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Diesel stinks, or at least the one I was near

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  • Diesel stinks, or at least the one I was near

    Today I stopped to use the potty at McDonalds, lol (OK, maybe too much information). I parked next to a sprinter FedEx van, which was running. I got out of my van and noticed how bad the van smelled of diesel. Do those of you who have a sprinter notice the smell? If the van has to be running for heat or airconditioning isn't that kind of bad? I could smell it from far away.

    and...could someone please answer this question...I've asked it at least 3 times and never get a respons. If you live in the North, does your van have to be plugged in for the glow plugs to keep the engine warm? If so, what do you do overnight to protect your van? To keep the water form freezing?
    don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

  • #2
    I don't have a van, buuutttt, my mom used to drive a van for a lady that was handicapped. The van was HUGE, and it took deisel. Other than the noise, I didn't realize a difference. My brother also drives a tow truck sometimes that is deisel, and I can't smell that either. Maybe you just have a hyper sensitive sense of smell? lol.
    Last edited by rapuzzled; 04-13-07, 06:41 PM. Reason: I'm a moron!
    Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones


    • #3
      Hi, well Deisel smells, but so does gasoline...some rigs smell worse than others.

      As for the glow plugs...well, when it was down to freezing here 9yes it actually gets below freezing here in the PHX valley, we even had snow this year!) anyway...I used a plug in heater, at 750 watts, I have louverd doors to access the water area, and kept them open.

      But nothing to actually warm the glow plugs...I know when it's very cold out it takes longer for the engine battery to warm the glo-plugs...if it's warmer then it takes less time. But, then I don't have a Sprinter...don't know if that answers your question...


      • #4
        I have a Sprinter and I think it is pretty stinky. I noticed it when I would warm it up 10 minutes before I was leaving for my first groom in the winter when it was very cold. I wound up pulling it away from from my house, to the end of my driveway so none of the fumes would go into my house.

        I guess the fumes are a negative, but on the other hand, there is no generator and the Sprinter gets 23 miles to the gallon. Thats a positive.

        In the winter I ran two small heaters in the van to keep everything from freezing. One in the back-back where the water tanks are and one in the grooming area. Never had any problems.


        • #5
          Furry, have you ever noticed the smell wafting up from your generator? That used to give me a headache when I had my WNTs. That driver side window in my topper could not be kept open. I don't notice that my diesel is any more putrid than that smell.

          I do keep my van plugged in at night when it is greezing out. But just for the same reasons that you plug in your WNTs. The new engines do not need to be kept warm in freezing weather. That was for the old-time diesels.


          • #6

            Furry with diesel vans it would be best to plug in esp in cold weather, hubby had his truck plugged in every night and we are in the south, just helps I guess


            • #7

              I do not plug in the engine heater at night it doesnt take long to warm up maybe 15 minutes.Yes deisel smells most things that burn do smell. Glow plugs are only on just before you start the engine they heat up the cylinder just before you start the engine to make it easier to start up. Two different things.
              The sprinter you were next to might have been running fuel additives and that could give off more stink. Or it could have been running a combo fuel.
              As the inverters people get more comfortable and the systems get as big as mine on the normal rather then the exception you wont see grooming vans running the engine while parked.
              It is the inverter that will one day make it practical for electric comercial vehicles.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Doug View Post
                As the inverters people get more comfortable and the systems get as big as mine on the normal rather then the exception you wont see grooming vans running the engine while parked.
                I am trying to have that faith - but not as of yet.... I'M SCARED!


                • #9
                  I have a Sprinter with Inverter and Diesel. I haven't noticed a smell and I have a pretty good smeller:-) I do leave my van in Idle all day because it runs the air conditioner... and I am in Orlando:-)

                  I know that my van is quiet, compared to one with a gen. I was driving one day and passed another Mobiler, I wave like crazy and smile. She calls my number and asks if I would pull over becuase she would like to see my van. I was impressed at how easy it was for her to turn on her gen (we have one for when the hurricanes comes and it is a pain in the butt) but I hated the noise.


                  • #10
                    furry...Smell and plugging in.

                    Sprinters passed California in 2004 without having to change the system. That is tough and hard to do. There is a slight smell that has a chemical waif to it but the units have huge capacity for eating emissions. Even this big engine discharges less emissions and burns less than 1/3 the fuel of the generators.

                    Now with that said, most sprinters have a coolant preheater that runs on diesel. This little coolant heater comes on in the cold during start-ups and sometime well after the start-up but when it starts it gives off a smell like you smell at the airport with burnt jet fuel. It can start up smoky to. That is not the van. It's the coolant preheat system and it only comes on for the first start-up and in cold weather.

                    As for engine block heaters... never in a sprinter because they fixed that problem with the Mercedes engine design. I have plenty of them in the north and they start fine cold.

                    Back to the smell. Diesel generates lower carbon monoxide than gas engines. If an engine uses less fuel it also generates less CO too. Compared to the gas generator, exposure to CO is drastically reduced because the sprinter has enough air volume moving with the exhaust to "pitch" the emissions away from the van toward the back rather than the side to help prevent exhaust from "looping" over and under the van which can let emissions come into the roof vents. Always have a CO detector in a mobile van. especially with generators in use.

                    During a recent orientation I had a groomer stoop down to attempt to smell the exhaust and she finally found the "scent". Does not smell anything like regular diesel exhaust.

                    Curtis Hanvey