The Differences Between Diesel and Gas Engines

Gas and diesel both come from the crude oil we get from the ground. For a long time, what we know now as diesel was considered an unfortunate byproduct that people discarded in the fuel-making process. However, now we know how to utilize these distinct fuel types better, and that's why there are distinct differences between diesel and gas engines, from how they operate to their power and longevity.

Differences in Fuel

Compared to gasoline, diesel is much thicker and denser. Larger molecules make up diesel fuel, and that's what gives it a more distinct viscosity. Because they have such a wildly different chemical makeup and consistency, they won't work if you try to use gasoline in a diesel engine and vice versa.

Differences in Engine Operation

One of the most significant differences between diesel and gas engines is in their operations. Gas and diesel have some similarities, like igniting the fuel to cause small explosions that power the engine. However, while gasoline engines use spark plugs to create small sparks that ignite the fuel, diesel fuel combusts under the sheer pressure that the engine puts on it.

Differences in Efficiency

Diesel and gas engines serve very different purposes and excel in different fields. Typically speaking, diesel engines have more torque but less power, which makes them good for slow and steady jobs rather than speed. For example, diesel engines are great for large equipment like semitrucks, pickups, and vans. Gasoline is better for building up speed and horsepower, which is why it's more common in sports cars and other traditional commercial vehicles.

Differences in Fuel Consumption

Because diesel is thicker, engines burn through it much more slowly than gasoline. Gas has a lower viscosity, making it evaporate faster. This difference in composition is a big part of why people know diesel engines for their longevity and why a single tank of diesel can run for much longer than a full tank of gasoline.

If you want to learn more about the power and applications of diesel engines, ATL Diesel is here for you! We have a wide range of blogs about different engines' history, maintenance, and possibilities. ATL Diesel also has an extensive catalog of replacement parts for any engine. If you need a 3406e CAT overhaul kit, we have the parts for you! You can use our online store to put in your vehicle’s serial number to make sure that you get the right parts every time. If you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime, and we’d be happy to help you!