Short runs, engine life - Amin_{p}
hi all, i undrestand that for long distance travels diesel offers a better choice mainly due to economical reasons. However purely from a mechanical point of view, is a diesel engine or a petrol engine more likely to sustain more damage if used for short runs?

on a second note and a question to Xantia owners. when the suspension is raised to its maximum height, is there enough clearance under the car for someone to tuck in, without needing to jack up the car any more. Doesn't have to be a cathedral size openning, just enough to get a man and his spanner under there.

thanks for you help - Amin
Short runs, engine life - RichardW

Diesel is better for short runs - it does not have to run rich when cold so you are less likely to suffer problems from bore washing, and fuel consumption isn't horrendoues.

Yes, there is room to get under a Xantia at max height if you are not too big, but there is not all the much clearance and working will be difficult. However, DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, get underneath one that is only supported by its suspension - they can (and do) suddenly lose pressure and drop flat to the floor, squashing whoever is under them flat also. If you do not have proper lifting facilities (ramps etc) then it might be possible to use the suspension height backed up with appropriately placed axle stands, however, this is still hazardous as you don't know how the stands will react if the weight suddenly comes onto them. How much is your life worth against an ill advised maintenance procedure????


Short runs, engine life - Mark (RLBS)
put it up on the highest setting, put axle stands underneath it, then let it off the highest setting and it will settle onto the axle stands. Check its stable and then go under (if you really have to).
Short runs, engine life - Amin_{p}

Thanks for the post. What about things like the starter motor? As I understand it a diesel needs much bigger push to get it going, so is the starter more likely to go quicker?!? Also about the Xantia, wasn?t here or somewhere else I heard that the later ones had some sort of coupling between the circuits so that the suspension would not deflate once the car was turned off or can it still come down despite that? And on similar lines, if you do not have axle stands, and need to get under a car, what would be the safest way of going about it? I frequently just jack up and go under, but I just read a post on the BR about some fella whose friends neck cracked because the car fell on him, and I am now not so keen to go under it (I have an AX, but still its heavy enough to crush one or tow things if it falls)

Short runs, engine life - RichardW

Diesel starter is much bigger than a petrol one, and will probably last longer - either way it's not going to make much difference to the oveall running cost.

Post 94 Xantias are fitted with Anti-sink which isolates the suspension after you switch off the engine, but it's still possible the valve could fail, or you could knock a pipe off and it would rapidly depressure.

A pair of axle stands is aboout £10 in Halfords. Not even worth thinking twice about not buying a set - they're less than a round of drinks these days! Ramps are a bit more difficult to find now, but are probably similarly priced.


Short runs, engine life - henry k
A pair of axle stands is aboout £10 in Halfords.
Not even worth thinking twice about not buying a set -
they're less than a round of drinks these days! Ramps
are a bit more difficult to find now, but are probably
similarly priced.

Called in Halfords today before reading this.
They had ramps at about £27. So they can always order them if your local one does not keep stock.
I am sure any motor factor would order them easily.
Much better getting them than your mates having a drink at a wake.
Short runs, engine life - Fat Bald Man
Bear in mind that a diesel costs more and so does the fuel.Would the fuel saving be sufficent.The trick you need to do is to keep the engine warm.If you are dotting keep the engine running rather than always turning off (if it is possible).
A diesel I am told has less moving parts and are more robust.
Short runs, engine life - madf
My experience with my wife's Peugeot 106 diesel bought new in 1993.

Total mileage to date: just over 39,000.

Average journey length: about 1 mile .

No of journeys/week.. used to be 12-15 when kids were at school (4 up!.. not all ours:-)

average mpg: about 50.

Oil consumption : nil

Engine state: serviced every year. Apart from 2 new glow plugs no work has been done on the engine.

Part mid section is only exhaust replacement required..

Still going strong.. (previous minis used would last for 4 years and then need a decoke...)

Short runs, engine life - Andrew-T
'a diesel costs more and so does the fuel'. How much more? 1 or 2p? Not significant, I think, compared to the 30% lower consumption. There must be a reason why taxi drivers keep the engine idling so often.
Short runs, engine life - Amin_{p}
would i also be right in thinking that a diesel engine is less likely to break its cam-belt as its operating at a third of the rpm of a petrol engine?

i asked my original question because i use my car mainly as a "motorised" shopping trolly, which means average journey lenght of (if lucky) half to one mile and in course of one trip i might start the car five or six times. but then that normally happens only on weekends and for the remaining days of the week, the car is sitting gracefully in the drive. i however do over service the car and generally look after it. But recently i started to have trouble with the starter. about two or three times (over a period of several months) the starter just would not do anything, and the car had to be push started. however the porblem then corrected itself each time, once i had driven the car for a few miles. i suspected that the brushes (contacts or whatever they are called) on the motor have worn out and dont properly make contact with the coil windings. then that led me to think whether it was the result of the way i had used the car, or just general wear and tear, hence the post.

Value my car