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Old 08-18-2014, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default The Diesels are coming.

About two years ago, I saw the new Chevy Colorado, a complete redesign of the line. This mid-size seemed to have come straight from my daughters wish list and so I called her to check out the website with me. She fell in love and has since been counting the days until she take one off the dealers lot.

I am not a fan of smaller trucks, even though I no longer drive, and my wife feels the same way. However, with the news that the Colorado and its GMC twin, the Canyon will be available in 2016 with a new diesel engine, I may change my mind.

This may herald a whole new group of trucks from everyone including Toyota and Nissan, who have fantastic diesel models available overseas (the Toyota Hi-Lux line comes to mind) that seem to run forever.

So, is anyone else excited about the potential?
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:51 AM   #2
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I'll point Jason to this thread. He had a Volkswagon TDA diesel. That model had serious issues with their fuel pump that was NOT covered under warranty (an $11k fix). VW blamed it on American fuel. I do believe as more people experienced their vehicles coming to a dead stop while driving on highways, the company started covering more repairs, but still not enough to inspire Jason to keep the car. The TDI did get incredible mpg, but considering the difference in the price of gasoline to the price of diesel, the economy was very thin at times.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:02 AM   #3
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I have driven my VW Passat TDI for years now, but I don't rip road (low mileage per year) like most diesel drivers.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flourbug View Post
The TDI did get incredible mpg, but considering the difference in the price of gasoline to the price of diesel, the economy was very thin at times.
This is why diesel vehicles don't excite me. With a fifty cents or more per gallon price difference the extra mileage that some diesels get doesn't close the gap.

I know that some diesels have very long service lives, but gasoline engines can last a long time as well. My old 1995 Mazda B2300 pick-up has the small four cylinder engine. I'm not sure what its mileage is now as the odometer died four years ago, but it's well over 300,000 miles now. Original engine. I've replaced timing belts, alternators, that sort of thing, but no serious engine work.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:49 AM   #5
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Here, diesel is cheaper than any kind of gasoline sold. It is really worth driving a diesel, especially if you drive a lot. The yearly tax on cars is higher for diesel cars though.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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My JSW TDI cost me 23k or so. It got 35 to 41 mpg with mixed driving, I've gotten as high as 49 mpg on long trips using pulse and glide when the hills allowed for it, but generally it would get around 45 on the highway.

The issue with it was the fuel pump could randomly die. The pump itself isn't so bad to replace, but due to the design, the particles flow downstream and damage the fuel injectors, fuel lines, and contaminate the fuel tank too. The dealers typically charge $8500 for the repair.

There is no fix for it. If you get it repaired under warranty, the replacement part also has the same flaw. Additionally, if it wasn't repaired 100%, you could have particles that then damage the new fuel pump faster and a secondary failure becomes much more likely.

There are several reasons for the failure:

1. The pump is lubricated by diesel fuel. With the low sulfur fuel, it is a lot less lubricious. So if the tank operator fails to add the additives properly, you could be damaging your pump without knowing it. You cannot test the fuel as you fill up. So no way to avoid this situation.

2. Tank operators sometimes forget which pump is which. If they start pumping gasoline into the diesel tank, they can realize the mistake, switch it back and now you have diesel with a small % of gasoline in it. Same situation occurs - this lowers the lubricity and causes pump damage.

3. There is a design issue with the pump, the roller can rotate out of alignment, and it wears on itself.

VW has tried to address the issue with multiple pump redesigns and special coatings. When they made the new Passat, they also decreased fuel pump pressure in order to slow the wearing.

For 2015, there is a brand new 2.0 TDI motor, I haven't kept up with the situation so I don't know if it's going to correct this issue or not.

VW isn't the only one with HPFP failures, but it's the only one that I know of that a failure can cause close to 10k in damage. Based on data submitted to the NTSA, it appears to be about a 1% failure rate per year. So 1% for 1 year old models, 2% for 2 year old models, etc. Keeping the car 10 years means 10% failure if that trend continued.

I was out of warranty, so I wasn't willing to play that lotto ticket. If the pump failure was going to cost me the price of a new HPFP (I think ~1.5k) it might have been a different story. I figure get the equity out of the car and get something new with a really long warranty.
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