Most people know that cars and many trucks run on gasoline, but some cars and trucks run on diesel. Diesel engines are primarily used in commercial vehicles and semi-trucks, but with the help of modern technological advancements, many passenger vehicles also use the power of diesel today. Despite all these advancements, Americans still haven’t adopted diesel-powered cars and trucks as quickly as other nations.
Of course, a few past scandals with choice automakers put the use of diesel engines in jeopardy, but those are a thing of the past, and new regulations have made diesel fuel and engines almost as safe as traditional gasoline with fewer emissions.
Regardless of how well carmakers are cottoning on to the use of diesel engines, it’s still the most favored power source for most truck owners. Many manufacturers do offer both truck and car products that are diesel powered, as well.
It can be helpful to learn about the benefits of driving a diesel-engine vehicle to help you determine if it is right for you.
You can’t talk about vehicles without discussing fuel efficiency. The primary goal of most car owners is to have transportation that gets plenty of miles to the gallon and has low emissions.
Shockingly, diesel engines are better in the fuel economy department than their gasoline counterparts, though most people still don’t know this fact. In a sense, diesel engines generate more power using less fuel because they have higher compression ratings. When you add high-pressure fuel injector systems to the mix (which is possible now), you get improved fuel economy. Along with such, turbocharger engines can also give you better fuel economy than you could ever hope to expect.
The road tax laws have changed in recent years, and now the tax you pay is based primarily on the amount of CO2 emissions your vehicle outputs. Because diesel engines tend to have lower emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles, you pay fewer taxes.
Even though diesel is also an internal-combustion engine, they work much differently than gasoline-powered engines. Therefore, you’re likely to see less maintenance and a longer lifespan. The primary difference in the engine is that diesel engines don’t use a spark-style ignition system. They use hot air, which ignites the fuel and fumes. Because there’s no spark-plug system, there are fewer maintenance costs, which reduces the risk of electrical failure, giving you a reliable engine. You’re also likely to notice that the time between your maintenance services is longer, as well.
The diesel engine’s design, specifically the high compression and slow fuel burn, can produce more torque than other engine styles. Most drivers focus on horsepower, but torque is essential as well because it relates to how you accelerate and pull loads. Extra torque is how semi-trucks and large trucks can pull large loads without snapping something.
Of course, it’s safe to say that diesel engines do have a lot of benefits associated with them, but, as with everything, there can be trade-offs and drawbacks.
For one, diesel engines tend to cost more than gasoline engines. While it doesn’t cost extra to develop the technology or build the engine, the higher price focuses more on supply and demand. Because there’s not much of a demand for diesel cars, the price is higher, as with other technology. It’s more expensive at first, and when demand for it rises, the price levels off and drops as more and more people want it.
You may also notice that maintenance costs are higher. Even though you require less maintenance, the services you do need cost more because of the engine differences.