Posts Tagged ‘diesel’

Can Your Aging Mercedes Leave a Trail of Blue Smoke a Hundred Yards Long? Well, THIS One Can!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

[UPDATE: This might be a gasoline-powered 230S, if that’s even possible. My bad. If anybody in town has an unusual euro-only Mercedes, it’s this guy. It might even have a manual transmission.]

Old Mercedes diesels* might be really slow, and they might emit more particulates than a fleet of new cars, and they might get converted to run on french fry grease, but…

The most cartoonish cloud of smoke coming from a car exhaust I’ve ever seen:

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…they will never die. 

And here’s the thing – old diesels are exempt from California’s annual smog check program.

That’s a giant loophole big enough that you could drive a big old honking Mercedes Benz diesel through.

Hurray!

I’ve only been a Benz owner for less than a year now. However, I’m beginning to think that stamping out smoke on these 616s is like trying to rid your yard comletely of dandelions – it’s a fool’s errand.

I’ve had my IP rebuilt, rolled in a new timing chain, and had the valve seals replaced all within the last 6 months. Injectors are also new and the valves were adjusted when the seals were replaced. Fuel filters and fuel lines are also new and all fluids are fresh. The only differences between mine and yours are that I have lower compression and I use perhaps a 1/2 quart of oil in 2,000 miles.

Despite this, I still have some smoke. There’s a hint of whitish smoke on cold idle at start up and a bit of black smoke when I get on the throttle or climb steep hills.

I have another set of injectors that I had rebuilt and will install them in due course. I’ll also rebuild the vacuum pump as a preventative measure. But after that, this game of “whack a mole” has to end.

There is one good thing to come from all this work, however. My engine sounds silky smooth. No knocking, no nailing, and no hicccups. The only underhood sounds you hear are the clickity click of fuel injectors popping and the combustion inside the engine. So long as this continues to be the case and my oil consumption doesn’t increase, I should consider everything else to be inconsequential.”

*Pray that this particular old Mercedes is a diesel. ‘Cause otherwise this rig prolly needs to get oil added on a daily basis…

MSM Question of the Day: Do Trains Run on Gasoline? The SF Examiner’s “Caltrain could be off gas by ’19 under new plan”

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Uh, trains don’t run on gasoline, for various good reasons.

(I thought this was common knowledge.)

Or natural gas neither, if that’s what you were going for.

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“Diesel” would have worked though.

Yes, like the jeans.

Just saying.

Bro-ham.

Famous San Francisco Food Truck Uses a Dirty Rag Instead of a Gas Cap

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Cute name?

Check.

Garish paint scheme / vehicle wrap?

Check

Gas cap?

Meh.

Throttles forward, it’s lunchtime!

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India Curry House Delivery Mercedes, North Beach, USA

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I assume this aging W123 Mercedes Benz is a 300D model – it sure sounded like it.

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Maybe it will show up at your place, if you make an order

Oh Lord, I want curry from a Mercedes Benz

My friends all have p’kora, I must make amends

If Hertz is Using All-Electric Buses These Days, Than Why Can’t Google, Apple and Genentech?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

You know, to move their employees around, as in the Google Bus, the Apple Bus, the Genentech Bus, and others?

That’s the question you might have after hearing that Hertz is going electric with the eBUS-12 from Warren Buffet-approved BYD. Deets below.

A range of 155 miles per charge, that’s pretty good, right?

Here it is:

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Wouldn’t this be an upgrade from the diesel buses what are being used to take workers back and forth betwixt San Francisco and Silly Valley these days?

First off, a lot of those corporate shuttle buses are being operated by that cheesy Bauer’s Transportation Company, right? So that’s not good.

(To review, Bauer’s doesn’t have a “solar bus,” despite what self-appointed Bauer Brand Ambassador / San Francisco Chronicle “City Bright” / corporate sell-out Zennie Abraham tried to sell people last year in the electronic pages of SFGate. (Ooh, how embarrassing for all concerned!) No no, if anything and at best, Bauer’s can get you a regular old diesel bus with solar panels on top, big whoop.)

Second off, you could be the first, the first company in the bay area to go electric. Sure, it’d be a pain to recharge these rigs every day, but you could figure it out. And think of the bragging rights.

O.K. fine.

Hertz First Car-Rental Company to Deploy a Zero-Emissions All-Electric Bus - Hertz uses the BYD eBUS-12 at LAX

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Oct. 24, 2011  – The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ), the world’s largest general use airport car rental brand, announces today the use of BYD’s eBUS-12 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the first such use to be conducted by a rental car company. Hertz is testing the all-electric on its main routes to gain data on this new platform.

“Hertz is aggressively moving forward with its Global EV program, introducing electric vehicles into its worldwide fleet and testing other electric vehicles as they become available,” says Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Hertz’s mission is to provide the most technologically advanced mobility solutions to our customers, including the buses we use as part of our everyday operations at airports. We continue Hertz’s track record of innovation by being first to deploy an all-electric shuttle bus in the US.”

The BYD pure electric eBUS-12 is able to run 155 miles on a single charge in urban conditions, more than enough for Hertz’s use at its airport locations, and its energy consumption is less than 100 kWh per 60 miles. The eBUS-12 is designed with the customer in mind, with a low floor and ample space to allow easy passenger loading and unloading and the bus has specially engineered sound insulation for a quieter cabin experience. The eBUS is being tested at Hertz’s Los Angeles Airport location, shuttling car rental customers between the terminals and Hertz’s rental facility. With a lower cost of ownership than a traditional gas powered bus, replacing just one traditional bus with the eBUS will reduce emissions by over 320 kg of CO2 (per 150 miles traveled) and save Hertz an average of $76* per day, per bus in fuel costs! (*32 gallons of diesel at $3.20/gal are replaced with $25.92 in electricity for $0.08/Kwh — the night time EV charge rates in LA).

BYD America President, Stella Li, stated, “BYD is thrilled to partner with HERTZ to demonstrate this significant breakthrough in zero-emissions buses. Not only is this eBUS a third less expensive to operate, but the total life-time costs are much less expensive than any other comparable 40-foot bus. Hertz is a leader in electric vehicles and other innovations and we are pleased to see that Hertz is the first rental company to deploy an all-electric bus.”

Hertz recently expanded its EV initiative to China, making it the first global rental car company to offer electric vehicles (EVs) on three continents. In its first year, the Hertz Global EV initiative has grown from a vision to a market presence cities around the world including New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London and Shenzhen, offering the most diverse fleet of EVs from manufactures including BYD, Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi, Renault, Daimler and Tesla. Hertz is uniquely positioned to introduce multiple groups of consumers – urban drivers, university students, travelers and corporations – to all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As part of its strategy, Hertz is forming partnerships with automakers, charging station providers, municipalities, NGOs, corporations and other stakeholders.

Hertz plans to increase its global EV presence by deploying vehicles in other countries in the coming months. Hertz Global EV will continue to leverage the company’s rental and car sharing locations as bases for vehicles and charging stations, and tap into its technology – including sophisticated fleet management tools and the consumer-facing GPS systems, including the NeverLost GPS system in the U.S. – to help form an EV grid.

For more information, visit www.hertz.com or www.hertzondemand.com.

About Hertz

Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand operating from more than 8,500 locations in 146 countries worldwide. Hertz is the number one airport car rental brand in the U.S. and at 81 major airports in Europe, operating both corporate and licensee locations in cities and airports in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the Company has licensee locations in cities and airports in Africa and the Middle East. Product and service initiatives such as Hertz #1 Club Gold(R), NeverLost(R) customized, in-car GPS system, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and unique cars and SUVs offered through the Company’s Prestige, Fun and Green Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition. The Company also operates the Advantage car rental brand and the global car sharing club Hertz on Demand. And, Hertz operates one of the world’s largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, from approximately 325 branches in the United States, Canada, China, France, Spain and Italy.

About BYD:

BYD was ranked #1 at the top of Bloomberg’s and BusinessWeek’s 2009 Tech 100 List (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100520006751/en/BYD-Tops-Bloomberg-Businessweek%E2%80%99s-12th-Annual-Tech) and is the leading manufacturer of advanced, environmentally-friendly battery technologies like the BYD’s Iron Phosphate battery used in BYD electric vehicles and electric buses. BYD’s solar panels and LED Lighting systems have CEC, TUV/CE and UL listings, and the company enjoys rapid growth in consumer electronics space and electrified transportation sector manufacturing under its BYD brand. BYD is the fastest-growing Chinese automotive and green energy technology enterprise. The Company trades on the Hong Kong Exchange (HKE) under the ticker numbers (HK.0285 – BYD Electronics) and (HK.1211 – BYD Company Ltd.), as well as on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange under the ticker number (002594 – BYD Company Ltd.). For more information, visit www.byd.com, www.facebook.com/bydcompany or email pr@byd.com.

Does the San Francisco Dept of Public Health Pay Somebody to Drive Around a Diesel-Powered Mobile Billboard?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Yuuuuuup.

Is this how you roll, DPH?

I don’t know, I’m the last person who’s going to die from the flu so that’s why I don’t get a shot when the new doses come out every year. I’d be taking a shot from someone who needs it more than I, right?

Yes, this looks like a truck, but it doesn’t carry anything except the message on its side:

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Nice black power salute (or actually, blueredmustard-united power salute) motif tho, DPH. Very street, very gritty.*

In closing, I don’t know, is this how you roll, DPH? Really?

*In Marin, they use a family of cartoon cows, I’m seriously.

Ex MUNI Bus #3210, a 32 Embarcadero, Lurches Out of the Past and Into Our Hearts – But Doesn’t Sound, Look Good

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Is this a bicentennial paint scheme? Don’t know.

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A heavy list to port indicates some major issues with the left hindquarters:

Bon Courage, 1969 GMC New Look!

Refreshing RocketBoat Adds Some Needed Color to San Francisco Bay – 2010 Season is On

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Of course, some people* don’t like you, RocketBoat, but I do. You add color to the bay. You complete me, RB. Thanks for coming back in 2010.

Get all the deets on the Rocket Boat here from sailboat-hating Ken Garcia.  And take a look at the action on YouTube. RocketBoat just might rock your world. Check it:

Came back for a 2nd round and this time we had a party of 7 go on the Rocketboat. That boat kicks ass. It goes about 45 mph and the driver loves to spin donuts.”

Verily.

Now, we’ve all heard the expression “let’s get busy.” Well, this is a boat who gets “biz-zay!” Consistently and thoroughly. Look at RB totally pwning a local yachtsman just the other day:

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Even “smart chicks” love the RocketBoat. You will too.

Get all the deets after the jump.

See you there!

*Local sailboat people disapprove of motor vessels in general, and RocktBoat in particular. RocketBoat, RocketBoat/ It’s not your fault.

(more…)

Attention San Francisco: A Gas-Powered Toyota Prius Taxi is Not an Alternative Fuel Vehicle

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The Question of the Day is whether a car powered by regular old gasoline is an alternative fuel vehicle. Let’s go to the source, and let’s leave out the ifs, ands, or buts while we’re at it: 

Hybrid electric vehicles such as the Toyota Prius are not actually alternative fuel vehicles…”

So, now you’re up to speed when you read the latest Governing By Press Release press release below.

No Aaron, don’t put plain old gasoline into daddy’s anthropomorphic Prius, put in the alternative fuel instead:

via Goldberg

Now, when you want to abuse the English language, the proper way to do it is explicitly, the way they do it on Wikipedia. Or, indeed, the way the Feds do it when they define Canadian-made cars as “American” cars.

“Canada is considered to be part of the United States when determining the “domestic” content of cars. Let’s see what U.S. Code TITLE 49 > SUBTITLE VI > PART C > CHAPTER 323 > § 32304 Passenger motor vehicle country of origin ­labeling has to say:

“6. ‘foreign content’ means passenger motor vehicle equipment that is not of United States/Canadian origin.”

See? That’s how you show you know what you’re doing. That’s the way you do it.

Time for some remedial reading - how about Physics for Future Presidents instead of yet another damn poetry book? (You might not agree with everything in there and you might not enjoy the process, but you’d be a better person for it. This is not to say that a manager needs to spend all his or her time on the gritty nitty, but investing a few hours, a few days or so, well that’d be nice.)

Just saying.

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t – till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,’” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.
“They’ve a temper, some of them – particularly verbs, they’re the proudest – adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs – however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

Leaving you with the News of the Day:

 MAYOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES THAT MORE THAN HALF OF SAN FRANCISCO TAXI FLEET IS ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES

San Francisco, CA— Mayor Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco Municipal
Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the Department of the Environment joined
the San Francisco taxi industry today to announce that 57 percent of the
taxi fleet is comprised of hybrid or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
There are 788 alternative fuel vehicles out of a total of 1,378 eligible
vehicles. The CNG vehicles account for 131 of those and the hybrids account
for 657.
“The clean taxi program shows that aggressive action is possible at the
local level to make major reductions in carbon emissions,” said Mayor
Newsom. “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to bringing these
emissions to zero.”
In addition, less than two years after the City passed a law requiring taxi
companies to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent from
1990 levels by 2012, emissions from San Francisco taxis are now at 12
percent of 1990 levels. With only 8 percent in reductions remaining, the
taxi companies are now more than halfway in meeting the 20 percent required
by the legislation.
Phasing in hybrid electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) taxis into the
taxi fleet has resulted in roughly 35,000 tons of GHG emissions savings
each year, which is the same as reducing fuel consumption by 2.9 million
gallons per year. That is equivalent to taking 4,700 regular passenger cars
off of the road, or saving roughly $9.5 million dollars annually in fuel
costs.
“The SFMTA is proud to continue the work begun by the industry and the Taxi
Commission,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO.
“This collaboration is an important part of creating a comprehensive
transportation system that is environmentally sustainable.”
This number of alternative fuel vehicles continues to rise because the
hybrid and CNG vehicles, while contributing to cleaner air for San
Francisco, are also very popular with taxi drivers. Although the fee
charged to a taxi driver to take out an alternative fuel vehicle is a bit
higher at $104.50 per 10-hour shift instead of $96.50 for a gasoline fueled
vehicle, the savings in fuel costs are substantial. For example, gasoline
for one shift is approximately $28 to $35, whereas filling up a hybrid
vehicle after a shift costs about half of that, around $15.  The hybrid
vehicles provide an additional economic benefit to taxi companies in that
they require less time and money for brake repairs. San Francisco’s hills
require the Crown Victoria taxis to have their brakes changed about once a
month. Hybrids can go six to eight months on a single set of brakes.
The gradual and flexible nature of the clean taxi program facilitated its
success. The program was accompanied by economic incentives from the City
to vehicle purchasers in the form of grant subsidies and gate fee increases
for alternative fuel vehicles. The SFMTA has continued the work of the
former Taxi Commission in coordination with the Department of the
Environment to encourage companies to purchase alternative fuel vehicles by
providing a Clean Air Taxi Grant incentive. Grants of $2,000 per new
alternative fuel vehicle are available to purchasers on a first come-first
served basis. The SFMTA merged with the Taxi Commission in March 2009 and
will oversee the ongoing upgrade of the San Francisco taxi fleet.
“Innovative solutions like the clean taxi program will keep San Francisco
beautiful,” said David Assmann, SF Environment Acting Director. “By working
in concert with the industry, San Francisco has created a program that gets
results.”
San Francisco currently has 1,474 taxis in service. Of these, 96 are ramp
taxi vehicles that are not subject to clean air vehicle requirements due to
the lack of good alternative fuel wheelchair accessible vans available on
the market. San Francisco taxi vehicles typically have about a four year
useful life and must be taken out of service once they have reached 350,000
miles.
The clean taxi ordinance was drafted in 2007 and originally published as
Police Code Section 1135.3.  The SFMTA re-enacted the requirement as
Transportation Code, Division II, Sections 1106(m) (emissions reductions)
and 1114(e)(9)(A) (annual reporting requirement). The next report from taxi
companies on their plans for vehicle upgrades going forward is due June 1.