Super Duty Decisions: Gas or Diesel Engine?

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Super Duty

In the market for a Super Duty but can’t make up your mind on a powerplant? Check out these forum member insights!

The presence of choices is usually a good thing. But the problem with having options is it allows you the opportunity to procrastinate. Or, more likely, get stuck trying to choose the best one. But in the real world, rarely is there ever a “best” option for every person. This is especially true when it comes to engine choices. And most Super Duty shoppers know the struggle of choosing between gas and diesel power.

That decision is what drove Ford Truck Enthusiasts member bkrebs1213 to ask our local experts for advice on the matter. Thankfully, the OP provides some detailed background information on how he uses his current F-150.

“I do about 35k miles a year, with a couple trips hunting out west in the mountains. Usually pulling a 16ft enclosed trailer loaded to the max, four guys, and probably 1,000 pounds of gear in the box.

I also pull an 18′ flatbed utility trailer with a small tractor and ranger and a couple thousand pounds of fertilizer/seed/water/implements in various different combinations. I think the heaviest I have ever been is 3,500 lbs between the ranger, JD, and tiller, with 2000 pounds of fertilizer/seed/misc equipment in the box, plus the weight of the trailer.

That usually happens about twice a year. Most weekends in the summer I will be pulling a lighter combination (but still pushing the sticker rating on my truck or going over almost all the time). I only see this foodplot hobby getting bigger (heavier) in the future, upgrading from a 23 hp diesel lawn tractor to a 3020 or 4020.” 

Super Duty

Clearly, this is a decision that many have already gone through. Including StrikeForce.

“The 6.7L is REALLY nice. However, I don’t tow for a living and I make too many short trips. Diesel costs more per gallon and it’s not like guys are getting super super great mileage. My heart wanted diesel, my brain wanted gas. No issues so far with my 6.2L, I enjoy it a lot.”

GT4point6 points out that these lopsided gas price discrepancies haven’t always been this way, however. And there are other considerations to take into account as well.

“Right now diesel is more expensive than gas, usually not the case from my experience in the past 10 years owning a diesel. I’ve towed with gas and diesel and I’ll never go back to gas for anything over 6k or so. My old 2005 F-250 with the 6.8L V10 was great, but the mileage was terrible towing 6-8k and unloaded. 12 mpg unloaded, 7-8 loaded.

My Cummins gets 10-12 mpg towing a 14k 5th wheel with double the frontal area my car hauler had, 18-19 unloaded. That makes your range significantly higher before you have to stop for gas. At least a 50% increase, so a 300 mile fill up turns into a 450 mile fill up. Reading the boards here, most of the newer 6.7L are getting about 17 mpg, so my mileage won’t decrease much when I get the new truck.

The 6.7L warranty is 100K, 60K for the gas engine. Probably save you some ESP cost since you have an extra 40k miles covered.”

Super Duty

Taking the OP’s use into consideration, however, a diesel might be overkill according to Brandon606.

“The diesel will pull anything you put behind it effortlessly. If you go gas, you could stay at the F-250 but it would handle what you are doing at an $8,500 savings. I think anything past 10,000 lbs is where the diesel will really show what 925 lb-ft of torque is all about.”

Yet, most folks recommend diesel. If nothing else but as a means to future proof any bigger plans the OP has in the coming years. But as troverman correctly notes, there are additional maintenance costs with the diesel as well.

“Another thing to consider is higher maintenance costs over the course of ownership. Every 5k miles my dealer charges me $157 to change the oil on my diesel and refill the DEF tank. That is not synthetic oil, either. This same dealer charged me $40 for my gas 6.2L truck for the same service. Along the way you’ll need to have the two fuel filters changed every 15k miles (gas fuel filter is never changed), and if you encounter extreme cold you might need to add anti-gel to the fuel.”

Clearly, choosing between gas vs. diesel in a Super Duty is a complex and difficult decision. But the OP has received some highly educated and helpful opinions on the matter so far. Whether you’re shopping for a Super Duty or have some insight to share, be sure and head over here to check out all the input. And maybe add some yourself!



Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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