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i work 2 miles from my home, my parents live in vermont and i travel up there 1-2 times per month. would it be better for me to drive the gas engine since i will be driving short distances daily? from what i have heard short trips are detramental to desiel engines.
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Short trips are bad for any engine.

The newest TDI are different because they use a DPF diesel particulate filter in the exhaust. A trip of 2 miles will never let it clean itself and it'll reduce the lifespan on the filter. As long as you drive for about 15 minutes at least once a week it should work but as a guess, that's the minimum. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/DPF-Adblue-FAQ-VW-Audi.htm Here is more info on the DPF system and a longer explanation of the self clean cycle.
 

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No, diesels take a lot longer to warm up too. The engine will never warm up and it'll build up condensation.

Perhaps a Segway scooter for just 2 miles? You can pick older ones up on ebay for cheap.
 
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