Idiot question - how to drive a Diesel - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Idiot question - how to drive a Diesel

Dear all,

Already received some great help and guidance here regarding my 159, it's the first diesel car I've ever owned in my 10 years of driving. It's the 2.4 JTDm model.

My question is, what's the best way to drive a diesel? I guess I'm thinking what revs for what gears etc???

All I can say is it is certainly different from my 156 petrol (1.6 Veloce that I loved) and it pulls
Like a train!

Thanks as always,

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Generally speaking it will be a lot more torquey so you can run around in higher numbered gears at lower speeds than you would in a petrol, depends on how you drive but same rules apply as a petrol car if the engine feels like its racing shift up, if it feels like its bogging down drop a cog.

2nd gear can be used more readily for setting off smoothly instead of 1st, if I were you I'd get out on some open roads for a day and just feel your way through it. Unlike a petrol car they are very resilient to stalling so your probably not going to make an arse of yourself at junctions and traffic lights.

Be careful when it comes on boost, you'll run out of revs much quicker than in a petrol, you wont need to wring it out nearly as much as your old motor. They are very point and squirt, short bursts of elastic power from the turbo, you'll get used to it in time.

Nice car, good luck with it.

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Is it remapped? If so be careful of chucking in too much gas at low revs.
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The first diesel I owned was a BMW 320d. It took me a looong time to get the hang of it. I was used to changing gear between 1500 and 2k rpm in my previous petrol cars and holding 4th to nearly 20mph and having plenty of pull to accelerate away. I found with diesels they don't like to pull at idle and really do need to be within the turbo rev range to feel good. With the small usable rev range it can sometimes feel like you are constantly changing gears. More modern cars are much better and do drive more like a petrol. I think with diesels an auto' box is better as it decides when it is best to change gear and so the car never really feels bogged down.

Some people will argue and say the diesel has more torque and therefore you don't need to change gear as often but I found the opposite. I think this is because the torque curve of the petrols I previously owned was more linear ie the torque at low revs was not that much less than the torque at high revs whereas with a diesel there is a feeling of little or no torque at idle and then all of a sudden there is this great pull above 1500rpm. It means you feel you need to be in the power band all the time to make progress when in reality even at idle there is probably more torque in the diesel than the petrol.

Hope this makes sense.
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