While fuel-powered vehicles can last for up to 200,000 miles without major maintenance, diesel engines can last as much as 1,500,000 miles, or 30 years. A diesel engine is gear-driven, meaning that it does not lose timing like gasoline-powered ones do. The gear-driven oil and water pumps are still the norm for diesel vehicles. This makes them much more reliable than gasoline engines. However, there are a few drawbacks to diesel.
First, they cost 15% more to build than gasoline engines, which drives up the price of the base vehicle. Secondly, the U.S. government has some of the strictest auto emissions standards in the world, which means that diesels must have expensive aftertreatment to meet the standards. Diesels are not cheap, but they are efficient and have lower emissions. But even with the benefits of lower emissions, diesel engines have a reputation for being dirty.
Diesel engines are now on the rise, with many automakers offering models that use them. Mazda, for example, recently released a diesel-powered CX-5 crossover that competes with the Porsche Cayenne. But diesel sales peaked about five years ago, when the Volkswagen Scandal hit. The Volkswagen scandal brought down diesel sales in the U.S. because the company had violated the Clean Air Act.
Another major drawback is the cost of repair. Gasoline engines are more susceptible to leaking oil, and they are not as reliable as a diesel engine. Moreover, the cost of a diesel engine repair is significantly higher than the cost of repairing a gasoline-powered vehicle. Diesel engines are more expensive to repair than gasoline-powered engines, which is why some people still prefer gasoline-powered vehicles.
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