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Old 12-16-2008, 02:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 70

Neon1 - '97 Plymouth Neon highline
90 day: 27.26 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Let me start by saying I am pro diesels in general.....But

Right now, with the situation in the US. Diesels are a break even to slight downside as opposed to a gasser. The additional cost for the average (less than 12k miles per year) driver for the diesel and it's maintenance are a downside. However, for the more abundant drivers, they definately pay.

My father has a 1998 cummins TD 2500 Dodge, I have a 1997 V8 360 gasser. They are the same body style, both 4X4, auto trans, same gear ratio and really a pretty good comparison. We are also both almost anal about maintenance/tire presssures etc. (I claim that I learned it from him )

We made the same trip from RS to Cheyenne on the same day. Both trucks were empty (we were helping a friend move to RS from Chey)....The cost at the pump was within 50 cents of each other. A definite wash.

However, an oil change for mine was 21.95 and for his was 49.95.
the additional weight puts more strain on the front end and he needed ball joints at 75K.
Any repair he has had done has been about 50% more than a comprable repair on the gasser.
This is in addition to his being almost $10,000 more on the initial price tag.

At this point, gas is $1.30 in town....diesel is a little over $2. Even a bigger spread than it was when we did the test.

In small cars, you can get a gas rated at 35. A diesel would need to get 60-ish to break even.

Refineries are still geating up to make more of the low-sulfur diesel. As it becomes more readily available, I believe the cost will decrease. As it and gasoline get closer together in cost....then the American public will start to switch. However, with the economy the way it is, I see more people hanging on to their older cars longer. I just hope they tune them regularly if they are going to do that.

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