I have some diesel newb questions:
1. Is there a minimum trip time/distance “req’d” for a diesel, i.e. how long should each trip be to get the motor up to temp?
2. Is the 2.8 best suited for mostly hwy driving? Currently, I drive about 50/50 hwy/city because I work from home. However, that will eventually change and I’ll have a ~40 mile round trip (mostly highway) commute.
3. How concerned should I be w/ DEF freezing in MO? (It does get into the single digits in the winter).
4. Does the diesel need to be driven “everyday”? Since I work from home, there are times when my car sits for 3-4 days in a row w/o being driven.
5. Sometimes my trips are just a quick run to the grocery store, about 5 miles away on roads that are generally in the 45-50 mph. Not exactly long trips, haha.
6. Given my driving conditions, would you recommend the gas or diesel, and why?
I’m very interested in the 2.8; but I don’t want to get it and then be disappointed if my driving conditions/needs aren’t optimal for a diesel. I don’t tow or haul. My main reason for looking at the diesel is strictly for the increased mpg; that’s it.
Thanks so much for any insights you can offer.
1. AFAIK there are no published minimum trip times, however, it is not good for any engine to repeatedly be used for very short trips where it does not come up to temp. The heavy iron block combined with the fact that it relies on compression ignition means that, in theory, it does not run very well at cold temps, and it takes a little longer than most vehicles to warm up. That said, mine runs perfect from start, and I don't notice any issues. Like most ppl on the forum, I use the remote start to let it warm up as much as possible.
2. It's not necessarily best suited for HWY, but it does shine there. Cruising along at 75 at around 2000rpm is very pleasant. Around town it does just fine as long as you're not in a hurry. Acceleration is not its strength. I think the V6 would be more zippy with more power and less weight over the front wheels.
3. The freezing point at DEF is 12ºF so it is a potential problem, however, I think GM has engineered around this. The tank has a heater, and I think it can run fine even if it were briefly frozen. I live in Salt Lake City, which can have cold temps, and I have never had a problem with it.
4. I also work from home, and my truck sits for days at a time. I do not think this is an issue. If it were to sit for months at a time you might start having problems, as you would with any vehicle.
5. Short trips are fine as long as that's not all you do. The truck needs to do a regen every so often, and for this the engine needs to come up to temp and be driven long enough for the cycle to complete. If you shut off the engine before it completes, the computer will just try again the next time it runs. However, if it never completes regen, it will eventually go into limp mode and regen will have to be performed manually at the dealer. I have never experienced this in my own truck, but it did happen in my buddy's truck while I was a passenger, and I can tell you it is a pain in the ass.
I take a lot of short trips to the Home Depot which is 10min from my house, and I don't really think about it. I have enough HWY driving mixed in that it's never been a problem. If you exclusively do short trips, however, then I don't think the diesel is for you, as you will certainly have problems.
6. This is a tough one. I love my 2.8 and have had no real issues, but TBH it's hard to recommend. The engine is wonderful and very durable, but the emissions system is so complicated that it's prone to problems. For MPGs you have to ask yourself if the extra cost of the upgrade will pay for itself, and if you do the math, it will take a very long time. So then it comes down to range and driving dynamics, and those are very nice, but if you're not towing you may not really see the advantage.
The other thing is that the 2.8 is probably not long for this world. GM sold the plant where it's produced, and I don't think it will be available much longer. That means parts could become even harder to get.
For your use, I recommend going with gas. You will save money up front, have fewer potential issues, and really the V6 will probably be more fun to drive around town. Additionally, since you're not towing, and depending on your off road aspirations, you might also look at the Honda Ridgeline, Hyundai Santa Cruz, or the forthcoming Ford Maverick. Those will all get better MPGs, have better interiors, and be more pleasant to drive around town.