Combustion Conjunction: Gas vs Diesel Engine

What’s The Difference?

America has long taken advantage of the power behind internal combustion engines (ICE). Using both gasoline and diesel as fuel, cars, trucks, and SUVs choose people wherever they want to go. However, we at Total Performance in Tacoma understand that not everyone knows what makes diesel engines unique when compared to their gasoline counterparts. While you’ll still want an expert to handle diesel repair, these ICE cousins have much more in common than you might realize.


Both diesel and gasoline motors use internal combustion to power the drivetrain and in turn, make the wheels move. This is accomplished by using a piston within an internal chamber to compress air and fuel into a dense mixture. Then this ignites (or combusts) to propel the piston downward again. This energy is harnessed to both move the car forward and return the piston to its starting position to begin the process anew. How these two engines differ comes in the way they light that volatile mix.

Sparking Interest

A spark plug has become one of the most recognizable repair parts around, but people may be surprised that not every car or truck on the road needs them. That’s because diesel vehicles don’t use them at all! In gasoline-powered ICEs, the fuel/air mix is ignited by these little ceramic and metal components at specific times for controlled combustion. In a diesel truck, this happens simply by compressing the fuel so tightly that the heat generated is enough to cause ignition all on its own.

Messing with Maintenance

It’s no secret that diesel engines get much better mileage. That’s because diesel is a much more efficient form of fuel. This also leads to less complicated engines that require fewer maintenance cycles. However, it can often be much more expensive for diesel repair, meaning its essential that you keep a strict tune-up schedule for your vehicle. Even simple do-it-yourself projects such as oil changes can go wrong if the incorrect weight viscosity is used, something that gas engine owners don’t need to worry as much about.

Whether you need diesel repair or just general maintenance, look for a qualified garage to service your vehicle. A mechanic that knows the different nuances between these engines means you’re putting your vehicle in good hands!

Written by Total Performance

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