7 Key Advantages of Diesel Engines: The Pros and Cons

 There are many reasons to use a diesel engine as well as some reasons not to. Click here to learn about the advantages of diesel engines.

 What gets your motor going?

What we mean by that is, does your engine run on gas or diesel? If you're considering buying a vehicle or a generator, it's not just gas engines you have to choose from. There are some advantages of diesel engines that you may not have considered. 

Let's look at 7 pros and cons of diesel to help you make an informed decision...

1. Better Fuel Efficiency 

One of the biggest advantages of diesel is that it can run longer on the same amount of fuel compared to gasoline. That amounts to more miles from a car with the same size fuel tank, and more hours from a diesel generator compared to gas. 

This is thanks to how the fuel is introduced to a diesel engine. Unlike a gas engine where fuel and air are mixed prior to compression, a diesel engine only compresses the air and therefore runs longer on less. 

2. Less Wear on Equipment 

Another plus of diesel engines is that they can run at lower RPMs than their gas counterparts. This ultimately means less friction and wear on the engine parts. There are no sparkplugs to replace either with a diesel engine, meaning there's also no tune-ups to worry about. 

Diesel doesn't generally burn as hot as gasoline either, adding to the lifespan of the equipment. If you do need new equipment, you can always find a diesel generators sale somewhere. 

3. More Pulling Power

When it comes to vehicles, you'll probably want diesel if you're planning on hauling heavy loads. Diesel engines don't generally have a top speed that compares to gasoline engines, but you'll get more torque or pulling power. This could be important if you're towing an RV or something similar. 

Diesel is denser than gasoline so it delivers more power per volume, and diesels are often fitted with turbochargers that give the vehicle more boost. 
 
4. Diesel Is Often Cheaper Per Gallon

Of course, the ongoing costs of buying fuel needs to be factored in. Diesel is often cheaper at the pump than gas because it's easier to create the end product from crude oil than gasoline. In Australia, the trend for diesel prices appears to be headed downwards in recent history. 

It's still a bit more per liter in Australia, about $1 U.S. for diesel compared to 96 cents U.S. for gasoline. 

In other countries, the gap in price is more noticeable. The federal tax on diesel is higher in the U.S. than it is for gasoline. The average price at the pump for a gallon of diesel remains higher than a gallon of gasoline there as a result. 

If you're buying any kind of fuel for your vehicle, remember it's cheaper to buy it in a city than in the country. Look around for the best prices. 

5. New Diesel Standards Are Cleaner 

While this could be considered a plus or a positive, the newer standard of diesel fuel becoming more common is known as Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which burns cleaner than previous forms. This means you can now get a diesel vehicle that passes the same strict emission checks as a gas vehicle. The downfall is that this diesel costs more per gallon due to increased refining costs. 

Diesel engines can also run on biofuels made from animal fats or vegetable oil, which essentially recycles existing fuel rather than extracting more from the ground.
 
6. Noise and Odor Are Improving

If you close your eyes and picture a big heavy-duty pickup truck, you might also imagine the loud rumbling from the big diesel engine even at idle. But while diesel engines have long got a bad rap for creating a lot of noise (and that telltale diesel smell), they have come a long way in both regards. 

The introduction of improved emission controls and more efficient fuels mean less noisy operation along with better performance. You also won't annoy the neighbors as much with your diesel generator. They're not exactly silent, but they are also running quieter these days due to improved technology. 

7. Diesel Engines Are Built Tougher

Diesel engines have more compression, and the engines are built to withstand it. As noted earlier, this helps contribute to a longer life for the equipment, meaning fewer costs of replacement. 

To give you an idea of how long a diesel can run, a diesel engine pickup truck is among the known vehicles that have driven 1 million miles or more. (To be fair, gasoline engines fare quite well in longevity as well.)

What Are The Uses of a Diesel Engine? 

There are many small and larger pieces of equipment that rely on a diesel engine for power. Aside from some passenger vehicles and a large percentage of pickup trucks, you'll also find them in locomotives and boats. 

The uses of diesel engines include power generators that create electricity from burning the fuel. These generators can be for industrial use or use in a home during a power outage or for workshops. Diesel engines are used for power across a wide number of industries including manufacturing and construction. 

Diesel Engines Are Becoming More Popular

Focusing on diesel passenger vehicles, the use of diesel engines is on the rise. In fact, according to numbers from 2016, there was a 2.1 percent increase in diesel vehicles in Australia compared to 2015. Of the 16 million passenger cars and trucks on the road at the time, more than 20 percent had a diesel engine under the hood. For that timespan, the diesel growth was double that of gasoline. 

Enjoy the Advantages of Diesel Engines

When you're comparing the advantages of diesel engines to gasoline engines, it pays to consider the application. These engines are regarded as workhorses and are great for pulling power, while gasoline engines tend to generate more horsepower (but burn more fuel in the process.)
 
The right choice will come down to what you're planning to use it for, as well as the up-front and ongoing costs of fuel and maintenance. 
 
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