The word “”Diesel”” should no longer make you picture semi-trucks, or loud, clunky broken down cars. Diesel over the past twenty years has changed by leaps and bounds and has become more popular now than ever.
If you rode around in a diesel vehicle in the 80’s, you are probably screaming “”gasoline is better”” at the top of your lungs. This is excusable due to the fact that twenty years ago diesels were extremely loud and unreliable. Luckily for us, technology has come to the rescue in the form of reliability. Diesel cars are now commonly seen running with over 250,000 miles of use. Though gasoline engines can hang in there for quite a long time themselves, getting to the quarter million point, with proper maintenance, is unlikely.
Life expectancy is definitely a plus when comparing diesel and gas cars. What about maintenance? Well, diesel engines don’t use an ignition so you have no tune-up costs or worries. They use glow plugs rather than spark plugs which generally need to be changed every two years or so plus or minus a few months depending on the vehicle. As far as oil changes, they work the same as gas engines—change the oil every 3,000 miles and you’ll be fine. Fuel and air filters should be changed regularly as needed, of course.
Now, the all important numbers. If we start with upfront costs, the diesel seems more expensive, and a comparison of the same make and model car yields a cost difference of about three thousand dollars between the diesel and gasoline versions. But is diesel really more expensive? Let’s examine the question.
Diesel fuel is almost always cheaper than unleaded gas, and how much cheaper varies of course with rising and falling gas prices. But The cost savings do not stop at the pump; they continue as you drive down the road and by this we are talking fuel economy. The diesel is the king of this domain. With some diesels getting over 70 mpg, this is by far the best bang for the buck.
So the diesel wins in fuel economy and maintenance. But are there disadvantages to diesel? Well, diesel engines aren’t perfect. They can be a little noisier than gas engines, though this small amount of noise usually fades at cruising speed. They also lack a bit in acceleration compared to gas engines.
However, despite these small shortcomings, diesels are certainly becoming more user friendly and more economical and each day more and more people are choosing to go this route. It’s even quite possible that one day the majority of our motor vehicles will be diesel powered. However, until then you have the information needed to consider whether or not the diesel will be a contender for your next vehicle purchase.