Tips & Guides

Gas vs. diesel Truck

Welcome to the ultimate showdown in the world of trucks: Gas vs. Diesel trucks. This long-standing rivalry has fueled passionate debates and divided truck enthusiasts for years. In this blog, we will delve into the heart of this fierce competition, putting Gas and Diesel trucks head to head and comparing them on a multitude of parameters, providing you with precise insights that will help you decide with ease.

Gas vs. Diesel Truck: Ownership Cost Comparison

Upfront Cost

When folks embark on their truck shopping journey, one of the top priorities that often springs to mind is the price tag. Let’s face it, trucks don’t come cheap, and when it comes to comparing gas and diesel options, you’ll typically find yourself looking at a disparity of around $5,000 to $11,000.

Now, what makes diesel trucks a tad pricier? Well, it all boils down to the nitty-gritty of their construction. You see, diesel engines are designed to handle some serious oomph, thanks to higher combustion pressures. And that means beefing up the engine block to accommodate the extra force. It’s like giving your truck’s heart some serious muscle! But hey, quality muscles don’t come cheap, right?

But that’s not all. With excellent torque comes the need for a transmission that can handle the power. Diesel trucks demand transmissions that are built to withstand the increased torque output.

Moreover, today diesel trucks come equipped with fancy emissions control equipment to keep harmful pollutants in check. 

Fuel Cost

When it comes to efficiency, diesel engines have a clear edge over their gas engine counterparts, typically boasting a 20% to 35% advantage. Now, why is that the case, you may ask? Well, part of the reason lies in the composition of diesel fuel itself. You see, diesel fuel contains a whopping 13% more energy than gasoline, giving those diesel engines a little extra oomph.

But that’s not all! When faced with demanding tasks like towing, diesel engines really shine. Thanks to their higher torque output, they operate at a lower RPM when put under strain. 

This means they experience far less of a drop in miles per gallon (mpg) compared to gas engines. In fact, that 25% to 35% improvement in fuel economy can skyrocket to a jaw-dropping 50% to 100% improvement when towing. 

Yes, regular unleaded gasoline is usually a bit cheaper than diesel fuel, typically around 25 to 50 cents less per gallon. But here’s the interesting part: if you find yourself driving over 30,000 miles a year, that extra cost of diesel can be easily offset by the added fuel efficiency. 

So, it’s worth considering your mileage expectations when making your truck choice to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Of course, it’s important to note that these advantages are less pronounced in city driving.

Maintenance cost

Now let’s talk about maintenance costs. When it comes to gas trucks, the expenses are generally a bit lighter on your wallet. Take oil changes, for example. For a gas truck, you can expect to pay around $30 to $60, which is relatively affordable. However, when it comes to a diesel truck, be prepared to shell out close to $150 for an oil change. Ouch!

But wait, there’s more to it than just oil changes. Maintaining a diesel engine involves additional considerations. Some folks may argue that the absence of a spark ignition system makes diesel engines cheaper to maintain. While there is some truth to this notion, it’s not the full picture. 

Diesel trucks are renowned for their reliability. However, diesel engines have unique and often expensive parts, so if something does go wrong, repairs for diesel engines can be significantly more costly. High-pressure injectors, fuel pumps, high-pressure oil pumps, turbochargers (and their associated components like intercoolers, variable switching valves, and wastegates), radiators, oil coolers, and more—all of these require costly attention over time. 

Let’s not forget about emissions equipment, either. Modern diesel trucks incorporate diesel particulate filters and DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) fluid injection, along with all the pumps, heaters, and mechanisms associated with them. If something goes wrong in the DEF system, it’s not going to be cheap to fix.

Longevity and Resale Value

Diesel engines are heavy-duty powerhouses that are known to go the distance, often lasting hundreds of thousands of miles. Some folks even joke that diesel engines aren’t fully broken in until they hit the 100,000-mile mark. Now, that’s some serious longevity!

The secret behind their endurance lies in their construction. As mentioned earlier as well, diesel engines are built with robust engine blocks and internals, designed to withstand the significantly higher compression ratios they operate at compared to gas engines. This sturdiness allows diesel engines to handle heavier workloads and longer periods of operation without breaking a sweat. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that taking good care of your vehicle through proper maintenance is crucial to maximizing its lifespan.

Now, here’s an interesting tidbit. Due to their remarkable longevity, diesel vehicles often command higher resale prices. Green Car Reports even states that the value of a diesel vehicle is typically 60% to 70% higher than that of a gasoline vehicle. So not only do you get the benefit of a durable engine, but you also have the potential for a better return on your investment when it’s time to sell or trade in your diesel truck.

Gas vs. Diesel truck: Capability


Diesel trucks are true workhorses that thrive on challenges and pushing their limits. Take the Chevy Silverado HD, for example. It offers a standard gas-powered 6.6-liter V-8 engine that delivers 464 pound-feet of torque and can tow up to 17,400 pounds. Impressive, right? But here’s where the diesel option takes the lead.

Opt for the optional Duramax diesel engine of the same size, and you’ll be rewarded with a jaw-dropping 910 pound-feet of torque, enabling you to tow an astonishing 36,000 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly. The diesel powertrain opens up a whole new realm of towing capability.

Now, let’s dive into why diesel trucks reign supreme when it comes to towing. These trucks, like the mighty Chevy Silverado, are renowned for their sky-high torque outputs. This immense torque allows them to confidently handle heavier loads compared to gas-powered engines of similar sizes. When you’re towing a boat or a trailer, a diesel truck provides a smoother ride, making the task feel almost effortless.

One of the secrets behind this towing prowess lies in the diesel engine’s ability to produce peak torque at much lower RPMs. This means that when you accelerate or maintain speed while towing, the engine won’t need to downshift as frequently as a gas engine would. And you know what that means? It results in a more fuel-efficient journey. Gas engines, on the other hand, tend to consume more fuel as they work harder to keep up with the load. It’s a significant advantage for diesel trucks.

In fact, some diesel truck owners will tell you that towing with a diesel engine feels like a breeze. The abundance of power at their disposal means they don’t even realize they’re towing anything 


The payload capacity of the Silverado Dually 3500, equipped with a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8, stands at 6,523 pounds. However, if you choose the 6.6-liter gasoline-powered V8 instead, the payload capacity gets a boost to 7,442 pounds.

When all other factors remain the same, a lighter truck can handle a larger payload compared to a heavier one. 

The reason behind the increased payload capacity with the gasoline-powered V8 lies in the weight difference between diesel and gas engines. Diesel engines typically weigh more than gas engines. This additional weight of the diesel engine directly impacts the truck’s payload capacity, reducing it accordingly.

Gas vs. Diesel Truck: Other Considerations

Urban driving

When it comes to highways, diesel engines truly shine. They demonstrate their greatest strengths in this type of driving environment. However, if a significant portion of your driving involves frequent stops and starts due to traffic lights, traffic congestion, and stop signs, the difference in mileage between diesel and gasoline engines becomes less noticeable.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that gas trucks generally offer a quieter and smoother ride compared to diesel trucks. This factor can be particularly important if you intend to use your truck for daily commuting, where a comfortable and peaceful driving experience is desirable.

Ease of Fuel Fill-Ups

Gasoline-powered trucks offer the advantage of easily finding fuel stations anywhere you go. In contrast, finding a gas station that sells diesel fuel can be more challenging. Choosing a gasoline truck means spending less time worrying about where to refuel.

Ease of Maintenance

Service technicians generally have greater familiarity with gas engines compared to diesel engines. However, it’s important to note that as a gas engine ages, it may experience more issues than its heavier diesel counterpart.

Gas vs. Diesel Truck: Head to Head

Why Choose Diesel Trucks over Gas Trucks?

  • More fuel-efficient than gas trucks, resulting in lower fuel costs over time.
  • Higher torque output than gas trucks, making them better for towing heavy loads.
  • Generally more reliable and longer-lasting than gas trucks.
  • Higher resale value than gas trucks.

Why Choose Gas Trucks over Diesel Trucks

  • Generally cheaper upfront than diesel trucks.
  • Easier to maintain than diesel trucks.
  • Smoother and quieter operation than diesel trucks, making them a better option for urban commuting.
  • More fueling stations are available for gasoline than diesel fuel, making it easier to find a place to fill up on long trips.

Gas vs. Diesel truck: Which one should you really buy?

When it comes to deciding which truck is the winner, there’s no clear-cut answer because it all depends on how you plan to use your truck. See, every truck owner has their unique needs and preferences.

If you’re all about towing and need a truck that’s powerful, reliable, and built to last, then a diesel truck is your best bet. These bad boys are designed to be super-efficient while getting the job done right.

But hey, if you don’t really need a truck with a massive towing capacity and you don’t find yourself hitting the road for long trips all the time, a diesel truck might end up costing you extra bucks without giving you much in return. Plus, there’s a wider variety of gas models out there, showing that diesel trucks are more of a specialized option.