Gas vs. Diesel: Which Is Better?

Car owners, especially the new ones, are almost always in the dilemma of choosing between gas and diesel cars. We only want our engine to be no less than a champion of efficiency without significantly impacting the nature. But to choose which one’s better, we have to understand well how diesel and gas engines work.

How gas engine works

Gas engines are usually made of a series of pistons each housed inside a combustion chamber, where the gasoline-air mixture enters. As the mixture enters the chamber, it will be compressed by the piston, usually up to a ratio of 12:1. The compressed air will then be ignited, usually by a spark plug, which will result in combustion. The force created by the combustion gases would push the piston down, which will push the crankshaft and the whole vehicle into motion.

How diesel engine works

Diesel engines work pretty much the same as gas engines, but with one major difference: they do not need spark plugs. In a diesel engine, only air enters the combustion chamber. Because of this, the piston is able to compress the air so high (up to a ratio of 25:1) that the pressure is hot enough to combust when injected with diesel fuel. Because of higher compression, many car owners are choosing diesel engines because of efficiency and more power, not to mention that diesel fuel is way cheaper than gasoline.

Diesel engine’s drawbacks

Diesel engines have a grimy reputation of ruining Mother Earth when it comes to emissions. Because no ignition is needed during diesel engine combustion, chances are there will be much more unburned fuel released by a diesel engine as compared to a gasoline engine.

Are newer diesel cars the answer to this dilemma?

There are some newer diesel engine cars that boast both diesel power and eco-friendliness. However, this is not always true. The Environmental Protection Agency discovered that some Volkswagen diesel cars are equipped with a “defeat device” that could reduce the amount of pollutants emitted during an emissions test in order to fake emissions test results.