When you’re thinking about a new car or truck, you have many factors to consider. You have to decide whether you want a sedan, a truck or an SUV. You’ll look at multiple makes and models. Then there’s the color of the vehicle.

One of the most important considerations you’ll have is picking gas or diesel. You might be wondering about gas vs. diesel engine advantages and disadvantages and how to weigh them against each other. If so, then read on.

The internal combustion engine

Let’s start with similarities between the two engine types. Both utilize internal combustion to change fuel into energy used to move the vehicle. In this type of engine, air comes into the engine and combines with the fuel. The cylinders then move and compress the air-fuel blend, which then ignites and begins to move the piston and crankshaft.

The crankshaft, in turn, leads the vehicle’s transmission to turn the wheels; then the piston comes back to its original position to send the spent gas from inside the engine to the tailpipe. This is emitted as exhaust, and the entire process occurs several times every second.

What’s the difference between diesel and gas?

The biggest difference between diesel and gas is how ignition occurs. In a gas engine, the fuel blends with the compressed air via pistons. The spark plugs then fire this mixture so that it goes into the vehicle.

With a diesel engine, on the other hand, the air is compressed first, which makes it hot. The fuel then is lit aflame when it strikes the hot air.

Fuel injection

Diesel and gas engines inject fuel in a few different ways. For gas, a port injection system or a carburetor is used. Port injection puts the air into the fuel directly preceding the intake stroke. With a carburetor, the fuel and air come together before the mixture is sent to the cylinder for compression. Diesel, on the other hand, injects fuel directly into the cylinder.

Power output

There’s a reason that sports cars tend to have gasoline engines versus the diesel engines on trucks—it’s because a diesel engine can combine greater torque with lower horsepower for the maximum towing capacity needed to move heavy loads. Sports cars with gas engines will have high horsepower and lower torque.


Another big difference between these two types of engines is fuel efficiency. Diesel engines are more fuel efficient compared to their gas counterparts. The better gas mileage is mainly related to how the engine functions.

Gas fuel and diesel fuel

As you may know, a gas engine requires different fuel than a diesel engine. If you have a gas-powered vehicle, never fill it up with diesel. The reverse is also true. Doing so can cause damage to the engine.

Coastal Diesel Injection is your one-stop shop for everything from repair to service and performance. Our team is backed by years of experience in the industry. Stop in today or call us to make your first appointment.