MB 320 CDI "Bluetec" Hi! - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2007, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Question MB 320 CDI "Bluetec" Hi!

I found this forum while looking for a good list for ULS stations. But was surprised not to see discussion of CDI engines since they are being licensed by MB to everyone and ought to show up in every kind of car or light truck over next few years. Already very popular in Europe.

I have 2007 E320, MB mid-size sedan. Engine is 3 liter turbo CDI diesel. MB calls it "Bluetec" because U.S. drivers associate diesel with bad. This engine makes 208 HP, but also a very real 388 ft-lbs of torque at maybe 1200 rpm. Enormous low-end power, kicks in fast, and available at cruise speeds when wanted. Faster than 3.5 liter standard gas engine E350. Mine only has 2000 miles now but gets approx. 36 mpg highway w/ 2 adults. In ordinary city traffic (in D.C., non-rush-hour) does about 30 mpg, about 24 in stop-and-go.

I have heard that new VW diesel uses same technology (that means Audi too) and others are licensing it also. CDI is single-rail, high pressure injection. I had MB 300D long ago: nice car, but slow, noisy, smelly, hard to start. This engine is quiet, no odor at all, starts better than gas (no pre-heat, no glowplugs) -- and takes off like a sprinter. In 3 months, no problems, mileage keeps getting better, car is very nice. Pricey, but should last a long time.

So . . .it would be nice to find comprehensive, accurate list of ULS (ultra-low-sulfur) diesel stations since this and all other new diesel cars in US MUST use ULS: highway low-sulfur will run but will destroy fancy emissions system. MB list is not accurate. Some brands have station lists, some don't. Does anyone know of accurate combined list? As more new diesels are on road this issue will go away but for now it would be useful.

Washington, D.C.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2007, 03:42 PM
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BlueTech is DCR - Diesel Common Rail.

Developed by Siemens, licensed by the Robert J Bosch Corp who developed the technology and got it to market.

The DCR system has been used for over 10 years on the automotive side in the EU, and even in some HD diesels by Scania, M.A.N. and Volvo.

The closest thing to DCR that many people would be familiar with is the difference between a carb (100 Yr old tech) and SMPEFI (currnet EFI for alomost every vehicle in the US). As you can see, there have been TREMENDOUS improvements in diesel fuel injection technology in the past 20 years, specifically the past 10.

If we can get decent quality fuel in the US, Diesel will take over the market.

'93 F-250 HD, 7.3L IDI, 5spd - FARM TRUCK
I Support: Trailer brakes an every axle over the towing vehicle's GVW; CDLs for RVers; Safety inspections for ALL vehicles and 6 axle trucks (97K GVW proposal).

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-04-2007, 12:14 PM
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Hi, welcome to the site! Sounds like a great car, hope to have something like it one day. As far as ULSD fuel, I was under the impression that all pumps were to be selling ULSD by the first of the 2007 claendar year... :shrug:


2000 Ford F250, Merillion, 6sp, AIC, DPTuner, BB turbo, Adreneline pump, modified IDM.

1998 Mercedes E300, Custom injector nozzles, soon to have Eaton M90 supercharger, 7.5mm pump elements, Holset HX40 turbo and a full custom intake and exhaust system = 400HP from 3.0l
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Wink Clean Clean Diesel

Evan (that's my son's name, but I don't think you are him):

The rules on diesel are sorta fuzzy: since all new passenger diesel cars now must use ULS, there was some sort of requirement that refiners offer it. But intermediate, low-sulfur, fuel for over-the-road trucks is going to be allowed for a while yet. I guess that the additional cost to truckers was hard to sell politically.

Anyway, stations that mostly sell to non-commercial users must not be required to switch yet, because considerably less than half of them have, at least in the D.C. area. When I see that a station sells diesel (from its signs) I drive in to check which grade. If they don't have the green-and-white ULS sticker, they probably don't sell it, though the attendants always say that they don't know what they are selling (in the unlikely event that they speak English at all, at least to me). I have found that low-sulfur diesel costs about the same around here as premium gas, plus ten to minus twenty cents a gallon The ULS is always more, usually about 20 cents more than premium gas. I don't know whether the production costs justify that: at this point, virtually the only people who need it drive new MBs, so someone probably figures we are fair game for gouging. I wish VW would get its cars on the market and change the image a little.

Dirty diesel is supposed to be gone. I think the new commercial spec is maybe 150 ppm sulfur, or maybe it is higher than that but still much cleaner than the dirty diesel we have always used before. ULS is about 10 times cleaner than low-sulfur, and EPA and DoT are trying to have it used in all mobile diesels. I don't think that the technology needed to produce it can be retrofitted to enough refineries sufficiently quickly for the transition to happen very soon.

The breakthrough that MB apparently made was in figuring out how to clean up diesel exhaust in addition to sulfates or sulfides or SO2, whatever. They use a neat technology, essentially a very fine particulate filter combined with a self-cleaning oven. Every now and then, when the car computer thinks the filter made be getting clogged up, a bunch of raw fuel is dumped onto it and allowed to burn at over 1000 degrees C (I think), burning off the crud and venting it. I presume it also renders it into some other form so that it doesn't just become delayed pollution.

MB also figured out a way to deal with nitrogen emissions; California and some other states require this, but I think they had to satisfy European standards first anyway. MB puts a tank of urea in cars for those markets (the cars apparently will be available in the next few months), and it is injected into the exhaust stream. It produces a chemical reaction converting the nitrogen compounds into something harmless, altho urea is a nitrogen compound itself. The problem MB faced was that there just aren't all that many convenient local urea stations where you can top off your urea tank, so they made the system long-lasting and time service intervals to coincide with depletion of the supply. God only know what is going to happen when a tank full of urea is cracked open in an accident, where it can mix with diesel fuel, gasolene, lube oils, plastics, people, pets, etc. That may be where they next city-crunching Godzilla will come from.

My inquiry will have to remain open, but I mostly must be patient: eventually I won't need a list to find a ULS station. For now, it would be nice.

I thank both JohnG and Evan for their friendly comments, even if they can't solve my "problem."

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