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Thread: How to drive a diesel

  1. #1
    Boooooom Barakka's Avatar
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    How to drive a diesel

    Right, may sound a daft question but how do you drive a diesel differently to a petrol car ?

    I have had my 1.6 16v petrol car for 7 years and done 130k in it and I love the power kicking in at around 5.5k revs - and before that I had a 1.4 8v petrol engine.

    But next week i'm getting a 54reg Golf 2.0 TDi (GT 140 version) and want to know how I need to adapt my driving. I've driven a few diesel vans before and an Alfa 2.4JTD but only for a few days at a time so no long-term experience. Obviously the power isn't going to be kicking in at 5.5k revs but what else do I need to know ?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mock Turtle
    “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."
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    Va Va Voom Lowe's Avatar
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    Not a lot. Don't put petrol in it.

    The torque kicks in a lot lower on an oil burner, and obviously they don't rev as hard. That's about it, it's still a car.

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    Boooooom Barakka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowe View Post
    Not a lot. Don't put petrol in it.

    The torque kicks in a lot lower on an oil burner, and obviously they don't rev as hard. That's about it, it's still a car.
    Fair enough

    What's with the puffs of black smoke I sometimes see coming out the back of diesels ? I'm sure I heard someone say in the past it's a sign of someone used to driving a petrol engined car not knowing how to drive a diesel properly ?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mock Turtle
    “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."
    System:Atari 2600 CPU:8-bit 6507 (1.19MHz) RAM:128 bytes Colours: 16 (4 on screen) Resolution: 192x160

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    my normal car is a 1.5 vvts and drove a beamer 330d.. you certainly have to drive that differently lol.

    Lots and Lots of lag and then its off like a rocket

    but pulling away in that thing was annoying...where i was used to a decent amount of shove in first and second..ie.. 30mph in first if need be ..it wouldnt really do that

    essentially just stick it in a high gear and ride the wave of tourque you're not used to lol

    revving the nuts off them is pointless they are guttless above 4000rpm

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    Senior Member kopite's Avatar
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    I`ve gone from a 1.2 fiat punto petrol to a 2.0 diesel peugeot 307.

    As said ebfore make sure you put diesel in it every time Luckily there is a sticket near the fuel cap so So far I havent made the mistake.

    Driving wise i`m on the motorway all the time so The main difference for me is my cruising speed seems to have gone up from about 70 to closer to 90 lol. I`m not condoning speeding just that the car seems to like doing 90.

    There is a bit of lag at low revs but once the turbo kicks in it does take off :F

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    TD tend to have quite a small powerband. Its not worth trying to redline it in each gear

    I get a bit of smoke on mine but thats because I'm running silly boost on it
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    =10th=(E)SFC Mr_Tumble Tumble's Avatar
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    the smoke is basically a wide throttle opening dumping more fuel into the combustion chamber than can be blown up in there.. it then gets into the exhaust where it burns in contact with the hot metal and produces black smoke. High end diesels (and most jap import diesels - think MMC Pajeros) run quite rich to get the power out of them, so will squirt black out when you put the boot in. I have to try quite hard to get my van to smoke but when it does... 007 smokescreen anyone?

    As far as driving them differently - it's more of an intuitive thing, you'll quickly realise that low revs are good and revving the knackers off it won't do anything except make it louder and possibly slower.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    I only get smoke when going up hills and the turbo seems to work overtime (also the only time I get neck snap from the turbo kicking in).

    There's no general characteristic/driving style for diesel cars - ignore the numbers of the tachometer and it's just another car. Different engines will feel different just as they do for petrol ones.

    Turbo diesels are much like turbo petrols, with a change in power when you hit a rev/load threshold.

    The only thing you'll notice is the better pull from low end meaning you can change gears that much sooner and just use torque to accelerate.

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    lag seems more of an issue on older diesels than newer ones IME

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    Filthy old man noTHINGface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    lag seems more of an issue on older diesels than newer ones IME
    Agreed - common rail and 'intelligent' injection systems on a modern diesel lessons lag. Its just a car, drive it like a car. As for driving style, well I like to wear a risqué pinafore dress with peep hole sheep expander.
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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    I dont agree - older TD's wern't trying to be 'performance' cars and hence dont have the tiny power band.

    spoolup time is usually pretty good on turbodiesels as they dont tend to use that big a charger I've never sson ones that is particularly laggy per se. ( note Lag is not the same as spoolup )
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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Having driven a d5 v70 I can say that most of the power is low down, and lag is most definitely a thing of the past. I think the volvo does it by having the turbo spooling at all revs, where as others do it by twin turbos (one small, one big), or if you look at the very top end of the market, variable turbine geometry.

    I'd say in most cases by about 3-4k rpm you've hit peak, and its time to change up a gear. All the torque is low down (eg v70 has 400Nm 2000-3750) so thats where the poke is
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    Paranoid??? Who Me???
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    can't believe its been 7 years since you bought it! makes me feel old!!!

    Rules to driving Diesels...

    1. Put Diesel in it.. Step away from the Green Pipe!
    2. Try to avoid the limiter in 1st and 2nd.. Bet you hit it on most journeys for the first 2 weeks
    3. Start to enjoy 3rd gear! 3rd was the perfect gear in my 206 DTurbo for any country road in the 40-70mph range..
    4. Start to enjoy 40+ MPG no matter how you drive it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barakka View Post
    Fair enough

    What's with the puffs of black smoke I sometimes see coming out the back of diesels ? I'm sure I heard someone say in the past it's a sign of someone used to driving a petrol engined car not knowing how to drive a diesel properly ?
    It can do that when you boot it before the turbo kicks in properly

    Can also be that the turbo is broke or the glow plugs need replacing - had to replace the turbo on ours not so long ago. But that was a lot of black smoke coming out when it went - being a 3.2L TD it's hardly surprising :S

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    Paranoid??? Who Me???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
    glow plugs need replacing
    ummm. the glow plugs are only on a diesel engine to aid starting.. once started the fuel burns on compression only...

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    Boooooom Barakka's Avatar
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    Cheers for all the replies

    Quote Originally Posted by kaillum View Post
    can't believe its been 7 years since you bought it! makes me feel old!!!
    Tell me about it, got to find someone to buy a 7 year old Fiat with 128k on the clock

    2. Try to avoid the limiter in 1st and 2nd.. Bet you hit it on most journeys for the first 2 weeks
    Something tells me i'm really going to miss 4-6k in 2nd gear
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mock Turtle
    “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."
    System:Atari 2600 CPU:8-bit 6507 (1.19MHz) RAM:128 bytes Colours: 16 (4 on screen) Resolution: 192x160

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