The Difference Between Diesel and Gasoline Engines
The majority of passenger vehicles driven in the United States use a gasoline-powered engine. If you’re thinking about going to diesel or ever wondered the difference between the two, here is some of the information that you’ll want to know.
- Fuel Ignition
With a gasoline engine, the air and fuel get compressed and ignited by a spark plug at a specific timing point in each cycle. If you go with a diesel vehicle, then you won’t have any spark plugs. The extreme compression of air and diesel is enough to generate heat for spontaneous combustion.
Diesel fuel typically costs more than standard gasoline. It also contains more potential energy. That means it requires less to accomplish the same amount of work than a typical unleaded fuel. This difference is the reason why you can see a diesel car getting over 50 miles per gallon without any hybrid technology.
That means you’ll usually pay the same amount or a little less over a year when driving a diesel compared to a gasoline-powered car.
- Fuel Options
If you drive a diesel car, then you can use biodiesel fuel. It’s another option that doesn’t require the use of petroleum products. Older vehicles sometimes need modifications to take advantage of this benefit, but it can also be a way to reduce your overall carbon footprint.
If you like to have a lot of horsepower while you’re behind the wheel, then a gas engine is your best option. Diesel doesn’t rev up as high, which is the reason why you don’t see a lot of sports cars using that technology.
You won’t receive pure performance when switching to diesel, but you will receive some real-world power that gives you a comparative acceleration profile.
Diesel engines are built to be tough because they use compression. If you tried a similar result in a gas engine, it would ruin it very quickly. That means you can run it frequently with minimal maintenance. It also has fewer parts, allowing you to have more hours of service before a major overhaul is necessary.
Modern manufacturing methods and improved techniques have reduced the weight penalty of a diesel engine so that it is equal to its gasoline-powered counterparts.
Many diesel engines use an additive called DEF to treat the exhaust that comes from the car to reduce your impact on the environment. This technology is still dirtier than many vehicles, especially hybrid options, unless you use a biodiesel product.
Diesel and gas engines make a comparable amount of sound today. Improvements in diesel technology make it so that the average person can’t tell the difference when a car drives by them. If you like the idea of less maintenance and a better fuel economy, then a switch might be the right choice to make this year.