What is the difference between a petrol and diesel engine?

  • Reading time:2 mins read

This post is also available in: German French Italian Spanish

There are two types of internal combustion engines, a diesel and a petrol engine. Both engines have their own advantages and disadvantages, but what are the differences between a petrol and diesel engine? That both engines use fuel is not that exciting. We refuel petrol fuel for petrol engines and diesel fuel for diesel engines. However, the difference is in the ignition mechanism. In a gasoline engine, the gasoline fuel is ignited by a spark plug and in a diesel engine by spontaneous combustion.

As far as the driving experience is concerned, there are big differences between a petrol and diesel engine. A diesel engine has a high torque and accelerates much more easily than a petrol engine that has a high power. You will notice that driving a diesel engine is easy, you drive away much easier with a lower speed. The petrol engine accelerates faster and usually has more power.

The last difference is in the fuel (consumption) and cost. A diesel engine is more expensive in road tax and insurance. The price per liter of diesel, on the other hand, is cheaper than petrol. Depending on the liter price, this saves +/- € 0.30 per litre. Often a diesel car is used for driving longer distances. If you drive less than 25,000 kilometers per year, it is advisable to opt for a petrol car. Furthermore, a petrol car can also be used for shorter distances, while a diesel car is less suitable for this. The risk of internal engine pollution such as dirty injectors, EGR valve and diesel particulate filter increases faster.