Advantages and Disadvantages of Diesel Engine

A diesel engine is a type of internal combustion engine that runs on diesel fuel and operates by ignition solely through mechanical compression of the air inside the cylinder. Hence, unlike a petrol or gasoline engine that requires a spark plug to ignite the fuel, a diesel engine works by compressing only the air.

The Pros: Advantages of Diesel Engine

1. Better Fuel Economy

One of the main advantages of a diesel engine is that it is more fuel efficient and produces better fuel mileage due to two factors than a gasoline engine. This comes from its higher compression rating which allows it to generate more power from less fuel. It also uses diesel fuel. This fuel has a higher energy density than petrol or gasoline due to the fact that it has a longer carbon chain. Features such as turbochargers and modern high-pressure fuel injection systems improve further its fuel economy.

2. Absence of Spark Plugs

Remember that a diesel engine uses compressed air to ignite the diesel fuel. The lack of a spark plug provides more specific benefits. These include reduced incidence of possible electrical failures, some reduction in maintenance costs from the absence of the need for ignition tune-ups and replacements, increased reliability, and longer engine lifespan.

3. Relatively Cheaper Fuel

Diesel fuel provides a diesel engine with another advantage over a petrol or gasoline engine. In most cases, from the end consumers, diesel fuel is around 15 to 20 percent cheaper than gasoline. It is worth explaining further that diesel fuel is heavier and less volatile than gasoline. This makes it simpler to refine.  It is still important to underscore the fact that diesel can be more expensive than gasoline in certain areas due to high demand and higher carbon tax implications.

4. Better Torque

A diesel engine provides better torque to the driveshaft than most gasoline engines. Characteristics like slow fuel burn and high compression produce greater torque. Note that torque provides a vehicle with the ability to pull loads and accelerate. Hence, due to this advantage, diesel engines are better suited for larger vehicles like pickup trucks, industrial trucks, and heavy machinery.

5. Good Resale Value

This type of internal combustion is durable as far as hot temperature is concerned. Diesel engines are built to withstand higher temperatures and higher compression. They can last longer than a gasoline engine. Some have clocked more than 500000 miles while remaining reliable and efficient. Nevertheless, coupled with reduced maintenance costs from the absence of spark plugs, as well as with proper maintenance, vehicles running on diesel engines have better resale value.

The Cons: Disadvantages of Diesel Engine

1. Higher Upfront Cost

Vehicles running on diesel engines tend to be more expensive because of their more complex design. Modern diesel engines are even more expensive because of their built-in emission systems. The higher cost can also be due to shifts in supply and factors of demand rather than manufacturing costs or other associated technology development costs. The price of diesel-powered vehicles is about a few thousand dollars more than vehicles running on petrol or gasoline engines.

2. More Expensive to Fix

Another disadvantage of a diesel engine is that failure to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule could lead to mechanical failure. It is still more durable and reliable than a gasoline engine but this comes with a more frequent upkeep that needs to be followed to the dot. The cost of fixing this engine is also more expensive because it is technologically and mechanically more complicated. Maintenance costs can also increase with each service because of accumulated wear and tear.

3. Cold Climate Performance

Poor performance in frigid weather is another drawback of diesel engines. Diesel fuel has the tendency to thicken and form waxy crystals under cold temperatures. For example, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, specific hydrocarbons in diesel turn gelatinous. This can clog fuel filters and lines. Manufacturers or users need to install engine block heaters or glow plugs, use anti-gelling additives, keep the engine running during cold weather, or use fuel with lower cloud points and pour points.