The Advantages and Disadvantages of Diesel Engines

by on October 31st, 2014
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For those considering the purchase of a new car or truck, it is important to look at the differences between gasoline-powered and diesel engines. Many times, the differences can add up to not only savings at the pump, but also additional savings at the dealership. Although the prices of both diesel and gasoline tend to fluctuate from time to time, diesel engines usually offer additional fuel economy. Diesel engines can be found in all types of vehicles, from compact cars like the Volkswagen Jetta to full-size trucks used for commercial purposes. Popular pick-up trucks used for light hauling, such as the Chevrolet HD, also offer either a diesel or gasoline engine.

Greater Power vs. Cost Savings

Other attributes of diesel engines include added torque and less maintenance. For those who rely on their vehicle to run a business or agricultural operation, the additional savings from fewer maintenance tasks can easily add up. When accelerating after a complete stop, however, many diesel engines may tend to lag. This is one area where a gasoline engine offers a slight advantage. In some instances, minor adjustments can be made to the diesel engine in order to have more power without sacrificing fuel economy.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

In diesel engines, air compression is used to create combustion. In gas engines, combustion is created by using a mixture of fuel and air. The difference that is noticeable to car owners is that diesel engines do not use spark plugs and do not require routine tune-ups. Less parts used in the manufacture of diesel engines also translates to less cost when repairs are required. Also, diesel engines typically last much longer than your typical four or six cylinder gasoline engine.

Greater Fuel Economy

The fuel density of diesel is higher than that of gasoline. This means an increase in fuel economy from between 20 and 30 percent. The additional torque of a diesel-powered engine is what makes pulling a boat or trailer a little easier for vehicles that are equipped with a towing package. However, another one of the disadvantages for many truck owners is that these engines are quite a bit slower.


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