diesel fuel (was A8 diesel)

William Magliocco magliocc at rocketmail.com
Thu Oct 6 10:47:08 EDT 2005

I'm no expert, but what I have been understanding from
the TDi Club board, etc. is that the issue is the
_quality_ of the _refined_ diesel fuel in the US, not
necessarily where the crude oil comes from.

Having driven diesel vee-dubs for nearly 25 years, US
diesel fuel is genearlly a bare-bones 40 cetane, with
the sulfur level regulated to a "low" level (forget
the PPM).  Not good enough for the marvelous, high
performance, high tech Euro diesel motors.  TDi motors
like High cetane, so I use additives at each fill up. 
Loves biodiesel, which is clean to begin with and high
cetane to boot.

Supposedly, our Euro friends now have ULTRA low sulfur
diesel fuel (we get it in 2006, if the hurricanes
don't delay its introduction).  In addition, the Euro
friends never lost hope in the diesel in a passenger
car (thank you, GM for that)...

Case in point-I own two 1998 VW Jetta TDis-they are 90
HP motors in US trim.  Supposedly, the same exact
block, head, etc. give 110 HP in Euro trim.  I
understand there is a different turbocharger and the
ECU has different programming...why do us Yankees get
shortchanged the HP?  I think it boils back down to
refined fuel _quality_.  

So you are Audi.  You have this fabulous TDi motor for
the top-of-the line car.  The 'mericans have lousy
diesel fuel.  Do you sell your fancy schmancy car and
get customer complaints about how lousy it runs, and
there is nothing you can do about it (short of
importing Euro diesel fuel?).  Or do you just sell
your allotment in the part of the world where it makes
the most sense?

PS-The sweet crude issue is that it is easier to make
good diesel fuel from than "sour crude"...but we live
in a world with more of the sour stuff.

Professor Bob Myers, straighten me out if I am wrong
on the chem/petrol stuff...

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