Introduction to Diesels for Houston, TXPosted March 15, 2020 11:36 AM
Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around Houston, TX, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.
Most people in TX are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in Houston, TX. But that's about to change.
In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Houston, TX, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.
Why are so many Houston drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. The result? Better performance and improved fuel economy.
Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel economy. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold in Houston with diesel engines?
If you think back to the late 1970's and early 1980's, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels sold in TX have evolved considerably.
They are quiet, clean – and powerful. They're so refined that many Houston drivers can't even tell they're riding in a diesel powered vehicle. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.
Another thing the Houston green crowd takes advantage of is the use of bio-diesel in diesel vehicles. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from Houston restaurants. There is a lot of buzz about hybrid cars in TX. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.
Every year, manufacturers introduce new diesel models. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import brands have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to TX as well.
New Houston diesel owners need to know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it's important to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.
The good news is that Westside Automotive in Houston is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.
When we tell you to look for more diesels on Houston streets, you won't be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won't be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won't be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.
12510 Oxford Park Dr.
Houston, TX 77082