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Diesel Vehicles Require Careful Maintenance

Aug 17, 2007
Most people are aware that diesel engines get better gas consumption than gas engines. They burn fuel more efficiently than gas engines so they require less fuel. But the added fuel efficiency comes with a price. Diesel engines are much heavier than gas engines in order to sustain the stress of higher compression ratios.

Diesel engines have better pull in the gears, which reduces the need for constant gear changing. But they typically vibrate more and are noisier under the hood. They also accelerate more slowly than petrol-driven cars. So there are some downsides to driving a diesel. You gain fuel efficiency and your environmental brownie points while sacrificing some speed and peacefulness when driving.

But fear not, there are many newer technologies that allow diesels to overcome some of these short-fallings. Turbo diesel engines accelerate quickly, and other technological improvements have resulted in diesel-powered cars that are much quieter and pleasant to drive than their predecessors.

What are the green benefits of diesel? They typically deliver twenty to forty percent better gas mileage than gasoline-powered models. They also emit one third less carbon dioxide (Popular Science, May 2007).

Interestingly, diesel engines don't have an ignition system, so they don't need to be tuned up. And because diesel isn't as corrosive as gas, the exhaust system on a diesel vehicle lasts much longer. Diesel engines are work horses and are often found in industrial vehicles.

While they do experience greater longevity than gas-powered engines, they do require careful, periodic maintenance. The oil needs to be changed more often because it gets dirtier faster. This is probably because diesel fuel isn't as refined as gasoline. The air filter also needs to be changed at least once a year. The glow plugs also should be replaced at least every two years.

If the vehicle will be operating in a cold climate, a block heater may need to be installed to ensure success when starting in the cold. This is even more necessary in diesel engines because they use thicker, heavy grade oil

Diesel engines are built to last. If you take care of yours, it will be around for a long time. Since it typically costs more to service a diesel vehicle than a gas-powered one, you should follow a regular maintenance schedule. Take care of any small problems before they turn into costly ones. With impressive new technologies, increasing environmental awareness, and sky-rocketing gas prices, there is no question that diesel vehicles will always be in demand.
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