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Diesel trucks have a long-standing reputation for providing more power, reliability, and towing capabilities, but this doesn’t mean diesel is always better for everyone. There are actually several reasons why a person may not benefit from what diesel trucks provide. 

1. If you hate noisy diesel trucks

A sign for truck diesel in yellow with black writing with a red sign above that with a white truck and trailer silhouette.
Diesel | Getty Images

According to Trusted Choice, diesel-powered engines have always been considered bumpy and noisy, which could be why many Americans declined to buy one when they were first introduced. These days, diesel engines don’t produce as much ruckus, but they are still less smooth and quiet than cars with petrol engines. 

People who enjoy hearing their engine roar and don’t mind a bumpier ride may find that diesel engines better suit their wants and needs in a truck. In fact, some people purposely seek out diesel engines because they like showing off their trucks with loud noises and revved engines. For others, the drawback of a noisier vehicle is completely offset by the superior performance and towing capacity of a diesel-powered truck. 

2. If you dislike strong diesel truck smells

Although some people enjoy the smell of gasoline, not everyone is a huge fan of the scent. Diesel is even more controversial in terms of smell, as it produces a much stronger and long-lasting odor. Diesel that gets on clothes or other fabrics can spread the scent to other fabrics in the washing machine, and it can be nearly impossible to get out. 

If you don’t like the strong diesel smell, that may be enough reason to choose a petrol truck instead. You’ll likely be exposed to the smell several times per month when fueling up. If the smell doesn’t bother you that much, or you actually enjoy the sharp smell of diesel fuel, you may be happier with that type of engine. 

3. If you don’t like spending more on fuel

According to Capital Reman Exchange, diesel-powered engines tend to last a bit longer than petrol-powered ones, often getting up to 1,000,000 or more miles before kicking the bucket. A longer lifespan is a compelling reason to invest in a diesel-powered truck, but diesel itself tends to be much more expensive than regular gasoline. 

Throughout the course of your vehicle’s life, this can result in thousands of additional dollars spent on fuel. Indeed, diesel engines tend also to be more fuel-efficient. Still, a diesel engine’s significantly higher starting price means that it will take much longer to break even from the increased fuel efficiency.

Additionally, not every gas station has diesel available, especially in large cities or outlying areas, making long-distance driving less feasible than gasoline-powered rides. 

4. If you live in very cold climates


The Least Reliable Diesel Pickup Trucks According to Consumer Reports

Much like their reputation for being noisier than gas-powered vehicles, diesel engines have been notoriously ill-equipped regarding cold weather in the past. Many truck manufacturers have added extra features to help a diesel truck start in frigid weather. However, some diesel models still can’t handle temperatures close to or below zero degrees Fahrenheit. 

There are a few strategies one can use to keep their diesel-powered engine running decently in frigid weather. Still, these vehicles generally don’t perform as well as gas-powered vehicles once the thermometer drops well below freezing. 

The bottom line

These are just a few reasons why a diesel truck may be wrong for you, and the decision between a diesel and petrol truck isn’t always a straightforward one. There are plenty of pros and cons one must weigh, and only you can decide which is best for you given what you intend to do with it.