When it comes to pickup trucks, using either gas or diesel can come with pros and cons. Both options have advantages in various areas, including fuel economy, durability, resale value, and overall reliability.
The vehicle’s frequency of use, what it is being used for, and how long the driver wants to keep it can all come into play, too. It all depends on what the driver wants most from their truck.
While there’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer across the board, here’s a comparison between gas and diesel pickup trucks for those studying car repair.
For Resale Value, the Advantage Goes to Diesel Trucks
As far as heavy mileage goes (eg. 100,000 miles, or close to 161,000 km), diesel engine pickups tend to last longer than those running on gasoline. Gas trucks tend to pass their peak by this point in time, whereas diesel-powered models can last much longer by comparison, with a little maintenance done here and there.
Diesel engines are also generally more long-lasting than their gas equivalents, as the parts required to handle the cylinder pressure and high-compression ratios are stronger. As a result, car repair experts generally agree that diesel pickup trucks tend to maintain their resale value longer than gas-powered ones, even if they cost more at first.
Under the Hood: Gas vs. Diesel Engines
Whether a gas or diesel pickup is the right choice for a particular driver will largely depend on what they intend to do with the vehicle. Drivers using trucks for towing, for instance, may find that diesel engines are the better option. They carry more low-end torque than gas trucks, and can therefore pull heavy items such as boats and RVs over long distances.
Additionally, Diesel trucks have better fuel economy than gas trucks. However, it is by less than 4 kilometres per gallon, and the higher cost of diesel fuel can cancel out this advantage somewhat. Drivers may have a harder time finding diesel pumps when it comes time to fuel up, too.
Gas engines also typically have more horsepower than diesel engines. While diesel trucks may be better equipped to handle long-distance drives, gasoline is arguably the better choice for drivers mainly sticking around one city or town.
Car Repair Experts Should Know Gas Trucks Can Be Cheaper to Maintain
While some may argue that diesel engines are cheaper to maintain based on their lack of spark ignition and solid, strong build, they can actually be more costly due to the expenses for certain parts (e.g. batteries, alternators, starters), routine maintenance costs, frequency of servicing, lack of qualified technicians, and SCR emission system repairs — all of which are non-issues with regards to gasoline-powered engines.
Students in an auto mechanic course should also be aware that although hard data supporting this is difficult to come by, downtime for diesel-powered vehicles is believed to be an average of more than 2.5 to 4.5 more days per year than their gas equivalents.
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