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Old 01-23-2015, 05:35 PM   #1
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Diesel prices stay high, but all is not lost

The Globe and Mail ran a column today explaining why diesel fuel prices have not dropped nearly as much as gasoline. The bottom line is the difference is caused by "seasonal demand" and "low inventories", so don't sell your diesel tow vehicle or stop kicking the tires of that eco-diesel pickup yet.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:15 PM   #2
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It's amazing how sticky on the high side diesel prices are. In Connecticut the typical diesel premium has been $0.60 to $0.75 per gallon and I noticed this week that it was $1.10. Regular was $2.21 per gallon and diesel was still $3.31. These prices are killing all thought I have of a Ram Ecodiesel.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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It's amazing how sticky on the high side diesel prices are. In Connecticut the typical diesel premium has been $0.60 to $0.75 per gallon and I noticed this week that it was $1.10. Regular was $2.21 per gallon and diesel was still $3.31. These prices are killing all thought I have of a Ram Ecodiesel.
Part of the reason we decided to go with the Ford Ecoboost V6 instead. It would take over a decade to realize any ROI from better mileage, and by that time, the truck would be gone.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:36 PM   #4
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Diesel remains high because it's the middle of winter and fuel oil is in demand for home heating. Gasoline is lower because people are staying home and keeping warm.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:59 PM   #5
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Part of the reason we decided to go with the Ford Ecoboost V6 instead. It would take over a decade to realize any ROI from better mileage, and by that time, the truck would be gone.
Kinda my same thought Robert. Besides all the extras required when it's time to service the truck. Yes, it gets better mileage (at a higher cost) and yes, it get's more mile on the engine. But, at my age and future towing... that's moot. No one has a crystal ball (that's works and is accurate!), so it's a crap shoot. YMMV

Besides, I love my 2014 Ford F-150 w/ ecoboost!

Gasoline where I live is now $1.99 a gallon!
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:06 PM   #6
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Love it Donna! That's the same model we're looking for-- at least a 2013 so we can take advantage of the redesign. Of course an all aluminum body 2015 would be even nicer, but OMG the prices!
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:42 PM   #7
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... yes, it get's more mile on the engine.
I can't think of any reason to expect the Ram EcoDiesel engine to outlast the Ford EcoBoost... other than the fact that the EcoDiesel is just capable of producing less power, so the EcoBoost might well get worked harder if the driver takes advantage of the extra power available. In this particular case, the two engines are extremely similar: both V6, close to the same displacement, both turbocharged, both have direct electronic fuel injection, both have double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder...

Diesel doesn't make engines last longer.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:06 AM   #8
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Diesel doesn't make engines last longer.
The fuel type doesn't, but the build type does. I work for a worldwide transportation company... there's a reason we buy diesel tractors.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:21 PM   #9
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Aluminum body

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Love it Donna! That's the same model we're looking for-- at least a 2013 so we can take advantage of the redesign. Of course an all aluminum body 2015 would be even nicer, but OMG the prices!
I recently purchased a 2014 Ram 1500 .Yesterday I received a E-Mail survey from Ram .
The survey was quite extensive and had 2 pages devoted to my opinion on aluminum body vehicles
I've also read that GM is considering the change from steel to light weight alloys.
The change from steel to other materials not only lightens the vehicle but your wallet.
New technology seems to come at a price
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:21 PM   #10
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True enough Steve. I suppose as more makers adopt alloy bodies, the price will eventually come down.
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:31 PM   #11
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Nothing to do with diesel...

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... I've also read that GM is considering the change from steel to light weight alloys.
The change from steel to other materials not only lightens the vehicle but your wallet.
New technology seems to come at a price
More expensive technology is... more expensive. Aluminum bodies are not new, although there are new technologies used with it now, such as welding and bonding methods, and the use of extrusions and die-castings with the sheet panels.

The original 1948 Land Rover had an aluminum body - due to a shortage of steel and excess of aluminum panel capacity after World War II - and these vehicles (more recent versions are called the "Defender" model) have continued with aluminum bodies until today - the Defender is to be discontinued this year. They're not light, but they are very much like an F-150 (body-on-frame truck).

Honda claimed they were introducing the "world’s first mass-production car to offer an all-aluminum, monocoque body" with the NSX. Not the one just introduced at the 2015 Detroit show - the one they built from 1990 through 2005. Before that various specialty cars have been built in aluminum (starting in 1899!) and since then various expensive cars have been aluminum (for instance, Audi started in 1913, and the current A8 and R8 are all-aluminum).

It appears that the cost of fuel and regulatory requirements have reached the point that the manufacturers have decided that the cost of extensive use of more expensive materials is required.
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:35 PM   #12
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Well, it's true that aluminum body panels aren't new, but when the vast majority of vehicles are made with steel, aluminum is still considered somewhat exotic. As with anything that is used far less than the "conventional" material, you usually pay a price.
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:37 PM   #13
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The fuel type doesn't, but the build type does. I work for a worldwide transportation company... there's a reason we buy diesel tractors.
I'm pretty sure your company buys trucks with commercial truck engines, Donna, not car or light truck units. A 13-litre to 15-litre big rig engine is built very differently from the Ram's VM Motori A 630 DOHC which runs twice as fast to put out at least half of the big rig's power with only 20% of displacement and 20% of the weight. It is, I agree, the way the engine is built, and while I'm sure a Ram EcoDiesel is a fine engine it is not built for millions of miles of operation, so I still...
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... can't think of any reason to expect the Ram EcoDiesel engine to outlast the Ford EcoBoost...
Fuel consumption is a good reason to choose diesel in a light vehicle... probably the only good reason.
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:40 PM   #14
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... aluminum is still considered somewhat exotic. As with anything that is used far less than the "conventional" material, you usually pay a price.
I agree. The material is more expensive and the fabrication techniques are more difficult and more expensive to use. There is a cost premium, and there will still be a premium even when aluminum is more common because it will still be difficult to work with.
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:41 PM   #15
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Life expectancy

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I'm pretty sure your company buys trucks with commercial truck engines, Donna, not car or light truck units. A 13-litre to 15-litre big rig engine is built very differently from the Ram's VM Motori A 630 DOHC which runs twice as fast to put out at least half of the big rig's power with only 20% of displacement and 20% of the weight. It is, I agree, the way the engine is built, and while I'm sure a Ram EcoDiesel is a fine engine it is not built for millions of miles of operation, so I still...


Fuel consumption is a good reason to choose diesel in a light vehicle... probably the only good reason.
If one can believe the various Ram truck forums ,the Ram hemi engine is built to last 300,000 km and the eco diesel to about 200,000 miles . Not a large difference
It seems that because the Ram Cummins diesel last 500,000 miles or more ,people assume the 3.0 ltr Eco diesel will have the same life span .
Also from what I can decifer ,the stated life spans for normal consumer engines (Gas or diesel) are based on the vehicle not being used at its' limits or in heavy towing
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:53 PM   #16
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If one can believe the various Ram truck forums ,the Ram hemi engine is built to last 300,000 km and the eco diesel to about 200,000 miles . Not a large difference
That all sounds right to me.
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It seems that because the Ram Cummins diesel last 500,000 miles or more ,people assume the 3.0 ltr Eco diesel will have the same life span.
I can believe they expect that; I think it is an unreasonable expectation. The Cummins engine is a commercial engine (the ISB) run harder (more boost) than commercial service would normally allow, while the EcoDiesel is a car engine. That's why the 3.0L EcoDiesel puts out 240 hp, while the more than twice as big Cummins (6.7L) puts out under 400 hp; it is a slower-revving and likely lower-boost design.

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Also from what I can decifer ,the stated life spans for normal consumer engines (Gas or diesel) are based on the vehicle not being used at its' limits or in heavy towing
Likely true. Commercial engines are run more extensively near their output limits. If anyone tows all the time with their light-duty vehicle they should expect shorter engine life than in typical use.
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