July 2, 2006
Does Biodiesel void my warranty?
All diesel engine companies warranty the product they make - engines. They warranty their engines for “materials and workmanship.” If there is a problem with an engine part or with engine operation due to an error in manufacturing or assembly within the prescribed warranty period, the problem will be covered by the engine company.
Typically, an engine company will define what fuel the engine was designed for and will recommend the use of that fuel to their customers in their owner's manuals.
Engine companies do not manufacture fuel or fuel components. Therefore, engine companies do not warranty fuel - whether that fuel is biodiesel or petrodiesel fuel. Since engine manufacturers warranty the materials and workmanship of their engines, they do not warranty fuel of any kind. If there are engine problems caused by a fuel (again, whether that fuel is petrodiesel fuel or biodiesel fuel) these problems are not related to the materials or workmanship of the engine, but are the responsibility of the fuel supplier and not the engine manufacturer. Any reputable fuel supplier (biodiesel, petrodiesel, or a blend of both) should stand behind its products and cover any fuel quality problems if they occur.
BioTrucker promotes biodiesel to truckers
Very cool new site! BioTrucker.com - America's Farmers Fueling America's Truckers!
US regulatory environment hostile to consumer diesel and hurting US consumers
Unbelievable bungling going on by our government. Write your congressman.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Regulatory consistency will deliver better fuel economy
The Detroit News
Volkswagen's decision to drop half of the diesel engine models it has successfully been selling in the United States is indicative of the inconsistent regulatory environment automakers face here.
Success at the Chrysler Group with the company's diesel Jeep Liberty SUV also has been derailed because of emissions requirements that make the vehicle engine obsolete.
Given the public outcry for fuel-efficient vehicles that will help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, making it harder to produce diesels in the United States is the wrong direction for public policy.
The government's continued meddling with market demand for cars and trucks has to make auto manufacturers a little nervous about investing millions of dollars into technologies only to be told they no longer meet federal regulations.
"The diesel Liberty exceeded our expectations," says Dianna Gutierrez, a Chrysler Group spokeswoman. "Unfortunately, with the EPA emissions rates becoming stricter for 2007, we were unable to see a credible business case to continue producing that vehicle with the changes that need to be made."
If the government can refrain from reacting to environmental alarmists, who want zero emissions vehicles (but demand they be cheap, too), diesel-powered cars and trucks can significantly improve fuel economy in the United States. If one-third of all vehicles were diesels in 2020, we could save as much oil as is currently imported from Saudi Arabia, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Getting there will require that the EPA hold steady on diesel fuel and emissions requirements that went into effect June 1.
The new rules require a 97 percent reduction in the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel to create ultra-low sulfur diesel. When combined with advanced diesel pollution technologies such as those developed by VW and Mercedes-Benz for the Chrysler Group, cars and trucks on the roads will be 90 percent cleaner than current models.
But to get there, automakers must have assurances that the rules won't change again anytime soon.
Diesel technology is a proven winner when it comes to fuel economy. Diesels get up to 40 percent better fuel economy than comparable gasoline engines. And the infrastructure to deliver that fuel already exists or can be added at a fraction of the cost it would take to install enough ethanol pumps or hydrogen fueling stations.
Fortunately, Volkswagen and Chrysler are committed to increasing their production of diesel engine vehicles in the United States. Chrysler will add a diesel Grand Cherokee to its lineup in 2007 and says the turbo-powered V-6 engine can easily be transferred to other models. The Grand Cherokee will be assembled at the Jefferson North plant in Detroit using engines made in Germany.
Volkswagen will modify its diesels and reintroduce the two discontinued models in 2008. That will put a dent in the German automakers slumping U.S. sales, which had rebounded nicely thanks to its diesel offerings.
Stronger support of diesel technologies makes more sense than the hype for hybrids or the euphoria over ethanol. If fuel efficiency truly is the goal, diesels can get there faster than any other technology available today.