There’s a reason only a certified diesel mechanic should work on your diesel engine. Gas-powered engines and diesel engines are similar but not the same. It could be argued that these two types of engines are more different than they are alike. Here are a few unique qualities you’ll find in a diesel engine that should convince you to hire only a certified diesel mechanic to work on yours.
Diesel Fuel is More Economical Than Gasoline
Diesel engines are designed to extract more energy from the fuel. Diesel engines have a much higher compression rate. According to the Department of Energy, you can expect to get 10-15% more energy out of diesel fuel compared to gasoline. Vehicles outfitted with diesel engines can go about 35% further on the same amount of fuel as a gas-powered engine. In other words, one gallon of diesel fuel will get you much further than one gallon of gasoline.
One of the unique characteristics of a diesel engine that requires the care of a certified diesel mechanic is the compression ratio of the engine. Of course, that’s not the only factor that a mechanic has to be aware of when it comes to the unique characteristics of a diesel engine.
There are No Spark Plugs
If you’re looking for a diesel engine tune-up and want to change the wires and plugs, you’re out of luck. Diesel engines don’t have spark plugs. As a matter of fact, diesel fuel isn’t easily ignited. If you drop a match into a puddle of diesel fuel, the flame of the match will be extinguished.
As previously mentioned, a diesel engine has high compression. A diesel engine relies on a compression ignition and glow plugs to heat the combustion chamber. A gasoline engine depends on spark plugs to ignite the compression of the engine. Both compression ignitions and glow plugs are characteristics unique to a diesel engine.
There’ll Be Dual Thermostats
Large diesel engines have two thermostats. In almost every gasoline-powered engine, there’s only a single thermostat. Large diesel engines, the types you find in trucks and farm equipment, use a dual thermostat system to keep the engine cool.
This dual thermostat system is a unique feature of diesel engines. Diesel engines run hotter than gasoline-powered engines. The dual thermostats are an added safety feature to protect the diesel engine. The primary thermostat and the secondary thermostat work together to ensure that the engine is cooled properly.
There’ll Be a Water Separator
Another unique characteristic of the diesel engine is the water separator system. Diesel fuel is not hygroscopic, which means it doesn’t repel water the way gasoline does. The water separator system helps to protect the engine from water and other contaminants that may be in the fuel.
The water separator system needs maintenance. A certified diesel mechanic can perform that maintenance. This part is an essential part of any diesel engine.
There Will Be Some Similarities
There are many different and unique characteristics of a diesel engine that a certified diesel mechanic will know how to address, but there are some things that are true for any type of fossil-fueled engine. For example, both gas-powered and diesel engines need regular maintenance.
Both a gas and a diesel engine need to have the oil regularly changed. In both types of engines, engine oil serves as a lubricant. However, oil in your diesel engine does more than lubricate the engine, it lubricates the turbocharger, which means it’s critical that you have regularly scheduled oil changes for your diesel engine.
Both engine types need fuel filter maintenance, but it’s critical that you change both of the fuel filters on your diesel engine every 10,000 miles under normal driving conditions. You’ll have to do this more frequently if you’re towing heavy loads.
Air filters also need to be changed on both types of engines. On a diesel engine, your air filter should be changed every 10,000 miles or when the filter gets dirty. There are maintenance needs for a diesel engine and a gas engine that are similar, but how those needs are carried out is unique.
If you own a diesel engine vehicle, you should have a certified diesel mechanic manage your maintenance and repairs to ensure that your engine gets the best possible service. That’s where we come in! Don’t risk the health of your engine. Contact Associated Fuel Systems Inc today to learn how we can help you.