Diesel engines are widely familiar as the force behind monstrous 18-wheelers and farming equipment. They are also used in many foreign made vehicles, such as BMWs and Audis. But why was the diesel engine invented and what separates it from its gasoline counterpart? Rudolf Diesel, a German mechanical engineer, invented the process after he researched the inefficiencies of gasoline engines. Gasoline engines, as initially conceived, were horribly inefficient. They only used 10 percent of available heat. The rest of the heat escaped. Rudolf Diesel saw an opportunity to make a better, more efficient engine.
How Do Diesel Engines Work?
Diesel and gasoline engines aren't too different. Both are types of internal combustion engines designed to turn chemical energy into mechanical energy. In all combustible engines, energy is created to move pistons back and forth within cylinders. The motion of the pistons moves the crankshaft and that creates the motion needed to move the wheels of the car.
Small explosions power both diesel and gasoline engines. There is a difference, however, in how those explosions occur. Gasoline engines mix fuel with air that is then compressed by pistons and ignited by sparks. Diesel engines switch up the order of events. In a diesel engine, air is compressed first and then the fuel is injected. Diesel engines don't have spark plugs because air heats up when it's compressed.
Diesel Engines Today
Diesels in cars, as mentioned above, aren't very popular in the United States. Europe manufactures several models of commuter vehicles that are powered by diesel. As people in North America become more concerned with oil prices, diesel is looking more attractive.
Allen Christian Brothers
If you own a diesel engine in Allen, take it into Christian Brothers for maintenance, repairs, and tune-ups. Our mechanics have been thoroughly trained to repair diesel engines.