If you've never owned a vehicle with a diesel engine before, you might have an old stereotype of what diesels once were: smelly and loud, with large plumes of smoke spewing from the exhaust pipes. However, diesel engines have evolved pretty dramatically in recent years, giving them several big advantages for drivers.
Is It Worth the Price?
While the price tag is pretty consistently higher than a traditional gasoline engine vehicle, the higher price at the time of purchase may actually be worth the cost savings of fueling and maintaining a diesel along the way.
- Better fuel economy. Diesel engines get, on average, 30 percent more miles per gallon than gasoline cars. With the rising costs of both gasoline and diesel fuel around the country in the past few years, getting more miles to the gallon is becoming more important to automobile owners, and may be part of what's driving the increasing market for diesel cars and trucks.
- More power. This probably doesn't come as a surprise, as it's mainly what diesel vehicles are known for - their ability to pull trailers and haul heavy loads. For those who really want to put their trucks to work, diesel can be a great choice so that they can get more done with better fuel economy and better efficiency.
- Less maintenance. Without pesky parts like sparkplugs and with no need for engine tune-ups, the maintenance on a diesel vehicle is usually a lot more straightforward, and easier to do yourself if you're handy under the hood. However, it's important to keep in mind that routine maintenance - things like oil changes and filter replacements - is even more important to do on time in a diesel. Diesel engines can be completely ruined by neglected oil changes, and dirty fuel filters can clog up the entire fuel injection system. In both cases, you're looking at expensive fixes for things that could have been cheaply maintained, instead. You'll find a complete list of maintenance items and time frames in your owner's manual.
A Truck (or Car) That Can Keep Up With You
In short, if you're looking for a vehicle that is built to handle whatever you need done, you may want to consider switching to a diesel-powered car or truck. They are relatively expensive to purchase, but they'll use up a lot less fuel when you're putting them to work, and if properly maintained, they are extremely reliable. Plus, the maintenance is usually simpler and cheaper, and many of the routine tasks you may be able to do yourself (such as oil changes, air filter changes, fuel filter changes, and draining the water separators).
For all your maintenance needs, whether you're a first-time or long-time diesel owner, head to All in the Wrist Auto and Diesel Repair .