The Evolution of the Diesel Engine


The talk about finding new alternative energy sources for our cars is not new. In fact, scientists and car engineers had begun finding ways to either use energy sources, or to optimize existing engine solutions back in the 1970’s.

People saw that big engines were very inefficient and they started looking for new solutions. The answer to the large gasoline engines were rather small, turbo powered diesel engines.

Until then diesel engines have been used mainly on heavy-duty machinery and large trucks, but scientists began to install them on small cars for their fuel efficiency and cost savings.

Diesels are still considered by some people as noisy, unreliable and expensive to maintain, but things have evolved greatly since the early days of the diesel engine. General Motors was among the first companies to fit diesel engines to cars like Chevrolet Caprice and the Oldsmobile, but these engines were shaky and very unreliable. GM soon admitted they had been doing things wrong and re-fitted those cars with normal gasoline engines. It was a large image hit and that is why consumers are still very reluctant to buying a diesel-powered car today.

Diesel engines also cause a bit more pollutant than comparative gasoline engines and with the taxes on polluting cars growing every year, no body wants to pay more taxes for their car if they can buy a gasoline engine car and pay less from the start.

Car companies also have looked at how they can optimize power output of modern diesels and how these engines can be made greener and they have came out with modern solutions.

European carmakers have been putting diesel engines in their cars for many years now and in Europe more then half of the cars sold are diesel powered. Manufacturers like Volkswagen, Mercedes or BMW are selling their large limousines mostly with diesel engines, for their power efficiency and cost savings when it comes to mileage. However, not only large cars have been fitted with diesel engines in Europe, but also sports cars. Audi, for example, is producing a 500-horse power sports car fitted with a V12 diesel engine. In addition, they claim this engine to be more powerful, greener and more efficient than its gasoline counterpart does.

Car manufacturers, especially in Europe and Japan, have been fitting large SUVs and 4×4 with diesel engines mostly for decades now. Fitting a gasoline engine on a large 4×4 would mean that its mileage would be extremely bad and its taxes would overcome its owner.

However, modern diesel engines are very powerful and a lot more reliable than they have been 20 or 30 years ago. Car manufacturers all over the world offer the same warranty for its diesel-powered cars like they do on their gasoline cars and this proves that modern diesel engines have the same reliability as gasoline engines have.

In most countries, the cost of the diesel fuel is lower than the price for gasoline and this combined with the better mileage of diesel-powered cars means significant money savings.

American car manufacturers are looking into installing diesel engines in their cars and it is only a matter of time until you will be able to buy your favorite car with a diesel engine.


Source by dennis james