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I have got two Volkswagen diesels. Will the emissions fix hurt performance and fuel economy?

30 Oct 17
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We’ve got two Golf TDI wagons, a 2013 and a 2011. Both were influenced by the Volkswagen emissions scandal, and when I elect to have the “installed and the end result isn’t up to my expectations (poor gas mileage(slow performance), what recourse do I have? If I forgo the fix and continue to push it as it is, am I responsible for passing emission tests? And did we get as good a deal as the Americans? I can’t imagine what might be unique to the combustion chambers of VW TDI to create hydrogen oxide — which, supposedly, doesn’t happen in the rest of the diesel engines in the world. — Gordon, Claremont, Ont.

If you receive the emissions fix for your Golf TDIs, they will pollute less — but your fuel economy will get worse. That is partly why Volkswagen The emissions controls in the first location.

“They’re emitting a Lot of NOx [nitrogen oxide] since VW shut off the emission controls in the real world — it is quite blatant,” said John German, senior fellow with the (ICCT), who found the cheat in tests in 2013 and 2014. “We are not talking minor — these men are emitting 2.5 times greater than a Mack truck{}”

Knowing the problem they are trying to fix might help you decide whether you need it. Along with other Like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides are produced when your engine burns gasoline, diesel and even . They are bad, mainly because they contribute to smog and acid rain.

“There are a few direct health effects from NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and that is primarily a closeness thing — if you are bicycling in a bicycle lane and you are 3 feet from a VW diesel, you are inhaling it,” German said. “However, NOx and NO2 contribute to the creation of ozone, and ozone is one of the larger air health issues in the U.S.”

Simply exhausting

Any car with a tailpipe has emission controls. For diesel engines, there are — the lean NOx trap (LNT) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) — to restrict the amount of nitrogen oxides from the exhaust by turning them in to other gases.

The majority of the over 11 million influenced Volkswagen diesels had LNT, which stores NOx at a catalyst in a trap at the exhaust.

“You do not have a lot of storage,” German said. “About once a minute, you need to remove that saved NOx and decrease it.”

The LNT system does this by injecting additional fuel to the exhaust, where it reacts with the oxygen from the NOx and converts it to nitrogen, German said.

“So that the punishment is additional fuel consumption, and it does not function and the SCR systems and it deteriorates faster,” German said. “So they closed it off{}”

SCR uses ammonia in urea — — as a catalyst to convert the NOx into nitrogen, water and traces of carbon dioxide.

“This is the AdBlue additive which you find a lot in heavy duty trucks,” German said. “Its drawback is that the customer must refuel the urea tank and that is a hassle. Therefore, if you shut it off, the consumer does not need to refill the urea tank as frequently”

Cheaters never win?

VW used the defeat device for the two systems in Volkswagens, Porsches and Audis. Additionally, it used cheaper, less durable parts in the emissions-control systems since it knew they’d be off the majority of the time, German said.

With the cheat software, automobiles with both systems On a dynamometer or treadmill which didn’t quantify pollution in real-world problems.

It was only discovered when German’s team hooked up detectors to actual vehicles and discovered emissions were up to 35 times the legal limit.

Other companies, including And Mercedes-Benz, have faced charges of using defeat devices to tamper with their emissions controls in certain real-world scenarios, German said.

“However, Volkswagen did two things nobody else has ever done,” German said. “They closed the emissions controls off all of the time and they lied to the bureaus for 18 months{}”

United States got better bargain?

In April, Quebec and Ontario courts declared a $2.1-billion For approximately 105,000 cars with 2.0-litre TDI motors following a class-action lawsuit.

Each owner obtained a payment between $5,100 and $8,000. Many had the option to sell their car back to Volkswagen or find an emissions modification approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Automobile Protection Association (APA) said Canadians fared better than Europeans on the deal, but American clients got 10 to 20 percent more than Canadian client when VW purchased cars back, even with no difference in the exchange rate. That is because the Canadian bargain based the resale value on the medium-low assortment of the book value.

The governments of Canada and Ontario have been “mostly passive,” said APA president George Iny. “It is the law firms acting for the course and VW probably working tirelessly that arrived at an arrangement that’s a rather close replica of the U.S. deal.”

Independent from the settlement and a $15-million Under the Competition Act, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has been for 2 decades but has yet to put charges.

Beyond this, there are still class proceedings under way for 20,000 3.0-litre V-6 TDIs in Canada.

The fix is in?

Both the federal and Ontario environment ministries urge the emissions fix if you are keeping your cars. The states regulate which vehicles remain on the street, and for now, the repair — that contains a software upgrade and installation of more durable emissions elements — is not required.

If you choose to get it, then there should not be a noticeable shift to functionality so long as it is calibrated correctly, German said. When it is not, the engine could “hesitate,” he said.

“But fuel economy will take a 5 to 10 percent hit the [LNT] and 2 to 5 percent hit the [SCR],” he said.

We requested Volkswagen Canada if there was refuge if you’re not pleased with the fix, and it pointed us which explains the fix, potential performance problems and the warranty extension covering emissions-related components.

“Customers shouldn’t notice any adverse changes in vehicle reliability, durability, or functionality (by way of instance, 0-100 km/h time, high speed, etc.),” it stated. “Your vehicle’s fuel consumption increases by around 0.4 litres/100 km{}”

Can you have the fix reversed if you are not content? Not likely. Iny explained the APA believes the settlement is final once approved.

“There have been very few complaints related to performance after the motor modifications,” Iny stated. “Performance of the motor following the modification could be impacted by the poor state of the engine prior to the fix.”

Volkswagen will not be analyzing the performance of each modified automobile, and there’s absolutely not any tailpipe check, Iny stated.

Owners also have complained that Volkswagen won’t perform the repair before unrelated repairs are done — in the owner’s expense.

“The later model gas is unreliable with [an] expensive fuel injector and high-pressure gas gas pump fixes [being] fairly common.” Iny said. “A situation aggravated by the fact that owners deferred repairs and maintenance following the cheating was shown in September 2015; today some of them are facing huge bills.”

Affected cars already pass Drive Clean

Ontario is the only state with an emissions test. All light-duty vehicles — cars, trucks, SUVs — in Southern Ontario have to pass the 30 Drive Clean test every two years once they’re seven years old.

Drive Clean does not examine tailpipe emissions on cars built after 1998; rather, it assesses engine codes.

That means that unless there has been some other difficulty unrelated to the cheating, VW TDIs with the cheat have always passed the test.

And they ought to continue to pass, with or without the fix, German said.

“The reason they will pass is because the on-board diagnostic system is set up to discover malfunctions — where emissions have grown compared to the way they were created,” he said. “On the vehicles with no fix, the emission controls operate; they simply have not turned them on.”

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) said vehicles with no repair should pass Drive Clean — again, unless there is some other issue.

And automobiles with the fix? From the letter to owners, Volkswagen said it does not anticipate vehicles with the correct to have problems passing provincial emissions evaluations.

Asked if this was the case, MOECC said, “VW hasn’t submitted ‘their fix’ to [us] for evaluation{}”

Have a compelling question? Send it to . Canada’s a big place, so tell us where you are so we can get the answer for your city and state.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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