Which is better, a diesel or a gasoline engine?

Quite a reasonable question in the title often does not have a clear answer. Of course, when discussing a specific situation, you can always find some preferred option. But it will be different every time. Therefore, it is not always possible to unambiguously determine which is better, a diesel or gasoline engine. However, attempts to find an answer to this question allow us to understand the features of each of them and, when choosing any option, make the optimal decision.

What is the difference between these motors?

Both are heat engines, in which the energy obtained during the combustion of fuel is converted into mechanical energy. Combustion takes place inside, which is why they are called internal combustion engines. However, in each of the considered motors, the process occurs in its own way, which determines the difference in the characteristics of the motors.

To begin with, the fuel is different for each of them. In a gasoline engine, a mixture of gasoline with air is prepared outside the cylinders, and after it enters them at maximum compression, it ignites with a spark generated by a command from the outside. In a diesel engine, there is clean air in the cylinders, it is compressed, due to which it heats up. At the moment of maximum compression, a portion of diesel fuel is injected into it, from contact with hot air it ignites, thanks to which the engine runs.

These fundamental differences - the fuel used, its preparation and the method of ignition - provide different characteristics of the motors, which give rise to disputes between their supporters.

Comparison of the capabilities and characteristics of motors

The capabilities and appearance of any of the ICEs under consideration have changed very much since the moment of their invention. Diesel engines and huge, multi-liter, gluttonous gasoline engines have long disappeared into the past, but with all the metamorphoses that have taken place, the differences between them have remained.

Developed power and torque

A characteristic feature of a gasoline engine is a high power output, and a diesel engine is a torque. For a better understanding of the difference, it must be said that a gasoline engine allows you to accelerate faster, and a diesel engine allows you to carry more cargo. For example, you can compare a racing car and an all-terrain vehicle. The first one should accelerate as quickly as possible and move at high speed. A gasoline engine would suit him better.

The off-road vehicle moves slowly, but it happens in mud and off-road. Speed ​​is not important to him, but torque is needed to overcome the obstacle. Here are all the advantages of a diesel engine. Although it should be noted that now gasoline engines can cope with loads in such a situation.


The energy value of diesel fuel is higher than that of gasoline, that is, when an equal amount of fuel is burned, diesel gives more energy. This leads to the fact that when driving under equal conditions, its consumption will be less than gasoline. But such savings are completely "eaten up" by the higher price of diesel fuel. So there is no certainty on this issue either.

If a similar factor (economy) in the same Europe in many cases is decisive when choosing a power unit, then everything is not so simple with us. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the quality of the fuel used. For example, for high-octane gasoline, although it does not always meet the standards, it does not have a destructive effect on the engine even with deviations.

But when using low-quality diesel fuel, diesel engine repair is provided. And the fact is that in most cases our gasoline is better than diesel fuel.

Noise and vibration

Long gone are the days when a diesel engine could be heard from several kilometers away. But even though now it has become much quieter, it still surpasses a gasoline engine in terms of noise and vibration in most cases. Most often this is noticeable during overclocking, in the steady state the difference is sometimes small.

Effect of low temperature

It should be noted that diesel fuel, according to the operating conditions, is divided into two types - winter and summer. It is simply impossible to drive on the latter during frost, it thickens and clogs the fuel system of the car. Therefore, only special fuels should be used in winter. But the worst thing with the wrong choice occurs when a sharp drop in temperature caught you on the road, while troubles are unlikely to be avoided. Whereas gasoline is always filled the same.

In addition, difficulties with starting a diesel engine in winter should be noted. The fuel is ignited by heating the air during compression, and at subzero temperatures it can be difficult to achieve this. For this purpose, special external heaters are installed on diesel cars, which requires additional equipment costs and time to warm up the engine.


The operating conditions of a diesel engine are much more severe than those of a gasoline engine. To withstand the loads, you have to use more massive parts and use expensive materials. Without touching on the design features and differences between these types of motors, it should be noted that the maintenance of the diesel engine should be performed more often, the engine oil should be changed at a lower mileage, choosing the highest quality grades.

But this is only one side of the issue. If we touch upon the repair and the price of spare parts, then they are usually more expensive than for a gasoline engine.

The debate about which motor is better does not stop and is unlikely to end. America loves gasoline, but Europe loves diesel. Each of them has its own advantages and characteristics, and there is no need to oppose them. But deliberately choosing a car with an engine that best suits the driving conditions will be the right decision.