Diesel or Not – That is the Question
For the past few months my husband has been trying to decide if our tow vehicle should have a diesel or gas engine. He has been researching this like crazy (did I mention driving me crazy in the process?) I now know way too much about the whole subject, so I thought I would share the results of his efforts and the conclusion he has reached. That way you don’t have to spend months hearing about this like I did…
Why Diesel Might Be Better
The diesel truck will give you more power, especially for going up and down hills. Diesel engines last a long time, too. You often hear of people putting 200,000 or more miles on a diesel.
The diesel gets better fuel mileage…but there isn’t as dramatic a difference as there used to be. In fact, according to fuelly.com*, the Dodge Ram series 2500 6.7 liter diesel and the 6.4 liter gas are getting almost identical mileage. Also, diesel fuel prices are higher than gas; more about that later.
* Fuelly is a great website; you can put in any manufacturer and any model of vehicle and find out what mileage people are reporting that they’re getting.
Why Diesel Might Not Be the Answer
Diesel engines cost more. A lot more. For heavier towing applications, you will initially spend between $7,000 to $10,000 more for a diesel than a gas engine. Even for a light tow vehicle the diesel will cost several thousand dollars more.
As I already mentioned, the fuel costs more. We’ve been keeping track of this as we’ve been traveling, and the price of diesel ranges from 30 cents to 60 cents more per gallon. Between the higher initial cost of the engine and the higher fuel price, even though the diesel may be more fuel-efficient it will take any where from 150,00 miles and up to recover the initial expense.
Another cost factor to consider is that the diesel engine is more expensive to maintain. It requires more frequent oil changes and filters. The cost of replacement parts such as injectors, distribution pumps, lift pumps, and turbo chargers is much higher than parts for gas engines, so overall, the servicing of a diesel engine is quite a bit more expensive.
My hubs has decided to go with the gas engine. I’m a little surprised, actually, because he has always said diesel, but he just doesn’t feel the price justifies the extra towing power. I’ll let you know how it works out when we hit our first mountain!
Here’s a great way to keep any vehicle looking good!
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