Since we work on vehicles with both diesel engines and standard gasoline engines (as well as hybrids) at Schultz Auto and Truck Repair, we get this question all the time. What makes diesel and gas engines so different?
Let’s start by looking at the similarities. Both are types of internal combustion engines using a four-stroke process. They convert the fuel into power by repeated, controlled explosions that move the pistons up and down inside the cylinders. That motion turns the crankshaft and the car is able to be propelled into motion.
Where diesel and gasoline engines differ is in how those explosions take place. A gasoline engine will mix the fuel with air. It is then compressed by the pistons and ignited by the sparks coming from the spark plugs.
In a diesel engine, the process is different because it will actually compress the air before the fuel is injected. The air heats up as it is compressed and thus ignites the fuel. A diesel engine does not require spark plugs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Diesel
One advantage of diesel engines is that they are typically more fuel efficient than gasoline. On the other hand, emissions can be a challenge with diesel-powered vehicles, though major advances have happened in recent years to help the cause. As with anything in life, there are trade-offs that explain why diesel engines are used primarily in big rigs, construction vehicles, large trucks and other big vehicles in America. Diesel engines are actually much more common in regular passenger cars overseas. However, with advances in emissions, biodiesel and other alternative fuel options—in conjuction with rising gas prices—we’re starting to see more and more of the diesel trend here.
Advantages of diesel engines:
• Good fuel economy
• Can use alternative fuels with minimal modifications
• Mechanical simplicity
Disadvantages of diesel engines:
• Louder operating noise
• More expensive to purchase
• Engine emissions and maintenance
Whether your car or truck has a diesel engine or standard gasoline engine, you want to trust your auto care, maintenance and repairs to professional auto repair technicians who understand the differences. Schultz Auto and Truck Repair in Hamburg works on diesel vehicles of all shapes and sizes, in addition to regular gas vehicles and hybrids. Our team is well-versed on these different types of engines and all aspects of automotive repair.
Call Schultz Auto and Truck Repair at (716) 422-4008 or schedule your next service appointment online.