'With main dealer servicing, the diesel car has been fine'
Published 29/04/2015 | 02:30
TJ Hunter from Cork is a car enthusiast who works in the green energy sector. This, he says, has given him a greater-than-average awareness among motorists of "exactly what a diesel brings, and how legislation is entwined with it".
Before 2013, he had never bought a diesel and had no intention of seeking one out when the arrival of this third child called for the purchase of an MPV.
Some five years after the introduction of the C02 emissions-based motor tax system that favoured the purchase of diesels (particularly big models), it was not surprising that he wouldn't have had much choice in terms of petrol models.
In fact, he had none at all. "We looked at Ford S-Max, Peugeot 5008, Citroen C4 Picasso, Renault Grand Scenic, Mazda 5 and other fringe players. None were petrol. There were, and are, no petrol versions of these cars to have actual choice. So we went diesel."
It was a reluctant purchase as, aside from his concerns about soot and NOx emissions from diesels. He was also mindful of the engine's inherent complexity and the fact that it would be primarily used for short journeys.
"So far, with main dealer servicing, it's been fine. But you have residual worries. It's not a duty cycle that lends itself to a modern diesel."
As the resident car enthusiast in his workplace, he sees people starting to appreciate the complexity of the modern car, "and by default, the modern diesel, as hardly no one owns a petrol".
He has regular chats with colleagues who are experiencing many unexpected issues with DPFs or turbos.
"Second or third owners simply don't know that the cars are more complex now. They actually need the correct oil to hit a long service interval, and that the duty cycle they subject them to is far from optimal. Their wallet is learning!"