Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:VW Diesel's do have low polluting exhaust ... (Score 5, Informative) 203

VW's patented setup sounds far less ideal than the well understood SCR/DEF setup everyone else uses. 20% of max power to burn out the NOx trap? No way in hell would I want that!

The precise temperature controls you allude to for SCR/DEF is hogwash. You've got quite a bit of leeway to get up to temp before the system starts dosing before throwing codes and going into limp mode (think like over an hour of operation). If you didn't, then all of us in places with 4 real seasons would have diesels that wouldn't go anywhere because DEF freezes at about 18 degrees F. Where I live, we can go months with temps lower than that, and it takes time to thaw the DEF so it'll flow.

DEF consumption is 1-3% of fuel consumption. So figure 1-3 gallons of DEF used for every 100 gallons of diesel; that's for the puny little 2 liters in a VW all the way up to the 13L monsters in a Peterbilt... 1-3% of fuel, like clockwork. How many gallons of DEF would be needed to go the oil change interval on a VW TDi? Not many.

Lastly, on DEF, any fool paying stealership prices deserves to get ripped off. Drive to a truck stop and enjoy ISO rated DEF/AdBlue at $2.70 or so a gallon. My last DEF fill cost me a whopping $16 for my truck at just over 6 gallons in ~8k miles.. A 3.0L diesel truck that gets 24-27 MPG in mixed driving. A 2.0L TDi should be able to go 12k+ miles on 5 gallons considering how much less fuel they burn than my truck does.

Comment Re:What happens to the existing cars? (Score 1) 569

Sounds like VW disabled EGR when not on a dyno. I know exactly why they did it.. EGR is pure evil on a diesel engine.

EGR lowers NOx emissions by lowering combustion temperature, but the downside is that they gum up the valve stems in the heads on a diesel due to the soot. Eventually the sooty crap hardens in the intake and then chunks break off and go into the combustion chamber and act like sandpaper or rocks, scoring the cylinder walls, worsening everything.

EGR works well on non-direct injected gasoline engines because they "wash" the soot with fuel before it can cake the valves, but is very hard on diesel engines from a longevity standpoint since no fuel touches the valve stems. EGR lowers power, and increases fuel consumption to lower NOx.

I've got a "small" diesel, in my pickup, and it has DEF (urea) injection on it. VW owners should not fear DEF. I fill the DEF tank on my truck about every oil change, from bulk dispensers at the truck stop, for a whopping $16 every 8k miles. I average about 1500MPG on DEF, and about 24.5 MPG on diesel fuel (full tanks, not pure highway). Pretty good numbers for a 6000 lb 4x4 pickup truck.

Comment Re:So there is a problem... (Score 5, Interesting) 174

Tesla's Warranty is a bit better than what GM offers, true. However, it is not hugely better excepting the unlimited mileage for the powertrain, and 8 year battery warranty. That said, I've got some concerns with Tesla's battery warranty being that I live in MN.

"In addition, damage resulting from the following activities are not covered under this Battery
Limited Warranty:
â Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140ÂF (60ÂC) or below -22ÂF (-30ÂC) for
more than 24 hours at a time;"

That bit scares me. -22 F temps are normal for us in the winter, and I don't heat my garage. Thus, the car would be exposed to such temps for over 24hrs at least once a year. Kind of puts a crimp in my plans to buy a Tesla 3 when it comes out; I can already make the justification to buy a model S based on my driving needs, but I refuse to pay more in car payments than my mortgage.

From Chevy's website:

Warranty Coverage
Bumper-to-Bumper (including tires):
Coverage is for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Coverage is for the first 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Sheet Metal:
Corrosion coverage is for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Rust-through coverage is for the first 6 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

From Tesla:

Subject to separate coverage for certain parts and the exclusions and limitations described in this
New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty covers the repair or
replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or workmanship of any parts
manufactured or supplied by Tesla that occur under normal use for a period of 4 years or 50,000
miles (80,000 km), whichever comes first.

Supplemental Restraint System Limited Warranty
Subject to the exclusions and limitations described in this New Vehicle Limited Warranty, the SRS
Limited Warranty covers the repair or replacement necessary to correct defects in the materials or
workmanship of the vehicleâ(TM)s seat belts or air bag system manufactured or supplied by Tesla that
occur under normal use for a period of 5 years or 60,000 miles (100,000 km), whichever comes

Comment Re:Pffft (Score 1) 723

"Cities like Birmingham and Atlanta are different. The ground surface temperature is warmer, so any amount of snow generally melts and converts to ice quickly. The people up north don't know/understand this, so they make ignorant comments to feel superior."

No, we have 4 real seasons. 2 of which are exactly like your "winter". Spring and Autumn often have ground temps high enough that snow immediately converts to ice, or ground temps below freezing such that rain instantly freezes to ice. We feel superior because we don't panic, and know that when a winter storm warning is issued by the NWS, you pay attention. Listen up, the NWS knows what they're about, if they issue a watch it is like 50/50, a warning is better taken as gospel.

A little bit of ice and you freak out. Come up to MN and I'll show you something to freak out about. Black ice. Can't see it. Looks like dry pavement. Will cause your vehicle to lose control with the slightest change in direction or speed. Worse by far than normal ice on the roads because there is no indication there is anything wrong until the car/truck gets very loose. If you panic on black ice, you're in the ditch or worse before you can blink.

Comment Re:You weren't there. I was. (Score 1) 723

I'm not nuts, I have a 320HP RWD car and I drive up iced over hills every year in the winter (Cadillac STS). Sure, it's easier in my Yukon with it in 4x4, but no chains needed; FWIW, chains are illegal in MN because they damage the road. Here's a hint, keep some kitty litter in your trunk. Throw it down on ice. Trust me. Rock your vehicle out if you can't get moving; don't just floor it in D. Try to get it rocking back and forth and eventually you'll move.

All season tires are what you need at a minimum. If you run summer tires on pavement below about 45 degrees, you're a complete fool. I suspect that is where the majority of issues came from. Summer tires need HOT pavement to work well. Cold pavement might as well be ice, say nothing about real ice and snow...

Hell, I don't even run winter tires in MN. Good all-seasons are all you need (blizzaks and other dedicated winter tires are the best, but I put on too many miles to use them). That and a brain cell or two.

You guys would really freak out if you ever came across black ice.

Comment Re:Canadian driving (Score 1) 723

"This wasn't black ice. It was a solid sheet of ice, curb to curb, sitting on every paved surface in the area. Without a single grain of salt, sand, or gravel sitting on top. Without a single gap of cleared road surface peeking through. If you've seen conditions like that in Michigan, you guys have the shittiest snow management system in the country, because unlike Georgia, you should be prepared."

Apparently you've never experienced black ice. Regular ice, from curb to curb, I've seen, driven on, and all that good stuff. Even in MN, where we have winter every year, it happens from time to time. See, even though we've got all the equipment, sometimes the rain just up and changes to freezing rain. Had you pretreated the roads, the rain would have washed it away before it started freezing. The key point you southerners fail to grasp is that you've just got to slow down, modulate the throttle, and not be a total moron. Hard to do, I know, but it works.

Black ice, however, looks exactly like dry pavement. No sheen, no indication of it being there except any change of velocity (be it the slightest turn of the wheel, or most insignificant change in speed) causes your vehicle to want to switch front for rear. Black ice is scary shit, but you deal with it the same way as regular ice. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN, avoid any changes in velocity, accelerate and decelerate as though there is an egg under the relevant pedal, LEAVE 3x car lengths OR MORE of space between you and the car in front and don't panic.

Comment Re:You weren't there. I was. (Score 1) 723

"So don't freaking patronize us."

I'll patronize you when it is called for. It is called for in this case. 3" of wintry mix is a mild inconvenience, not a shut the whole city down natural disaster. Oh yeah, slush/sleet DOES plow out of the way with no problems. Drive slow is the right response to such conditions. As to the whole needing momentum to go up hill on ice; yeah, not so much. Proper throttle modulation to avoid tire spin works better since you'll be in control. Then again, I drive through worse conditions every year, so I wouldn't know how to handle such things...

We get wintry mix worse than what hit Atlanta several times a year here in MN. Usually in October & November, and then from March-May.

Perhaps you southerners should heed NWS warnings. When there is a watch, it's about 50/50 if it'll happen. If it is a warning, take the warning as gospel.

Comment Re:station wagon? (Score 3, Interesting) 208

"A station wagon is what moms wanted to drive. Whenever somebody says "Americans want SUVs". They're wrong. The SUV is a legal hack to get around fuel economy standards. See? If we build a station wagon with a center of gravity so high that it tips over in the parking lot, it's legally defined as a truck and we don't have to meet the same standards.

Sorry to get into this, but it's one of my pet peeves. Whenever I hear, "Americans want SUVs" it just grates on my nerves. No we didn't. We wanted station wagons. Mom didn't want to tip the kids over and throw them, her, and the groceries into a ditch. Shortsighted regulators left a loophole in CAFE, and they literally drove a truck through it.

Now all these kids don't even know what a station wagon is. Sounds about right. It's the vehicle that the mom down the block had. I distinctly remember us piling in there with the neighbor kids on more than one occasion, and she smoked like a chimney. Shotgun! I get to ride up front with Mrs. Potter and yeah, it smells up here but we didn't know nothin'. We didn't wear seatbelts and... well... I know this is survivorship bias talking but... we survived!

In other words, get your damned SUV off my lawn."

This American wants his SUV, not a station wagon.
I have an SUV instead of a station wagon. Not because I'm a mom (I'm not), and not for grocery getting, but because I live in a place with 4 real seasons and big 4x4 SUVs are handy for getting around for the 2 days it takes the DOT to clear roads after a winter storm. Besides, a car won't pull my snowmobile trailer or the boat.

That said, I don't use the SUV for daily driving. It's 17 years old and unlike the vast majority of SUVs, is muddy as often as not since it also does go off road. As a 2nd vehicle, it is great. Mine is nowhere near as big as a Suburban (2 door full size Yukon GT), and I sure as hell wouldn't want to load it up with micro SD cards; each one may be tiny, but enough to fill the thing up would have it so grossly overloaded it wouldn't be funny.

I'll try to keep my SUV off your lawn.

Comment Re:One word: (Score 1) 129

"Now then, if you want imaging, Magnepan."

All hail Magnepan!

Even if they're on the complete opposite end of the efficiency spectrum from the horn speakers.

I feed my little MMGs 400Wpc (@ 4 Ohms), and back them up with a pair of HSU TN1220HO subs, but my little MMG/HSU setup is sonic bliss. Some day, when I've acquired more amplification, I'll be grabbing some bigger maggies and moving the MMGs to surround duty.

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley