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Old 12-06-2015, 08:08 PM   #21
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Heavy (Class 8) truck diesel engines far outlast gas engines in cars... but that's a wildly unfair comparison. If anyone bought a heavy truck gasoline engine of the same size and weight as the diesels (typically 14 litre displacement inline-sixes) they would find it would last just as long. You can actually buy non-diesel versions of some of the big truck engines (for use with natural gas, from Cummins), and they are warranted just as long as the diesel.

Even a 7.3L Ford is a huge and heavy engine compared to the gas engines available for the same truck. The 6.8L V10 is close... and those things seem to last a long time, too. I have one in our motorhome and I don't expect to ever see it fail, given the type of service.

There is nothing about compression-ignition (diesel) engine design which is inherently more reliable than spark-ignition (gasoline) engine design, and over the years they have converged to being nearly the same. Double overhead camshafts running four valves per cylinder, direct fuel injection, and turbocharging... all of these characteristics (and many more) describe both a current pickup truck diesel and some current pickup truck gas engines (such as an EcoBoost). With only two valves per cylinder, no turbo, and not even direct fuel injection (which requires precision injectors running at very high pressure, whether the fuel is diesel or gasoline) it could be argued that the current GM truck gas engines (Gen V small-blocks) are the conservative choice for long-term reliability.

In a "one-ton" pickup, the diesels are intended for reasonably long life, and many of them do last a long time (although very many also have major problems quite early - check out any online forum for diesel engine owners and read about common problems and despised generations of engines)... but a huge gas engine designed for that service would be no different. Due to the high fuel consumption of these heavy vehicles, the diesels are in demand so it makes sense that resale value of the diesels is higher. In a Colorado - I don't know, we'll see.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:01 PM   #22
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You also have to consider that a diesel engine outlasts a gas engine by a lot, all dependant on lots of variables, like type of driving (towing, highway, etc). I recently read of someone with a 2002 F-350 with a 7.3 litre Power Stroke diesel, who made it past the 1 million mile mark with the original engine, though almost all highway miles. Of course that is not likely the norm.
... and there are Toyota Celicas (I know, no longer made, but we're talked high-mileage vehicles here) with a million miles on them, too. Again, not the norm, but any low-stressed engine which is well-maintained has a good shot at a long life.

The light cheap and powerful (and so maybe not-so-reliable) car engines usually still outlive the car, which gets scrapped due to collision damage, rust, transmission failure, or just the desire for a "cooler" ride.

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Another big consideration is resale. Equivalent trucks with diesel engines out price those with gas engines on the used market by a considerable amount.
In heavy pickups - unlike in cars and most of the tugs used to pull Escapes - fuel is a significant operating cost concern, so a diesel engine helps resale value. Will this work in a Colorado? Perhaps. How are Ram 1500 EcoDiesel resale prices holding up?
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:06 AM   #23
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With only two valves per cylinder, no turbo, and not even direct fuel injection (which requires precision injectors running at very high pressure, whether the fuel is diesel or gasoline) it could be argued that the current GM truck gas engines (Gen V small-blocks) are the conservative choice for long-term reliability.
Oops... those GM GenV small-blocks apparently do have direct injection. I guess that particular expensive technology is becoming unavoidable (my car has it too).
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:43 AM   #24
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I know several people who own diesel pickups that have gotten 500,000 out of their engines
The problem in our area is road salt . The trucks rust out long before the engines wear out.
If one lives in a warm climate where snow and salt are not an issue a diesel may make economic sense . Plus in my area the cost of diesel fuel is often $1/ gal higher than regular gasoline negating any MPG increase.
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:42 PM   #25
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The problem in our area is road salt . The trucks rust out long before the engines wear out.
We get that with Dodges and Chevy's all the time.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:15 PM   #26
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Unfortunately, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Yukon are both rated much worse than average reliability from Consumer Reports. Dodge Ram is below average reliablity. Best truck rated was the Ford 150 with the 2.7 V6, average reliability.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:23 PM   #27
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Yardsale, I've learned that Consumer Reports is a very controversial topic here: Tow Vehicle size and power.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:09 PM   #28
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Pickups with 31 mpg

I think when it comes down to it trucks are like Escape trailers, none are perfect to some people. Some don't expect them to be as nothing ever is, some will complain about the smallest things. Our truck is like our trailer, perfect for us. But then again we have a GMC and Escape trailer.

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Old 12-07-2015, 10:11 PM   #29
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I use Consumer Reports quite a bit when doing research. That said, its not perfect. (I do my best to help by being as accurate as I can when I fill out the surveys.)
If you're going to use it as a source I think it's important to read the articles, descriptions & reviews not just look at the ratings charts.

Thoer is right though. For some reason it does seem to make people upset more often than most other magazines or websites.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:38 AM   #30
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We get that with Dodges and Chevy's all the time.
I will assume you own a Ford, which of course never rust .Now that Ford trucks are made with "Military Grade Aluminum" they should last forever !. Rust is a large issue in our area and if Ford 's aluminum body solves that problem , it will continue to be the leader in truck sales. I am not brand loyal so I may have a Ford in my future. I wish Ford would offer a small diesel but they see their future in the Eco Boost.
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