Perhaps the most important point for those who want to buy a car is to determine which is better, if diesel or gasoline, however this will depend a lot on the use and needs of each driver.
In this article we will explain to you what are the main differences between a diesel engine and a gasoline engine and the advantages in each case. We hope that, if you still do not decide which car to buy, this article will help you define what is best for you, whether diesel or gasoline.
Differences between a diesel and gasoline engine
To understand the difference between a diesel and a gasoline engine, you have to know how a combustion engine works.
Briefly explained, the operation of an engine consists of four strokes:
- The first in which the valve lets in the air and gasoline mixture.
- The second when the piston compresses the fuel.
- The third when fuel combustion occurs.
- And the fourth when a second valve lets out the burned gases of combustion.
The main difference between a diesel and a gasoline engine is in step three. In a gasoline engine, a spark plug produces a flame that causes combustion, while in a diesel engine, combustion occurs only by the pressure of the piston on the fuel.
This is the main difference and from where many more of the characteristics of these engines are derived, which in the long run determine the advantages and disadvantages of a gasoline engine and a diesel engine.
If you are interested in delving deeper into the subject, I share the following videos where you can see the operation of a diesel engine and a gasoline engine.
Gasoline and Diesel engine operations
Which is better, diesel or gasoline?
To reach a conclusion, let’s review what each one offers, in the most important aspects when choosing the best car
Diesel car performance
Diesel vehicles have better fuel efficiency. They normally have a consumption within 25% to 30% lower than gasoline engine vehicles.
However, it must be considered that a diesel car does not increase performance at high speeds, a diesel engine is stronger and more durable while gasoline engines are more explosive and faster.
In addition, cars with a diesel engine have higher torque, that is to say, towing capacity but generally have less power when compared to a gasoline car.
Gasoline car performance
Modern gasoline engines have come very close to the fuel efficiency of diesel engines, although they have yet to surpass them.
A gasoline engine will be more economical if it travels up to 20,000 kilometers a year. If the usage will be higher, the best option could be a diesel.
For their part , gasoline cars are more powerful compared to a diesel one, although their torque is lower. This is the reason why vans, trucks often use diesel.
Diesel car price and resale
Diesel-powered cars are more expensive than gasoline. Although, thanks to the fact that they are kept in better condition, they are usually easier to sell and at a better price.
Gasoline car price and resale
A car with a gasoline engine costs on average between 10% and 30% less than a diesel one.
Due to wear and tear, selling a used car that uses gasoline is more difficult and its value suffers further depreciation.
Maintenance of a diesel car
If a mechanism like the fuel injection system is damaged, it will be more expensive to fix because the technology in diesel cars is more complex.
Although we must remember that diesel engines are built stronger to withstand higher compression, this makes them last longer without requiring major repairs.
We cannot fail to mention that diesels still need an oil change but it is every 20,000 kilometers.
Maintenance of a gasoline car
Compared to a diesel engine, a gasoline engine lasts less. However, the cost of maintaining gasoline engines is cheaper since there are more deals on spare parts , plus it is easy to find a place to repair it.
A car that runs on gasoline requires an oil change at 10,000 kilometers or 15,000 kilometers.
Diesel car fuel price
Diesel fuel used to be cheaper than gasoline, but as demand has increased the price has risen. Even if the price of diesel rises, it would have to be 25% to 30% more expensive to eliminate the performance advantage of diesel engines over gasoline.
Fuel price auto gasoline
Premium gasoline is cheaper than diesel fuel. As of February 2020, Magna gasoline costs an average of $ 19.40 dollar per liter, premium gasoline $ 20.47 dollars per liter, while diesel $ 21.00 dollar per liter.
Diesel auto pollutant emissions
At this point, until recently it was believed that a diesel car emitted fewer polluting gases. It is true that it emits less CO2, but it emits more NOx, (nitrogen oxides) which are more harmful to health.
Gasoline car pollutant emissions
In contrast, gasoline cars emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) , but less nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Conclusion, diesel or gasoline?
In conclusion, we can say that the advantages of a diesel car such as greater durability or better performance are not enough to consider them better than a gasoline car, because each advantage brings its counterpart (fewer maintenance – higher maintenance price).
That is why for a diesel car to be suitable, it must be used over 25,000 kilometers a year to take advantage of all its virtues and justify the greater investment in cost and maintenance.