When Does It Make Sense To Own A Diesel?

When Does It Make Sense To Own A Diesel?


Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local. We’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive
in Vancouver and we’re talking cars. How are you doing this morning, Bernie? Bernie: Doing very well. Mark: So one question that we’ve encountered
quite a bit is basically people buying diesels when it’s the wrong vehicle for the use case. So when does it make sense to have a diesel? Bernie: Well, I think there’s a couple of
criteria that it makes sense to have a diesel. I’m thinking about some of those wrong things. I’ve had a number of people in the past who’ve
bought like a… I’m just going to say Ford, I’m not picking
on Ford, but they bought some Ford diesels that had been less than reliable. After spending thousands of dollars month
after month to fix one thing after another, the thrill and the concept and the idea of
having a… I’m going to say a, macho diesel, just wears
off really fast and I see them coming back with a Ford F-150 gas powered, something a
lot more sensible and what they need. We’ve also had a number of clients who own
European vehicles, Mercedes in particular, where the the engines get carboned up or stuff
happens, very expensive repairs and really, a diesel wasn’t the right vehicle for them. So when does it make sense? It makes sense to me for a couple of reasons. If you’re going to buy a truck, it makes sense
to buy diesel if you’re hauling heavy loads frequently that’s either in the truck or trailering
them. If you’re buying a car, it makes sense of
you’re driving long distances, but not short little start and stop distances. So those are really the main criteria to me
of when it makes sense. Mark: So why is that? Bernie: Well, diesels need to warm up. They need to run hot and they take a while
to warm up even with modern technology and they try to warm it up faster, a diesel takes
a long time to warm up. Generally, the mass of a diesel engine, the
actual engine block, is much more robust than it is on a gasoline engine because compression
in a diesel is very high. The engine has to, it’s a combustion, sorry… A compression ignition engine. So it has to compress the fuel, which will
then explode at a certain pressure and temperature, but that requires a much more robust built
engine. They’re heavier, they’re bigger and so they
require a lot more energy to warm up. When they’re not warmed up, with modern emission
controls on vehicles, which are required and they make a big difference in terms of the
air that we breathe and the quality of the diesel engine, you can hear it from 10 blocks
away and it’s much more pleasant to drive because you actually really can’t hear the
engine rattling away. With all those items in place, it sends a
lot of soot and particles back through the engine, they recirculate and things tend to
plug up unless the engine’s really hot. Then it tends to work really well. Also, a lot of modern emission equipment,
like particulate filters require the engine to reach a certain temperature and highway
driving is good for them because that tends to burn off the particles. Mark: So the filters actually heat up and
disperse the particles, burn them, and then re-burn them again so that they’re coming
out of the tailpipe more clean. Bernie: Exactly. Exactly. They call it a filter. It’s not really a filter. It’s more like a storage. It’s like a storage trap and then things are
burned off at a later time. Mark: One of the things that people do, I
know for a fact, is take off all the emission equipment. Does that solve the problem? Bernie: Well, it certainly solves a problem,
a lot of problems in terms of carbon buildup and things plugging. It solves it for you personally, but it doesn’t
really solve it for the general public. Diesel soot is a known carcinogen. It’s very bad. They’re very tiny little particles that get
in the lungs. A lot of people die from it. They don’t drop dead. It’s not like having been shot by a gun, you’re
not going to die instantly. It’s a slow process, but it’s a big thing. As annoying as a lot of these things are,
and I can see why people remove them because the solution of not having it makes a big
difference. There’s a lot of diesel trucks that used to
get fantastic fuel economy. They put the emission equipment on, the fuel
economy drops by 30% or 40%, you remove it, you’re back way up to having an economical
vehicle. But really, what makes our air in our cities
good to breathe is all these emission equipment, even on gasoline engines. I always think that whenever I see an old
car drive by and I can smell the stench of the exhaust, I go, “Man, I can’t believe when
I grew up that all cars were like that.” We’ve done a fantastic job in terms of making
gasoline powered cars really, really clean, still lots of CO2, but that doesn’t smell
and stink and cause at least the ground level pollution that we’re used to. It does make a big difference. Things can be removed, but it’s better not
to. My whole idea with this podcast is consider
before you buy a diesel. Do you really need one? Because they do cost an awful lot more money
to fix too. I often think all the money you save on fuel,
you’re just going to end up spending in ours or someone else’s repair shop fixing things. So it’s an important thing to look at. Consider is this the right vehicle for you
because for some people, a diesel absolutely makes a lot of sense. Mark: I guess there’s a couple of other issues
there. Diesel particulate in terms of it’s detriment
to human health is measured in parts per billion, which is incredibly small. Something over 20 parts per billion. Anything over that is detrimental to human
health and there’s tons of research on this now. There’s literally diesel engine’s soot is
accounting for millions of deaths worldwide every year. This is not speculation. This is a fact. They can show it when cities like London,
for instance, banned diesels from the downtown area, their air quality goes up pretty drastically,
but it’s also illegal isn’t it? If you take that stuff off it is. Bernie: It is. Yeah. It is illegal to do it, whether you’re going
to have a cop knocking on your door, probably not. Lots of people do it and I don’t. We live in Vancouver, Canada, so they’re not
so many stringent standards. I don’t know. I know California, you actually have to have
your vehicle emission tested. Around here, you don’t. We used to have it. We got rid of it. The air still seems pretty clean, but you
can be a lot looser with your standards around here now. Honestly, does it really matter if you live
out in some small town or in the middle of nowhere and your diesel puts out some particular? Not really, but every tight thing where you
get more concentrated and lots more trucks and people around, it makes a huge difference
really fast. Mark: So there you go. If you’re going to buy a diesel, what’s your
use case? Are you hauling a lot of heavy loads? Are you traveling long distances? A hundred kilometres, 150 kilometres kind
of round trip every day, then maybe a diesel makes sense. Other than that, driving around town in your
big 4×4 and not ever using it to haul stuff, probably not the best use case. It’s costing you a lot of money. Is that a fair assessment? Bernie: Absolutely. One thing, we actually didn’t delve into too
much there was car. We did just touch on it briefly, but I think
a lot of salespeople do a disservice to their customers by selling them a diesel vehicle
when they’re really, again, they should be asking, “How much driving you do at this vehicle.” This is something you’ve got to ask yourself
if you’re going to buy a diesel car or a SUV, I’m thinking like a Mercedes type of thing. There’s a lot of ML320s and 350 diesels around. There’s just a lot of them in our area. So many people don’t buy them for what they
need them for. They really should be buying the gasoline
version. I think the salespeople really do a disservice
by not asking, “What’s your usage?” They’re just, “Oh yeah, we’ve got this diesel. It’s got great fuel economy,” and people just
buy it. Then a few years later, the engine’s toast
or things are plugged up and they’re spending thousands of dollars to fix things they wouldn’t
have had to do. So just something to look at. Mark: It’s not an around town vehicle unless
you’re hauling stuff basically. Bernie: Exactly, exactly. Mark: Go electric. Anyways- Bernie: Yeah, that’s becoming an option if
you just need short commutes, electric might be a- Mark: Far better option. Bernie: Yeah. Mark: So there you go. Pawlik Automotive. If you want honest truth about your vehicle
and what kind of vehicle to buy, maybe give Bernie a call: (604) 327-7112. He’s looking dismayed. I’ve just offered free advice, but he will. They’re friendly. They’ll help you out. Quick conversation will ease your mind about
buying the right car. Pawlik Automotive, you can reach them, again
at: (604) 327-7112. Again, that’s for booking appointments. They’re busy. You got to call and book ahead. They’re 21 time winners of Best Auto Repair
in Vancouver and PawlikAutomotive.com is the website. Check out lots of articles and videos on there
about all makes and models of vehicles and repairs of them all. And of course, thanks so much for watching
and listening. We appreciate it. Click the subscribe button on your favourite
podcast app. We appreciate it and thanks, Bernie. Bernie: Thanks, Mark. And thanks for watching. We really appreciate it.

1 thought on “When Does It Make Sense To Own A Diesel?

  1. The Mercedes E320 BlueTec V6 (642) was in the shop constantly. I drive mostly expressway miles and it made no difference. It was the worst designed engine I’ve ever seen. I kept it one year and traded it in on a gas E350.

    I’ll never buy another diesel!

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