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Maintaining Your Diesel in Carbondale

Posted December 16, 2014 8:21 AM

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Carbondale because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Carbondale drivers driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.

Diesels are popular in Carbondale because they get better gas mileage than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Illinois as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Carbondale, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Carbondale car owners' dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most Carbondale people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in Carbondale, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Carbondale motorists drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Illinois. The better fuel efficiency of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more pricey to drive in Carbondale. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Illinois, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Carbondale car owners depends now on the current price of fuel in Illinois and how many miles you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Carbondale area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Illinois becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Carbondale than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Carbondale are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more costly and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for The Auto Shop auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Carbondale driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.


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