Is Diesel Better Than Gasoline?

by Joe Ferguson on September 19, 2013


When it’s time to say goodbye to your old vehicle and move on to a new model, there are several questions to ask yourself. From superficial questions concerning the color and upholstery options, up to more economical queries about the type of engine you should buy, the list can be overwhelming. Today at UCV, though, we’ll try to help you navigate the wilderness of comparing different car features and discuss the differences between diesel and conventional gas engines.

Check out the information concerning the differences between these different types of fuel before rushing off to your local diesel mechanic to have your old gasoline engine swapped out for diesel.

How is it Made?

Both gasoline and diesel are petroleum-based and are derived from the extraction of fossil fuels from deep beneath the earth. Fossil fuels are comprised of decomposed organic matter (plants and animals) that, because of intense pressure underground, are reduced to naturally occurring oil. This same extraction technique is used to derive a wide range of fuels such as jet fuel, kerosene, gasoline and diesel.

Biodiesel, however, is considered to be somewhat healthier for the environment than its crude, oil-based counterpart. Biodiesel is manufactured from recycled cooking oil, vegetable oil, and animal fats. Because we don’t have to drill into the earth to harvest these materials, the process is considered more environmentally friendly.


The professional diesel mechanic crew at Auto Specialty of Lafayette in Lafayette, IN, has positive recommendations for diesel engines, “Diesel engines have numerous benefits over standard gasoline engines. Unlike their gasoline-counterparts, diesel engines burn fuel more slowly, resulting in better gas mileage and a longer lasting engine. Diesel engines, on average, last several years longer than a standard engine that runs off gasoline, and some have even been known to last over 300,000 miles.”

Both you and your diesel mechanic should be happy to hear that according to HowStuffWorks founder, Marshall Brain, “Diesel fuel has a higher energy density than gasoline. On average, 1 gallon (3.8 L) of diesel fuel contains approximately 155×106 joules (147,000 BTU), while 1 gallon of gasoline contains 132×106 joules (125,000 BTU). This, combined with the improved efficiency of diesel engines, explains why diesel engines get better mileage than equivalent gasoline engines.”


Although diesel is considered to be more environmentally sound because it creates lower emissions (like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide), it does still produce elevated levels of emissions containing nitrogen compounds and particulate matter. These emissions can be contributed to smog, declining health conditions, and acid rain.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of how diesel fuel compares to conventional gasoline and gives you a little insight into how these fuels make it to the gas pump in the first place.

Sources: HowStuffWorks, Auto Specialty of Lafayette

Google+ Comments

Previous post:

Next post: