There’s a lot of misconceptions when it comes to diesel engines. One of them is the cost of owning and maintaining them. Are they really that costly to have in your garage or are they a bit cheaper?
Here, I’ll explain in further detail what the truth is.
Are Diesel Engines More Expensive to Maintain than Gasoline Engines?
In some ways yes and some ways no. When you go to a fuel station to fill up, you’ll find that a gasoline engine’s fuel is cheaper than diesel. However, when it comes to running them, the diesel engine will normally make up for the higher fuel price by holding onto its drink more.
You don’t even need to drive many miles to make the financial difference. Their efficiency is so good, even using it for small periods of time will save more money than a gasoline engine. Their compression-based spark is simply superior at sipping fuel.
That being said, it’s not entirely black and white on whether one engine is more expensive than the other. There are other factors to consider, which involve more than just filling up at the station. As well as that, you have to consider the brand and model of the car.
Depending on what you’re looking at, you could find one car’s diesel engine is quite poor, while its gasoline one has some positive stats behind it. Fortunately, in the modern world, most, if not all, carmakers have little issue with making excellent gasoline or diesel powertrains.
Read it: Why do Diesel Last Longer than Gas Engines (Explained)
Does a Diesel Engine Consume Less Fuel than a Gasoline Engine?
The main reason people choose diesel over gasoline engines is that they’re better at holding their drink for longer. Their greater thermal efficiency from higher cylinder pressures and lack of air throttling you’d find in a gasoline engine means fewer trips to any fuelling station.
Gasoline shouldn’t be counted out though, not in these more modern times. Manufacturers have put a great deal of research into making new gasoline engines increasingly efficient. Some of these engines are almost comparable to a diesel engine.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a car that can run the most miles without having to fill up, then diesel is still the top choice. It is close though as gasoline continues to be less and less greedy with its drink.
Some manufacturers, particularly Mazda, are even developing gasoline engines that behave with very similar efficiency as diesel engines. Their clever Skyactiv-X engine utilizes compression-based ignition, a trait found in diesels, and spark-based ignition in order to balance the car’s economy.
It’s a very unique and impressive achievement, though currently, Mazda is the only brand to make use of this technology, so diesels aren’t out of a job just yet.
Also, which Diesel engines will ruing your budget? Here’s the list of the worst Diesel engines you should avoid.
Are Cars with Diesel Engines More Expensive to Buy?
Overall, diesel variants of a car can cost 10-15% more than their gasoline counterpart. Depending on the buyer, this can mean the difference between being able to purchase and just coming up short.
Usually, diesels are and always have been more expensive. Diesels require robust construction for them to handle the high compression, so tougher materials are needed, which makes them more costly to build. This leads to an increased price to compensate for the extra thrown in to produce it.
As well as this, diesel engines today now need additional hardware, so they can adhere to laws in emissions. Parts, such as catalytic reduction systems are needed to be installed, which don’t come at zero expense as they contain expensive components.
If it weren’t for its superior talent at fuel-saving, then diesel would not be so worth it. It’s mostly thanks to this reason that diesel remains popular with many people looking for something that can do a lot of miles with few complaints.
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Are Diesel Engines More Expensive to Maintain and Service?
This is where, once again, it’s not black and white. In terms of maintaining a diesel, they’re on a similar, if better level than a gasoline engine. Because of that robust construction previously mentioned, they’re fairly good at lasting a while without complaint.
On the other side of the coin, they can be more expensive to service than a gasoline car. This can be attributed to the parts in their fuel system. These parts can prove far more in price than a gasoline engine’s own.
Another factor to keep in mind is the type of car and manufacturer. One type of diesel car could end up cheaper to maintain than its gasoline version or it could be the other way around. It depends on the manufacturer’s track record with how well their diesel engines are made.
Some carmakers can have a reputation of offering lesser products than others or be renowned for their diesel cars instead. BMWs, for example, are well regarded for their diesel engines. Not only are they very smooth, but also reliable and can give some truly amazing mileage.
Read it: Why do Diesel Engines Consume Less Fuel? (Explained)
Is it True that Cars with Diesel Engines Depreciate Slower?
Not exactly. With diesel cars becoming less and less popular with manufacturers as laws make it increasingly difficult to make them green enough, there’s been a gradual decline in diesel car values.
In the past, diesel cars have tended to depreciate at a slower pace than gasoline, but, seeing how much harder it’s gotten for diesel engines to continue being made, this status quo is changing. A greater focus on emissions and the car industry subsequently putting their energy into electric cars has led diesel to lose popularity.
Governments have also introduced rules on emissions to keep pollution from badly affecting the quality of the air. These rules have caused great difficulty in making diesel engines comply with them, thus causing diesel to become a less profitable option.
The public has also responded. Electric cars are enjoying a sales boom, while diesel has seen sales drop. People have become more environmentally conscious and have come to see diesel as, for lack of a better term, unfashionable.
On a brighter note, this doesn’t mean the diesel market will soon collapse. Diesel cars still currently have a place in the world as their benefits remain very useful. Their high mileage ability, low use of fuel, and persistent reliability allows for the fuel type to be worth the expense for both customers and manufacturers.
Also read: Why are Diesel Engines so Noisy (Explained)
Overall, are Diesel Engines Really More Expensive than Gasoline Engines?
Not necessarily. When it comes to walking into a showroom and buying one, then yes, a diesel car will have a higher price tag than a gasoline-equivalent. However, it makes up for this by being more frugal with its fuel and generally being a bit more reliable.
On a less positive note though, diesel engines can be more expensive to service. Should something go wrong, you might find the bill is higher than the one for a gasoline engine that’s suffered a similar problem.
Fortunately, diesel engines are well known for their durability, while gasoline engines can be slightly more volatile. This is just one of several instances, where a diesel engine’s weakness has a strength to counter it. However, if you find yourself with a car and diesel engine that are well known for lasting, then you should find it will keep going and going for many years without any major issues or repair bills to speak of.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Financially, diesel cars have a number of different pros and cons. They’re more costly to purchase than gasoline, but they make up for it by being more conservative with their drink. Servicing them can come with a higher bill, but their reliability helps curb the issue.
It’s a sort of give and take, back and forth with what’s going to cost more than a gasoline engine and what will end up being cheaper. In the long run, you can end up finding a diesel car will do less financial damage, so long as the car and engine in question has a good record for lasting without big problems to worry about in the future.
Although electric vehicles are a rising market and diesel sales are slowing down, they currently remain a worthy investment if you’re looking for something that can do high mileage for little money. In conclusion, it would be naïve to say diesel engines are pricier to maintain. Maybe some are, but in today’s world, they remain dependable, financially conservative machines.