[Infographic] : Diesel vs Gas: Which Engine Gets the Gold

Mechanic colleges teach students all about the types of engines they’ll be working on once they graduate and start their careers. Most students know that the first two-stroke kerosene engine was invented in 1873, by an engineer named George Brayton. And by 1885, Gottlieb Daimler created a prototype of the modern gasoline engine that we know and use today. It wasn’t until 1892 that the diesel engine was invented. It was created and patented by a German engineer named Rudolf Diesel. However, the first production car to feature this engine—the Citroen Rosalie—did not fare well on the market.

Today, diesel-powered cars have gained popularity in North America because of their durability and fuel efficiency. While there aren’t nearly as many of them on the roads as gas-powered cars, their rising popularity has deemed it necessary for professional auto mechanics to know how they function.

Want to know which engine ranks higher in popularity, efficiency, power and more? See the facts in this infographic and decide which engine you think should get the gold!


Diesel vs Gas: Which Engine Gets the Gold


Engine Fast Facts

  • Gas engines have been used in cars since the 1980s
  • Diesel engines only started being used in cars in the 1930s
  • Opting for a diesel engine can add between $1,500 and $2,500 to the price of a new car (and up to $10,000 for a pickup truck)
  • In Canada, all automakers offer gas-powered cars, but only 6 offer diesel-powered models:
    • Chevrolet
    • Dodge
    • Mercedes-Benz
    • Audi
    • BMW
    • Volkswagen

Horsepower and Torque.

  • Gas engines can typically rev higher and produce more horsepower than diesel engines
  • Diesel engines have more torque, giving them faster acceleration and more pulling power


  • Gas engines require spark plugs to ignite the gas
  • Diesel engines use a ‘compression ignition,’ making them 30% more fuel efficient

Engine blocks, Pistons & Bearings

  • The engine block, pistons and bearings on diesel engines are built to withstand high heat
  • Gas powered engines are much lighter, making many vehicles faster
  • Because of their engineering, diesel engines tend to be a lot louder
  • Gas engines are cheaper to make, and cheaper to fix and maintain

Fuel Efficiency and Availability

  • Diesel-powered cars are more fuel efficient than gas-powered cars
  • Unlike diesel fuel, gasoline is available at all service stations and it typically costs less

Automotive Applications

  • Because of their torque, diesel engines are the preferred choice for many trucks and busses
  • Due to their lighter weight and higher horsepower, gas engines are more common in sports cars


So Who gets the Gold? It’s All About Location…

  • In Europe, diesel-powered cars make up for about 50% of all car sales
  • In Canada, only 3% of vehicle owners opt for diesel engines
  • Gas is still a leader in Canada, but the diesel market is rapidly growing!









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