Which should I get: Gasoline or Diesel Engine?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kevin Alexander, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I am in the market for a new truck and have been eyeing a full-size 4-door Dodge or Ford. I've never considered a diesel engine but I kinda like the loud, menacing sound. Is there a reason for me to NOT get a diesel? How are they performance-wise compared to a gasoline engine? Are they costlier to fix and maintain? And how is the reliability? I'd appreciate your help. Thanks.
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    From what I have heard, new diesel engines are quite efficient and last longer than most engines. You should get better mileage than gas, though prices fluctuate. You may find that some of your regular gas stations do not carry diesel fuel. If you experience cold weather, you may need a plug-in device to keep your engine warm. Diesel fuel can "gel" in cold weather. It is important to keep the fuel in the engine warm--something to do with the glow plugs. Diesel engines do not have spark plugs, they have glow plugs. I think diesel engines are a fine alternative to gasoline...at least for now and for certain uses. Hopefully we will make progress with alternative fuels soon enough.
     
  3. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Until they clean up diesel fuel I wouldn't touch diesel vehicles. Diesel exhaust is the single largest contributor to cancer from airborn sources. Diesel combustion produces the most potent cancer causing substances known to humans. I hope the biodiesels and diesel engines in general are much improved in the future. Its a shame since many trucks and buses use diesel, but the exhaust from those vehicles makes you want to vomit. I worked for the Canadian government on a pilot project testing emissions and we tested many Canada Post vehicles. Not one single diesel vehicle failed the gases, and yet, every single driver complained of feeling sick driving the diesel vehicles. Do some research yourself if you're wondering what I'm talking about.
     
  5. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    care to share where you got your cancer figures about diesel? ive never heard anything like this before. ive worked around plenty of diesel trucks and cars, never felt sick as a result. they have many more diesel vehicles per capita in europe, and we dont hear about an elevated rate of cancer. so how do you know that diesel exhaust causes cancer?

    CJ

    edit--i've been reading some of these sites about diesel exhaust and cancer, and the ones i have read leave out a very important detail: diesel exhaust may cause cancer, but they never talk about the comparison of diesel vs gasoline in terms of cancer risks. diesel exhaust may cause cancer, but they dont say that gasoline exhaust doesnt.
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    The choice really depends on your driving habits. Diesels like long hauls and lots of highway miles, but they don't do very well doing short runs in city traffic.
     
  7. Chip Gorra

    Chip Gorra Auditioning

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    While I know it's not really the same thing, we have a Jetta Diesel, and wonder why they aren't more popular: fantastic fuel economy, amazing torque, surprisingly smooth and quiet; I wonder why everyone doesn't have on! I have driven the Ford Excursion with the 6.0 liter Diesel engine, and it absolutely the only way to go in a vehicle that large. People who have them get over 18 mpg on the highway with them, and the 6.8 liter gas V10 will only get 11 or 12 mpg in the same type of driving. Yes, they are expensive, about 5K more than a gas engine, but once youv'e had a diesel, you will never go back to gasoline!
     
  8. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    There are many papers with this information. I'm not championing the gasoline engine. Good question though. I think that would be a good idea to include data from gasoline engines.

    http://www.californialung.org/advoca...aust_00fw.html

    http://www.nrdc.org/greengate/health/cancerv.asp

    A search is all thats needed:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=diese...utf-8&oe=utf-8

    I agree that some concern is with badly tuned vehicles, but thats not the only problem.

    http://www.eastern.sierraclub.ca/pre...20030624.shtml

    Diesel exhaust makes me feel sick, I feel it myself.

    Anyways, until diesel is made better, its not anything I would chose. Gasoline isn't perfect either, but so far I can't find any evidence that it is nearly as bad as diesel. If you find something, lemme know. Pollution isn't anything we need more of, regardless the source.
     
  9. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Diesels are a significant contributor to NOx and Particulate matter in the air. New cars/trucks are going a long way to improve that, for sure, but without the new low-sulfur diesel fuel standard coming up (2006?), they can't quite meet LEV standards even, and many manufacturers have moved on to ULEV, SULEV, and even PZEV in their gas models. By contrast, all of Ford's big gas engines meet LEV standards, but consume more fuel- on the order of 50% more.
    Particulate matter is generally the most "menacing" of the auto emissions.
    http://www.epa.gov/ebtpages/airairpo...ematterpm.html

    I know that to the stereotypical Southerner (which, of course, you may not be), this'll fall on deaf ears, but I'd caution against buying a bigger truck than you'll ever need. I always reserve a special smile for my friends who bellyache about the price of a fillup for their MegaloSUVs.[​IMG]
    There's talk of $3/gal fuel this summer. I have a conspiracy theory that the oil companies use the media to warm us up to the idea, then self-fulfill the prophecy.[​IMG]

    Todd

    P.S. If I were frequently towing, I'd only own a diesel.
     
  10. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    indeed. i'm going to buy a jetta diesel within the year, and i'll be doing a biodiesel conversion. not really much to 'convert', but i'll be building a switching mechanism and an extra fuel tank so i can hold the fuel. actually i'll be running straight vegetable oil, and the switching mechanism will be for starting and stopping on diesel. i have a source for used vegetable oil, so i figure why not, may as well have free fuel and reduce my emissions quite a bit.

    CJ
     
  11. Joe D

    Joe D Supporting Actor

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    Christ Reynolds,

    Europe and the United States have different standards for particle emissions for Diesel fuel. I belive that the US is switching over to tougher emissions standards in 2007.
     
  12. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    the diesel should have better resale value. put 100K miles on a gas motor, and nobody will want to touch it. put 200K miles on a diesel and its no big deal.
     
  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I've never understood this mentality. The engine may go 200k, but the chassis, transmission and driveline, and pretty much the entire truck is going to fall apart just like it's gas cousin.

    I've owned diesel before and would not go back. Nothing sucks worse than stinking like fuel for the rest of the day after filling up, in the case of the powerstroke we had, serious increases in maintenance costs, like 12 quart oil changes, and the inconvienence of having to keep it plugged in most of the winter when it was around 0F
     
  14. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Now come on Philip!....Aren't you exaggerating just a bit? [​IMG]
     
  15. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    has to be, i used to fuel up loaders and excavators at a quarry i used to work at, and the only time i stank of fuel was when i spilled it all over myself. otherwise, if you dont get it on you, it wont stink. same as gasoline.

    CJ
     
  16. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    No. You get that shit on your hands and you can smell it for HOURS. I despise the stench of diesel fuel, it gives me headaches bad enough to make me puke.
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I use Diesel fuel to clean the chain on my motorcycle and yuk, the stuff stinks as bad as (controversial gas additave) MTBE.

    Diesel releases lots of particulate matter, but todays diesels are much cleaner than those of just 10 years ago in this regard. Diesel engines expel much less greenhouse gasses than gasoline.
     
  18. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    really? I use kerosene or white gas....
     
  19. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Kevin - some of the cold-weather stuff you'll have to take with a grain of salt. Here in Atlanta, my wifes Jetta TDI uses the glow plugs RARELY if ever. And I certainly don't need a block heater.

    As far as the trucks go, the biggest issue is cost. The addition of a diesel engine can drive the initial cost way up, so unless you are planning to either use it for heavy loads/towing or rack up a lot of miles in short order, it may make more sense in the long run to go with a gas engine.

    You may want to check with your employer to see if they have any special programs that would allow you to buy the truck at fleet cost, because you can save a bunch on a diesel (or any car for that matter) that way.

    As far as the hand-stink, you can just get disposable gloves if its a big issue. The only time I have had a problem is when I've had to go to the semi-truck pumps at a truck stop, and there they usually provide their own disposable mitts; look for a white box about the size of a shoebox around the pumps, thats where they are. With the car-sized nozzles, they are usually clean.

    I would never go back to gas in a car that had the option though. The torque is unbelievable, and much more useful in interstate driving than a gas motor.
     
  20. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Too bad there aren't more vehicles that run on farts...not enough natural gas..heheh
     

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