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Unread 08-15-2013, 09:36 AM   #1
hemispin
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Objective cost analysis of Gas vs. Diesel options

I did a "Break-even point" cost analysis of the Gas engines vs. the Diesel option. This may help buyers determine if it's really worth it to spend the extra $4500 for the diesel engine. I have been as objective as possible on this matter, showing all possible scenarios solely based on the cost difference of the engine itself, not trim or 4wd vs 2wd, and using list prices. I have also ignored differences in maintenance costs; such as adding urea for the diesel, and the Hemi needing new spark plugs every 30k miles.

My calculations are using an 18 mpg average for the Hemi, 19 mpg for the V6, 24 mpg for the diesel, and an average of 15,000 miles per year. I'm using the list prices of $1795 for the advanced technology package, $4500 for the diesel engine, and $2695 for the hemi. I'm also using the average cost for fuel in my area, which is $3.69/gallon for regular, and $3.99/gallon for diesel.

I have created a fairly simple spreadsheet that I can plug different numbers into such as miles per year and differences in fuel prices. The spreadsheet is configured to calculate all changes.

Note that the "technology package" is a forced option with the diesel, so I will show considerations in cost differences regarding that. Personally, I don't need or want a $1795 option to "help" me drive. I do just fine on my own, but thanks anyways.

Break even point considering you purchase the "advanced tech package" on the gas engine options:

V6 = 10.72 years and about 161k miles.
V8 = 3.1 years and about 47k miles.

Break even point considering you DO NOT purchase the "advanced tech package" on the gas engine options, yet you have to buy it with the diesel:

V6 = 15 years and about 225k miles.
V8 = 6.19 years and about 93k miles.


Let me know if this helps you out, or if you would like me to try a different calculation.

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Unread 08-15-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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This is great, thanks!
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Unread 08-15-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
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This analysis is far from objective, IMHO.

For a true picture, you must add risk of failure and consequences. Analysis like these are good for showing what might happen when everything goes right, great for sparking debate, and worthless for the real world. Disassociating the maintenance complexity, risk and cost of repair in any long term investment is extremely short sighted. Every credible analysis considers such factors. I've been there and done that. What is a diesel engine's replacement cost when a injector leaks down and destroys a cylinder (fairly common) vs the relatively simple fix for gas injector repair. The WK2 diesel injector itself cost about as much as an entire gas engine. A sensitivity (what if and probability) analysis must go along with anything this simple spread sheet. Perhaps expanding this first step with a graph showing expected values vs possible ranges over the years may be useful.

Buy a diesel if you like it, and certainly feel free use these type of analysis to rationalize your purchase to the spouse, but you are kidding yourself.

IMHO, Diesel engines make a lot of sense where you have a real need for the performance/torque or have a large fleet to amortize/spread the risk of that one bad fuel fill/ cold weather gel incident that destroys the diesel engine where a gas one just keeps going after the clean up. Economical sense is subject to a wide array of variables. For example, diesel fuel this time of year is typically cheap, but when heating season starts up in a few months and refineries start making fuel oil instead of diesel, then watch the price rise to over $5 a gallon. Gas has no such dramatic seasonal fluctuations. What does that do the the break even point? What does 50% at $5 a gallon do?

Are you risk adverse or do you like to take a chance? Although you are likely to get a good one and, if taken care of well, long service... can you take the chance on loosing your shirt?

Let me just say this from those with long histories with diesel (car and truck) and gas, for the USA buy the diesel with its premium only if you really need its performance characteristics today or want to eventually run on waste cooking oil. You will not save any money... or enough to make a difference. (you will find exceptions, just like you find million dollar lottery winners). Diesel makes more sense in many other countries.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ColdCase View Post
For a true picture, you must add risk of failure and consequences. Analysis like these are good for showing what might happen when everything goes right, great for sparking debate, and worthless for the real world. Disassociating the maintenance complexity, risk and cost of repair in any long term investment is extremely short sighted.
I did this analysis for myself to decide whether to wait for the diesel when I was shopping in late June. For me, it was hard to justify the $4500 cost of the engine, plus the forced grouping of the $1795 "tech package".

I realized that it's nearly impossible to capture every single possible cost difference. So I focused on what the buyer will see every day: Up-front cost and fuel costs.

There are many unknowns with owning ANY vehicle. It's impossible to consider every possible scenario. Some diesel owners put 300k miles on their rigs with only oil changes and basic maintenance and never have a problem. Others suffer burnt or cracked valves at under 10k miles. I don't have that data, and I wouldn't possibly know how to compile it and then compare it to a gas vehicle.

You can dismiss my entire analysis if you like. I figured some people could use it for a quick cost comparison.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
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We Dont Subsidize

Diesel fuel like they do in the UK and the EU. Diesels despite all the filtration still put out fine particulant matter which does cause cancer.

If you want a diesel buy it. However Chrysler should have spent the R&D money on a new V8 to replace the so called hemi. A diesel really doesnt make economic sense in GC in this country.

Chances are 60%/40% that the cost of regular will fall in the next 5 to 7 years.
We could see regular averaging $2.50 a gallon in most of the US or less. The US is becoming a net exporter rather than an importer. Keystone pipeline and other rational energy decisions ie offshore drilling not offshore wind farms would keep the cost of regular gas low for the next 30 years.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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LOL... my CRD is cleaner than your 2002Ti. If you were really concerned about the environment, you would have the European piece of trash crushed.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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LOL... my CRD is cleaner than your 2002Ti. If you were really concerned about the environment, you would have the European piece of trash crushed.
Your CRD puts out a lot particulant matter that causes cancer. A lot more than a 2002ti. And it really doesnt matter matter what I do or you do and how concerned we are about the environment because billions of Indians and Chinese dont care at all. So it makes no difference. A 2002ti is worth more than your CRD or any Jeep. 3%+ Co is the only way to go. Wait let me fart and do more damage to your environment. BWTM my two collies just farted too.

If you could wave your magic fairy wand Mr Yates and magically turn all the vehicles in the US powered by internal combustion engines into either hybrids or Tesla clones it would have absolutely no effect on climate change or global warming. See R&T 2/09.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 06:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hemispin View Post
I did a "Break-even point" cost analysis of the Gas engines vs. the Diesel option. This may help buyers determine if it's really worth it to spend the extra $4500 for the diesel engine. I have been as objective as possible on this matter, showing all possible scenarios solely based on the cost difference of the engine itself, not trim or 4wd vs 2wd, and using list prices. I have also ignored differences in maintenance costs; such as adding urea for the diesel, and the Hemi needing new spark plugs every 30k miles.

My calculations are using an 18 mpg average for the Hemi, 19 mpg for the V6, 24 mpg for the diesel, and an average of 15,000 miles per year. I'm using the list prices of $1795 for the advanced technology package, $4500 for the diesel engine, and $2695 for the hemi. I'm also using the average cost for fuel in my area, which is $3.69/gallon for regular, and $3.99/gallon for diesel.

I have created a fairly simple spreadsheet that I can plug different numbers into such as miles per year and differences in fuel prices. The spreadsheet is configured to calculate all changes.

Note that the "technology package" is a forced option with the diesel, so I will show considerations in cost differences regarding that. Personally, I don't need or want a $1795 option to "help" me drive. I do just fine on my own, but thanks anyways.

Break even point considering you purchase the "advanced tech package" on the gas engine options:

V6 = 10.72 years and about 161k miles.
V8 = 3.1 years and about 47k miles.

Break even point considering you DO NOT purchase the "advanced tech package" on the gas engine options, yet you have to buy it with the diesel:

V6 = 15 years and about 225k miles.
V8 = 6.19 years and about 93k miles.


Let me know if this helps you out, or if you would like me to try a different calculation.
That's all fine and dandy but it's those hidden costs that always get you and the gas version will always end up way ahead since the diesel is not produced here.Biggest factor will be part availability and cost.Just look at the KJ CRD,some people have waited over a year for parts making them a expensive lawn ornimant.


I see stuff like this everyday at work like those people who must have those 19" and 20" rims from the factory,when they need new tires they freak to find out replacement tires run about $300-$450 each.Some really run oddball sizes that are insanely expensive.Then you got those toyota owners with that 3.5 V6 which requires 6.4qts of full syn 0w-20 oil,nice way to spend $75 which owners are outraged about.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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Ok guys, I never claimed I had a perfect analysis. It's impossible to capture every single possible expense, scenario, or "risk". Yes, the Euro-built diesel engine will likely have some issues, and it might be tough to get parts. We don't know what Chrysler/Fiat is doing to keep parts on hand in the US. One part might take 10 days to get, another part might take 6 months. I have no way of knowing that, and it's impossible to calculate.

Like I said, I was considering the diesel engine, but was thrown off by its high up-front cost. But it gets better fuel economy than the gas engines. So what did I do? I tried to figure out a break-even point ONLY USING the cost of the engine and the "tech package", and calculated the CURRENT price differences in fuel cost per gallon. I accepted the fact that it wouldn't be 100% accurate. Here's what I came up with:

V8 = 6.19 years and about 93k miles.

FOR ME, that was too high or too long of a break-even point, so I bought the V8. It's not perfect by any means, but it gives me a pretty good idea of what the differences in cost are.

I thought this would be helpful to some.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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Ok guys, I never claimed I had a perfect analysis. It's impossible to capture every single possible expense, scenario, or "risk". Yes, the Euro-built diesel engine will likely have some issues, and it might be tough to get parts. We don't know what Chrysler/Fiat is doing to keep parts on hand in the US. One part might take 10 days to get, another part might take 6 months. I have no way of knowing that, and it's impossible to calculate.

Like I said, I was considering the diesel engine, but was thrown off by its high up-front cost. But it gets better fuel economy than the gas engines. So what did I do? I tried to figure out a break-even point ONLY USING the cost of the engine and the "tech package", and calculated the CURRENT price differences in fuel cost per gallon. I accepted the fact that it wouldn't be 100% accurate. Here's what I came up with:

V8 = 6.19 years and about 93k miles.

FOR ME, that was too high or too long of a break-even point, so I bought the V8. It's not perfect by any means, but it gives me a pretty good idea of what the differences in cost are.

I thought this would be helpful to some.
In my opinion this is very helpful. You never can truly calculate what can or might go wrong and how much it will cost, no matter what engine.
People waiting for parts could be waiting for anything. A good example would be 8.4" radios. People are waiting weeks for them, or rear shocks, which are on restriction right now. I saw another thread where people have been waiting for September for water pumps! I can't remember if that was the hemi or the v6, but still. If they would have offered the diesel in a laredo when we ordered my wife's I would have ordered that, but since they only offer the v6, that is what we ended up with.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dave2002ti View Post
Your CRD puts out a lot particulant matter that causes cancer. A lot more than a 2002ti. And it really doesnt matter matter what I do or you do and how concerned we are about the environment because billions of Indians and Chinese dont care at all. So it makes no difference. A 2002ti is worth more than your CRD or any Jeep. 3%+ Co is the only way to go. Wait let me fart and do more damage to your environment. BWTM my two collies just farted too.

If you could wave your magic fairy wand Mr Yates and magically turn all the vehicles in the US powered by internal combustion engines into either hybrids or Tesla clones it would have absolutely no effect on climate change or global warming. See R&T 2/09.

I'll tell you what.... How about we each post a picture of our vehicles tail pipes and let the crowd decide who has the dirtier vehicle. Besides.... If you were really the e-millionaire you think you are, you wouldn't be pimping a 2002.
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Unread 08-15-2013, 08:23 PM   #12
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Diesel fuel like they do in the UK and the EU. Diesels despite all the filtration still put out fine particulant matter which does cause cancer.

If you want a diesel buy it. However Chrysler should have spent the R&D money on a new V8 to replace the so called hemi. A diesel really doesnt make economic sense in GC in this country.

Chances are 60%/40% that the cost of regular will fall in the next 5 to 7 years.
We could see regular averaging $2.50 a gallon in most of the US or less. The US is becoming a net exporter rather than an importer. Keystone pipeline and other rational energy decisions ie offshore drilling not offshore wind farms would keep the cost of regular gas low for the next 30 years.
Yeah sure, gas at $2.50 a gallon, I will believe it when I see it. They said gas was going to be cheaper this summer than the past few summers, guess what? Gas averaged above $3.50 a gallon the entire spring and summer, gas finally dropped below that a few weeks ago, and now it is on its way back up. If you watch truck stop diesel prices they don't fluctuate near as much and stations like speedway and such.
With the new regulations put on diesel engines emission wise the air going in is almost dirtier than the air going out, so good luck telling people that your gas engine is better than a diesel.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 05:00 AM   #13
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Everything is not always about dollars and cents. One buys a car with your heart not because of calculations on a spreadsheet.

I have been driving 3 different diesel Jeeps since 2004 and I will never go back to gas or petrol driven vehicles. The driving experience in a diesel is so much better because of it's huge torque numbers.

Yes, it is true that service costs are a bit higher but then the service intervals are so much longer. As far as reliability is concerned: a diesel is just as reliable if not more than a gas driven vehicle.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 06:06 AM   #14
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8 gallons of MOPAR DEF (yes you can get cheaper) is going to cost you an additional $165 at every oil change. Buying a Diesel is more than the cost of a gallon of go-go juice, the DEF is required and you cannot ignore it. Like fuel you have to put it in or the car will go into limp mode. At the MOPAR price (again yes you can get cheaper DEF) it adds $0.0165 cost per mile driven on the Diesel.

This and the $5000 premium on a Summit is what kept me out of buying the Diesel. When I used my local fuel figures the cost of ownership per mile (excluding the $5K premium for purchase) put the Diesel as slightly more expensive and I would have to "search" for diesel as I don't live close to a major interstate. Buying fuel becomes planning your driving to ensure you are near one of the few diesel stations.

I love the idea of the torque and power of the diesel, I just don't like how the EPA has choked down the engines and the inconvenience of ownership.

It will be interesting in about 6 or so weeks when owners start bring them home and post their thoughts. I hope dealerships give them a fill up on DEF before they bring it home...
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Unread 08-16-2013, 06:25 AM   #15
loveracing1988
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8 gallons of MOPAR DEF (yes you can get cheaper) is going to cost you an additional $165 at every oil change. Buying a Diesel is more than the cost of a gallon of go-go juice, the DEF is required and you cannot ignore it. Like fuel you have to put it in or the car will go into limp mode. At the MOPAR price (again yes you can get cheaper DEF) it adds $0.0165 cost per mile driven on the Diesel.

This and the $5000 premium on a Summit is what kept me out of buying the Diesel. When I used my local fuel figures the cost of ownership per mile (excluding the $5K premium for purchase) put the Diesel as slightly more expensive and I would have to "search" for diesel as I don't live close to a major interstate. Buying fuel becomes planning your driving to ensure you are near one of the few diesel stations.

I love the idea of the torque and power of the diesel, I just don't like how the EPA has choked down the engines and the inconvenience of ownership.

It will be interesting in about 6 or so weeks when owners start bring them home and post their thoughts. I hope dealerships give them a fill up on DEF before they bring it home...
$165 for something I can get at Walmart for $8? Sounds like a steal!
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