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
When compared to a gasoline engine, one of the main advantages of diesel engine is that it is more fuel efficient and produces better fuel mileage due to two factors. The first is that it has a higher compression rating that allows it to generate more power from less fuel. The second is that it uses diesel fuel, which has higher energy density than petrol or gasoline due to the fact that it has a longer carbon chain. Features such as turbocharger and modern high-pressure fuel injection systems improve better 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 petrol or gasoline engine. 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, thereby making it simpler to refine. However, it is also important to note that it some areas, diesel can be as expensive as or more expensive than gasoline due to high demand and carbon taxes.
4. Better Torque
A diesel engine provides better torque to the driveshaft than most gasoline engine. Characteristics such as slow fuel burn and high compression produce greater torque. Take 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 such as pickup truck and SUVs, as well as industrial trucks and heavy machinery.
5. Good Resale Value
Note that this type of internal combustion is durable as far as hot temperature is concerned. All diesel engines are built to withstand higher temperatures and higher compression, thus they can last longer than a gasoline engine. Some diesel engines have clocked more than 500,00 miles while remaining considerably 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, particularly those with modern engine designs or features such as turbocharging, have a more expensive entry fee. Note that this is 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 can be a few thousand dollars more than vehicles running on petrol or gasoline engines.
2. More Expensive to Fix
Another disadvantage of diesel engine is that although it is more durable and reliable than a gasoline engine, failure to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule could lead to mechanical failure. Note that the cost of fixing this engine is more expensive due to the fact that it is technologically and mechanically more complicated. Furthermore, maintenance costs increase with each service.
3. Cold Climate Performance
Poor performance in frigid weather is another drawback of diesel engine. During cold temperature, diesel fuel has the tendency to jell. To be more specific, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, specific hydrocarbons in diesel turn gelatinous. Manufacturers or users need to install engine block heaters, glow plugs, or keep the engine running during cold weather.