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Diesel vs Gasoline for an worldtrip?

Diesel-Exhaust-Fluid-DEF-particulate-filter-DPF-regeneration-Ultra-low sulfur

Modern vehicles need cleaner fuel. We did see severall travellers got stranded, by using mordern diesel or gasoline vehicles. It doenst happens a lot, because we travellers often use older vehicles, because of the costs of a brand new car and because an older car is probably easer to repair. 

Between 2009 and 2017 there was a lot of problems specially too with diesel vehicles. They was prefered, because of the fuel usage and range for many years. Specially the US travelleres did start to switch to gasoline vehicles, while european travellers did remove the exhaust cleaning system DPF (diesel particulate filter).

Today at 2021 a lot has changed in the world. Even in the 2nd and 3rd world the emission standard has gained up for newly sold vehicles. And the standard fuel quality is better too. Let us show how the developement of the fuel quality worldwide:

Diesel-Exhaust-Fluid-DEF-particulate-filter-DPF-regeneration-Ultra-low sulfur


Diesel-Exhaust-Fluid-DEF-particulate-filter-DPF-regeneration-Ultra-low sulfur

Even in Afria or in central or south america the rich ones like to drive modern vehicles, so you buy the necessary fuel too worldwide today. At least in the capitals and bigger cities. Also you can buy adblue in the african congo or in the south american andes. 

But on a worldtrip there are still fuelstations abroad, who just sell the fuel with lower specs. This means we travellers with more modern vehicles has to be a bit more careful on Diesel and Gasoline.

An optional extra tank or canisters will increases fuel capacity to be able to do an worldtrip even with a modern travel vehicle. 

At 2019 before corona I did follow severall vlogs and webdiaries of travellers, who was on a wordtrip with very modern cars. Guess today this isnt the big issue like it was in the past years. 

Links to travellers with modern cars abroad:

Panamericana: https://vanamericana.ch/auto/adblue/ (Euro6 with Adblue)

Silkroad:  https://lets-get-otter-here.com/ (Euro6 without Adblue)

Personally I always prefere a modern vehicle with more safety features like esc (electronic stability control), several Airbags, anti-blocking system and precrash system - then one of those old ones.

If Diesel or Gasoline is not about the costs per mile or the more worse fuel usage of gasoline. It is more about the "range" how remote you can go, what can be nice on tracks like the silkroad, the panamericana or the transafrica. And how common it is to drive a gasoline car abroad in foreign countrys, because for spares and repairs. Diesel ist still way more used outside of the EU and US/Canada. 

Personally I still would suggest a Diesel for starting an Journey in the near future. We travellers are all to heavy and are already fighting with  "over weight". No reason to make it worse because of carrying more fuel. 

And I still would look for a newer car who delivers more safety like pre crash system and esc. Spares are often easier to optain for newer models, if we have to replace the front windscreen as example. But Spares and Maintenance during international roadtrips arent the topic of this article, too not the vehicle brand - both will be discussed later.

And independent of the kind of fuel (diesel/gasoline)  - I strongly suggest to optain fuel in bigger capitals and suggest to avoid no-name gasstations. To use an external fuel filter (helpful optional bag) where you can`t do that at least in the 3rd world on international journeys. 

External fuel filter for fillup gasoline (benzin), diesel. For using them during top up fuel at the gas station.External fuel filter for fillup gasoline (benzin), diesel. For using them during top up fuel at the gas station.

On the german 4x4tripping Blog you find Links to 7 Traveller Blogs where the people had serious issues with Diesel and DPF, or on gasoline and fuel injection - but all of them did happen between 2010-2014. It did stop because the travelers did was more careful afterwards, did filter the fuel or did use dpf delete or similar.

If you like to do an deeper research, here are some links.

https://www.unep.org/global-sulphur-levels

https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/2011-01-0605/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288818672_Fuel_Sulfur_Effect_on_Membrane_Coated_Diesel_Particulate_Filter

I'm going to start this discussion in several web communities. I'll link these here in case the discussion is picked up there - so you can read your way through different opinions!

Join the open Discussion at Overlandbound or Expeditionsportal

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