- Issue Time
- Apr 10,2023
Some cars come with diesel engines, and you may be wondering if buying a diesel is a good idea. Read on to learn more about diesel vehicles.
When you're shopping for a new or used car, you have several options. Some cars come with diesel engines, and you may be wondering if buying a diesel is a good idea.
Until recently, most diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. were trucks, as diesel engines were better suited for larger, heavy-duty vehicles such as tractor-trailers, construction vehicles, and school buses due to considerations such as durability and cost of ownership.
However, passenger cars with diesel engines are gaining popularity, and automakers are producing more of them each year. If you're asking yourself, "Should I buy a diesel car?" you may find it beneficial to weigh the pros and cons associated with these types of vehicles.
Just make sure that no matter which type of vehicle you choose to buy, you can get a good auto insurance policy. Local independent insurance agents can help you find affordable coverage.
What Is a Diesel Engine?
Most people know how to tell if a truck is a diesel because many of the trucks on the road are not well maintained and often smell bad and emit smoke when starting or accelerating. This may deter you from buying a diesel car. However, a well-maintained diesel car doesn't suffer from these problems and is often indistinguishable from a conventional gas-powered car.
Before we start looking at the pros and cons of diesel engines, let's talk about how diesel engines differ from conventional gasoline engines.
Both types of vehicles have internal combustion engines, but they differ in the way they ignite the fuel to power the vehicle. Gasoline-powered cars use spark plugs, while diesel engines use extreme compression, which generates enough heat to ignite the fuel.
If you put gasoline in a diesel engine, the heat generated isn't enough to ignite the fuel, and the car won't run. If you put diesel fuel in a gasoline-powered car, the engine will be destroyed as soon as it starts. Luckily, diesel pumps are not designed for gasoline-powered cars to prevent people from making this mistake.
Here Are a Few Pros and Cons When Considering a Diesel Car Vs Petrol Car.
Fuel Efficiency and Diesel Engines
The main reason many people choose to buy a diesel car is the greater fuel efficiency the car can offer. So, does diesel get better gas mileage?
Diesel vehicles typically get 30 to 35 percent more miles per gallon than gasoline-engined vehicles. If you own a truck or SUV, the fuel consumption difference will generally be lower than with a gas-powered truck or SUV, but it's still about 20% higher.
However, it is worth noting that diesel is more expensive than gasoline. If you're used to only using premium gasoline, this cost difference will be less noticeable to you. But for those who prefer to top up with the cheapest option, paying a little more than premium fuel might be overwhelming at first.
Fortunately, you'll make fewer trips to the gas station due to increased fuel consumption. Even with the increased cost of diesel, you can expect to pay less for the fuel each year.
Another thing to keep in mind is that traditionally not all gas stations offer a diesel. The good news is that nearly two-thirds of gas stations in the U.S., including all new ones, now offer diesel as a fuel option as diesel vehicles become more popular.
Finally, the area where the diesel engine excels is highway mileage. If most of your driving involves frequent stops and starts for traffic lights, traffic, and stop signs, your mileage difference will be far from noticeable, and you're probably better off with an EV or a hybrid. But if you spend a lot of time on the highway, you can save a lot on fuel bills.
Pros: Better fuel efficiency, reduced pump strokes
Cons: Higher cost of filling up, not all gas stations offer diesel
Precautions for Car Maintenance
You may be wondering, are diesel engines expensive to maintain? They might be but usually end up balanced.
In some ways, diesel engines require less maintenance. This is because these vehicles do not use spark plugs or distributors. Therefore, no ignition adjustments are required.
However, it is absolutely essential to keep your engine well maintained with regular and frequent oil changes and air, oil, and fuel filter changes. Diesel vehicles are also equipped with water separator collection tanks, which you must empty manually.
Failure to maintain a diesel engine on a regular basis can have dire consequences. Fuel injection systems can fail and require expensive repairs. Also, you may need a dealer or a certified diesel mechanic to do the repair work, and these professionals are far more efficient.
Advantages: Fewer parts, no ignition adjustments required
Disadvantages: Requires regular maintenance, increasing repair costs
Engine Power: Diesel Engine and Gasoline Engine
Why is diesel better for towing and hauling heavy loads? The answer is the reason many trucks have diesel engines: they can develop a lot of low-end torque. This is one of the first considerations for anyone who asks, "Should I buy a diesel truck or a gasoline truck?"
A diesel car, truck, or SUV accelerates from a complete stop faster than a gasoline-powered car, and the towing capabilities of these vehicles are much better.
Another benefit of diesel engines is that they are powerful and durable. If you're buying a truck or SUV that's often used to tow or transport very heavy loads, a diesel engine might be right for you.
However, as torque increases, horsepower also decreases. This means that diesel cars are not very lively. If you are someone who likes speed, buying a diesel may disappoint you with the performance of your car. However, if you're looking for a powerful and consistent engine that will get the job done, buying a diesel may be the best option for you.
Benefits: Increased torque, better pulling capacity, faster initial acceleration
Cons: Reduced horsepower, reduced speed
How Are the Noise and Smoothness of the Ride?
Diesel engines have traditionally had a notorious reputation for being loud, loud, and noisy. This has given these vehicles a bad rap and is one of the main reasons why they haven't gained a foothold in the U.S. market until recently.
Today's diesel vehicles benefit from current technology and manufacturing methods for a quieter and smoother ride.
However, despite these improvements, diesel owners may notice that their car's engine is not as smooth or quiet as a gasoline engine, and they may experience occasional clicking or rattling noises. The question is whether the added noise is at a level you consider acceptable.
Advantages: Greatly improved noise level and smoothness of diesel engines
Cons: Not as smooth and quiet as a petrol engine
Pollution and Emissions: What You Need to Know
Another reason diesel cars are not as popular in the U.S. as they are in Europe is the pollutants they emit. U.S. emissions standards are much stricter. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of driving directly behind a school bus or construction vehicle knows the smell and dark soot these vehicles often produce, especially when accelerating from dead ends.
Fortunately, today's diesel cars are cleaner than they were a few years ago and can meet the emissions requirements set by the government. Those who care about the environment will love the fact that they will be using fewer non-renewable fuel sources than their vehicles require. Some may even consider biodiesel, which is an option, but it does result in reduced engine performance.
The downside, however, is that while catalytic converters can provide cleaner emissions, diesel cars can still pollute the air, especially when accelerating from a complete stop. Some of the particulates emitted by these cars include carcinogens, soot, and nitrous oxide. If you do a lot of urban driving or want to have a vehicle that's good for the environment, a hybrid or electric car might be better.
Pros: more fuel efficient, emit less carbon into the atmosphere, run cleaner than earlier diesel engines
Cons: Diesel emissions release carcinogens, nitrous oxide, and soot into the air
Overall Cost: Saves Money in the Long Run
When considering the cost of owning a diesel car, the first thing you might notice is that these cars are more expensive to buy.
Why are diesel cars and trucks getting so expensive? This has a lot to do with the weight of the engine block. While diesel vehicles generally cost more to purchase than gasoline vehicles, you can recoup most of your cost at the gas station if you store your vehicle long enough.
One of the greatest advantages of a diesel engine is that it is extremely durable, which makes your car's trade-in and resale value higher.
If you plan to use your car for a long time and give it frequent routine maintenance, you can expect your car to save you money in the long run. However, if you're lax about maintenance due to the increased cost of having a diesel mechanic, buying a diesel may end up balancing or costing more in the long run.
Pros: Lower fuel costs, higher resale value, longer engine life
Cons: Diesel cars are more expensive, and diesel mechanics are more expensive
Do You Think Diesel Is Right for You?
Only you can decide if a diesel car is right for you. These cars have the potential to save you a lot of money.
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