G’day, Chris here again.
Thought I’d throw a little fuel on the fire in the petrol versus diesel debate.
It’s an old campfire argument that’s been going on for years and will probably never let up. Everyone has their own opinions and reasons for choosing what they buy. Well for now they do.
That is unless the influential parties with reasons to gain from limited choice have their way.
One of the things we’ve notice over the last few years is the increasing demand for modern diesel engine rebuild kits. For a while one would wonder if the engine rebuilding industry would even be around, but now there has been a resurgence in demand as modern engines start to fail with less kilometres travelled than my pushbike.
Most 4WDers are aware of the hand-grenades Nissan brought out in the early 2000’s with their 3.0L Renault motor, but the Hilux/Prado D4D is also causing serious grief, and even the Landcruiser V8 twin turbo engine rebuild kits are selling faster than spark plugs for my old 1FZ-FE engine. What has the industry done when some of the early diesel engines like the venerable 1HZ and TD42’s are still running original glow plugs.
I’ll tell you what’s happened. Our European mates have stuffed us all up.
See they have been running around in diesel Citroens, Renaults and Golfs for years smogging up Paris to Berlin. Diesel fuel ‘was’ dirt cheap which drove their preference to these slow but economical buzz-boxes. These little cars belching black diesel smoke have driven their authorities to imposing strict rules on emissions that manufacturers are simply struggling to meet. They have essentially tweaked, tuned and turbocharged these smaller and smaller engines to within an inch of their life before releasing them across the world. However our larger spaces and lower fuel consumption volumes at some fuel outlets mean risk of contamination is higher as is resultant engine failure. Unlike Europe, we don’t have major towns within 30kms of each other, they’re 300kms apart. We don’t dart off to the seaside villa in our diesel Audi for the weekend, we lug big 4WD’s and heavy loads for thousands of kilometres on holidays.
Sure the old schoolers will swear by diesels for crossing rivers without concern, but this is no longer the case with modern diesel engines covered in electronics and wiring just as susceptible to water as spark plugs are.
Plus roads and even tracks are much better than they were even 20 years ago. So that argument is mute.
So what is happening is the car manufacturers, oil companies and associated big industry players are eyeing off a lucrative future of servicing high tech diesel engines that are now more complicated than most petrol engines. Its almost turned a full 180 degrees. Even the motoring clubs and insurers are pushing the diesel option in their surveys and tests. A small comparo dug up off the interweb shows the real operating cost differences are minimal. But not when it comes to repairs and this is something car manufacturers, dealerships and motoring authorities are not telling the public.
The current cost of repairing a modern diesel engine is horrendous, and isn’t going to decrease.
So one has to wonder if the V6 petrol powered utes and V8 petrol powered wagons are actually going to start finding themselves higher up on the shopping lists. Nissan have seen new car sale prices of their Y62 Patrols vary considerably but don’t be surprised to see the petrol engine 4WD’s start to gain favour as diesel owners get sick and tired of the reliability and cost issues being found with this new breed of high tech, extreme tolerance diesel engines.
Time will tell.
See you Outback
Chris Blakemore is owner of FNB4WD in Mt Barker South Australia.
He’s passionate about delivering quality products with excellent personal service.
FNB4WD achieved a Top 25 place in the SA Fast Movers Awards 2013.
Staff continually research new products and develop their industry knowledge, in an effort to provide the best possible service. All work performed at FNB 4WD Supplies is performed by qualified technicians and experts in their own fields.