Turbo Diesels & BioDiesel

The major cost of owning a vehicle is depreciation.  Diesels inherently have low depreciation because they have an estimated  15,000 hour life: 400,000 miles if you average 30 MPH, 800,000 miles if you average 60 MPH.

CNNMoney.com 9/1/07 article titled, "Drive Your Car to Death, Save $31,000":


Turbo Diesels Versus Hybrids

This AutoWeek Magazine road test dated 4/6/06 concludes this about the VW New Jetta TDI:  from an environmentalist's perspective, the German car didn't just beat the Japanese Hybrids, it trounced them:


Hybrid battery life and replacement expense (from San Francisco Chronicle “Cars” section, 2/2/07 on the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid):  One other thing you should know about the Escape Hybrid:  Battery life is around 150,000 miles; replacement cost is around $7,000.  For a couple of years it’s been a small part of the fleet in San Francisco’s Yellow Cab Cooperative.  The cab organization has a little over 500 Ford Crown Victoria sedans, equipped with the police/taxi package for durability, and 25 Escape Hybrids, 15 from model year 2005, and 10 from 2006.

How big is the diesel market? J.D. Power estimates that diesel sales will triple to 9% of the U.S. market by 2013, compared with a projected hybrid share of 5%.  Here is a great article on the future of diesel:


Nathan Deiri, the cooperative president, said that the 2005 Escapes “have held up pretty good.  At about 150,000 miles the batteries went.  That’s a big expense item -- $8,000 to $9,000 – but in all cases so far Ford has replaced then for free.”  By contrast, the big Crown Victoria car, what Dwiri calls “the main tank,” will go about 300,000 miles without much trouble.”


VW TDI turbo diesels

June 2008: VW Jetta TDI finally coming to California (and the rest of the 50 states) as a 2009 model.  Each dealer will get one car mid-June and will take orders for the first volume delivery late-July. Most dealers will be marking up $2,500-$3,000 above MSRP (retail).  We expect to be able to get customers MSRP and hopefully delivery in July.  Initailly the cars will be mid-level trim sedans (moon roof, alloy wheels, leatherette).  Much later in the model year Jettas will be available with leather and as a station wagon.  Here is a link to more information:


VW TDI turbo diesel cars achieve 33-55 MPG depending upon model and driving style.  As fantastic as those numbers are, the greatest expense of owning any vehicle is depreciation. VW TDI turbo diesel engines have an estimated 15,000 hour life, which is how diesel mechanics view them.  If you are someone driving mostly in the city averaging around 30 MPH you can expect to get more than 400,000 miles out of an engine.  If you are a salesman traveling all over the state at a 60 MPH average you will not need an engine overhaul for more than 800k miles.  No other vehicle has this potential, and that’s why a 1998-2000 New Beetle TDI with 110k-140k miles has a value of $10k plus.  Therefore paying $20k-$30k for a 2004, 2005 or 2006 New Beetle, Golf, Jetta or Passat TDI with 10k-20k miles is certainly a bargain.  Great power, high MPG, no tune-ups just oil and filter changes, and tremendous engine life add up to a very special vehicle.  They also run on BioDiesel with no changes; BioD emissions are nearly nil.

Announced April, 2006: VW says that NO DIESELS for 2007. The new stricter emissions requirement for 2007 can be met with the wide-spread use of ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel) that will be widely available in the U.S. in the spring of 2007.  But there are plenty of loop holes to allow the fuel producers to continue to sell the current LSD (low sulfur diesel) until then.  And as long as one tank of the currently available diesel would destroy the 2007 model year emissions no new diesels will be sold to meet 2007 model year standards.  Only when every service station has ULSD will VW import any diesel-powered models newer than the 2006 model year.

Below are links to articles on these cars:

VW Passat GLS TDI:  http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060401/news_lz1dd1bigger.html



http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/rr/04jettatdi.htm ‘04

VW Touareg V10 TDI:


Dodge Sprinter Turbo Diesel Vans

These are Mercedes-Benz built Cargo Vans and Window/Passenger Vans have a MBZ 5-Cylinder CDI Turbo Diesel engine:  As of Labor Day new 2006s are almost impossible to find and dealers won't see 2007 models until March/April of 2007 when the front end receives a facelift, new emission systems are required, and prices go up 12%-14% over the 2006 models.  For the first six months only a gas V6 will be available followed by a diesel V6.  The shortest wheel base model will be dropped and the two other wheelbase lengths will be stretched (it's not clear if the cargo dimensions will be larger).  Most of the factory production has and will continue to be taken by the huge international delivery companies like DHL, FedEx, and UPS (versus small cargo vans from Ford and Chevy the average fuel bill per week is $100 with the Sprinter, $350 with the others).  This means a strong resale market for an already slow-depreciating vehicle.


Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec Turbo Diesel Due in California in 2008:


BioDiesel (BioD)

BioDiesel 101:


Vegetable Oil as Fuel:



Synthetic Fuel Enhances Diesel's Prospects:


E85 Flex-Fuel - The Next Unleaded Or a Pipe Dream?


From an Edmunds.com article dated 7/22/04: With the possible exception of the BMW 3 Series, there have been more articles written and rave reviews posted about the VW Passat than any other vehicle on Edmunds.


Pre-Filter Separator cleans diesel fuel systems:


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