What is the Difference Between a Diesel and a Standard Engine?

If you are an aspiring first-time owner of a car or one who is looking to upgrade, then you must have asked yourself whether the diesel or the standard engine is ideal for you. There is no definite answer for you as you choose the perfect engine for you based on your preferences and if you can finance them. Get first to understand how the two engine types work and the major difference before you embark on a thorough search for a new car. Here are the differences between diesel and standard engines.

Engine Functionality

Both the gas or the standard engine and the diesel engine work by internal combustion. This is where consequent explosions are ignited in the engine to convert the fuel into mechanical force to move the vehicle forward or backward. The difference in functionality is how the ignition of these explosions occurs.

With the diesel engine, air enters the engine and is compressed to create heat that is used for the ignition which is commonly known as compression ignition. If this is applied or happens in the standard engine, it gets damaged. For the standard or gasoline engine, spark plugs generate the ignition, and the air entering the engine is compressed by pistons.

Fuel Injection

This is a major difference between the two engine types. In the standard gasoline engine, fuel is injected either by a carburetor or a port injection. In the port injection system, the air is injected into the fuel just before the intake stroke. The carburetor on the other hand mixes air and fuel before it goes to the compression cylinder.

In the diesel engine, the fuel gets injected directly into the cylinder. The injector here is built to withstand very high temperatures and work under high-pressure levels. More and more advancements are being made to this engine to allow it to offer better performance.


You might have heard of Torque and Horsepower. Horsepower, just as the name suggests is the amount of power produced by the engine while torque is the force that pushes the vehicle for motion. Diesel engines produce more torque than standard engines that why trucks and heavy-duty vehicles are fitted with diesel engines to be able to carry heavy loads. On the other hand, standard engine vehicles produce more horsepower offered by gasoline.


The cost of maintenance and purchase between a car with these two engine types differ. Diesel engine cars cost more than standard engine vehicles. On the other hand, fueling and maintaining a standard engine is more costly. First of all, diesel is cheaper than gasoline.

Before you make any purchase, it's only wise that you completely understand the difference and functionality of the two engine types to make an informed decision.