Pick Your Propulsion

There is perhaps no better example of human ingenuity in the modern era than the automobile. In every city, of every country, across the entire world, motorized vehicles are taking people from home, to work, and back again in all types of cars and trucks. While many of these cars vary wildly in terms of features and design, there are certain elements that must be present in order for the car to move. A car without wheels, for instance, has no chance of taking you where you want to go; wheels, or an engine.

Despite the similarities, there is still an extraordinary amount of diversity within these standardized elements; a car repair center like our Master Muffler in Pocatello can help you install different tires for snow, rain, or summer weather. Or you may have an electric motor, as opposed to a gasoline or diesel engine. 

It’s these two latter engines in particular that many drivers use to distinguish their cars from others on the road. So, what’s the difference between them? Let’s take a look at where each engine came from, the difference between the two types of fuel, and the pros and cons of each.

The Gasoline Engine

The gasoline engine has been the mainstay of motorized locomotion for centuries, and it has also been at the center of its fair share of criticism. Not only has the search for crude oil and its refinement into gasoline been at the center of a lot of rhetoric, from anti-war propaganda to foreign interest speculation, but its very design has come under fire for its perceived wastefulness of this precious petroleum resource.

How It Works

Thanks to its standardization in nearly all cars, motorcycles, and scooters throughout the world, engine repair has become one of the foundational elements of our car repair service in Pocatello. Despite periodic updates to the design, the basic operation of the gas engine remains largely the same:

  • A mixture of air and fuel vapors enters the combustion chamber through the fuel intake valve.
  • A crankshaft compresses the chamber so that the mixture becomes very dense in an enclosed space.
  • As the space gets smaller and smaller, a spark plug ignites the mixture, causing a small explosion of gasses.
  • These gasses are then let out of the combustion chamber to go through the rest of the emissions system. 
  • The power of the combustion powers the rest of the engine and in turn, the whole vehicle.

This process — intake, compression, ignition, and exhaust — is what’s known as the four-stroke combustion cycle. If you’re having trouble with your engine, it is likely some part within this cycle is in need of attention.

The Benefits

There are numerous advantages to driving with a gasoline engine, not the least of which is how ubiquitous it has become across nearly all vehicles. This makes them much easier to repair. Other benefits include:

  • They’re generally cheaper
  • Fewer emissions
  • Less noise and vibration
  • Smoother acceleration
  • Easier to find gas for refueling

The Diesel Engine

We spoke about how the gasoline engine has come under fire from all sorts of people over the centuries. One of these was the industrious engineer Rudolf Diesel, who believed that a flaw in the design of the engine was burning only 10% of the gasoline as fuel, while everything else was simply going unused. He set to work designing and building a more efficient engine which now carries his name.

How It Works

The main difference between the two engines lay in their combustion process. Diesel believed that the spark plug could be done away with completely if the fuel itself was dense enough to ignite on its own.

  • The engine works nearly identically but compresses the mixture to a far greater degree. In regular gas engines, the compression is about a tenth of the original volume. In a diesel engine, the compression is anywhere from 14 to 25 times the volume.
  • Injecting so much fuel into a space that small is going to generate an incredible amount of heat, causing combustion automatically.
  • Diesel fuel is also thicker, which means that it produces more burn and has greater fuel efficiency than regular gas.

This is why you see a different pump at the gas station devoted entirely to diesel; the fuel mixture is processed differently and can only run in a diesel engine.

The Benefits

While diesel fuel has certainly become more popular since Rudolf unveiled his new machine, these engines have largely only been used for high-ton vehicles like trucks and construction equipment. The benefits of diesel are many, however, and with some more exposure, they could revolutionize the auto industry even further.

  • They are highly reliable machines that don’t break down as often.
  • The absence of ignition wiring means lower maintenance costs.
  • Diesel fuel doesn’t burn as hot which means the engine’s life lasts longer.
  • Gas mileage is typically much better.

If you have any concerns about car repairs in Pocatello, we at Master Muffler can help you get squared away quickly. Feel free to drop in or check out our other locations today.