A trend among automakers in recent years has been the increased use of diesel engines in consumer trucks. Just hearing the word diesel is enough to turn some car buyers off, but there are more benefits of a diesel engine than many people realize. Here are just some of the pros and cons of owning a vehicle with a diesel engine.
Eco Friend or Foe
The main objection brought forth by most potential buyers on diesel engines is the impact on the environment. The stigma attached to diesel began in the 1970s when it was first used as an alternative for gasoline during the oil crisis when vehicle owners would return to find a layer of soot on their cars. This gave people the impression that diesel was bad for the environment when in reality it’s better than unleaded gasoline in many regards.
Diesel engines average better fuel efficiency than their unleaded counterparts while still managing to produce more power. Diesel fuel also requires less refining, meaning lower energy and financial costs associated with its production.
However, one point must go into the negative column due to just how much pollution diesel engines emit. Diesel engines can put out up to five times as much pollution as other vehicles. Diesel engines are also believed to be a major producer of the toxic compound nitrogen dioxide.
Keep That Engine Purring
Another one of the major benefits of a diesel engine is its reliability. Even though there are different maintenance requirements for a diesel engine than a gas-powered car, putting in the work will offer a much larger return on your time investment. Along with staying on top of tire rotations and oil changes, you should keep the exhaust system clear, monitor fluid levels, and clean any dirt and grime from the engine. By doing these, your engine will stay in top running condition for longer.
While all of these are relatively easy, the biggest downside to keeping a diesel car running is the cost. Diesel engines are heavier, and not only do vehicles with diesel engines typically have a higher initial cost, but they can also be much more expensive to repair if they do break down. There is also the question of the long-term impact on lubrication that Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel might have on diesel engines.
Cost of Ownership
It’s a simple fact that vehicles with diesel engines cost more. While many auto manufacturers are producing more, there still is the question of location. Those looking to buy a diesel car typically have a more difficult time finding them, and the vehicles can be up to ten times more expensive than their gasoline counterparts. Diesel gas is also typically more expensive than unleaded gas, but there are exceptions depending on oil prices. While this is partially offset by the increased fuel efficiency, it is still something that should be considered.