The downside of a pickup with a diesel engine.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Sep 01, 1993

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am considering buying a pick-up truck. I know the advantages, but would you please outline the disadvantages of buying a truck with a diesel engine.

RAY: You know the advantages of buying a pick up truck? Please let me know! I've been trying to explain to my wife why I bought one for almost six years now.

TOM: Of course there are advantages, Ole. A pick-up truck seats only two people. So whenever our families go out, my brother can always say "Gee, Tom, I guess we'll have to take YOUR car again." That saves a lot of wear and tear.

RAY: The disadvantage is that sometimes you have to carry more than one passenger, especially if you have kids. And I know my wife is getting awfully tired of riding in the back...especially in the winter.

TOM: Another advantage is that--as the name implies--you can "pick stuff up."

RAY: But as I discovered after I bought my pick up, every place delivers! And worse, people you hardly even know--people who are friends of friends of friends--will ask to borrow your truck whenever they need to move anything. And they'll ask you to help.

TOM: As far as engines go, diesels are great if you have that "backwoods/survivalist" mentality. A diesel engine is a perfect complement to the bomb shelter in your back yard and the 5,872 cans of chicken noodle soup in your pantry. Diesel fuel can be stored indefinitely, so you'll always be prepared. And diesel engines don't need spark plugs, so when nuclear winter wipes out all electronics, you'll be able to push-start your pick up and head right out to Sears for their 50% off "after nuclear winter" sale.

RAY: But on the other hand, diesels are noisy, smelly, dirty, sluggish, and hard to start in cold weather. So I'd opt for a gasoline engine. I know we'll hear from the diesel fanatics out there, but gasoline is definitely the way to go.

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