#OpinionAndAnalysis: Diesel VS Petrol Engines


Driving is not just about the car you are in Mercedes or Ferrari, Mazda or Toyota, nor is only about the price tag of the beast you are in but it is also about the type of engine that your car has and of course the type of fuel you use daily.

When one decides to buy a motor vehicle there are certain strands that one has to look at before he or she decides to buy a vehicle.

By David Zvina

These specs are important are important in the tech world mainly because they will determine how smooth your rice will be and what cost you have to be prepared to incur if you are to purchase the type of vehicle which has stolen you heart.

Petrol and diesel engines are the two most commonly used internal combustion engines. Even though their operation seems similar, they have some interesting differences, and each has advantages over the other.

Petrol Vs Desiel Engines

Petrol Vs Desiel Engines

One of the main differences that one will notice between the diesel and petrol engines are that in the petrol engine, the fuel and air should be pre-mixed, while in diesel engines, mixing happens only during the combustion. Due to this reason diesel engines use a fuel injector while petrol engines use a spark plug.

Since the diesel engine is compressing only the air, it can achieve a good compression ratio without risk of self-ignition. But, in a pre-mixed petrol engine, such a high compression ratio is not possible. As we increase compression ratio of petrol engine the mixture becomes more prone to self ignition. This is known as knocking. Over the period of operation knocking badly damages the engine and can cost you more to repair the vehicle especially in the current economic situation.

Diesel engine also gives more mileage than a petrol car due to the difference in the compression ratio which is exempted by the two types of fuel engines. The higher the compression ratio, the better is the efficiency of the cycle and hence the more distance you can travel with less fuel and for many Zimbabweans this will definitely be a blessing in disguise. The diesel engine has better fuel economy as compared to petrol engines because of the compression ratio it exempts.

Well it should be acknowledged that diesel in a petrol engine will not even cause firing. The reason is simple. Diesel is less volatile and will not mix with the air properly. In fact you will find it is impossible to make a good diesel-air mixture using carburettor or direct injection technology.

This means if you apply spark to such a poor quality mixture, it will not initiate any combustion and you definetly have to consider going to any one or the mechanics you know who will have to clean your fuel tank or you might just return to the land of those that use public transport.

On the other hand, if you put petrol in a diesel engine, you are spraying a highly volatile fuel into a chamber of highly compressed and hot air. This will lead to detonations rather than smooth combustion

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