Difference between gas and diesel engines advantages and disadvantages

This article was modified on 2012-09-18 14:23:45

This is not another technical article explaining how the gas and diesel engines works. I recommend you to read this before any attempt to buy a diesel or a gas engine. I`ve seen articles that explains how high is the compression ratio and difference between a diesel without a spark plug when compared to a gas engine and so on. This has nothing to do with advanced technical details – you won’t find this information here. The following questions should provide a better answer.

You need more technical details for gas and diesel engines? This is not an article for you
First time when you will buy a car and don`t know if it will be a diesel or gas engine?  I recommend you to read the whole article.
I have been driving several cars and like everything else in life, I couldn’t notice the differences between them. Here is a short comparison list:
Advantages of gas engines

- less expensive to maintain, a diesel engine will require more oil than those on gas.
- less noise and vibrations when compared with a diesel engine.
- in most countries you will pay less ecological taxes (especially Europe) when compared with a diesel. The CO2 emissions are low so a gas engine will put out less particulate matter when compared with a diesel.
- TSI engines (from Volkswagen) produces almost the same torque as the diesel engines and they offer a great gas economy. This means lower consumption and more power.
Disadvantages of gas engines
- at a classic gas engine (without turbo, compressor) you will have less torque.
- when it`s wet you may experience some problems with the spark plugs or other electric parts. At the diesel engines it`s a different story as they are more reliable at this chapter.
- not so reliable if we`re thinking that a normal gas engine will work around 120,000-150,000 miles before it needs an overhaul. A diesel can run at least three times more around 450,000-500,000 (more miles).
Advantages of diesel engines
- at least now, the diesel engines have more torque.
- these engines do not need spark plugs which means that are more reliable than a gas engine.
- a good diesel engine should work around 400,000-500,000 miles without any major interventions if they are not abused much.
- you can use biodiesel so I guess it`s an advantage at least in certain countries (used more in European Union).
Disadvantages of diesel engines
- taxes are higher in many countries at the diesel engines because of their bigger size. They also `put out` more particulate matter pollution when compared with petrol engines.
- they produce more noise and some vibrations when compared with a gas engine. However the differences are not so big as they were improved so if you`re going to buy a common-rail diesel engine, coming from a gas engine, don`t worry you won`t notice a major difference.
- a diesel engine should be more reliable but it will cost a lot more to fix it, if the engine is damaged.
Conclusion: The most asked question is this - which or what engine is right for me? It depends on your real needs but usually you need to consider this:
- If you will make less than 20.000 miles/ year and most of the time you drive that car in a city, probably the best choice for you would be a car with a gas engine.
- If you will make more than 20.000 miles/ year, you should know that a diesel produces more miles/gallon and this is important (or better said economical), especially if you make more than > 20.000 miles/ year.
As you can see, you need to choose the engine by thinking at how many miles you will make/ year and for how long you will keep the car. At least a couple of years and many miles, go for the diesel otherwise you may choose a gas engine. Good luck in choosing your car!

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