Diesel verse petrol

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 15:46
ThreadID: 10687 Views:2418 Replies:11 FollowUps:9
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I know this question has been discussed before but this one is very specific. I know the pros and cons for owning either/or but was wondering if anyone has actually worked out the true cost advantages. I know diesel has a better resale but it costs a hell of a lot more and petrol motors life span is getting up there with a diesels now. Lets pick either a Nissan or Toyota and the bigger motors. What I see is that for a diesel the oil service is at 5000k, injector service at 100k, dearer air filters, dearer fuel filters but better fuel economy. Fuel is generally cheaper for ULP, service costs are longer but there are plugs etc to contend with. Diesels last longer but the rebuilds are much dearer. Generally it was thought that for towing long distances diesels are better, but is this still so?

Over the long term is there really any cost advantage in having diesel???

I guess the other part that would be very interesting is to have actual statistics of numbers of breakdowns of diesels to petrols. Ie are diesels less likely to break down than petrols hence them being safer when travelling in remote areas.
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Reply By: Member - Bob - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:19

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:19
I have been planning a trip to the centre and across to the NW coast. Some of the other vehicles are petrol, which isn't available anywhere except the Mobil at Yulara. These guys are very worried about running avgas through their nice new trucks. For that reason alone I would go for diesel, and forget the sums.
My diesel does 20,000 km between services.Bob
AnswerID: 47518

Follow Up By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 18:29

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 18:29
Gday Bob,you've got me worried.Do you mean to tell us you dont change oil or filters for 20000kms?Dosnt that worry you?
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Follow Up By: StephenF - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 19:10

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 19:10
Bob might have a Discovery. They have a centrifugal oil filter which extends the oil change interval to 20000kms.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 16:40

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 16:40
Yes its a Disco. I was booking it in for its first 5000km service the other day and the service manager says the first service is now at 20,000 km. I said what about an oil change and he said don't do it. It is fully synthetic and with the centrifugal filter doesn't need to be done. My old Disco (2000) had a first service at 5000 km. The Lexus on the other hand has to be serviced every 10,000 km. Just about need to book it in for next service when you're picking it up from the last.Bob
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Follow Up By: Graeme - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 19:31

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 19:31

Are you saying that between Uluru & Halls Creek (I'm guessing) that there is only deisel available?????????

If I have read you right then my petrol playdo runs on diesel :}
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:13

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:13
I don't know about Rabbit Flat on the Tanami, but I can tell you that anywhere else to the west of the Stuart Hwy its diesel or avgas. Our trip leaves the Stuart just north of Marla. We head across the top of SA and enter WA at Wingellina/Blackstone. Then up to Giles on Grt Cent. Rd (no ULP), up the Sandy Blight Junction Trk to Kintore (no ULP), then across the Gary Junction Rd, the Wapet Rd to Sandfire Flat Rdhouse( ULP available). So from Marla to Sandfire Flat there is no ULP, just diesel and avgas. Thats about 2400 km between drinks for a petrol car.

Your petrol playdoe will run on avgas but your catalytic converter may be rooned. However, I would have thought you'd make it from AS to Halls Creek on a tank full.Bob
FollowupID: 309637

Reply By: cloughie - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:14

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:14
You seem to be basing your decision solely on cost. You should sit down and decide what you are going to do in your vehicle and base your decision on this outcome. If extensive remote travel is part of your plans then a diesel ,purely on the basis re availability of diesel fuel, should be your choice. Also remember re breakdown in remote areas, that a lot of the new high tech diesels can no longer be repaired by the "bush mechanics" of old so it does not really matter if it is a modern diesel or petrol ,they both have to be towed out. The Patrol 4.2 seems to be as close to "Old Tech" of the current new vehicles so maybe you should have this at the top of your list.
AnswerID: 47522

Reply By: Anne from Drysdale River Station - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:27

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:27
Hi Ray,
If I was you I would think of other things beside the cost of petrol v/s diesel and think about some of the breakdown problems with newest vehicles with either computer style controlled electric systems or fuel pumps inside the fuel tank, which is a stupid idea as far as we can see.
Some only minor problems actually require the vehicle to be in a decent size town with right testing gear to find the problem : ie intermittant fault in a fusable link.
We did find it in the end but was a puzzel for a while.
A broken fuel pump may be easy to fix if it wasn't inside the tank, then it becomes a major job.
One advantage seems to be with diesel toyota when in the real hicks is that almost every property in the bush runs diesel toyotas so you probably have more chance of either getting a spare part or them knowing how to fix the problem.
As mentioned the sale of petrol at Aboriginal communities is now becoming a rare thing, but Kalumburu still sells it as does Mt Barnett so you can do the Gibb and Kalumburu roads on ULP. Forget gas up here.
cheers AnneDrysdale River Station
AnswerID: 47523

Follow Up By: goingplatinumcomau - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 22:16

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 22:16
Hi Ann

Interesting responce Was not aware of them puting the fuel pump inside the Tank .............. It must have been someone who worked for Telstra now in the design dept of motor vehicles :(

Like where can we hide the fusable link so no one can find it Once they were happy to Rip us of on Spare Parts Alone not any more.

Have you seen any of the new Ford F250 getting around up there they have a 7.3 Turbo Diesel.

To the fellow wondering Diesel or Petrol ..............Diesel is the way to go ..............and do Not listen to the dills trying to sell the new ones get them by the throat and throw them against the Wall ........... The best i have done on the phone is $5000 difference petrol / diesel.
Go to dealers out in the bush abit do not deal with the idiots in the city.

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Follow Up By: Anne from Drysdale River Station - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 00:39

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 00:39
Hi Shane,
I am no mechanic at all just from comments the guys make during the year, we get a lot of repairs. Not sure but think it may have been new Nissan and or Jackaroo and something else that had pump inside tank, infuriated the mechanic whatever it was.
Yes had at least one or two of the new F250, I recall it because I even stoped and walked around it having a good look because I hadn't seen one before.
cheers, AnneDrysdale River Station
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Reply By: navaraman - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:30

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:30
I have a normally aspirated diesel and think it's main advantages over petrol are engine braking on steep descents when compared to my mates petrol vehicles. Fuel availability is better in the bush too and if you have to carry fuel in Jerry cans I'd rather carry diesel than petrol.
Having said that I miss the power of petrol (might have to invest in a turbo) and the missus would prefer petrol as it is quieter.
Mine is a 99 navara so no fancy bells and whistles to go wrong which suits me fine.
AnswerID: 47524

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 21:14

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 21:14
Well i have actually sat down and done the figures between my last 4x4 (petrol efi 4.2 patrol manual) vs my 4x4 now (diesel 4.2 manual non turbo).............
Taking absolutely everything into account...........

Every 5000kms the savings is $290:00.......
So after 100,000kms the savings is $5,800:00.......

Without the worry of it konking out in water crossings, looking for fuel stations every 400kms, having to carry 30jerry cans when crossing the simpson,,, etc....___________________________________
Simpson trip 05/04 then turn left at Birdsville to Darwin via Lawn Hill etc
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Follow Up By: Ray - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 13:55

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 13:55

Thanks for the reply, are the savings in your case of $290 basically fuel?

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Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:19

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:19
No.. I weighed up everything...___________________________________
Simpson trip 05/04 then turn left at Birdsville to Darwin via Lawn Hill etc
FollowupID: 309638

Reply By: Member - Peter- Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 23:21

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 23:21

I have just made the investment in a new TD 100 Landcruiser. Mine is to tow our jumbuck camper from NSW to Perth over a 3 to 10 month period going to the remotest places possible.

Downsides to me on diesel - Hi tech these days means that you need to be afilliated with NASA to fix it in the boonies, Better not forget to idle down the turbo, smelly at the bowser.

Upside to me on Diesel - Turbo hums nicley in soft sand between 1800 / 2200 rpm, Tourque of diesel is smooth in all terrain conditions, Economical (Oxymoron) compared to V8 petrol, No plugs / dizzy / leads to get scared by water crossings. Puling power of teh diesel again with roof racks, camper and cargo area filled to the roof

I just did a great deal with a guy in Sydney, I'm in the Hunter Valley, if you want more details send me an e-mail to p_butler@bigpond.com

Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 47553

Reply By: john - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 04:52

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 04:52
The one big diff to me is the diesel noise. I can't get my head around paying 50+ grand to drive something that sounds like the tappets are about to melt.
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Reply By: Ray - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 14:05

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 14:05

Thanks for all the replies. I've always thought that the next one would be a diesel but just wasn't sure. Our trip to the cape last June in a petrol 3.0l patrol had me wondering which way to go. I spoke to a few locals including RACQ and their opinion was that breakdowns were not generally related to fuel type but to age. Age as in if they had computers, turns out the vibration kills them pretty quickly. While I was in Weipa I was told of a number of vehicles being trucked out due to this very fault. I like the diesel for many of the reasons stated above and all my mates use them and wouldn't go back. Including one that is heading off around Aus in the next couple of months, in an aftermarket turbo Hilux.

AnswerID: 47596

Reply By: Jol - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:04

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:04
I love a good petrol engine but 2 problems which really stuff things up:
1) That you have to carry a lot more fuel in remote areas. Potentially dangerious
2) They get so bloody HOT. Danger in grassed country or cross country, and if going slowly with the AC on get too hot.

I drive 2 petrol vehicles both a pain in the bum re heat in summer. have had one on fire in the bush

Cheers JOL
AnswerID: 47632

Reply By: Jon - '88 TD42 GQ - Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 11:29

Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 11:29
Looks like your specific question has got only one or two answers.

I've recently moved into a Diesle Patrol from a V6 Commodore, quite a change I can tell you. Commodore was a 94, the patrol is an 88.

Based on my mileage (13.7 L/100 from almost every tank bar one at stockton and one of 12 L/100 on the open road at about 90 most of the way) the 6000 Ks I've now done cost $781 (assuming 95 cents for diesel, I tend to pay 94 tho).

I have put the mileage of an equivalent petrol patrol at 22 L/100 which is pretty accurate I beleive. This would have cost me $1122 (assuming 85 cents for petrol which is proably a bit cheap). That's $341 in my pocket.

My one and only service so far was about $1000 (ouch!) but most of that was various one off things not realted to the engine (clutch master cyclinder replacement, new engine mount, some suspension bits, full flush of the cooling system and a ton of extra labour). If I took all that off the bill it'd be under $400. I expect the next service will be pretty cheap as it's just a minor one.

Of course you do them twice as often. Mind you, my patrol has 270K and runs like a dream. My Commodore had 170 and was falling apart.

Not sure I gave you an answer really. I'd say it's probably pretty close between the two, I need to run mine longer to see real serviceing costs before I really know. Also I am running a 15 year old truck, not a newie.

Of course there are numerous other advatages to the Diesel.

AnswerID: 47698

Reply By: cookie - Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 17:18

Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 17:18
I remember reading somewhere, don't know where, NRMA or RAC website I think, a full comparison of running costs between a new turbo diesel prado and a petrol one. Taking into acount everything, depreciation, servicing, fuel etc, etc, over 5 or 10 years I think and it was almost identical between the 2 over that time period.

Gee there are a lot of people who just want to give their opinion and not read the question.
AnswerID: 47742

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