Auto Parts: Buying Guides, Explanations and Money-Saving Tips

Thinking of Switching To Diesel? Some Basic Facts to Consider First

by Aapo Perala

If you've always driven a car powered by petrol and are thinking about making the switch to a car with a diesel engine, you no doubt have lots of questions about how diesel engines work. Read on for some information on turning to diesel that should help you make your decision; after all, modern diesel-engined vehicles are a vast improvement on the smoke-sputtering diesels of the past thanks to an improvement in modern technologies.

Better fuel efficiency

In a nutshell, diesel fuel is more efficient than petrol, it has a much higher energy content, and you get more kilometres per tank with diesel. Also, as each litre of diesel produces more energy than a litre of petrol, you need less diesel to achieve power than you do with petrol.

While traditionally diesel-fuelled cars were slower to get going than petrol-powered cars, they have always been steadier, have been more sturdy and are able to work for longer. And, with the modern additions of turbochargers and computer components, many diesel cars made today are a lot quicker on the startup than they ever were.

Engine Longevity

If a diesel car has a regular, basic maintenance routine and is properly lubricated, it can last between 300,000 to 600,000 miles. With a petrol engine, it's possible to get 200,000 miles out of most cars, but that is only if you put a lot of money and time into it.

Maintenance schedules

In general, diesel cars need less maintenance than petrol-powered cars, and there are two reasons for this. The first is that the engine of a diesel car does not need to use spark plugs, which are a common reason for petrol-powered cars to visit the garage. The second is that diesels have better engine efficiency, so the wear and tear on the engine is subsequently reduced.

While maintenance charges are usually slightly higher for diesel cars, there are usually far fewer requirements for maintenance, so despite the higher costs, you still save money due to the lower running costs.

These are just some of the benefits of choosing a diesel engine over a petrol-powered engine, but with diesel technology being constantly improved, diesel is going from strength to strength. Due to pressure from governments to produce low-emission diesel engines for vehicles, ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel is now available, which has a substantially lowered sulfur content as opposed to traditional diesel fuel. Other advancements, such as improved filters, specialized catalytic converters, and other devices also help cut down dramatically or eliminate toxic emissions.