5 Common Diesel Engine Myths: Debunked

The truck driver is a mythical figure in our country’s folklore. Countless songs have been written about these tireless men and women: Jerry Reed’s “Eastbound and Down,” and Buck Owens’ “Truck Drivin’ Man” are two timeless classics.

You want to drive your preferred vehicle, but sometimes that price of gas can preclude you from doing this. Here are a few tips you can consider to help improve your gas mileage and reduce your expenses. Slow down

Myth: You need to idle a diesel engine for 5 minutes or more in the morning

The Truth: Idling a diesel engine for a long time can actually harm the engine more than if it were driving down the highway. That’s because at low speeds, such as idling, your engine experiences twice the wear and tear. Most owners’ manuals recommend no more than 3 minutes of idling before you drive. Even in colder temperatures, when the diesel fuel tends to gel, you can add winter blends to the fuel to make it flow better.

Myth: Idle reduction technologies don’t save you money in the long run

The Truth: New technology, such as a diesel retrofit, can make it so that your engine uses less fuel while idling. Basically, with newer technology, idle reduction technology pays for itself, especially in regards to long-haul fleets.

Myth: Diesel fuel is hard to find

One thing that people don’t often pay enough attention to when trying to improve fuel economy is the aerodynamics of your vehicle. Some modifications to your diesel truck can help in this regard, whether it is a grille block or other things.

Myth: Diesel is dirtier than gasoline

The Truth: There’s a stigma that diesel trucks constantly puff out big clouds of black smoke. However, due to recent EPA emissions requirements, diesel engines are held to the same standards as gasoline engines. Now diesel trucks are fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), which removes over 95% of the particles in the exhaust. The result of adding DPFs to diesel engines: no more black smoke bellowing out of trucks. Any short drive on the freeway confirms this fact-you’ll be hard pressed to any see smoke coming out of a big rig’s exhaust pipe.

Myth: Diesel cars aren’t as powerful

The Truth: Diesel-powered cars aren’t typically hauling a 50 ton payload, so it’s pretty ridiculous to assume that they’re slow and sluggish. In fact, diesel engines are more powerful than gasoline engines at speeds below 65-which is where you do most of your driving, anyway. A diesel engine gets better acceleration and pulling power at lower speeds, as well. Unless you’re driving to the grocery store at 75 mph, a diesel engine will be more efficient and powerful than your regular gas-powered car. So go ahead and pour another cup of coffee, and crank up a good truckin’ song on the radio, because diesel engines are here to stay!

When the California Air Resource Board’s diesel emissions regulations first came out, Michael Schwartz, now President of FleetServ, started getting calls from panicked Fleet Managers looking for straight-forward info and compliance assistance. While FleetServ (formerly known as ACT Compliance) was originally formed to meet this need, over time it has evolved into much more.