Everyone knows that you can’t pump diesel gas into a regular car. And if you didn’t know that, you do now. This ought to sit well with anyone interested in saving money, especially after taking into consideration the high price of diesel gas. Still, there are many car buyers out there who are positively nuts for a diesel engine, despite the fact that cars that run on diesel cost more money to buy. So what gives?
There are actually quite a few benefits of owning a vehicle with a diesel engine. Here are just a handful of them.
- Better fuel efficiency. While diesel is significantly more expensive than regular unleaded gas, the fact is you get a lot more bang for your buck with diesel. With an efficiency rate of between 20 and 30 percent higher than regular gas, diesel car drivers don’t have to fill up as often. This explains why there’s usually only a single diesel pump at most gas stations and why those pumps are almost always empty.
- Diesel engines last longer. Nowadays, with everyone trying to stretch the almighty dollar for all its worth, it may be a smart thing to invest in a car with a diesel engine knowing that you could get in excess of 250,000 miles from it before needing a new car.
- Greater towing capability. There’s a reason there are so many trucks out there that run on diesel, and that reason can be summed up in one word: power. Vehicles equipped with diesel engines have a lot more “oomph!” under the hood and can outperform their gas counterparts by a wide margin.
Before you go racing out the door to buy yourself a car with a diesel engine, bear one thing in mind: there are a lot fewer diesel powered cars in the world than there are regular gas powered cars. We’re talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 96 percent fewer. Unless you’re in the market for a powerful pickup truck or SUV, your choices in diesel passenger cars is going to be limited to what you can find from Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, and BMW.
It’s not all sunshine and roses for diesel owners, especially those keen on cutting back on emissions and price. There are some drawbacks that come with ownership of a vehicle with a diesel engine that you may want to consider.
- Higher gas prices. We’ve already discussed this point, but it’s probably worth mentioning once again in the context of rising costs. While you can get significantly higher mileage from a tank of diesel gas, the disproportionately high cost per gallon won’t make it any easier on your wallet when you do decide to go in for a “fillerup.”
- Noise, noise, noise. If you hadn’t noticed, diesel engines are a lot louder than regular gas engines. That hideous high pitched growling noise that you hear on the road sometimes? Blame it on the diesel vehicle next to you. Of course, this is becoming a less significant issue as technology works to catch up with the desire for a nice, quiet ride. There are many passenger diesels that are almost as quiet as regular gas engine cars, which is an encouraging sign.
- Increased emissions. If you’re environmentally conscious and are interested in diminishing your carbon footprint, you may not want to own a diesel engine. Diesels spit out soot and contribute to smog. On a positive note, they burn less gas and emit less CO2. But the committed eco-warrior may want to steer away from diesel and look into a hybrid car.
If you’ve made the decision to buy a car with a diesel engine, remember that regularly scheduled maintenance is a must. Oil changes should be done every 3000 miles without fail and air filters should be changed out yearly. If you haven’t already found a good, reliable auto mechanic, now’s the time to get busy looking!