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Old 04-07-2014, 10:50 AM   #1
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Diesel vs. Gas Truck

I just stopped by the car mechanic we have used for many years. he owns his own small place. I have always respected that he keeps very up to date on the latest problems and fixes of the various model vehicles.

I had wanted to know whether he works on diesel trucks which he does. BUT he feels that the modern diesels are not worth it. He says that they are electronic now and prone to expensive repairs. He thinks that we should get a truck with a gas engine. He liked the old diesels.

I also asked him about the height of the new trucks we have been seeing at the dealerships. You may remember the thread I started about why a used truck we saw was a much better entrance height than the new trucks on the Chevy lot.

He said that people seem to want the trucks to be "all jacked up". One of the fisherman in town has a new truck and he has been complaining to the mechanic that it is too high. He would like to lower it but has been told that to do so will void his warranty.

All opinions are welcome!

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Old 04-07-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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New or used?
Towing how much?
Budget?

I've had at least a half dozen trucks, Fords, Dodge, Chevy. The best one of all of them was a Duramax 4-door LT - a Cadillac on a truck chassis. With hypertune it put out over 600ft lbs of torque. Tow capacity is over 10K lbs on them. It would get 22-23mpg on the hiway unloaded - 14-15 with a 5K lb boat. Rode like crap when not loaded.

There's no substitute for displacement - you can't get a big gas V8 anymore - all of the big trucks are diesel. They have good warranties. There would be absolutely no question in my mind for big towing.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
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It's really simple. If you don't need a diesel don't buy one.
If you're towing heavy then you NEED a diesel.
I certainly wouldn't buy a diesel just for the sake of having a diesel.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:15 PM   #4
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Why would computer-controlled diesels be any more prone to expensive repairs than computer-controlled gassers?
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:29 PM   #5
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It all depends on what you are towing and where you are towing it...

Ex. In Florida, at sea level towing a 5,000 lb boat, gas all the way. Even a Toyota

In the mountains out West and towing at high altitudes and a 15K trailer?

Diesel all the way. The New Dodge Cummins/Aisin is a tough one. It was reworked in early 2013 and had some programming issues with the emissions. After that , they have been rock solid.

The Duramax/Allison is a proven combination.

Ford changes engines about as often as the ind changes. Time will tell with the new diesel, but it seems OK so far.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:43 PM   #6
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We just upgraded our GMC 2500 gas truck to a 2014 GMC 2500 Diesel and I couldn't be happier.

It tows our fifth wheel so much better. Especially since we're heading to Alaska later this month and will be going up and down a lot of mountains. The exhaust brake is a good feature too. Our gas GMC had a 26 gallon tank where our Diesel has a 36 gallon tank and extends our range.

The DW always said that she wouldn't be happy if I got a Diesel because of how noisy the older ones were. The newer diesels are almost as quiet as the gassers. Last week she even told me she loves the new truck !!! Good stuff.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:09 PM   #7
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We just upgraded our GMC 2500 gas truck to a 2014 GMC 2500 Diesel and I couldn't be happier.

It tows our fifth wheel so much better. Especially since we're heading to Alaska later this month and will be going up and down a lot of mountains. The exhaust brake is a good feature too. Our gas GMC had a 26 gallon tank where our Diesel has a 36 gallon tank and extends our range.

The DW always said that she wouldn't be happy if I got a Diesel because of how noisy the older ones were. The newer diesels are almost as quiet as the gassers. Last week she even told me she loves the new truck !!! Good stuff.

Your wife sounds like my wife. She hated the older smelly noisy diesels. She wasn't thrilled when I got the 12 Ram CTD. I told her they didn't smell and were pretty quiet. Last year we were pulling our 5'er up some stepper winding roads and she actually commented on how you can just feel the power in the truck. l just smiled.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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It's really simple. If you don't need a diesel don't buy one.
If you're towing heavy then you NEED a diesel.
I certainly wouldn't buy a diesel just for the sake of having a diesel.
Yup. The only time a gasser has an advantage is on short drives (grocery getter) or if you have a spirited driving style and like some rpm.
So if the truck is a daily driver too, how long is your commute? Less than 15-20 miles and a gasser would be happier.

I would also add that as speeds on intersatates continue to climb, you don't need steep grades to cause heavy load on the drivetrain. Sustaining 70mph with an RV on flat land is just as tough as climbing a steep grade at 30mph.
As far as needing a diesel... I just prefer them in all shapes and sizes. Even the little VW 4 banger in the wife's car is just excellent to drive.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:51 PM   #9
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I just wish more people would actually give a new diesel a chance instead of being old fashioned and not liking change. Lack of change is detrimental to everything.

Weight to efficiency, diesels are WAY more efficient than gas engines.

Your mechanic might like the old suit case cell phones too if you asked.

And as another said, computers in diesel trucks, computers in gas trucks, computers in computers, they are here, not leaving, and are all expensive for the first few years.

And as far as height, you can get "not so high" vehicles, if they aren't 4wd. Four wheel drive packages add height for clearance as they assume you will actually use the 4wd function and not just climb mall parking lots.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:49 PM   #10
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I've been driving diesels since the early 80's They are so much better now. More power, quieter, and just a real pleasure to drive. The torque pulling hills w/o downshifting is my favorite aspect. I hate driving gas engines that have to downshift, even on a moderate hill. The bottom line is, diesels are better engine for the long haul. It's just a matter of whether your usage or style justifies the price. If you drive low mileage and trade often, they will cost you more to own. If you tow heavy, drive a lot of miles, or keep a truck forever, it will more than pay for itself.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:51 AM   #11
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And as far as height, you can get "not so high" vehicles, if they aren't 4wd. Four wheel drive packages add height for clearance as they assume you will actually use the 4wd function and not just climb mall parking lots.
My 2wd (with locking diff) sits lower than most 1500s. Have not yet had an issue with not having 4wd and we rarely see any snow, so that could be a game changer.

I will say that it is possible to lower a 4wd, too. Personally, I love the way a lower 2wd truck rides, handles in turns, aerodynamics, etc. Lower center of gravity is always better for safety as well.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:57 AM   #12
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I agree that the modern diesels are very different than trucks from 10 years ago. The big change being all the emissions regulations. I tow my travel trailer with my 7.3 Ford and I love it. I personally like the rattle and noise of a diesel. The low end torque is a nice plus when you hit those hills and the trans can stay in OD and maintain speed.

I think it really comes down to what you want. what are YOUR likes and dislikes for gas and diesel? Thats what really matters, some of the stuff I love about my truck other people hate, and vice versa.

Good luck
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:10 AM   #13
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From your mechanics standpoint, yes modern diesels are far more complex than say 10 years ago. There is so much going on with emission equipment and complex engine tuning that's it's not always clear what's causing the problem. So if you did get a diesel, then you might want to take it to a diesel specific mechanic for major engine problems. They'll be more experienced to deal with diesel engine's not running correctly or throwing codes.

If you prefer to stick with your current mechanic. Then get a gas truck. The new 6.2L GM engine and 6.4L hemi aren't bad engines. They get good mileage while unloaded. They just like to rev a little more.

Like said before, it really depends on what you're towing. If you need a diesel, then get one, if you don't need a diesel than just get a gasser.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:18 PM   #14
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If you can get away with gas, go gas. But in my case, only a diesel would have the pulling power, so I west diesel. Not based on reliability, but cost. Diesel options, fuel, maintenance are all more.
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