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Transportation United States Idle

Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo 612

Posted by timothy
from the so-this-doesn't-happen-only-to-my-brother dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Fueling your car with the wrong type of fuel happens even to POTUS. This happens when you put gasoline instead of diesel in the tank. ...." And Yes, the presidential limo really is a diesel. What about clean, renewable solar?
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Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo

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  • Um... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:51AM (#43233791)

    The link is to a story which says the correct fuel was used.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      They were so freaked out by OMG diesel!! in a car they assumed something must be wrong.

      • Re:Um... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by godrik (1287354) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:00AM (#43233897)

        I found it interesting to see that because of bad previous experience, Americans have a huge biais against diesel which is common in Europe. Meanwhile, because of bad previous experience, European have a huge biais against automatic gear shifting which is common in the US.

        I guess everybody is just as biased :)

        • Re:Um... (Score:5, Funny)

          by madhatter256 (443326) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:24AM (#43234191)

          The reason automatics rule in the US is because no one has time to use a manual. We are all busy texting, talking on the phone, eating, watching movies and sleeping. Sometimes, a few of those things at the same time... We only have two hands a knee to drive with!

          • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by tompaulco (629533) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:49AM (#43234577) Homepage Journal

            The reason automatics rule in the US is because no one has time to use a manual. We are all busy texting, talking on the phone, eating, watching movies and sleeping. Sometimes, a few of those things at the same time... We only have two hands a knee to drive with!

            Okay, you get funny points, but in case anyone takes you seriously, automatic transmissions pretty much became the norm in the U.S. in the 1950s and from your list only eating and sleeping were available in the car.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by biek (1946790)

              Okay, you get funny points, but in case anyone takes you seriously, automatic transmissions pretty much became the norm in the U.S. in the 1950s and from your list only eating and sleeping were available in the car.

              Don't forget drinking!

            • Re:Um... (Score:5, Funny)

              by ebno-10db (1459097) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:22AM (#43234999)

              1950s ... only eating and sleeping were available in the car

              Is that what you think couples did in drive-ins? Ok, this is Slashdot.

            • Re:Um... (Score:4, Informative)

              by Brooklynoid (656617) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:46AM (#43235329)
              Actually, watching movies in a car was a very common activity in the 1950's. Just not when the car was moving. There used to be these things called "drive-in movie theaters."
          • Re:Um... (Score:5, Funny)

            by OakDragon (885217) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:06AM (#43234799) Journal

            The reason automatics rule in the US is because no one has time to use a manual. We are all busy texting, talking on the phone, eating, watching movies and sleeping. Sometimes, a few of those things at the same time... We only have two hands a knee to drive with!

            Now that I've done enough eating in my car, I can also use my tummy to steer!

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Americans have an ongoing bias against diesel because there's so many smelly diesels around. If you don't maintain them well then they stink. Mine is old enough to stink until it warms up but in good enough condition to stop stinking then. Funny thing is, my car stinks less and is less toxic before warmup than all but the newest gassers.

        • Re:Um... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:26AM (#43234221) Journal

          I am an American. I've got a diesel VW Jetta Sportwagen with about 50,000 miles. I'm getting about 44 MPG (combined city highway) during the summer, about 39 during the winter. I do not have large batteries that will need to be recycled or tossed into a landfill next year. My pollutants spewed per mile are lower than a petrol engine.

          I previously had a Hyundai Elantra (a petrol car that is not bad on fuel consumption). When I bought the new diesel, my fuel bill dropped almost in half.

          The pickup on my diesel is good. Very nice torque. I did make sure to put a nice bright yellow sticker on the outside of my gas tank cover stating Diesel Only. There's another provided by VW on the inside.

          I would strongly recommend anyone to buy a diesel. They are great cars.

          • Re:Um... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by rherbert (565206) <slashdot.org@rya ... inus threevowels> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:37AM (#43234407) Homepage
            I doubt you're really an American if you use the word "petrol."
            • by Stargoat (658863)

              Heh. I'm about as American as they come.

              I find the word petrol is the easiest way of creating a strong distinction between gasoline (a word some Americans simply associate with fuel) and diesel for conversation purposes.

              Also, there is a growing tendency for convergence of the English dialect and the American dialect. I imagine it will only be another decade or three before there's virtually no difference between a London and New York accent.

              • by Wycliffe (116160)

                I've never heard anyone use the word gasoline to refer to diesel fuel.
                Possibly the word gas as in "I need to go put some gas in my car"
                but never the word gasoline. I would think it would be more likely that
                someone would confuse the word petrol for diesel than the word
                gasoline for diesel.

              • Re:Um... (Score:5, Informative)

                by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:45AM (#43235305) Homepage Journal

                Old truck driver here. Drivers use "fuel" in their trucks. Motorists use "gas". Brits use "petrol". Maybe you should get to know some truck drivers. Like rherbert, I've never heard an American use the term "petrol". Not on the east coast, not on the west coast, and nowhere in between. The only person in recent memory to use the word, is an imported guy from England. We mostly keep him around to laugh at. When his jokes run out, his accent is still hilarious.

        • by MaWeiTao (908546)

          Europeans talk about how much they dislike automatics but they've become increasingly popular. I wish I could find the stats, but the number of automatics being purchased has grown dramatically. I'm convinced the primary reason why manuals continue to have an edge is because they're still a good deal less expensive than the automatic option. If prices were to equalize, or even reverse, as is the case in the US sometimes, there would be an immediate and dramatic shift towards automatics.

          I'll always prefer a

    • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by X0563511 (793323) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:00AM (#43233891) Homepage Journal

      No, the story says the Secret Service says the correct fuel was used... but an Israeli official is adamant that it was the incorrect fuel... and as the second link helps establish for you that it's known the limos are diesel...

      "The correct gas was used." - diesel is not gas!

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        But then the first link claims that the limos run on gasoline.

        I'm not sure I care anymore. :)

      • by jrumney (197329)

        "The correct gas was used." - diesel is not gas!

        Neither is petrol at room temperature (for budding young scientists, I am not suggesting an experiment to find the boiling point of petrol).

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      This issue is (we have been talking about this on autoblog) that the media has the story backwards, claiming that diesel was put in the tank and it is the wrong fuel. however this limo is built on the truck platform and runs the 6.7 litre diesel engine. I have seen numerous articles on the issue since yesterday all saying that its a gas engine however it is not.

      in typical /. fashion I didnt RTFA, but i am assuming they have it wrong like every other article so far ive seen
    • You expected /. editors to actually look at the story before posting a summary?!?!? You must be new here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nitehawk214 (222219)

      Neither the submitter nor the editor read the story. And "OMG Diesel means black smoke clouds."

      Idiots. Makes me sad to be an American.

      Actually, a lot of things make me sad to be an American.

  • Happened to me (Score:4, Informative)

    by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:52AM (#43233801)
    Ran into this a couple of times in the Army before we eliminated all gasoline vehicles. Not fun.
  • So, uh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:53AM (#43233809) Homepage Journal
    Why aren't diesel spouts square?
    • Re:So, uh... (Score:4, Informative)

      by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:54AM (#43233827) Homepage
      They're bigger than gasoline spouts. So you can't put diesel in your gasser, but you can put gas in your diesel.
      • Which makes sense because gasoline / petrol is more common than diesel. But as I understand it, diesel in a gasoline / petrol engine is less harmful than the reverse situation - so it's all a bit unfortunate!

        • Re:So, uh... (Score:5, Informative)

          by dywolf (2673597) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:37AM (#43234393)

          Actually it's the reverse.

          Diesel engines actually have the broader range of fuels that can be used. Generally, as long as the engine can generate enough pressure to achieve ignition via compression heating, the fuel can be used. Putting gas in isnt actually bad for the engine; it simply lacks the ability to achieve combustion via compression pressures usually found in automotive diesel motors. Gasoline is actually "designed", so to speak, to not combust due to compression, for reasons stated below. so its not harmful, it just simply doesnt run with much power, if at all.

          Technically gasoline engines can theoretically use diesel or other fuels if its volatile enough, and the proper air/fuel mixture can be achieved, but the risk is that the fuel is combusted early. ie, not by the spark plug, but the compression cycle itself before the timing cycle can light the sparkplug, which causes engine knock, power loss, and can destroy the engine cylinder eventually. So while the fuel achieves ignition, its not desireable ignition. which is why refined gasoline was developed to have a really really high heat of compression so that it wouldnt combust intil its supposed to.

          "Diesel fuel" is actually simpler to produce than gasoline as well, requiring less refinement. Big marine diesels use fuel that is essentially almost basic crude. the major disadvantage is that being less refined the fuel is more prone to gelling in cold temperatures (more viscous components in the molecules).

          • by iamgnat (1015755)

            Generally you are correct, but one point should be clarified.

            Diesel engines actually have the broader range of fuels that can be used.

            The newer diesels of today are not nearly as tolerant as they used to be. This is due to high tolerances in the fuel systems (fuel rails are the common failure for "bad" fuel types) and the tighter emissions rules. Still a much broader range than gassers, but no longer like the days of being able to dump Kerosene into a HUM-V and having it work.

          • Re:So, uh... (Score:4, Informative)

            by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@noSpAM.hotmail.com> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:19AM (#43235745) Homepage Journal

            WHOA! Gasoline will ignite due to compression at far LOWER ratios than what is produced in an automotive diesel engine! What do you think knock is?! It's autoignition occurring too soon. This is what occurs when the octane rating is too low - high octane gas is for higher cylinder pressure engines and actually is HARDER to ignite. Pump grade gas ignites fairly easily.

            A diesel engine may have a 15:1 or higher compression ratio, gasoline auto engines seldom go above 12:1 unless they're running Nitro or pure Meth alcohol. Passenger gasoline engines run 11:1 or so tops.

            Gasoline in a diesel engine is BAD news. It will ignite from the compression very early in the compression cycle while the piston is still rising and beat the crap out of the ring lands and bearings. I disagree that gasoline isn't volatile enough to ignite, it's TOO volatile! Your first paragraph gets it wrong, the rest I agree with - you appear to contradict yourself.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Why aren't diesel spouts square?

      Because engineers assume everybody thinks like them and would never make such an elementary mistake.

      • by Blrfl (46596)

        More likely because a filler that isn't round will become damaged a lot quicker than one that is.

  • Solar? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tridus (79566) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:55AM (#43233833) Homepage

    The presidential limo is much heavier than a standard limo due to the extra protection it offers. There isn't enough room on the thing to get enough solar power to move it anywhere, let alone a detail like wanting to move it at night. Adding enough batteries to provide reasonable drive time would mean making it even bigger.

    There are some problems that solar can't solve. You'd think an editor here would know that.

    • by khallow (566160)

      You'd think an editor here would know that.

      The editor was being witty. And you can tell he succeeded because we're laughing at the joke, not trying to pick it apart and figure out what medical or mental issues the editor may have been suffering from at the time.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Which is exactly the reason diesel is used. Diesel will give you much more torque than gasoline. This car is heavy due simply to the sheer size, and the extra armor on the vehicle. Given the size, it's probably more environmentally friendly to use Diesel than gas, simply because a vehicle of this size would use so much gas. Although it might be a good idea to use some sort of hybrid technology, since a lot of time it's touring around at low speeds. But it's essential that it have a diesel engine for whe
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        But it's essential that it have a diesel engine for when it needs to go at speed.

        If they want it to go at speed then they can get more output for less weight than with a gas motor. However, as you say, using a diesel is more environmentally sensitive — more importantly, it provides more range. This means either not having to upgrade the fuel tank to be able to move that behemoth around over a reasonable distance, or being able to increase the fuel capacity such that it can be used to transport the president over long distances in an emergency situation. Even more important is that

    • The current model Prius has an option for rooftop solar panels. On a very sunny day, they will generate just enough power to run the fan for the air conditioner. Note that is not nearly enough power for the air conditioner itself, let alone actually moving the car.

      So I agree, we are not going to see solar powered cars any time soon.
  • Not so. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jewens (993139) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:56AM (#43233847)
    I know I'm breaking the convention of reading before posting, however to quote TFA "the mechanical problem had nothing to do with the type of fuel used, as first reported."
  • I hope it was.... the limos' primary function is getting the President out of harm's way and into a safe place.... fast. Driven by what are effectively Secret Service stunt drivers.
  • Perhaps diesel was selected for this particular car with a reason, e.g. better resilience against EMP attacks, or maybe the extended mileage and less danger of explosions? Or is it just a coincidence?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      two things you should probably know:
      1) Fuel type is irrelevant regarding EMP
      2) Cars are immune from EMP. Yes, yes I know. decades of bad apocalyptic movies and thos idiotic doomsayers go on and on on how EMP's would stop cars.
      At worse it would make a couple of fault light come on erroneously.

  • Non-story (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StuartHankins (1020819) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @08:58AM (#43233867)
    The first link says it wasn't the wrong fuel. The second link says they speculate it's diesel. WTF people, can't you read?
  • Because we cannot put the range into an electric armored limosine. Diesel is far more efficient at moving heavier vehicles than gasoline. Natural gas is good, but you still have range and refueling issues.

    In a national crisis when the President may have be relocated across several states via said limosine. Do you really want POTUS stranded on a highway?

    TROLL (and a lame one at that)

    • by nschubach (922175)

      In a national crisis when the President may have be relocated across several states via said limosine

      You speak of the President like a super hero who can single-handedly save the world... we have fail safes and backups in case something happens to him. It's not like the country would go to hell because the President was stuck in Kansas.

      • No, but Kansas might go to hell if he couldn't leave.

        Not trolling; the few times the POTUS has been here in town, traffic gets messed up all day. It's obnoxious. About 20 minutes after Air Force One is wheels-up, things are back to normal, and people can get from place to place.

  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @09:06AM (#43233963) Homepage

    Given that that's possibly the shortest Slashdot story ever, it manages to make only two assertions, both of which are confirmed as false (by the linked articles themselves, no less).

    And I heard about this story about 6 hours ago on my way in to work and, honestly, didn't care then.

    No longer "News for Nerds"
    Now "Inaccurate insights for imbeciles".

  • Math (Score:2, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189)

    Math [ucsd.edu] is why the presidents limo isn't run by solar power. The idea that you power something like that by solar is absurd. Solar power cars tend to way as little as possible [globalmarket.com]. While I don't specifics any more than any other lay person the presidents limo is built on a heavy duty truck chassis, is armored and it weighs [jalopnik.com] quite a bit. These are mutually exclusive things that probably won't be resolvable for a few centuries at best.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Math is why the presidents limo isn't run by solar power.

      Greed is the reason why the president's limo isn't run on biofuels, which is at least much closer to solar power, temporally or physically.

  • Solar? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213)

    I thought this was Slashdot - news for nerds and all that.

    A simple back of the envelope calculation will tell you why the presidential limo (or any practical car) is not solar powered.

    It *could* be battery powered, charged by a solar power station, but I'd rather not put yet another $100K - $200K of taxpayer money into the presidential limo (which already costs $300K) to add enough batteries to give that heavy car a reasonable range. Plus the presidential limo is not a good use-case for current electric po

  • Why oh why is this a story on Slashdot?

  • Diesel is as close to renewable as a liquid fuel can get. We can effectively grow it in a field, which we cannot do with standard fuel. But of course as most American consumers are still stuck in the 1970's mindset of Diesel being unreliable, unclean, and loud, this statement will draw eyeballs with minimal risk. However as slashdot is allegedly in the 21st century people who work for it should be aware of the reality of today's Diesel fuel.
  • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @10:05AM (#43234791) Journal

    What about clean, renewable solar?

    For those who don't remember, $535 million was given to the Obama endorsed solar panel manufacturer - Solyndra, which went bankrupt.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

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