We all know that the two popular fuels used in automobiles are petrol and diesel. If you're thinking of buying a car, the first question that pops up in your mind would be whether to choose a diesel or petrol engine. But, have you wondered about the difference between the two?
Keep reading as we delve into this topic further.
How are petrol and diesel made?
Both fuels are derived from a mineral oil called crude oil. Crude oil contains different types of impurities and hydrocarbons. To produce fuels from it, the hydrocarbons need to be separated from the impurities.
Crude oil undergoes a refining process called 'fractional distillation' which is different for petrol and diesel, hence resulting in two different products.
What are the major differences between petrol and diesel?
Diesel contains more pollutants than petrol.
Diesel has more energy than petrol.
The calorific value of diesel is slightly less than petrol.
Diesel is denser than petrol.
Petrol engines can be more harmful to the environment.
Diesel engines are more efficient than petrol engines due to their superior combustion process.
Diesel vs. Petrol: Other factors to consider when buying a car
Type of travel:
To select the best type of engine to suit your lifestyle, you should think about the type of travel you will be doing. If you want to go for long drives without much interruption, then you can opt for diesel engines.
On the other hand, if you will be driving mostly inside cities with traffic where you have to start-stop a lot, petrol is the better option than diesel as it produces a slight lag when manoeuvring such short distances.
Diesel engines work more efficiently than their counterparts because of their mechanisation. Instead of using spark plugs, diesel engines burn fuel at a high compression ratio and are more efficient.
Diesel engines produce lesser greenhouse gases, which cause global warming, than petrol engines. They emit more nitrous oxide than petrol cars but the damages only have a short-term effect.
Even though diesel engines have higher maintenance costs than petrol engines, the service interval is usually longer. One reason for less wear and tear is that diesel engines work at low RPMs than petrol engines.
Also, since diesel engines have to withstand more pressure, their components are thicker and sturdier than petrol engines.
Apart from that, diesel is a light oil that lubricates the combustion chamber and reduces friction. All these factors make diesel engines a better option than petrol engines.
The fuel price for petrol is higher than diesel in the case of India, unlike some other countries. While buying a car in India, you have to keep this in mind. This way, you can save money in the long run.
Mileage is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the automobile fuel engine. A diesel engine uses less fuel compared to its petrol counterpart and thus has more mileage.
The four-wheeler insurance cost for diesel engine cars is higher than its petrol counterparts. Since the cost of spare parts for a diesel engine is higher, the insurance cost is also higher.
Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH), also known as noise and vibration (N&V), is lower in petrol cars when compared to diesel cars.
Diesel engines have higher fuel economy and are suitable for heavy vehicles. 'Torque' is what determines a car's rotational force. The higher the torque, the heavier the load it can carry. Diesel engines generate more torque and are better at hauling heavy loads.
Engine life is shorter in a petrol engine than in a diesel engine. However, this also depends on how carefully you drive your car, keep up with maintenance, etc.
Know more about automobile fuels and fuel prices on Park+
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