Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.
Diesel-fueled vehicles haven’t been as popular in the North American markets like TX. But that won’t be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we’re not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV’s.
There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn’t tolerate it.
But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Houston. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we’re going to see more of these vehicles in Houston is that they’re more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% more miles per gallon.
People in Houston may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That’s also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth and quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Houston roads.
Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.
Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Houston restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in TX. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean.
Houston drivers who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle, should know that preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.
When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you’ll have to learn some new rules of car care. But you won’t be alone. Most Houston service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Lucas Auto Care, we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel powered vehicles.
Lucas Auto Care
12600 Grant Road
Houston, TX 77429