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VW "scandal"

Posted by Jose Pinto 
September 23, 2015 09:41AM
When something looks too good to be true, probably it's not true.

Quote
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/nyregion/volkswagens-diesel-fraud-makes-critic-of-secret-code-a-prophet.html?_r=0

Most VW sold in Europe are TDI, mostly in 2L and 1.5L sizes.

Are they cheating us or are we cheating ourselves?
Don't everyone "tune" the turbo diesels for more power and torque, regardless of emissions?
Am I sick of the turbo-diesels accelerating leaving behind a huge blue sooty cloud, while my old and slow Mercedes Benz spews clear fumes?

As for american EPA, please explain as if I were very dumb, how come a 3 ton truck comply emissions, and a 1.4L that does like 70mpg does not.
hot smiley
September 23, 2015 10:18AM
I agree with Jose Pinto. I wish more people would use petrol or electric (or petrol-electric) cars instead of diesel.

I am also very confused about the US pickup truck rules.
September 23, 2015 10:48AM
Quote
Ove Kvam
I agree with Jose Pinto. I wish more people would use petrol or electric (or petrol-electric) cars instead of diesel.

I am also very confused about the US pickup truck rules.

I wish I had a 3L/100km hybrid, but I can't afford to finance something like that, hence the old beat up diesel car.

I believe nobody is a great fan of the 1.4L turbo diesels, but that is what average people can afford to run. Then, true petrol heads are drawn to powerfull cars that are much much worse in emissions because despite being "cleaner" in percentage, they use a lot more fuel for the same distance.

But still, in my defense, there are few afforable diesel family cars capable to average LESS kgCO2 per km than my old ex-taxi.
The soot, Nitrous oxide and whatever contaminants we produce, are another story, and all is very disputable as there are not clear tests one can rely on for used cars.

One thins is the percentage of pullution created, another is the quantity. A smaller lighter car will allways pollute less than a big heavy one, if everything else is equal.
September 23, 2015 11:13AM
I think our 2012 F20 116i is fairly pollution friendly with its turbocharged petrol four. It drinks 5 to 7 liters per 100 km in traffic, and maybe 20 for track driving...
We are considering a new 3 cylinder 118i.
September 23, 2015 12:02PM
Quote
Ove Kvam
I think our 2012 F20 116i is fairly pollution friendly with its turbocharged petrol four. It drinks 5 to 7 liters per 100 km in traffic, and maybe 20 for track driving...
We are considering a new 3 cylinder 118i.

5-7 is as good as it gets, about the same as a Prius, but without the ugliness and boring driving.
:dance:
September 23, 2015 09:09PM
Ove,
The efficiency of the diesel engines is about 20% better from a theoretical thermodynamic perspective. There is more energy in a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gasoline and especially if it has 10-15% ethanol mixed in it. My E-30 fuel consumption went up by 15% when I could no longer find "real" gasoline.

There is a political connection with the ethanol. Government subsidies are paid to the Archer Daniel Midlands company for producing ethanol. I have read that it could be as much as $30 per gallon. It actually takes more than a gallon diesel fuel to produce a gallon of ethanol so we are not really helping much except to loot and pillage the taxpayers.

Driving a diesel powered car is economical on fuel but the increased cost of the engine and maintenance takes a long time to pay back. There is a certain macho factor in having a powerful truck for some guys and being able to afford to tune it to make more power is also a guy thing. Some will modify the engine controls to make it consume so much fuel on acceleration that black clouds of smoke come out of it to sort of throw it in the face of the Prius drivers. It is called "rolling coal" when making smoke. Mostly the diesel engines burn very clean nowadays and run very quiet so not objectionable at all.

:wavey:

Bob in Everett
September 24, 2015 12:45AM
But it makes more sense to measure the mass of diesel and petrol when comparing efficiency, not volume. The energy in one kg of diesel and petrol is rather similar.

And what confuses us Europeans, is why you have different rules for pollution for trucks versus normal cars, as I see lots of Americans commuting in trucks.
I am not so sure that a diesel engine is more expensive and needs more maintenance than a petrol engine. My petrol engine has Valvetronic, VANOS, dual inlet turbo and direct injection, and that is a entry level car.

And the dieselgate scandal has shown that modern diesel engines are not burning very clean. The NOx levels are sky high over petrol engines.
September 24, 2015 03:41AM
It gets even worse in second-hand countries like romania. People buy all sorts of old diesel cars from western EU, then remove particle filters and catalytic converters ("to gain more power" or simply because they don't feel like spending $$$ for replacing parts). The amount of smoke and poison chemicals they release in the air is insane, but nobody seems to care about it.

Riding a bicycle in the city is quite the opposite of healthy.

Check out this car owned by a colleague of mine. This is how most diesel cars smoke around here...

[www.facebook.com]

--
A physics truck just turned over outside. There's physics everywhere!
September 24, 2015 05:05AM
Quote
Ove Kvam

And what confuses us Europeans, is why you have different rules for pollution for trucks versus normal cars, as I see lots of Americans commuting in trucks.
I am not so sure that a diesel engine is more expensive and needs more maintenance than a petrol engine. My petrol engine has Valvetronic, VANOS, dual inlet turbo and direct injection, and that is a entry level car.

I've read the emission rules in America test how much pollution is emitted in percentage per certain mass of Diesel consumed, and not the overall quantity per km, as in Europe.
Over here any cheap small car powered by a 1,4L turbo diesel does 70mpg and emissions are higher in percentage per L of diesel burned compared to a 3L engine, but much lower in quantity produced to the atmosphere, by about half.
I think the Americans chose the criteria that suits them best, as they make no small diesel engines themselves, or have no interest in going that route.
Interestingly enough, american brands like Ford and Chevrolet offer very capable small diesel engines in their range for Europe.

Another problem is cars are thoroughly tested when new, but once they age some high tech components start to go bad, and people just remove emission related stuff like soot filters, EGR and stuff like that making recent turbo diesel cars equal or worse than very old diesel cars. Apparently, nobody wants to put in place inspections for that. Over here the yearly inspection only measures CO and soot, and visual inspect if the filter box is in it's place at the exhaust line (it may be empty).

And yes, turbo-diesels have more maintenance than petrol engines of similar power, even modern complex engines. Any dealerships can give you the quotes for that, for a new car.

JP
September 24, 2015 05:09AM
Quote
jaffar
It gets even worse in second-hand countries like romania. People buy all sorts of old diesel cars from western EU, then remove particle filters and catalytic converters ("to gain more power" or simply because they don't feel like spending $$$ for replacing parts). The amount of smoke and poison chemicals they release in the air is insane, but nobody seems to care about it.

Riding a bicycle in the city is quite the opposite of healthy.

Check out this car owned by a colleague of mine. This is how most diesel cars smoke around here...

[www.facebook.com]

Is the same here.
New cars are very expensive, there is a common place to buy second hand cars from central Europe.
Then, there are no regular inspections to test emissions, and if filters, EGR and related parts are removed for simplicity, those cars can smoke bad!
And being mostly large and powerfull engines, we end up with the worst of both worlds.

hot smiley
September 24, 2015 07:41AM
We have to take the technical inspection and emissions test every 2 years. But you can pass that in almost ANY inspection unit with no more than 10 EUR bribe. Some even do it for free. The network is so well developed, they call the authorities first, to make sure there's no surprise inspection at that time, then they measure the emissions from another car, or just put the sensors in the air, or other tricks to fake it.

Police doesn't care, any authorities don't care, in fact.

--
A physics truck just turned over outside. There's physics everywhere!
September 24, 2015 08:33AM
Quote
jaffar
We have to take the technical inspection and emissions test every 2 years. But you can pass that in almost ANY inspection unit with no more than 10 EUR bribe. Some even do it for free. The network is so well developed, they call the authorities first, to make sure there's no surprise inspection at that time, then they measure the emissions from another car, or just put the sensors in the air, or other tricks to fake it.

Police doesn't care, any authorities don't care, in fact.

For 10€ plus the regular fee, you can go to certain places and bring the certificate without anyone look at the car. :furious:
One place was recently shut down due to that.

The problem here is another, the inspection centers are not equipped or the personnel trained to measure emissions thoroughly, they just test CO, CO2, and "opacity", plus a visual inspection of the car. They are usually serious about brakes, steering and suspension, as well as fluid leaks and rubber boots.
If a car was heavily modified, like engine transplants and such, they force a more serious inspection to have modifications evaluated and described on the document.
That is the reason why anyone can pull the emission control stuff off of the engine, and get away with it driving like that forever because CO and opacity still looks fine.
Removing just filters and EGR plus a chip programmed accordingly can give quite an hp upgrade at high revs, just due to improved air flow. At expense of much worse emissions.
:rolleyes:
September 29, 2015 09:22AM
Now they say VW will recall affected cars.

If VW offered two choices for the recall, A) put serious emission control in place or B) get the most hp and screw emissions.
Which do you think most consumers would choose?

:hitwithrock:
September 29, 2015 09:41AM
Quote
Jose Pinto
Now they say VW will recall affected cars.

If VW offered two choices for the recall, A) put serious emission control in place or B) get the most hp and screw emissions.
Which do you think most consumers would choose?

:hitwithrock:

I think it would be around 50/50.
September 29, 2015 07:52PM
Most likely the governments in each country would not allow the car to be registered without the "improved" emissions control. Even the higher Nox levels are not all that much. Compare to a larger vehicle it is probably less per mile.

Bob in Everett
September 30, 2015 12:52AM
Quote
Bob in Everett
Most likely the governments in each country would not allow the car to be registered without the "improved" emissions control. Even the higher Nox levels are not all that much. Compare to a larger vehicle it is probably less per mile.

Compared to modern lorries with AdBlue technology, the NOx levels are actually higher in these VWs.
September 30, 2015 07:13AM
One thing is certain, they can fake emissions, but they can't fake consumption and mileage.
There are some new turbo-diesels pushing the boundaries of fuel efficiency.
Problem is getting efficiency, clean emissions and power from a small engine, all at the same time.

I've been said only by removing exhaust filter and reprogramming, that can give lower fuel consumption, but I don't know.
I know several people doing that for the extra power and mileage.
Maybe the power claims for small engines are impossible without cheating emissions.

Now everybody is beating VW while their down, and probably everybody else was rigging the emission tests, and now they will certainly try to do that.

I see little "environmental concern" behind all this so called scandal.
eye popping smiley

For me is just the successful company was caught cheating, and the competition is exploiting the situation.
October 16, 2015 05:05PM
Quote
Jose Pinto
Now everybody is beating VW while they're down, and probably everybody else was rigging the emission tests, and now they will certainly try to do that.
For me is just the successful company was caught cheating, and the competition is exploiting the situation.
It's not the first time that VW, or others, have been caught cheating.

Here's an interesting article.
http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/10/volkswagens-emissions-cheating-scandal-has-a-long-complicated-history/
October 16, 2015 05:24PM
In Norway, the government is considering revoking the licence plates from affected VWs that do not show up for the official fix. This is funny, because a rather high percentage of these cars have been tampered with to give them more performance and even more pollution....
rkj
November 01, 2015 11:32PM
Quote
Ferdinand
Quote
Jose Pinto
Now everybody is beating VW while they're down, and probably everybody else was rigging the emission tests, and now they will certainly try to do that.
For me is just the successful company was caught cheating, and the competition is exploiting the situation.
It's not the first time that VW, or others, have been caught cheating.

Here's an interesting article.
http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/10/volkswagens-emissions-cheating-scandal-has-a-long-complicated-history/

Thanks Ferdinand, this gives a clear picture of this mess.... or a good beginning anyway.
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