Switching From Gas To Diesel? Here Are A Few Important Distinctions Between Engine Types

6 July 2015
 Categories: , Articles

If you're considering switching from a gas-powered car to one with a diesel engine, it's important to understand that the two types of vehicle are very different. Fortunately, not all or even most of these distinctions are negative. Here are a few ways, good and bad, that diesel engines can differ from gasoline ones.

The Ignition System Is More Reliable And Efficient

Gasoline engines rely on spark plugs and distributors to ignite the fuel and get your car rolling, but diesel engines don't use the same process to combust fuel. As a result, you never have to worry about replacing a bad spark plug when you get your recommended maintenance. It's also one less thing that needs checking after an accident.

Because diesel engines retain heat and use it to burn the car's fuel, they also tend to be much more energy efficient than gas-powered cars, which vent all of their excess heat as exhaust. Though diesel fuel tends to be more expensive than gasoline, you can still save money using a diesel-powered car thanks to fuel efficiency that goes up to 30% higher than gas-powered vehicles.

Diesel Engines Take More Frequent Maintenance

While you have fewer engine components that need changing over the life of your car, regular maintenance needs to be performed more often to keep your vehicle in working order. Specifically, you'll need to have your engine fluids and filters changed faster than in a car with a gas engine -- some auto makers even recommend having your oil changed and filters replaced twice as often in a diesel car.

Many diesel cars also have an additional fluid that must regularly be changed, in addition to oil. This is the diesel exhaust fluid, which helps to prevent emissions by absorbing the nitrogen oxide that is produced during fuel combustion. Fortunately, this fluid tends to go stale around the same time as your car's oil, so you can have them changed at the same time.

To help compensate for the frequent maintenance required, luxury diesel car manufacturers will usually offer a warranty that pays for the recommended service for the first few years of the car's life. If you buy new, you should get this automatically. Be sure to consult with the manufacturer's guidelines before you buy a used car, however, since some companies don't allow the warranty to transfer to a new owner.

You'll Have A Bigger Investment On Your Next Car

Diesel engines may not be flashy, but they have a reputation for reliability over a long period of time and many hundred thousands of miles. Because of this reliability, older diesel cars tend to be valued more highly than a gas-powered car of the same age and condition. If you like to trade your old car in for a new one every several years or so, opting to buy a vehicle with a diesel engine now could make switching to a newer model much easier for you in the future.

This is especially true if you have a particular car manufacturer in mind. Auto dealers that work directly for a manufacturer like to buy cars made by their parent company, since the in-house mechanics have plenty of parts and experience to work on these cars. If the car you trade in has a few problems, this won't lower the value as much as it would if you were trading in a car from a different manufacturer or with a gas engine.

Switching to a diesel-powered car offers many benefits, but it's not a choice totally without its disadvantages either. Be sure to weigh up your options carefully and ensure that you know what you're getting into before you buy your next vehicle. If you aren't careful, a diesel engine could be a lot of trouble -- but if it's the right fit for you, it could be an investment that makes your life much easier in the long run.

For more information about how diesel engines work in a luxury car, contact a shop that offers BMW repair services and other luxury car options.