often-overlooked benefit is lower risk of fire. Diesel fuel is less flammable and won't explode like gasoline.
Diesel engines require parts that are heavier and
stronger. At Sparks Tire & Auto in St. Charles MO., we occasionally service diesel cars and trucks with over 300,000
miles/500,000 kilometers. The heavy-duty parts make diesel vehicles a little more expensive new, but due to the
extra burliness, diesel engines last a lot longer. This is one of the reasons Cummins diesels inspire such a loyal
Cons? Cold weather starting. Diesel engines can be hard to fire up when the temperature drops. However, an
engine block heater can solve this problem. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Sparks Tire & Auto service
advisor for more information.
If you are in the market for a new vehicle that's easy on fuel, you might want to explore your diesel options.
You'll save money and may qualify for a tax credit if you buy a clean diesel vehicle. Of course, diesels require
regular maintenance like any other vehicle and the services are usually a little more costly due to the nature of
the engines. But the extra cost is offset by the better fuel economy and longer engine life.
Bottom line? The diesel vehicles on St. Charles roads today are not your grandfather's diesel.
someone mentions diesels around St. Charles, images of smoky, rattly trucks may spring to mind. The fact is that the
modern, clean diesel engine is much more refined than in the old days. Sure, diesel engines remain a very popular
choice with heavy duty pick-up truck drivers in the St. Louis area, but they are finding their way into nearly every
segment of the automotive market. Why is that? Well, it's science.
Diesel fuel contains more energy than the same amount of gasoline. So it takes less diesel fuel to do the same
amount of work as gas. so St. Charles diesel drivers get more miles per gallon/kilometers per liter and lower
emissions. In Europe, where fuel is very expensive and good fuel economy is very important, around half of passenger
vehicles are powered by diesel engines. This goes for small economy cars all the way up to the world's most luxury
The driving experience is also very good with diesel engines. In fact St. Charles residents may not even be able to
tell the difference between riding in or driving a diesel powered vehicle. So what are the factors to when deciding
whether or not to choose a diesel engine?
One consideration is price. Diesel engines cost more to build and are an extra cost option for most vehicles. So St.
Charles residents need to do the math to see how long it will take the increased to pay for the extra up-front cost
of a diesel engine. The cost of diesel fuel in Missouri is also a factor. There is no clear correlation between gas
prices and diesel prices because the refining and distribution systems are so different. This means that the
difference in price per gallon/liter for diesel and gasoline can vary a great deal depending on where you live in
Missouri. Just watch diesel and gas prices for a while (or talk with a diesel owner in St. Charles) so you can get a
feel for how much price per gallon/liter figures into your purchase decision.
Also important to know is your expected use of the vehicle. For example, if you tow heavy trailers or haul heavy
loads around St. Louis, the extra power many diesel engines offer (while getting better fuel economy than a gas
engine) may help you make your decision. Your highway/city driving mix may play into the decision as well. Diesels
shine in the highway fuel economy department. And the more you drive in a year, the more attractive diesel engines
If your vehicle has a diesel engine, remember that it still requires maintenance like your gas powered vehicles
always have. Oil changes, cooling system service, power steering, brakes, tires, etc. – all need to be maintained.
Some of the schedules may be different because of the unique design of diesel engines. Your friendly and
knowledgeable Spark's Tire & Auto will be able to help you properly maintain your diesel vehicle, helping it last
longer and continue to deliver great performance and efficiency.
What's up with Diesels in St. Charles?
Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel
engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most manufacturers produce a variety of diesel-fueled
cars for purchase abroad.
Diesel-fueled vehicles haven't been as popular in the North American markets like Missouri. But that won't be true
for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we're not talking about
buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV's.
There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions
standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than
European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight
engines in passenger vehicles just couldn't tolerate it.
But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner
diesel fuel in St. Charles. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The
second reason we're going to see more of these vehicles in St. Charles is that they're more fuel-efficient than
their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more
power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% better fuel
People in St. Charles may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.”
That's also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth, quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline
engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick
to accelerate as other vehicles on St. Charles roads.
Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because
they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last
longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn
many of the new bio-fuels.
Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from St. Charles restaurants. Just
think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one
step closer to a cleaner environment here in Missouri. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally
sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean.
St. Charles drivers who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle should know that preventive maintenance and
inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions
systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel
injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a
When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you'll have to learn some new
rules of vehicle care. But you won't be alone. Most St. Charles service centers are aware that diesels are
coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Sparks Tire & Auto, we
are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality
service for diesel-powered vehicles.