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Diesel vs Gas: What Makes Diesel Better Than Gas?

Since 1897, when Rudolf Diesel invented the four-stroke combustion engine, we’ve used diesel in our trucks to transport goods across the country. Our biggest and most powerful vehicles run on diesel, and that’s a testament to the capability engine it runs on.

The diesel vs gas debate has always brought up several questions regarding which one is superior. But when considering such aspects as towing and maneuverability, It’s safe to say diesel engines win.

Continue reading for the pros of diesel and how to take care of your diesel engine.

Diesel vs Gas: What’s the Difference?

To understand why diesel is superior to gas, we need to know what makes them different. There is a particular reason why you can’t put unleaded fuel into your diesel engine. 

Diesel fuel is a combustible liquid that is made from fractions of crude oil. The liquid is less combustible than gasoline and is not ignited using a spark. Instead, the fuel is injected into incredibly hot air that the cylinders of the engine compress.

Gasoline, on the other hand, is much more combustible than diesel. It is a light fuel made of a mixture of hydrocarbons. The fuel ignites much quicker than diesel, using a spark to ignite it shortly after its injected into the engine’s cylinder.

Due to their differences in chemical balance and combustion points, diesel and gas fuels require different engines. This leads to many pros of diesel for you to consider when purchasing a vehicle.

A Diesel Engine Offers More Torque

Diesel fuel requires a lot more heat to combust than gas. Because of the high compression needed, the combustion lets off more energy. That high power output is what gives your vehicle momentum when it’s not moving.

This higher power output offers many advantages. You’ll find you have more capability to tow or haul heavy loads. Higher torque allows your vehicle to get moving with added weight.

Having more torque also helps you when climbing steep inclines. The added power means your engine doesn’t have to work as hard to get your vehicle up hills.

Because your wheels get more power when stopped or stuck, diesel engines offer improved grip and mobility. You’ll find that many 4×4 or all-terrain vehicles have diesel engines for that extra torque.

Finally, a vehicle that doesn’t have to work as hard to get started is much more comfortable to drive. When your gears don’t have to downshift as often, you’ll have a much more relaxed driving experience.

Diesel Is More Cost-Efficient

You may question how diesel fuel could save you money, especially when it’s always more expensive at the pump. When comparing diesel vs gas, diesel is actually more cost-efficient. The benefit lies in the efficiency of diesel fuel.

It’s one of the cons of gas engines that makes diesel engines more efficient. As gasoline has a much lower combustion temperature, the engine is designed to keep the compression rate low enough to keep temperatures from reaching too high. Diesel fuel doesn’t have that problem, allowing it to have a much better compression ratio.

Because of its density and high combustion level, diesel produces more power per gallon. Studies show that diesel engines can deliver up to 30% more fuel efficiency than their gasoline counterparts. When considering the extra distance you’ll go on the same amount of gas, the price not only offsets but saves you money in the long run.

Diesel Engines Are More Reliable

The cost efficiency is only further supported by the diesel engine’s reliability. Studies have shown that diesel engines can handle 300,000 to 500,000 miles before needing major maintenance. An engine that lasts that long means less cost fixing parts and a vehicle that lasts the life of two with gasoline engines.

The engine’s reliability comes from its design. Diesel engines have to withstand much higher temperatures than gas engines, and so their parts are built with more durability. While this makes them heavier, they’ll also withstand vibrations, corrosion, and weather better.

Diesel Engine Considerations

The diesel engine offers clear advantages in power and cost efficiency over gas engines. Owing a diesel vehicle is a powerful benefit that allows you to do so much more, especially at low gear.

However, there are a few aspects you should keep in mind when owning and maintaining your diesel engine.

Don’t Treat Your Diesel Like a Racecar

Many of the advantages that come with a diesel engine are in its low-gear, high-power capacity. The engine is designed to provide a lot of torque for towing and higher traction. It starts to falter at top speeds, so remember how your engine prefers to run and it will last longer.

(New) Diesel Engines Are Complicated

Just because diesel engines are built to last doesn’t mean they can get away maintenance-free. A diesel engine with a broken fuel-injection system can cost more to fix than a gasoline system.

Aspects such as fuel emission systems and turbochargers make working on newer diesel engines a more involved task than before.

A Diesel Vehicle Is an Investment

For a variety of reasons, purchasing a vehicle with a diesel engine costs more than one with a gasoline engine. Some of these aspects include:

  • The durability of the components
  • Added features such as turbochargers
  • The smaller supply

You’ll find that diesel engines typically come in specialized vehicles such as trucks and off-road vehicles. While they’re typically built to last, a diesel vehicle will cost more up-front. Be ready to invest in a vehicle that can go the distance.

How to Maintain Your Diesel Engine

When considering diesel vs gas, the advantages above support the superiority of diesel engines. With these in mind, you’ll want to take good care of your vehicle.

Check out our services to keep your diesel engine running smoothly for years to come.

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