When you’re in the market for a new car, there are a lot of aspects to consider. One of the more pressing is what type of engine you would prefer. While hybrid and electric motors are taking the country by storm, plenty of buyers prefer to weigh the pros and cons of gasoline engines versus the diesel variety.
If you fall into this category, there are plenty of benefits to owning a diesel vehicle. At the same time, there are several downsides to be aware of as well. Before you make your final decision, check out this comprehensive list of the pros and cons of diesel engines.
Pro: Gas Mileage
The major benefit of owning a diesel is increased gas mileage. On average, you can expect a 20 to 30% increase in fuel economy. In some cases, diesel still beats out gasoline-electric hybrids in this regard. It’s always worth researching fuel economy based on the model you’re eyeing up, of course.
Con: The Cost of Fuel
In most parts of the country, diesel fuel costs about the same as gasoline. However, increasing prices for diesel are on the rise due to high demand from commercial industries whose large trucks rely on this fuel. Make sure to check prices in your area and compare them with your potential fuel economy savings to see if diesel is the right choice for you.
Diesel engines provide increased fuel economy because diesel is more energy dense than gasoline, allowing the engine to run far longer on a gallon. The combustion method utilized in these engines also provides increased torque to the driveshaft, which also means better towing capability. Since the engine is more advanced than its gasoline counterpart, efficiency is higher.
Con: The Engine is More Advanced
While there are no spark plugs or distributors, meaning your car won’t need ignition tune-ups, the working parts inside still require regular maintenance. That’s not a con in itself, but slacking on the maintenance a diesel engine needs can cause major issues.
Changing the oil, the various filters in the engine, and having the water separator emptied are the most common maintenance items required. Failing to do any of the above when needed can lead to the need for a wrongful death law firm in worst-case scenarios, but more often than not leaves you with an expensive bill from a specialized diesel mechanic.
If you do maintain your vehicle properly, you can expect a longer lifespan out of your diesel engine. Mercedez-Benz models currently hold the record with some owners seeing their engines last 900,000 miles. Even if you never hit that mark, you’ll reap the benefits of higher trade-in prices and resale values.
Cons: The Cost of Maintenance
Even with proper maintenance, you can still expect to shovel out a hefty sum of money of your car’s lifetime. Diesel engines are more complicated than gasoline ones, making them harder to work on. You can save a lot of money if you’re a handy mechanic, but expect to pay a little more on maintenance visits.