When looking at purchasing a new car or truck, it is important to consider what type of fuel is going to work best for you. Both gasoline and diesel have their advantages and disadvantages, so taking some time to think about which one you’ll prefer helps you buy the right vehicle for you. Here are some of the differences between gasoline and diesel fuel systems to understand before making your next car purchase.
How Do Gasoline and Diesel Actually Work?
Both diesel and gasoline use internal combustion engines, meaning the way they function in your engine is essentially the same. Fuel is mixed with air after passing through a fuel air separation system. Once there, something will cause the mixture to ignite. This causes the parts of the engine to move, moving the wheels of the vehicle, and then the process is repeated.
Gas and diesel both function in the same capacity, however, the primary difference between the two is how the fuel is ignited. Gasoline requires the engine to have a spark plug to ignite the fuel-air mixture, whereas diesel ignites through compression and pressure.
What Does Diesel Do That Gas Doesn’t?
Diesel tends to be thicker than gasoline and pack more energy per gallon, meaning that while you might spend more per stop at a diesel fuel pump than a gasoline fuel lift pump, you’re getting more miles per gallon out of it. Overall, the costs tend to balance out, making gasoline and diesel roughly equal in their output. Vehicles with diesel fuel systems can get a mileage of 30, 40, even 50 miles to the gallon on the highway, far greater than their gasoline counterparts.
The exchange for greater mileage: pollution output. Diesel engines typically are not quite as clean as gasoline engines, but diesel fuel filters and other treatment systems are currently being designed to make diesel fuel a cleaner option. Additionally, diesel engines can use a special type of fuel called biodiesel. Biodiesel is typically made from waste fry oil or vegetable oil; being able to use waste products in this way, with some slight modifications to the engine, helps to counteract some of the pollution created by diesel engines.
Overall, both diesel and gasoline have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, but being able to understand each better helps you to make the right decision about your next vehicle purchase.