM
...I've read of conversion kits that allow you to plug them in at night and use only the batteries for short trips.

Speaking of this, I keep hearing about the potential of "plug-in hybrids". That electricity generated at a remote electric plant is so much cheaper than electricity generated by the gas engine in the car, and I do understand that, but as small as the battery capacity of these cars is, what's the point of charging them up with house current? Isn't that just a tiny portion of the energy it takes to drive a hybrid?

According to an article I read in a recent car mag, the range of a Prius if it ran on batteries only is something like seven miles. Is that the point of the "plug-in hybrid", to make VERY short trips entirely on house current?

Gonzalo
06-11-2008, 09:06 AM
I'm pretty sure the plug-in kit involves extra batteries.

It wouldn't work for a long-distance commuter, obviously, but a lot of people make a lot of trips less than 7 miles, and that is the kind of stop, idle, and go driving where gas cars are least efficient, ordinary hybrids less so.

Extend the range to 20 miles or so with extra batteries and the % of miles driving on gas becomes much, much smaller.

High C
06-11-2008, 09:10 AM
I'm pretty sure the plug-in kit involves extra batteries...

Thanks, Gonzalo. The battery technology is the key, isn't it? Let's hope there's a breakthrough.

The rechargeable battery in my Nikon is unbelievable, maybe a couple thousand of those in series? :D

Gonzalo
06-11-2008, 09:45 AM
I surfed around but couldn't find anything on plug-in kits for the Insight. I did find a site by an ubergeek who added some battery capacity, along with some other upgrades he developed himself, including stowable solar panels and a drop down electric-only fifth wheel. Most of his additions homebrew, not commercially available.

http://www.99mpg.com/projectcars/mikesinsight/

This is hardcore home engineering, not something I'd like to tackle.

Gonzalo
06-11-2008, 09:49 AM
Plug-in conversion plus lithium-ion battery pack for Prius. Only $9,500. ($6,000 in lots of 1,000).

http://www.soultek.com/clean_energy/hybrid_cars/hymotion_plug_in_conversion_kit_announced_today.ht m

Wonder how long the payback time is? 200 years?

OK, I'll stop the thread drift now.

garland reese
06-11-2008, 06:52 PM
I know a fella who is an x-ray systems installer. He has two older diesel trucks. One Ford, One Chevy. He recently took a trip to Houston, from NE OK, and burned transformer oil all the way...... he does de-installations of old systems too, so probably has a pretty good source for steady supply of old transformer oil.
I've no idea how this stuff compares to regular diesel fuel, but he just ran it straight up, no mix, no refinement (this stuff is pristine clean, well, except for maybe a bit of tungsten deposits, generally).
Years ago, the stuff had pcb, but the modern systems no longer have pcb content in the oil.
I've no idea what a gallon of transformer oil would go for but this guy has a good way to get old stuff. He's gotta get rid of it somehow..... may as well use it for fuel I reckon.

Chad, those guys should provide you with a company fleet car for traveling to job sites. I don't know any employees of contracting companies around here who use POVs to travel to the sites. All the guys I know drive company vehicle when they are out doing job site visits. Do they give you a mileage re-imbursement?

garland reese
06-11-2008, 06:54 PM
Somehow the whole "green" thing with current battery technology just does not seem to add up.

cs
06-11-2008, 08:20 PM
Yeah we get per mileage, and that helps quite a bit. Actually that money is put aside for the boat.

Chad

Rigadog
06-12-2008, 06:23 AM
We have a TDI. Great little car.

garland reese
06-12-2008, 04:40 PM
How's the boat coming along anyway? I may be heading east this Fall. Whereabouts in TN are you Chad? PM me....

brad9798
06-12-2008, 05:24 PM
Drove around MOST of the day today ... comparing diesels to gas engines of various manufacturers ...

Diesel, based on simple math, is a scam here in my region.

3-5,000 option ... so it would take me 5-8 years to BREAK EVEN!

Like I said, just another scam ... with regard to new cars, anyway.

Thorne
06-12-2008, 06:46 PM
I don't ever buy new (talk about a waste of $$!!), but for the used car market it is not a case of breaking even over time.

It is like the decision to buy a house (in a stable housing market, mind you) -- looking at two otherwise similar houses, you could spend 150k or 200k, the more expensive one being nicer, larger, better neighborhood, etc.

Do you regard that additional 50k as a dead loss, or as an investment? Most folks would say the latter -- the nicer house holding an increased percentage of its value over time. So when you sell it, or your heirs inherit/sell it, the relative value difference remains good.

Same thing for a diesel.

I paid 20k for a 2003 Jetta TDI wagon with 44k miles, but regard the additional expense for the diesel wagon as an investment, not part of the operating expenses.

In other words, a diesel will always be worth x% more than the same model gasser, so when I sell it I'll get a fair portion of the additional cost paid back.

This is much like getting a hybrid car, 'cause if you factor in the difference in purchase price between that and a standard small gasoline-powered car you'll never save enough fuel to pay that difference.

cs
06-12-2008, 07:17 PM
Garland the boat will be moving along come Saturday. I've not had a chance (with proper help) until this weekend to do the next phase. I have a couple of friends coming over Saturday and we are going to rebuild the trailer bunks and get the Balboa back on the trailer.

I'll PM you here in a bit. Been on the road all day and I need to hit a few things (e-mails, threads craig list etc) and than I will PM you.

Chad

cs
06-19-2008, 03:32 PM
Almost the car, but not diesel.

http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/car/725192243.html


Going to keep looking.

Chad

Rigadog
06-19-2008, 05:21 PM
Water is the wave of today tomorrow and last Saturday... The fuel for the fuelish.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rb_rDkwGnU

Dan McCosh
06-19-2008, 05:23 PM
Almost the car, but not diesel.

http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/car/725192243.html


Going to keep looking.

Chad

Chicks' car.

LeeG
06-19-2008, 06:30 PM
speaking of which

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars-Trucks___99-Suzuki-Esteem-94K-auto-A-C-Sporty-GAS-SAVER-Cute_W0QQitemZ160252823705QQddnZCarsQ20Q26Q20Truck sQQddiZ2282QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item160252823705&

cs
06-19-2008, 07:32 PM
Chicks' car.


I'm so beyond that. All I see is gas mileage anymore.

Chad

LeeG
06-19-2008, 07:54 PM
HOnda civic

Houndog
06-20-2008, 07:48 PM
Has anyone heard of the new Hydrogen cars they'r coming out with?Supposedly they only emit water vapor out the exhaust.
Where do they go to refuel? They don't exactly sell hydrogen at the corner gas station.

Nicholas Scheuer
06-20-2008, 09:01 PM
Glad I found my VW Rabbit in the Fall of 2006. It had already been converted to a dual-fuel system running on Diesel Fuel or Waste vegetable oil. There were some age-related maintainance issues, but it runs like the proverbial Energizer Bunny now.

Just returned from the Texas-200 in Laguna Madre for which we towed our 28-ft Shearwater yawl with a diesel dodge 250 which had also been converted with a dual fuel system. We left Rockford with 75 gallons of waste vegetable oil that took us over 1000 miles down the road.

Again there have been a few age-related issues with the 1993 Dodge, but those are one-time occurences that can happen to any older vehicle.

The upside, besides cheap or free fuel is that the diesel is a better tow vehicle.

What is holding you back? You can always trade vehicles again it it doesn't work out.

Moby Nick

cs
06-20-2008, 09:14 PM
Waiting on a diesel.

Chad

cs
06-22-2008, 02:56 PM
Here is a 1977 Merc 300D that sounds interesting.

http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/car/728605807.html

Chad

jack grebe
06-22-2008, 08:23 PM
NOW YOUR TALKIN CHAD:D.
Those things will run on damn near anything you can dump in the tank.
Don't let the miles chase you off either, they will litereally run forever.
I have had 4 already, the lowest mileage being 149k and the most being
est. at 300+k, Currently my 300cd has 240k on the clock and runs like a dream:cool:.
Should you want to go green with it, that is the ideal car to
do it in. I burned 100's of gals. of veggie oil in FL. with my daily driver.
I can hook you up with some forums to help you get it up and running.

The Bigfella
06-22-2008, 08:42 PM
Warning, warning.... they are good if they are runners. They can be a money pit if they aren't running. "Something is wrong with the motor"