Car Mechanics (UK)

De­mon diesels

- Mike Pol­glase Iceland · Belgium · Belarus · Robert Bosch

With all the re­stric­tions be­ing placed on older diesels, surely there is some­body out there who can design and pro­duce a univer­sal kit to up­grade older diesels to the lat­est Euro 6 spec­i­fi­ca­tions? It seems such a shame that per­fectly good ve­hi­cles must be re­stricted to ru­ral/coun­try­side ar­eas or be scrapped, es­pe­cially as it is ac­cepted that diesel devel­op­ment has sur­passed its petrol equiv­a­lent.

Diesel en­gines are me­chan­i­cally more ef­fi­cient and pro­duce more power per litre than their petrol equiv­a­lent, but the prob­lem with diesel en­gines has al­ways been that they were noisy and smelly. Great ad­vances have been made by fine-tuning the in­jec­tion sys­tem to al­le­vi­ate much of the noise that used to be as­so­ci­ated with a diesel en­gine, and the big­gest draw­back is that many of the ad­vances made in the diesel en­gine tech­nol­ogy are purely there to try and make them cleaner. If the ex­haust from a diesel were not so harm­ful then the ad­di­tion of an EGR valve, a DPF or the use of Adblue would not be nec­es­sary.

The emis­sions from a diesel en­gine con­tain harm­ful NOX gases, which are a ma­jor fac­tor in ground level ozone, which is par­tic­u­larly harm­ful to the res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem. The prob­lem is ac­cel­er­ated when the ni­tro­gen ox­ides and hy­dro­car­bon emis­sions are mixed with sun­light. This level of ur­ban pol­lu­tion is the rea­son for the Euro 6 spec be­ing in­tro­duced. If it were as sim­ple as putting a fil­ter on the ex­haust then there would be many com­pa­nies out there do­ing such a mod­i­fi­ca­tion, but the truth of the mat­ter is that, in an at­tempt to get the emis­sions down to a non-pol­lut­ing level, a whole range of mod­i­fi­ca­tions have to be in­tro­duced, the lat­est be­ing the use of Adblue. How­ever, there may be a fu­ture for diesel ve­hi­cles as Bosch has an­nounced a break­through in diesel tech­nol­ogy which it says will re­duce NOX emis­sions to 10 times lower than those al­ready set for 2020. This will not help older diesel ve­hi­cles and it’s a shame that more thought wasn’t put into this be­fore the ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers pro­duced ve­hi­cles that they knew would not be suit­able for town use due to DPF re­stric­tions.

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