The tale of the gas vs diesel engine goes back to the late 1800s, and the inventions and frustrations of two men.
In 1876, a man invented the gas engine as we (mostly) know it today. Though with an efficiency rating of only 10% it left much to be desired. While Nikolaus August Otto was very pleased by his invention, he wasn’t satisfied with the efficiency of the machine.
Neither was Rudolf Diesel, who two years later, as an engineering student, decided to make it his life’s goal to make a better one. In 1892 he succeeded in creating the Diesel engine.
Which should you choose, a gas engine or a Diesel engine? Keep reading to find out which internal combustion types of engines you should choose.
Gas vs Diesel Engine: The Battle Rages
It’s no secret that gas engines have only marginally improved since their initial invention. Millions of Ford Model T engines were made , and continue to run, since 1908. The engine was so well-built it continued to be produced until 1941 with few variations.
However, even 100 years ago, it still got 25 miles per gallon. Today, we aren’t doing much better at an average of 25 mpg today, too. The fuel efficiency of gasoline engines went from approximately 10% to about 30% effective power.
About 30-35 cents of every dollar you spend on gasoline is in power, while the rest goes to waste. The AAA can tell you more about where the rest of your 65-70 cents goes.
Diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline engine designs for a number of reasons. Diesel engines:
- Get better fuel economy
- Higher energy efficiency
- Generate higher torque
- Have fewer moving parts and therefore greater reliability
For working vehicles, as opposed to sports cars that need higher horsepower, the difference is clear. In the battle of gas vs Diesel, Diesel wins.
How Does Diesel Get Better Performance?
The reason behind Diesel’s greater performance in almost every area primarily comes through compression ratios. The higher compression ratio means a roughly 20% increase in thermal efficiency. This translates almost one for one into 20% fuel savings.
Because the stroke length on the Diesel engine is longer, it provides more leverage on the pistons, which creates more force. For working vehicles like pickup trucks, dump trucks, semis, and more, Diesel becomes the preferred choice.
Gas engines require a spark on the combustion stroke to generate ignition. Diesel engines, on the other hand, rely on compression alone.
Higher compression generates heat in the Diesel fuel and air mixture. When the air reaches a high enough temperature through compression, Diesel fuel is sprayed into the chamber. The fuel ignites and the combustion pushes the cylinder further and under more pressure than in a gasoline engine.
For this reason, the Diesel engine has the highest thermal efficiency of any practical engine design. It allows efficiency ratings of up to 55% in some cases.
Gas vs Diesel: Winning the Battle
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why the gas vs diesel engine debate continues to this day — even after 150 years. Diesel engines and gas engines each have their respective use cases and properties.
If getting work done is your primary need, Diesel will more than happily work for you.
Monotukuru is also here to get work done. We’re always looking for ways to help you know more about all things automotive. From parts, trucks, used cars, car rental, repair, and more, we’re here to help you get where you need to go.
Keep browsing to find out more!