Tips on what to know about car engines before buying

Life's Journeys podcast - Episode 6

Big decisions in life are made that little bit easier when you’ve got someone who’s been there and done it ready to help out and lend some advice.

That’s what our podcast, Life’s Journeys, is all about - bringing together the experts and those looking for guidance on the important choices in life.

Episode six of the series sees motoring expert Michael Sheridan in the host’s chair, as he shares his insights with John Hartigan. John is a father-of-three, and kit man for his daughter’s soccer team, and he’s eager to discover what type of car engine will best suit his needs.

Here’s a handful of Michael’s most valuable tips…

The future is electric

From exciting new models to government targets, Michael says the message is clear; electrification is where driving is headed. That means introducing ourselves to all of the new acronyms, and understanding the subtle differences between different types of electric vehicles:

  • MHEV – Mild hybrid electric vehicles which help reduce fuel consumption slightly and makes stop/start driving easier.
  • HEV - Regular hybrid-electric vehicles which use an engine but can run on electricity alone for brief periods to reduce fuel consumption.
  • PHEV - Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles which combine a larger battery along with an engine.
  • BEV – Fully electric vehicles that we’re all being pointed to right now.

Mileage may vary

While the car market might now have more options than ever before, the golden rule hasn’t changed; the right car for you will always depend on what you’re using it for. How, where, and when you drive, Michael says, continues to be the best indicator of your perfect fit. Generally speaking, the PHEV is an excellent all-rounder – capable of making short journeys on electricity alone, while providing the flexibility to tackle longer trips and busier schedules thanks to the petrol engine.

Fuel isn’t finished

Eco-friendly changes aren’t limited to electric vehicles. Regulations introduced in the past number of years mean that new petrol and diesel engines are the cleanest and greenest they’ve ever been. For those in rural areas, or amassing high mileage, modern diesels may actually mean lower emissions and CO2 levels than many hybrids.

Price isn’t everything

Right now, hybrid and fully electric vehicles often sit at a significantly higher price point, which is enough to put some buyers off. Michael advises to look long-term; while your initial outlay may be higher, servicing and every day running costs will be much cheaper. Total cost of ownership is the buzzword right now – and when it’s all added up, it typically balances out pretty evenly.

Listen to our podcast episode to hear more of Michael’s insights into the different engine options for car buyers.

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