Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John  
Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - justadriver

I'm looking for a £3,500 car to replace my Mazda 6. I don't drive a huge annual mileage, but most individual journeys are long so I want diesel economy, comfort and reliability. A Ford Mondeo or Focus would be suitable, because I need to carry a bike, and it's fine by me if it already has 80,000-odd miles on the clock.

RP, Bexleyheath

Wrong thinking. Buying a three-year-old, 80,000-mile diesel could be a very expensive mistake. It will very shortly need a need a diesel particulate filter (£1,000-£1,500), then a dual mass flywheel and clutch (£1,000-£1,500), possibly a turbo (another £1,500) and probably an exhaust gas recirculation valve (£500). Diesels can run reliably and cheaply on a fleet for three years, but contain many potential pitfalls for whoever buys them next.

Tags: dual mass flywheel DPF dual mass fly wheels diesels dmf

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - justadriver

Wrong thinking. Fully agree with HJ's advice!


Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Engineer Andy

I Quite agree.

For that size of car (if needed - can you get a smaller one?), go for a 2 litre petrol (if you go for a 1.6 it'll be underpowered, meaning you'll have to thrash it to make progress and spend more on fuel than the larger-engined car);

If you can get away with a smaller car, get a standard petrol-engined version (no small engined version with turbo or supecharging [probably too expensive anyway] given that they're also relatively new technology and may develop faults as the newer diesel designs have - supposed example is the VW turbo-supercharged 1.4) matched to the car size (same "underpowered" issue as above), e.g.

Hyundai i10 size: 1.0 - 1.2 ltr

Fiesta size: 1.2 - 1.4 ltr

Focus size: 1.6 ltr

Besides...petrol engined cars cost less than diesels to buy, service/repair (less complex engines for standard models) and sound better! Unless you do large annual mileages (well over 20k p.a.), the gains over fuel economy (much less if you do only short journeys - diesels take longer to get to optimum running temperature than petrol engines and are less efficient for the first 10 minutes approx.) are more than outweighed by the above.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - unthrottled

It will very shortly need a need a diesel particulate filter (£1,000-£1,500), then a dual mass flywheel and clutch (£1,000-£1,500), possibly a turbo (another £1,500) and probably an exhaust gas recirculation valve (£500).

Must be why I keep passing HGVs sitting on the hard shoulder with clogged DPFs, cooked turbos, and stuck EGR valves. After all, they have all these features and run 80,000+ miles per year...

DMF can carry on almost indefinitely if used sympathetically.

ditto turbos.

EGR valves shouldn't need to be replaced (btw petrols have 'em too).

Modern petrols are way more complex than comparable diesels. Heath Robinson valvetrains, expensive throttle bodies, high voltage ignition system, closed loop AFR control etc.

To get any efficiency out of them you have to use water thin oils, thin piston rings and short skirts. Can't see that combination outliving a good diesel.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - veryoldbear

We now have the silly situation that the old Euro 3 diesels are more reliable and will likely be chugging on long after the Euro 4's have collapsed in a heap ...

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - justadriver

Having a discussion with my friendly local dealer last night after I took him two colleagues who both bought cars on my recommendation, and they have considered trading out every diesel car brought in as a PX if it is not sold and previously serviced by them.

Must admit, have chickened out and sold my 3 and a bit year old dpf/dmf fitted diesel, beforeencountering problems, but got fed up of the regualr expensive additional oil and filter changes.

And when I posted this thread last week I was accused od trying to drive the price of used diesels down.

So will the manufacturers be withdrawing advertisng because of hj's comments.

.This is now the real world for most people, buy the car, keep it for the warranty period and then either pay out lots to keep it or pay out lots to get another!

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - madf

We now have the silly situation that the old Euro 3 diesels are more reliable and will likely be chugging on long after the Euro 4's have collapsed in a heap ...

My Euro 3 diesel is going well after 8 years. No issues at all.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - thunderbird

I would rather buy a 3 year old car with 80,000 miles on the clock than a 5 year old car with 30,000 miles on the clock and petrol v diesel argument is pointless, depends on your annual mileage.

Honest John has a hatred of diesels just like Clarkson.

Next time you go out look for a broken down car, it will take you a while, the roads are not littered with them. Take a note if its petrol or diesel, do this for a few months and then make an informed decision rather than listening to the scribes who have joined the "we hate diesel" brigade.

For the record we have a Euro 4 and Euro 5 diesel in the house, only one has a dmf, would not have the petrol version of either.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - sandy56

My five year old Toyota diesel Auris 2L is going on and on. No costs at all in 3 yrs ownership, other than servicing.

Guess what I will be keeping it rather than take the gamble with a newer diesel.

IF I do change I may just go back to petrol.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - pd

Diesels can certainly throw up large bills as milegae goes up and someone doing a low mileage is probably better off with a petrol (in this case I'd agree they would) but the idea that a 80k mile diesel WILL need a DPF, DMF, clutch, EGR valve and a turbo shortly after 80k is utter rubbish. It is possible, certainly, but by no means definate. Furthermore the prices quoted are max main dealer - not many people on a £3k 80k car will use a main dealer.

I come across some E4 diesels with 150k on the clock all going strong on the originals on all of those. It depends on the car design and whether it has been serviced well as much as anything.

On many models the DMF will see out the life of the car (200k) or more as will the tubo if its been serviced.

Caution on modern diesels with a few miles is certainly advised but they do not all blow up as soon as they get to 80k - they're not *that* bad.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - justadriver

they're not *that* bad.

No, they are not ALL that bad, but plenty are... The problem is How do you know which are good and bad, You can't see crankshaft damage done by oil dilution, you cannot see turbo damage egr valve or dmf damage either. It can be a real lottery so the basic advice given by HJ is sound. If you have a limited budget andthe potential costs are to the value of the car in avery short time. it is worth taking note of the points that have been made, As Clint Eastwood said "Are you feeling lucky"... Well are you?

Edited by justadriver on 06/10/2012 at 16:17

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - veryoldbear

It's a phrase that applies to just about any used car. I have purchased excellent second-hand cars over the years, some petrol, some diesel. I have also bought my share of dogs and Friday afternoon cars. After nearly fifty years of so doing, I am none the wiser.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - SteveLee

Next time you go out look for a broken down car, it will take you a while, the roads are not littered with them. Take a note if its petrol or diesel, do this for a few months and then make an informed decision rather than listening to the scribes who have joined the "we hate diesel" brigade.

I did exactly that for a while noting all the breakdons on to my regular commute to Manchester from London, disregarding bangers over 15 years old, nearly all the broken down cars were post 2003 VAG diesels in one form or another - 57 reg seemed to be a particularly bad year.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - SteveLee
Must be why I keep passing HGVs sitting on the hard shoulder with clogged DPFs, cooked turbos, and stuck EGR valves. After all, they have all these features and run 80,000+ miles per year...

DMF can carry on almost indefinitely if used sympathetically.

ditto turbos.

EGR valves shouldn't need to be replaced (btw petrols have 'em too).

Modern petrols are way more complex than comparable diesels. Heath Robinson valvetrains, expensive throttle bodies, high voltage ignition system, closed loop AFR control etc.

To get any efficiency out of them you have to use water thin oils, thin piston rings and short skirts. Can't see that combination outliving a good diesel.

Unthrottled, as you know full well HGVs are running at full operating temperature at constant speed - perfect conditions for longevity of all engine components. Petrol EGRs don't soot up because there's no soot to soot them up. I am not aware of a single catastrophic petrol engine failure with any of my friends' or family's cars, no DMF problems, no ignition problems - petrol cars are unbelievably reliable these days. In fact the only ignition problem I can think of was a couple of dodgy coils on my own C5 (they were mis-manufactured causing water ingress) which I replaced for £25 each in 5 minutes (I replaced two of six in 70K miles).

On the diesel side I know of three DMF failures, two VAG Siemens injector related breakdowns one injector loom failure (VAG again), two turbo failures and two total engine failures (Nissan Nevara and Mazda 6). (I'll ignore my brother's diesel engine failure because that was at 260K miles) I'm sure HJ's mailbag reflects what's going on in the real world, I tend to agree with him that diesels have become an expensive liability. I was a diesel fan when they were simple reliable engines.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Bobbin Threadbare

I too take note of break-downs on my commute. BMW 3-series are often on the hard shoulder (often this is also with a police car.....) and then most of the rest I see are venerable 90s vehicles. Also Peugeot 206/306 types. I have never seen an Alfa on the side of the m'way (although this could be due to the inability to even start/already in garage etc).

From a physicist's point of view, the car's components must work well together to provide that longevity and reliability, regardless of fuel type. You can only make general predictions about this, and there is always the possibility of mismatch, faulty parts, oil etc. The manufacturer can't write an equation for the whole system....

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Avant

HJ's advice sums up excstly why buying a used modern diesel is a gamble: one particular reason why it's right in this case is that Justadriver said 'I'm looking for a £3,500 car to replace my Mazda 6. I don't drive a huge annual mileage....' .

Even though 'most individual jouneys are long' the extra economy of diesel is offset by the extra cost of derv as well as the potential repairs.

I'd suggest another Mazda 6, a petrol one. Bobbin ran a high-mileage petrol 6 with no problems, and I think her example is typical. But there are of course more Fords to choose from, and the 2.0 petrol engine has a good reputation. I'm not sure - is this engine one of the products of the Ford / Mazda joint venture?

Edited by Avant on 06/10/2012 at 23:05

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - gordonbennet

The advice given in the OP is simple common sense.

Unless you cover starship mileages, when the undisputed better efficiency of Diesel wins through, i see no point in taking the gamble on the several expensive time bombs ticking away in the modern Diesel.

By buying a petrol instead you are paying more for your journeys in fuel alone, but this can be offset against a usually cheaper purchase price and the joy of the offending parts being either missing or if they are fitted give only appear rarely in the dock....as a bonus you drive a vehicle without a tractor engine.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - piggy

<< the 2.0 petrol engine has a good reputation. I'm not sure - is this engine one of the products of the Ford / Mazda joint venture?>>

Yes,I think so. My 2lt. petrol has FoMoCo stamped on the dipstick!

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - justadriver

'''case is that Justadriver said'''

Sorry Avant. I was quoting HJs re[ply from his answers to someone else, as I thought it was the right answer too. See the initials of the person askin HJ the question/

RP BEXLEYHEATH>;

.


Edited by justadriver on 07/10/2012 at 07:32

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Bobbin Threadbare

HJ's advice sums up excstly why buying a used modern diesel is a gamble: one particular reason why it's right in this case is that Justadriver said 'I'm looking for a £3,500 car to replace my Mazda 6. I don't drive a huge annual mileage....' .

Even though 'most individual jouneys are long' the extra economy of diesel is offset by the extra cost of derv as well as the potential repairs.

I'd suggest another Mazda 6, a petrol one. Bobbin ran a high-mileage petrol 6 with no problems, and I think her example is typical. But there are of course more Fords to choose from, and the 2.0 petrol engine has a good reputation. I'm not sure - is this engine one of the products of the Ford / Mazda joint venture?

Yes - it's the Duratec from the Mazda MZR range. IIRC, Ford builds the engines, for the Mondeo etc anyway.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - barney100

There are numerous high mileage petrol engined cars on the road. Volvo owners website shows loads of examples for a start.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - unthrottled

Yes, I accept that HGVs are operating in a more engine-friendly duty cycle. I used the example to illustrate that there's nothing fundamentally unreliable about dodern turbo charged diesel engines.

The fault with VAG/Siemans injectors and wiring looms is a fault relating to a particular batch of VAG engines-nothing inherently wrong with diesels.

People think that common rail is "complex" because they don't really understand what it is and we tend to be suspicious of what we don't understand. In fact petrol engines use a common rail fuel system-just at much lower pressures.

Turbo failure is virtually always a consequence of oil starvation. If the oiling system is sound and the oil change intervals are respected, then the turbo will usually go the distance.

It is ridiculous to compare a n/a 2.0 petrol with a state of the art diesel and say that the diesel is more complex. Compare like with like. A state of the art petrol will probably have direct injection, a turbo, variable valve timing, Stop-start and a much more highly stressed ignition system than you'll find in an old Ford Zetec.

I don't think think those engines are going to last as long as the old ones.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - madf

I get the impression taht many of teh peopel who write to HJ are innocents devoid of all motoring knowledge or mimsers.

Anyone who drives a 8 -10 year old BMW petrol car which had been neglected will probably agree with Unthrottled's " A state of the art petrol will probably have direct injection, a turbo, variable valve timing, Stop-start and a much more highly stressed ignition system than you'll find in an old Ford Zetec.

I don't think think those engines are going to last as long as the old ones."

Stories of failled Variable Valve timing, jumped chains and failed radiators leading to HG problems..

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Redhound

Bobbin's post made me chuckle. I am confused though now. I am car hunting currently to replace my wonderful 13 year old 1.9Tdi Polo estate, which has unfortunately been mashed (not my doing!) and really wanted a diesel. I was looking at estates; Audi A4, VW Golf, Toyota Avensis or BMW 3 series were on my list. What, then, would be the most reliable diesel engine, (any estate considered?) I do about 40 miles daily normally but am intending to do a lot of long distance motorway miles soon...I want something economical and comfortable with room for 1 large and 1 small dog in the back...?

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - veryoldbear

Wiser heads with more knowledge than mine may prevail, but I think that Euro 3 to Euro 4 happened about 8 (?) years ago. Diesels after that date tend to have better fuel consumption and emissions but at the expense of reliability. It's about that time that DMFs became popular which have nothing to do with emissions or consumption, but are there just to damp out vibration. Unfortunately DMF's have been the subject of unforgivable crap engineering.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - skidpan

Wiser heads with more knowledge than mine may prevail, but I think that Euro 3 to Euro 4 happened about 8 (?) years ago. Diesels after that date tend to have better fuel consumption and emissions but at the expense of reliability. It's about that time that DMFs became popular which have nothing to do with emissions or consumption, but are there just to damp out vibration. Unfortunately DMF's have been the subject of unforgivable crap engineering.

Euro 3 to Euro 4 happened on 01 January 2006.

Euro 4 diesels tend to have better "official" fuel consumption figures than Euro 3 ones because the manufactures got better at preparing cars for the test that gave better results. In the real world nothing much changed unless the Euro 4 version came with a DPF, in that instance the consumption is bound to be slightly worse since a regen wastes a small amount of diesel.

Our last Euro 3 car had a DMF, never had a problem with it 5 years of use.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - madf

Some of the drivers I have seen in car parks handle the clutch and gearbox so crudely, they could smash the clutch on a tank.. let alone a car.

I suspect a lot of DMF issues are due to driving style... brutal changing gear or hard accleration from rest with the clutch fullly engaged...designed to immpose reverse torque on the DMF through engine acceration by the drivetrain or maximum torque on it ..

Short term any system will handle abuse. Longer term, some systems cope better than others...

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Ed V

Twp issuees occur in this thread, to me at least.

Firstly, if you are genuinely 'anti-diesel' as stated, why should that, of itself, disqualify the authority of your views. Unless you are conflicted in some way, a consistent view from an expert is surely valid.

Secondly, I think HJ's interview at the week-end revealed that his primary car for his own use is a diesel!

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Collos25

I was under the impression he ran a Fiat 500 petrol but then again he will probably have plenty of choice.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Ed V

He also runs a Beemer 320 eD I think.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - TeeCee

In an older, cheapish car, a late-as-you-like Rover 75 Tourer often gets touted as the answer. Bargain basement price and bulletproof BMW diesel engine known to last well past 200k.

Going newer, the Avensis D4D is highly thought of for long term reliability.

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Redhound

Hadn't thought of the Rover 75, Rovers used to be a bit of a no-no back in the day, but I see they get 4 stars on this website; hmm I think my garage mentioned that Rover parts are starting to be a problem to obtain though? Liking the Avensis, maybe the pre- 2006 version for the Euro 3 engine then...cheers

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Robbie

I have a 2004 Accord Tourer iCTDI that I have had from new. It will be nine years old in March, and, touch wood, it has been problem free. I don't cover enormous mileages on an annual basis, but I don't use it for short journeys. I tow a caravan, so a diesel is more or less a necessity. The diesel engine is quiet, and when driving solo, fully laden, on the French autoroutes I achieve around 54 mpg.

Unfortunately, there won't be a new Accord in the UK for the foreseeable future, so I'll be changing the Accord for a New CR-V iDTEC

Daily Telegraph advice - Honest John - Honestjohn

When I put something in the column, it's not my opinion. It's based on the feedback I get which, with respect, is more feedback than anyone else in ther country gets. Around 50,000 emails and Asks a year. Now I'd love to support the myth that VWs are reliable, but that;s not what my readers are telling me. And I run diesels myself (65mpg in a BMW 320dED like mine), but on the basis of the catastrophes that readers report with EU4 and EU5 diesels, particularly high mileage ex-fleet EU4s and EU5s, I cannot recommend them.

HJ

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