If you use your car a lot and want to spend as little as possible on the fuel, you may want to consider buying a diesel car. These cars did extremely well in the 1970s when OPEC prohibited all oil sales. However, this has been the only time when the sale of diesel cars raised significantly. This fuel type was first invented in Germany by Dr. Rudolph Diesel. Its main characteristics included longevity, fuel economy, and great power.
Diesel cars can deliver up to 30 percent fuel efficiency as compared to petrol cars. In most countries, diesel prices are much lower than gasoline prices. This means more miles, more money in the wallet, and less visits to the pump. Secondly, the driving performance is great, and makes driving fun. However, before you go to invest in a small, cost-effective diesel car, you may want to know about some common issues that are encountered by diesel engines.
Problem 1 - Higher Compression Ratio
Diesel cars have much higher compression ratios. The ratio is 20:1 for normal diesel car and 8:1 for a typical gasoline car. Thus, diesel cars are much heavier than gasoline cars.
Problem 2 - Expensive
Diesel cars tend to be much more expensive. This is for several reasons. They use direct fuel injection systems, which are expensive and can be less durable, costing you in repairs. Also, the heavy parts are typically more costly, resulting in a higher sticker price. However, you will be able to recover the extra cost through fuel savings in a few years.
Problem 3 - Lower Maximum RPM
Since diesel cars are heavy, they tend to have lower maximum RPM ranges compared to gasoline cars. Since diesel cars are high torque rather than high horsepower, acceleration becomes slow.
Problem 4 - Regular Oil Changes
Diesel cars need to have regular oil changes on a timely basis or else they become contaminated with soot particles. However, oil changes can be pricey. Some manufacturers recommend an oil change after just 3000 miles. If not done at the right time it may cause problems with the valve gear train that might make tapping sounds. Repair costs add up quickly if proper maintenance is not followed.
Problem 5 - Smoke and Noise
Diesel cars can generate more smoke. Many times they tend to smell funny too. It can be very difficult to breathe this air. Although diesel exhaust contains less CO2, which is slightly better for the environment, it does emit 30% more nitrogen dioxide (NO2) than a petrol engine that cleans the exhaust by passing through the catalytic converter. NO2 contains particulates that are harmful to humans, even labeled as cancer-causing.
The diesel car's engine can be noisy and sometimes are likely to quiver.
Problem 6 - Start Time
Diesel cars can be difficult to start during the chilly months. Moreover, if it contains glow plugs, they might require long waiting since the glow plugs need to heat up.
Problem 7 - Viscosity
Diesel is much more viscose, greasy and cruder than gasoline. Thus, it is easy to spill it and takes much longer to evaporate. This gives way to dirt and dust settling in, making it harmful for the engine. Moreover, if diesel sticks to the hands and clothes, it is very difficult to remove.