Gas vs. Diesel


#1

What are the pros and cons of gas vehicles and Diesel fuel vehicles as a whole? I have a 97 Dodge 3/4 ton 5.9L gas engine and im looking into getting something a couple years newer with a Cummins. I drove one the other day and I LOVED it! What are your opinions on this subject?


#2

Diesel is best for towing and hauling heavy stuff, hands down. Don’t be fooled by some of the lower HP ratings, check the torque numbers. Also, compare the tow ratings.

However, diesel engines will cost more to maintain, as the parts are costlier. But, they will definately last longer then gasoline engines if maintained correctly.


#3

For one thing, diesel fuel is cheaper than gasoline (at least where I live it is, in Maryland).

Second, a properly maintained diesel engine will go 500,000 miles before you even have to think about heavy repair work.

Third, the Cummins engines used in the Dodge Ram are among the best engines money can buy. My next vehicle will be a Cummins-powered Ram.


#4

“Second, a properly maintained diesel engine will go 500,000 miles before you even have to think about heavy repair work.”

Only in your dreams…The COST of buying and maintaining one of these trucks wipes out any savings in fuel mileage. The Dodge is the nastiest one to drive. Really uncivilized. The Ford is somewhat tamer at highway speeds. The diesel pick-ups only make sense if you are going to use their towing capacity. Driving one to work as a commuter vehicle is insane, but many of them are used that way…


#5

If the capacity of a vehicle is far more than needed it will likely be a waste in initial acquisition costs and also in operational costs. A hybrids claim to fame is in its reliance on an IC engine barely able to accelerate the vehicle and relying on the energy accumulated during coasting and idling. This isn’t rocket science folks. If a 100,000 lb 18 wheeler can travel at 85 mph using fuel at at 5 miles per gallon how many horsepower should be needed to propel a 3,000 lb auto at the same speed and at what bsfc?


#6

There is no one clear cut winner. I would suggest that for your choice get the gas unless you do a lot of driving. If you do 25,000 miles a year or if you are going to be doing a lot of towing close to the max capacity then the diesel is likely the better choice.


#7

Weight does not really affect power needed at a given speed, it’s friction losses. Weight only affects power needed to accelerate.


#8

Well, I never mentioned anything about fuel mileage and in pickups it’s not much better than the gas engines anyways, but I digress.

Not sure where your comment about Dodges being “nasty” comes from…I’ve been behind the wheel of one and thought it was excellent. Just my opinion though…I like trucks.

And third, it’s not only in my dreams that diesels last a long time with the right maintenance. I suppose solely because they (usually) take more oil per oil change, that immediately makes it 100% pointless to even think about owning one? Whatever. Some people would rather not have to buy another vehicle every 7-10 years. I don’t know what this expensive maintenance you’re talking about is, but I’ve yet to encounter a diesel owner who had a problem with it. Maybe if the injector pump fails…okay, that I can understand.


#9

Diesels are somewhat unique and therefore interesting outside of the large truck world. If you like it, then buy one. As far as long life goes, road salt or styling obsolescence will more likely take out any otherwise properly maintained vehicle. Don’t plan on saving money with a large diesel pickup, however. If fuel mileage is your goal then a compact or medium size car will do much better. If you have occasional things to haul, an inexpensive $200 trailer kit is what you need.


#10

Well, I never mentioned anything about fuel mileage and in pickups it’s not much better than the gas engines anyways, but I digress.

I have yet to see an EPA sticker(or info for that matter) for any diesel mileage


#11

Europe and South America has been using Diesels for years. There are diesel vehicles sold in Europe and South America that you can’t get here in the US. The Pathfinder and 4runner both have diesels (4 cylinder Turbo) versions in Europe. More Torque and little less HP then their V6 counter parts…but a 50% increase in gas mileage.

Personally I think they’re a great way to go for trucks.


#12

If you live in cold weather where the temperature gets to +10 degrees and below, you may have to add kerosene to your fuel to keep it from turning to jello as you drive. Could be expensive. Diesel engines might have simpler engine electronics which would be a plus if true. Drawbacks are the permanent greasy coating on the rear of the truck and the ugly drips around the filler pipe. The noise may get to you. UFO’s may get angry if they can’t make your engine stall.


#13

I live in Minnesota, and have had the wonderful time of driving down the road in the winter (-20) and having the diesel fuel jell-up on me. This happened even after I switched to the winter grade diesel fuel and added the winter additive. I was happy that it didn’t happen at midnight when help would not have been available.

I’ll stick with gas, thank you.


#14

I wouldnt exactly say that i do a LOT of driving, but most of my driving is on the back roads doing fairly slow speeds (35-55 MPH). Another thing about diesels is they stay at a much lower RPM at lower speeds so wouldnt that also effect fuel mileage and the vehicles life to some extent? I do sometimes haul loads but never anything too heavy for the gasoline V8 engine that I have now. Usually only a mid-sized camper or utility trailer filled with hardwood flooring and carpet tools.


#15

There is a premium in terms of cost at purchase for a diesel truck. Beyond the emotional factors I would weigh out your ownership period and amount of fuel burned with a gas (less mileage) vs a diesel and see if the cost differential is worth it.

I would also consider resale of a diesel vs a gas powered truck and see if that weighs into equation much.


#16

Sorry if this is a duplicate post but i screwed up where I wanted it before. So here is my reply to everyone:

I wouldnt exactly say that i do a LOT of driving, but most of my driving is on the back roads doing fairly slow speeds (35-55 MPH). Another thing about diesels is they stay at a much lower RPM at lower speeds so wouldnt that also effect fuel mileage and the vehicles life to some extent? I do sometimes haul loads but never anything too heavy for the gasoline V8 engine that I have now. Usually only a mid-sized camper or utility trailer filled with hardwood flooring and carpet tools.


#17

Diesels used to be significantly more efficient at idle than gas. I say, “Used to be” because with electronic fuel injection in gas engines, the precision of fuel control is very similar in both systems. Diesels take in a full slug of air (read O2) and just meter the fuel injected at idle and low speed. Therefore they completely burn fuel even at idle. Carbureted gas engines couldn’t just do this since you were varying both air and fuel to control engine speed, so at run smooth at idle, gas engines ran very rich and wasted lots of fuel.

Diesels also last longer (they really do) becuase unlike gasoline, diesel fuel is a lubricant. So if any unburned fuel is on the cyliner walls, injector parts or valve components, it adds to the engine lubrication and reduces wear. Gasoline is a solvent, so unburned fuel on engine componets washes away the oil film and wear ensues. Once a gas engine starts to have a little blow-by, the gasoline further dilutes the engine oil and the wear increases even more. This becomes a vicious circle. That’s why it’s not unusual for a heavy-duty truck diesel to run a million miles and then go into a new chassis. Try that with a gas engine.


#18

That’s a very good point about resale value. If the OP is the kind of person who only keeps a vehicle for a few years, he’ll definitely get a lot more for it when it comes time to sell it. Out here in Montana, diesel trucks, especially the first-generation Cummins Dodges, go for quite a lot used.


#19

I currently own a 2002 Freightliner Sprinter. I bought it 2 years ago and put on at least 60k miles the whole time I’ve owned it. I use it to run my appliance repair business. I have been getting consistent 23 mpg combined driving. This van is not empty by any means. It is packed with spare parts and tools.

One time, I drove from Danville, CA to Las Vegas, NV on one tank of diesel fuel. The tank capacity is 26 gals. When I filled it up in Las Vegas, the pump put in 25.5 gals. I don’t remember what the MPG numbers were but it was up in the high 20’s.

When I bought my first diesel, I was scared as hell how I was supposed to maintain this thing till I found out that the oil is supposed to be changed every 10k miles and the air / fuel filter every 25k. THAT’S IT!!! Oh, I forgot that I did change the front brake pads about 10k miles ago.

So far, my Sprinter has kept up with my demands. I’m extremely happy with it and will look to purchase another diesel in the future.

Good luck with your purchase.