Diesel Pickup Trucks Pros and Cons

The diesel pickup truck has had, perhaps undeservedly, a long maligned reputation as a loud, dirty and stinking goon on the road. However new advances in automobile technology has made certain the pungent pickup is a thing of the past. New diesel pickup trucks are now a viable alternative to their gasoline powered counterparts.

The difference between a diesel engine and a gasoline one is the method of fuel ignition. In a gasoline engine, a fuel-air mixture is let into the engine, and a spark plug provides a few milliseconds of naked flame to ignite gasoline vapor. This provides the energy to forcefully move a piston.

In a diesel engine, no spark plug is used to ignite the fuel. Instead, the piston compresses the air so forcefully and quickly that the air is superheated. When the fuel is then introduced, it ignites immediately due to the superheated air. For this reason, diesel engines run at a far higher temperature than gasoline engines.



A diesel engine is far more efficient compared to a gasoline engine. Taking a gasoline engine and a diesel engine of the same power, a diesel engine will run approximately 40% more miles per gallon, making it more efficient and economical than a gasoline engine.


The fuel in a diesel engine auto ignites due to the superheated cylinder, and spark plugs are not required. In gasoline engines, among the first parts to fail/malfunction are the spark plugs and the spark wires. As diesel engines do not have spark plugs, maintenance costs are generally lower in diesel engines compared to gasoline engines.


While it may appear to cost more at the pump, the efficiency of a diesel engine makes it less expensive overall. Fuel cost per kilowatt is generally 40 to 50 percent lower than that of a gasoline engine. Depending on how often you use your pickup and the loads you carry, this can save between 60 to 80 dollars a week on fuel compared to a gasoline engine.



While diesel engines may cost less to maintain, the fact remains that diesel engines are still not as popular as gasoline engines. It may be more difficult to find an auto repair shop with experience and willing to service or repair a diesel engine.


As diesel engines are not as popular as gasoline engines, it can be more difficult to find gas stations that supply diesel fuel. As a general rule, one in every two gas stations supplies diesel fuel, so this should not be too great problem, provided that you know where the diesel gas stations in your area are.


Diesel engines run hotter than gasoline engines. This is due to their air compression system, which compresses the air far more than a gasoline engine. Because of this compression system, diesel engines need to have a structurally stronger and heavier engine than a gasoline engine. Unfortunately this means that acceleration can be slightly diminished.


While the new diesel engines produce fewer pollutants, the level of harmful emissions is still greater than that of a gasoline engine of an equivalent power. It is possible to use more eco-friendly bio-diesel (manufactured from coconuts) without modifications to the engine, but in many states biodiesel gas stations are difficult to find.

In conclusion, modern advances in technology have made diesel pickup trucks a viable and economical alternative to gasoline. While there pros and cons associated with both gasoline and diesel, it is important to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of using diesel in your pickup truck to ensure an informed, well considered purchase.


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