Do Diesel Engines Get Better Gas Mileage?

December 16, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the most common arguments for buying diesel vehicles over gas-powered models is their better fuel economy. It is a common question we hear at our auto repair shop in Corpus Christi, TX, whether someone has owned diesel trucks for years or is considering a switch to diesel. There are advantages and disadvantages to diesel engines, and your choice depends on why you need a truck. Here is an overview to help you with this decision:

  • Fuel economy: Diesel engines do have gas engines beat when it comes to miles per gallon. However, the difference is more pronounced with cars than trucks. In large, heavy-duty trucks, the difference in fuel economy is marginal. A 2017 F-250 with a 6.2L gas engine averages 11.8 miles per gallon. For a 6.7L diesel engine, the average increases to 14.5 miles per gallon. However, this can pay off if you drive longer distances—the cost savings is around $351 for every 50,000 miles.
  • Towing: One key area where fuel economy makes a difference is with towing. Diesel engines pull more weight and can do so more efficiently. Also, newer diesel trucks have an exhaust brake, which reduces brake wear and prevents overheating when you must tow and brake hard on steep mountain passes. If you are looking to tow longer distances and do so frequently, look into buying a diesel truck. It will make the marginal difference in gas mileage worth it.
  • Cost to maintain: Gas trucks cost less to maintain because diesel engines require more specialized care. Even the type of oil required for diesel engines is limited to the best and most expensive varieties. However, many consider it worth the price of maintenance because diesel trucks maintain their resale value better. So, when it is time to upgrade to a newer truck, there is a better trade-in or private sale value. That often balances the costs of maintenance and repair.
  • Purchase price: The MSRP is approximately $10,000 lower for gas trucks than diesel trucks. While diesel trucks have a better resale value, you will have to spend more to upgrade to a newer truck. If you are looking for a low initial purchase price on a truck you plan to upgrade in a few years, it may be better to purchase one with a gas engine. But if you are looking for a truck that lasts, consider a diesel.
  • Longevity: Most modern vehicles last well beyond 100,000 miles. For trucks with gasoline engines, this milestone is likely when they reach performance peaks and start having major repair issues. For diesel engines, however, 100,000 miles is about when the truck is done being broken in. Once you’re at this milestone, you will need to maintain your engine thoroughly, but you will likely enjoy it for at least another 100,000 miles.

Coastal Diesel Injection is an auto repair shop in Corpus Christi, TX that specializes in diesel engines. Visit us today to take advantage of our drive-in services and help your diesel truck stay with you for the long term.

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