Diesel Engines: Made Tough, Made to Repair
There are plenty of pros and cons for buying a vehicle that is a diesel, and thinking about what could potentially go wrong is an important part of making an educated, informed decision on what engine will work best for you. The development of diesel as a source of fuel goes back many years and has lasted throughout history to provide efficiency and strength and have grown into a popular choice for fuel power. In 1878, a man named Rudolf Diesel was studying in Germany at the Polytechnic High School, something similar to what we know to be an engineering college. During his studies, he learned about the low efficiency of gasoline (remember it was many years ago) and steam engines. The information was so shocking to him that he decided he needed to devote his time to develop an engine with higher efficiency and attempted to create a "combustion power engine," or what we know today to be the diesel engine which he received a patent for in 1892.
Why do most cars have gasoline engines? Clearly diesels are not found in cars as frequently as gasoline engines are. According to auto experts, the 1970's gave diesel engine popularity a little boost in sales due to an OPEC oil embargo. At that time, it was first used in cars during the oil crisis and people found their cars covered in soot. Although there are many pros to diesels which will be explained later on, many people find too many cons. First, they tend to be much heavier due to their higher compression ratios. They also tend to be more expensive than gasoline engines. This alone is important for most people to consider when choosing their perfect vehicle. Third, because of their weight and compression ratio mentioned above, diesel engines tend to have lower maximum RPM ranges than gasoline engines. This makes diesels high torque rather than high horsepower, and that usually seems to make diesel cars slower when it comes to acceleration speeds. Furthermore, diesel engines must be fuel injected, tend to produce smoke, and are described as "funny-smelling" by many observers. They can be harder to start in the cold winter weather, and if they happen to contain what are known as glow plugs, diesels can require you to wait momentarily before starting the engine so the glow plugs can heat up. Many people also notice that they are noisier, tend to vibrate more than gasoline engines, and in some areas diesel is less readily available than gasoline. This is a problem for people who drive diesel cars or trucks for work or in their everyday vehicles.