Should I Buy a Diesel Vehicle? Pawlik Automotive

Should I Buy a Diesel Vehicle? Pawlik Automotive

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Gen,
we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik
Automotive in Vancouver, 16 time winners of
Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by
their customers, how’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: I’m doing very well.
Mark: So diesels, lots of controversy going
on with diesels these days. I guess our question
is should I buy a diesel vehicle and I guess
as an owner of a Volkswagen TDI, I’m interested
to hear what you have to say. Should someone
look at buying a diesel vehicle right now?
Bernie: Well I think, what you really need
to do before you buy a diesel vehicle is look
at what you want to use the car for. Before
we talk about that, let’s just look at some
of the advantages of diesel engines. I mean,
first of all, fuel economy of diesel is amazing
for any given size engine, diesel, I believe
is 20-30% more efficient than a gasoline engine.
Also, these days diesel fuel is cheaper, it
hasn’t been that way for a while but it
is now, so diesel fuel you pay less to fill
the tank as well. A few other advantages of
diesel, traditionally diesel used to be very
reliable, I’d say that these days it’s
not quite as reliable, but it used to be very
reliable when gasoline engines needed tune-ups
and things, and diesels just needed oil changes
and fuel filters and air filters and they
just kept on going. Also if you have a truck,
towing and hauling capacity of a diesel is
far superior to a gasoline engine. It’s
why you know, trains and ships and large industrial
engines and trucks all use diesel. They are
superior for heavy load performance.
Mark: So it sounds like the advantages outweigh
some of the disadvantages, but what are some
of the disadvantages?
Bernie: Well, disadvantages of diesel, generally
you pay more money to buy a diesel engine
vehicle. Now I did a little bit of research
before I did this post and I looked at a few
cars, a couple different lines of cars that
sell diesels, and I looked at trucks. Now
it seems like for a truck, you’ll probably
pay eight or ten thousand dollars more to
buy a diesel model truck but for a car, like
I noticed I looked at the Mercedes GL models,
seems like their diesel is actually the cheapest
model. So, which kind of surprised me, but
I think they have the diesel as their entry
level model and then they start putting the
larger engine V8’s and fancy other options
and the AMG packages to boost the price. Volkswagen
as well, you’ve had experience with the
Volkswagen TDI, I believe that the diesel
option was more money than buying the gasoline
version, not a lot but a little bit more money,
so you’ve got the upfront cost. The other
disadvantage that I think with the diesels
is that they’re not as reliable as they
used to be. Some are really good, but others
have a lot of problems and when things do
go wrong with the diesel they cost a lot of
money to fix. You’re not looking at a little
$300 dollar repair bill, a lot of times it
a thousand or two thousand dollars or more,
so the repair bills can be substantial in
a diesel.
Now one of the advantages of the diesel, if
you buy a diesel vehicle, it’s often got
a higher resale value, so say if you spent
$10,000 dollar more on that Ford F350 truck
with the diesel over the gas, chances are
a few years down the road when you sell it,
you’ll get more money for that vehicle because
it’s a diesel than a gas motor.
Mark: So on balance, maybe the advantages
outweigh the disadvantages, but what else?
What also should factor in to your choice
about whether you buy a diesel of a petrol
fuel vehicle?
Bernie: Excellent question. I think the idea
that I can come up with is usage. Like what
do you want to use the vehicle for? I meet
many people who buy diesel vehicles who really
probably shouldn’t of bought then in the
first place. Just an example, I mean, I know
that you live in Langley, you drive in to
Vancouver quite often, maybe not every day,
you’re kind of the perfect person to own
a diesel vehicle because your trips are long,
they’re lengthy, the engine has had time
to warm up, you get good fuel economy and
you’re moving, generally that trip is a
moving all the time trip. But I live like
four minutes from my work, it’d be silly
for me to have a diesel, I mean my gasoline
engine barely gets warm from driving from
Burkeville to Marpole. So it would be kind
of silly for me to have a diesel because I’d
have to end up, to actually take good care
of that engine I’d actually have to leave
it and sitting and idling for another 10 or
15 minutes just to get the engine warmed up.
So it really depends on how you use the vehicle.
Also with trucks, I meet many people, they’re
mostly men, I have to say I think it’s a
guy thing about owning diesels. They are attracted
to that noise and sound and the largeness
of the truck, it’s a manly thing. A lot
of guys that buy these trucks, I’ll say
Ford’s in particular have a lot of problems,
after some repair bills of a thousand or two,
they just get so pissed off with the truck
they end up selling it and a lot of them end
up buying a gasoline powered F150 truck; which
is much more practical. It’s much more useful
for every day, a lot less goes wrong.
But diesel is great if you need to haul heavy
loads, it’s worth the extra money. If you’re
hauling a boat, a trailer or you have a business
where you’re hauling heavy loads, diesel’s
great. So you really need to look at what
you’re buying. Unless you just like spending
tons of money on car repairs when your vehicle’s
broke, but most people don’t like to do
Also we did a blog post about a month or two
ago about a Mercedes that we had where the
owner hadn’t changed the oil quite frequently
but again it’s another example of perhaps
not the right owner for a vehicle. A lot of
the trips that this person did were short
trips. It only had 50,000 kilometers on a
six year old diesel powered vehicle, so that’s
really very little usage. I didn’t quiz
him entirely, but I have a feeling that his
trips were extremely short so the engine never
had time to warm up, in addition to that maybe
not changing the oil when he should have,
you know ended up killing the engine early
so had this person owned a gasoline powered
engine, probably would have been no problem,
although again if they didn’t change the
oil it would have been an issue but I think
gasoline engines they’re a little more forgiving.
Mark: So, I have an interesting, another question
do car sales people ever address people’s
usage of a vehicle before they recommend a
Bernie: I have a feeling not, I mean they
probably don’t think of these factors and
I think if you’re out there selling a vehicle,
it’s like oh yeah, great I can sell a diesel
because it’s $10,000 more and I’m sure
it’s more money in their pocket to sell
it, the same with the Mercedes or the TDI
Volkswagen, they’re just selling it, oh
yeah it’s got great gas mileage, buy this
car if people are interested but they don’t
ever. I would say that maybe a good salesman
might ask but for the most part they would
probably just you know, be happy to sell them
whatever they want to buy.
Mark: Well our experience was, we were test
driving looking at potentially buying an SUV
and we test drove I don’t know six, seven
different brands, not one salesman asked us
about our use case. That was not a part of
the conversation ever and that’s multiple
times, multiple test drives, multiple salesman
at different dealerships so that’s not even
in the equation, they just want to you know,
sell you what you came into look at.
Bernie: Yeah, I think that’s true, it’s
interesting I mean this is a bit off the subject
of diesels but hybrids as well, it’s, you
know, I mean, I have a client who bought a
Toyota Prius a while ago and they drive it
very little, it’s again a 08 Prius it’s
only got 60,000 kilometers, it’s got very
little use, I mean they’re very happy with
the vehicle and not a lot’s gone wrong with
it but when I think of the extra money that
person paid for the Prius over what, you could
have bought a Camry or something nicer for
the same money and you know, it’s I don’t
know, to me it’s a Prius is kind of wasted
on a person who’s just driving a small amount
whereas I met a guy yesterday with a Highlander
Hybrid, 3 years old, 180,000 kilometers. He
drives 60,000 k’s a year, now that’s the
right kind of person for a hybrid because
they’re using it all the time, it’s getting
a lot of usage, they’re going to save the
money on the fuel that the extra cost of the
vehicle applies but a lot of people buy you
know, hybrids, they buy them for ideological
reasons and I guess a lot of people bought
Volkswagen TDI for ideological reasons too,
you know, that they’re good on gas, and
they’re good for the environment and we
found out that at least one of those parts
of the equation wasn’t quite right.
Mark: Yeah, well that was our choice I mean
we, I as you know I used to brag about the
kind of mileage that we would get and still
it’s amazing, it’s not as fun an experience
knowing that we’re polluting the crap out
of the environment right now. VW it trying
to make it better, they’ve sent us these
which are about $1,000 worth of credit cards
to spend on, $500 we’ve got to spend at
the dealer I don’t know what the heck I’m
going to use that for, $500 I can spend wherever
I want and that’s the start honestly, it’s,
it’s going to cost them billions of dollars
to fix their polluting diesels and that is
a consideration I think that for all that
performance you still get some issues. So
what about biodiesel, what’s the, why wouldn’t
I just be able to switch my car to biodiesel
and fix the issue?
Bernie: Yeah, I think, I’m not an expert
on biodiesel but what I do know is that we
talked about this in the past is biodiesel
really doesn’t reduce your Nox emissions
that’s just a factor of the temperature
of the combustion but it doesn’t really
reduce your Nox emissions but it certainly
does reduce Co and hydrocarbon emissions are
much lower so and biodiesel I mean it’s
just a more pleasant experience, we have customers
who do run their diesels on biodiesel and
even the smell of the exhaust is much nicer
than a petroleum diesel especially when you
get the, I haven’t seen one in a while but
the odd person who burns like vegetable oil,
it’s actually quite nice, it’s the smell
of the exhaust is quite pleasant where you
know, especially in an older diesel you know,
where you can actually, like newer diesels
can have so many particulate filters so that
you don’t smell the smell so much but it’s
quite, it’s good from that point of view,
you know the odor is less. Biodiesel, there’s
a little more maintenance, it can clog up
your fuel filters a little more so you got
to change them a little more often but I think
biodiesel is definitely a good way to go if
you care about the environment.
Mark: Yeah, from what I’ve read, well I’ve
run it in my previous generation vehicle and
it was about 10 or 20% more power cause there’s
a higher cetane rating in biodiesel so you
actually get more power per liter or whatever
and it is definitely, the car just feels a
little, it likes it, it breathes a little
easier, it runs a little easier. I don’t
know, it might just all be in your head but
other people commented on it as well, it wasn’t
just me, so
Bernie: Yeah, I’ve hear that about biodiesels
as well, it’s a little smoother and the
engine runs a bit quieter.
Mark: Yeah, so if you’re looking for diesel
expertise these are the guys to see, they
know all the in’s and out’s of many different
types of diesels, trucks, cars, you name it., tons of information
on there including total frame off, rebuilds
of Ford diesels or give Bernie a call for
your next service 604-327-7112 Pawlik Automotive,
they’re the guys. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thank you Mark.

One Reply to “Should I Buy a Diesel Vehicle? Pawlik Automotive”

  1. I really enjoy your videos! Do you provide a service where you can help me find a used diesel SUV? Can you also address whether it's worth buying a certified preowned vehicle from authorized dealership instead of privately or from an off make dealership?

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