50ppm or 500ppm diesel?
Should you own a diesel car, you may have wondered at some point what the difference is between 50ppm diesel and 500pm. Or maybe you’re eyeing a diesel variant as your next vehicle but would like to learn more about the different grades of diesel and whether it’s worth the move.
Diesel, like petrol, has different grades. It's available in 10ppm, 50ppm and 500ppm. The former is sold at select service stations, however, 50 and 500ppm are widely available.
Difference between 50ppm and 500ppm diesel
The difference between the two is minor, what sets 50ppm and 500ppm diesel apart is their sulphur content. 500ppm diesel has been around for much longer, before the introduction of 50ppm. As its name suggests (500 parts per million) it has a higher sulphur content and isn’t great for the environment. 50ppm on the other hand has a lower sulphur content. The South African government doesn’t regulate the price of diesel, so you’ll find that the higher sulphur diesel (500ppm) is cheaper than 50ppm. Understandably, it is a lower quality diesel, and from our experience offers less range compared to the same amount of 50ppm used. A lower sulphur diesel will also improve your vehicle’s performance. Ultimately, one is cleaner and offers better performance and range, while the other is more affordable.
Which diesel is best for cars?
This comes down to two things - preference and the vehicle you’re driving. Most heavy utility vehicles such as trucks and heavy machinery still run on 500ppm diesel. It isn’t as clean but those engines were built to run on less refined diesel. Many passenger cars will happily run on both grades of diesel without fuss, but newer vehicles are becoming the exception. With the constant advancement of technology, some modern vehicles can only take 50ppm or 10ppm diesel grades. Should you own a modern diesel car, we would advise you to check your owner's manual or check with the OEM before using 500ppm diesel. If in doubt, stick to 50ppm as it will run in both old and newer vehicles.
Two major benefits of owning a diesel car are fuel economy and torque. These engines are often far more economical than their petrol counterparts while offering a lot of torque under the accelerator pedal. Should you be in the market for one, go to www.changecars.co.za and select the diesel option on the filtering home page to see all the available diesel variants. Happy shopping!