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Diesel vs Gasoline Engines

When looking to buy a car, there are many different things to consider. The make and model, car versus truck, what color to choose, and what features you want are all things to take into account. But have you considered the type of engine your potential new vehicle will have? Both diesel and gasoline engines are internal combustion engines, which means that fuel and air are mixed once they are in the engine and then combustion occurs, sparking the transmission to turn the wheels. It's a complicated process with amazing results - a car we can drive to get where we need to go.

diesel and gasoline gas pumps

What Makes them Different?

The difference in the engines is how the fuel is ignited. While both engines convert fuel into energy through small combustions, the way these occur is where they differ. With gasoline engines, the inclusion of spark plugs ignites the compressed air after the fuel and air are mixed, creating the combustion. With diesel engines, the air is compressed first and is heated up so that when the fuel is added, it combusts.

Pros and Cons of Diesel Engines

There are a few factors to consider when comparing the engines.


  • Diesel engines typically get better mileage and are more efficient than gasoline engines. A gallon of diesel has 30% more energy than gasoline and is a thick, syrupy substance compared to watery gasoline.
  • Diesel gives off more torque, creating a faster acceleration, helping it gain the advantage in mileage and power.
  • Since a diesel engines are built to be tougher, they don’t need as much maintenance or major repairs and are often more reliable.
  • Diesel engines are now typically more environmentally conscious than gasoline engines.


  • Diesel engines can take longer to ignite in colder weather since they rely on heated air to create the combustion.
  • Diesel vehicles do tend to be more expensive, both for the fuel and the car itself. They can sometimes also cost more to insure.
  • Depending on how you care for your vehicle, repairs can also be more costly.

Maintenance Costs

Both engines will require maintenance. Maintenance is usually easier and cheaper when it comes to gasoline engines. A ton of regular maintenance isn’t required for a diesel engine, other than regular oil and filter changes, as they are much sturdier than gasoline engines. However, when they do need attention, the complicated nature of a diesel engine can make it a more costly repair.

So Which Engine is Better for You?

Determining which engine is better for you will ultimately come down to preference and there is no right answer. But rest assured, no matter what kind of engine you choose, our employees at Custom Complete Automotive are here to help with all your maintenance needs. For more information about our services, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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