The Clean and Modern Diesel Engine

The diesel engine has remained an important aspect of motor vehicle history and technology since its invention by Dr. Rudolf Diesel in 1893. As fuel efficiency and emissions standards have been brought to the forefront of the motor vehicle debate, diesel engine technology has again been brought into the spotlight. Diesel engine information is in demand as enthusiasm for the technology’s potential in providing sturdy and reliable vehicles capable of fighting both oil dependency and climate change has grown. To see what capabilities and advantages having diesel engine brings, read on.

How do Diesel Engines Work?

Diesel vehicles run on an internal combustion engine. Compressing fuel and air inside a combustion chamber creates heat. Fuel is injected into the cylinder, where it comes in contact with the hot air, and ignites the fuel.

How is This Different From Gasoline Engines?

The main difference between gasoline and diesel engines is how combustion occurs. In diesel engines, there is no spark plug, which gasoline engines depend on for combustion. With gasoline engines, sparks ignite the air and fuel combination. In this way, diesel engines are more reliable because they do not rely on a spark. Diesel engines are also not only more powerful than gasoline engines of a similar size, but they are more fuel efficient as well. They get as much as 30 percent better fuel performance than gasoline engines in a similar vehicle.

What Impact has Clean Diesel Technology had on Motor Vehicles?

With ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and biodiesel fuels available, and improved technology in emissions control and exhaust treatment, a requirement that diesel engines meet the emissions standards expected from gasoline vehicles has been imposed. ULSD, the modern clean diesel, has 97 percent less sulfur than diesel fuel had in 1993, so it sends significantly less sulfur dioxide into the air. Clean diesel technologies can boast nearly zero nitrogen oxide emissions, making them attractive for the environmentally-concerned, and those who were put off by the odor of the old diesel engines. The modern clean diesel engines are also both quieter and smoother than older diesel engine designs, thanks to noise and vibration-damping advancements. As a result, diesel engines are growing in popularity, not just for large trucks and vehicles, but also for smaller cars.

What are the Drawbacks of a Diesel Engine?

Many of the disadvantages of the diesel engine are about perspective. Though diesel engines are generally considered to be more powerful than gasoline engines, they are not the fastest vehicles or those with the best acceleration. Instead, their strength is in their power and endurance. The cost of diesel fuel is also no longer significantly lower than the cost of gasoline. If diesel vehicles continue to grow in popularity, the increased demand may inflate the cost of diesel fuel even further.

Are Clean Diesel Engines Hard to Maintain?

Clean diesel engines are not any more difficult to maintain than regular, gasoline-powered cars. They do require regular maintenance and check-ups, such as oil and fuel filter changes, just as gasoline vehicles. They are built tougher out of a need to resist high compression, so they will last longer and go farther before needing significant repairs. If your diesel engine is not well-maintained, however, diesel mechanics tend to be pricier than other mechanics because the technology is more advanced, and also less popular among consumers.

Diesel engines have a long history in motor vehicles, but they are an important part of our present technology as well. They have changed drastically over the years to become more competitive with gasoline-powered vehicles, and to answer environmental challenges. The advanced clean diesel engines offer consumers another responsible vehicle option besides the hybrid or all-electric vehicles. If you are considering going diesel for your next car or truck, learn all of the diesel engine information you can, and weigh all of the new diesel options, before making this big purchasing decision. Diesel is a good way to go if you can decide which model to choose.