diesel in sedans

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 13:08
ThreadID: 55701 Views:2126 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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not really a 4wd question but quite a few mechanically minded people in this forum. Does the theory of greater mileage out of a diesel engine (life span, not economy) relate to the standard cars like Citroen, Peugeot etc.
If I was looking at a diesel change over should I be concerned if I am swapping from a Camry with 92,000 kms to a diesel of the same price but with 120,000km on the clock?
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Reply By: Anglo - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 13:30

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 13:30
Nope no need to worry at all, just check whether its a chain cam or belt cam. The chain cam is for the life of the engine, the belt cam's need replacing as normal. The general diesel engine life is about 300k before things like the turbo's need work. I've got a diesel Jetta and I'm expecting it to run like clockwork for another 10 years or so.

The only other caveat is the servicing, older diesels service intervals are between 6 and 9000ks the newer ones generally up tio 15000ks. Check out the camry intervals as that can negate the savings on fuel if its a low service interval.

If the Camry has a decent service history you should be ok, they are pretty hard to kill. I would get an RAA or similar check if you are unsure, they give the car a decent checkover before you buy.

Hope that helps.

AnswerID: 293576

Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 13:46

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 13:46
Diesels used to be just used in big stuff and had bearings etc built oversized to handle the higher compression and loads and they lasted forever. Starting with the VW Golf GLD, manufacturers simply bolted a diesel head onto the regular petrol engines bottom end to keep weight down in passenger vehicles. At the time the first diesel Golfs came out there was speculation that diesel engines done like this wouldn't have the longer life that generally everyone had come to expect from diesels. I have no idea whether or not this proved to be the case with the early diesel Golfs, but I wouldn't assume that the diesels fitted to cars are necessarily going to give the sort of extended mileage life that you get out of diesels in trucks. Anyone have any other knowledge on this?
AnswerID: 293578

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 14:42

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 14:42
I put 1/2 million k on a diesel 504 Peugeot. Fabulous car, a 5 speed would have been better but that is taken care of now.
I dont believe you should consider the current diesel motors in cars
to be in anyway inferior to those in trucks or 4WD. Treated fairly
you should see 300k plus without incident. Economy is excellent,
& the service intervals long. The big question is whether you intend to keep it long enough to balance out the difference in
purchase price plus the more expensive fuel. If you run it till it
drops you will be far in front, keep it a couple of years & maybe
not. Europe has adopted diesel cars in huge numbers & the trend
will happen here . 120k on a diesel is nothing, finding one second
hand with that sort of Ks is the problem. People tend to stick to
them for long periods. Cant go wrong with Peugeot, Citroen,
VW etc. I've never driven any car except Peugeot for 40 years
& I am still trying to find another diesel one to see me out. If you
can swap a 90k Camry for a 120k diesel you have got a bargain.:))
AnswerID: 293583

Follow Up By: mfewster - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 15:24

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 15:24
Thanks Old baz. I should have mentioned the Pug 504 diesel in my previous post. I had one also and did a lot of Km (I agree it sure needed a 5 speed box). One of the reasons I got the Pug was that it was an old style truck type diesel. As far as I know, there is nothing in a diesel that means it will run longer than a petrol engine except for the fact that because they have much higher compression than petrol engines, they used to make the things a lot more robust (and therefore much heavier) in the first place. The more recent diesels designed just for cars have been designed for European fuel saving and therefore built comparatively lightly. There's nothing wrong with them, I just don't believe they will have the sort of long life advantages over petrol engines that once was the case. Or so I have been told by diesel mechanics. Any diesel mechanics out there who would like to give an opinion on this?
FollowupID: 559248

Follow Up By: F4Phantom - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 20:01

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 20:01
from my understanding truck diesels get more running hours rather than km which makes economic sense for them, I cant remember the facts behind hrs vs k's tho.
FollowupID: 559312

Follow Up By: StephenF10 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 14:33

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 14:33
I've had my 1981 Peugeot 504 diesel since new. It now has 290k and the only mechanical work on the engine has been a head repair due to water corrosion. It has had an oill change (Rimula X) and filter every 5k, fuel and air filters every 20k. Injector pump and injectors have not been touched and the whole exhaust system is original after 27 years.

It is absolutely the most cheapest-to-run vehicle I have ever had.

FollowupID: 559488

Follow Up By: Davo_60 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:51

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 18:51
I have a diesel Golf as a daily driver and it is a good thing but I doubt it will do many more km's than a Camry. The old diesels were over engineered and very unstressed, so they lasted a long time. The 2 litre golf puts out about the same power and torque as my 2h turbo 4 litre. A lot of the power comes from increased efficiency of course but I would expect it to wear out a little quicker. I got 420k out of an 87 Camry so Toyota's petrols last a while too. It seems Toyota still use the 'detuned' for reliability in the current workhorse models with the V8 4.5 having modest outputs by modern standards.
FollowupID: 559522

Reply By: Member - Tour Boy Springsure- Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 15:57

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 15:57
Mate if you can't get 300,000km plus out of the camry then somthing is wrong.
They as with corollas go for a very long time if treated properly.
I know first hand of an ae92 corolla that has done 498000km on the original everything exept brakes and still uses next to no oil every 10,000km.

Our 98 corolla has 190km and uses no oil and still has the original brakes.

A couple of years ago a taxi driver in Darwin bought a new camry to replace his 1,000,000km camry that still had the original motor in it. He kept it for his wife to drive.

Why nwould you go a diesel when the fuel is dearer as is the oil and filters?

my 2 cents
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AnswerID: 293592

Reply By: Ray - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 18:15

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 18:15
I lived in Singapore for a number of years. All the taxis were diesel. A lot were Morris Oxfords and had diesel engines in them. They had a CAV rotary fuel pump where the distributer would have been and a high compression head. I don't know what other mods were made but I never heard the drivers complain or heard of many breakdowns
AnswerID: 293626

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 18:32

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 18:32
From what I remember of Morris Oxfords in various years they wouldn go fast enough to know whether it had broken down or not.
I used to drive one as a Taxi and as long as you didnt want to stop in any great hurry it was ok.
With a following wind and a down hill run it was Ok as long as the lights didnt change less than half a block away.
FollowupID: 559284

Follow Up By: Member - Axle - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 20:30

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 20:30
Graham, I agree!, Can you remember that cocked up angle of the steering wheel.?...LOL.

Cheers Axle.
FollowupID: 559336

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:45

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:45
Amongst others yes now u mention it.
However they went forever and you could keep them going with a hammer a screwdriver and a crescent.
Wish you could do the same today.

I also in 1995 had a ST170 Corona diesel. Jap import to NZ Supposed 58,000 km, till I found a log book in behind the glovebox that had entries 4 years old with more k's in it.
Got it translated to prove it.
Anyway it blew up, best cylinder had 295 lb. Supposedly u need 300 to make fuel ignite. Anyway got a motor from Japan that only had 1500km on it for $1500Au.
Went from doing 40kph up a hill in town to doing 85kup same hill and had 425lb comp.
Good cars but only if you look after them.
Jap imports are a roll of the dice I'm afraid.
As they have to get a certificate at 60,000k they dont look after them and just trade them in at about that. By the look of some they never even change the oil.
Only advantage they are cheap over in NZ and parts are imported by the container load.
A bit O/T I know but thought I would have a wee rant
FollowupID: 559378

Follow Up By: Member - John A (SA) - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 16:26

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 16:26
We also had a '56 Morris Oxford when I was a lad. The front & back seat accommodation were huge; very popular at the drive-in or on the way home!!!!
John A
FollowupID: 559501

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 20:04

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 20:04
The worst time for an engine is during the cold start phase. Petrol condenses on the upper cylinder wall which causes the dry start wear. The best part about a diesel, in comparison, is that the injector is spraying a lubricant into the combustion chamber which negates the dry start phenomena. In other words the top ring is never dry, therefore bore wear is MUCH less...slvbk
AnswerID: 293655

Reply By: Member - Stuart W (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:56

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008 at 21:56
In 2005 I visited the UK with the family. Did 4,000 miles in the mother in law's Volkswagon Passat. 4door sedan 1.6 litre turbo diesel 1994 model.Tank was around the 60 lt.mark and I always got around 600 MILES from a tank.That car had 108,000 miles on the clock and blew no smoke.It sold me on diesels,if only the hilux did as well.

AnswerID: 293694

Reply By: Gossy - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:06

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 09:06
thanks everyone. In general they sound stronger and longer life so I shouldn't be too worried about the mileage. Obviously there is still the normal stuff which hangs off the engine which needs to be taken into consideration (belts, fans, pumps etc).

Thanks all.
AnswerID: 293747

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