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Why diesel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons why diesel engins are far superior to gasoline engines:

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Reasons why diesel engines are far superior to gasoline engines.

 

Far more torque. A typical gasoline engine has a torque to horsepower ratio of something like 0.9 : 1. A diesel on the other hand is more like 2.5 : 1 or even higher. Why is torque so important? Well, torque is what actually supplies the power to move the vehicle and anything you might be towing. Horsepower tells you how "quickly" you can apply that torque to the ground. A big rig might only have a 400 HP engine, but it also puts out 2000+ pound feet of torque. That's why a big rig goes up steep hills so slowly when he's loaded, but he can do that forever. If a big rig had a gas engine in it, he would slow down much sooner, and he would likely not even be able to make it up a really steep hill, because he would simply not have near enough torque to pull himself up the hill.

Far better fuel economy. A typical gas engine that fits in a full size pickup truck will be extremely lucky to get better than say 12 or 13 MPG, unless it's a very small block engine. A similar sized diesel will easily get 18 MPG or better. This is part due to the chemical properties of diesel fuel and gasoline. Diesel has more potential energy in it than gas does, so it takes significantly less diesel fuel to get the same amount of released (useable) energy.

Much longer engine life. Why? By it's nature, a diesel engine simply must be built much, much beefier than a gas engine. A gas engine has spark plugs which cause the fuel/air mixture to ignite in the cylinders. A diesel is a compression engine, meaning it squeezes the air until it builds up enough heat then injects the diesel fuel in the cylinder causing it to ignite on its own, which is a much more powerful explosion inside the cylinder than a gas engine experiences. Hence, in order to handle that extra explosive force, a diesel engine has to be much heavier duty than an equivilant gas engine. This therefore leads to the engine being able to last far longer than a gas engine, assuming proper maintenance is done on it, which of course applies to any engine, regardless of what fuel it uses. As an example, a typical gasser is intended for 200,000 miles of life before it needs any serious engine work. And that's only the more modern gas engine designs in the last 15 years. The Cummins engine in my truck is designed to go 500,000 miles before it requires any major engine work. Again, all these miles are assuming regular maintenance is done on the engine/vehicle.

Also, on a related note, diesel fuel (more properly called diesel oil) is classified as an oil - a lubricant. Gasoline is classified as a solvent. Just think of what that does to the inside of an engine over time...

Sometimes cheaper maintenance costs. Why? Well, diesel engines just don't have as many parts as a gas engine does. Like I said above, a diesel doesn't have spark plugs. Therefore, it also doesn't have spark plug wires, a distributor or any of that sort of parts which need to be replaced periodically on a gasser. However, some maintenance costs are more for a diesel. A diesel engine uses much more engine oil than a gasser does, and usually more coolant. So, when it comes time to change these things, you will of course pay more.

Sometimes diesel fuel is cheaper than gasoline, but not always.

Now a little trivia: A diesel engine can burn other fuels with absolutely no modifications at all. Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of the Diesel engine, actually ran his engine on peanut oil when he first introduced it to the world. Diesels can run on a variety of what are collectively referred to as bio-diesel fuels. These include vegetable oils of many sorts, including used deep frying oil. It is true that some modern gasoline powered automobiles can run methanol, but you would first need to change the engine oil from conventional to full synthetic in order to safely run methanol fuel

 

 

 

 

Atlanta snow and diesel 03/01/2009