Diesel and Unleaded
Diesel and Unleaded Powered Cars
A diesel car generates energy using an internal combustion engine which operates using the diesel cycle. The engine used in these cars use the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel. Unleaded fuel cars use gasoline or unleaded petrol for combustion of the engine.
Description of fuel used
The fuel used in a diesel car is a fractional distillate of petroleum fuel oil, called diesel fuel. The diesel derived from petroleum is generally called as petrodiesel while other varieties of diesel are bio diesel and gas to liquid diesel. The internal combustion diesel engines use the diesel fuel to generate energy.
Unleaded gasoline does not contain anti-knock agents which were originally used to reduce knocking and is currently supplemented with other harm free compounds. The anti-knock or lead compounds released large amounts of lead on combustion causing serious health hazards.
The performance of diesel cars
The diesel engine employs a high level of compression to ignite the fuel. The high compression ratio increases the diesel car engine efficiency. A diesel engine compresses the air inside the cylinder to high pressures and temperatures and the diesel is injected into the cylinder at the end of the compression stroke. The diesel fuel then reacts with oxygen to convert thermal or pressure difference generated into mechanical work. The diesel engine provides more torque and has less chance to stall. The diesel engines have better intrinsic efficiency compared to other gasoline engines. The modern diesel cars have 30% better fuel efficiency and produce 20% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to the gasoline powered cars.
The performance of Unleaded cars
Unleaded petrol fuel cars with catalytic converters produce less emission and are efficient compared to normal petrol fuel cars. Unleaded gasoline has components which reduce the chocking effect but do not emit lead on combustion. These cars offer better performance compared to diesel cars during very low temperatures. Also these engines produce less sound.
Pros and cons of the fuel
The disadvantage of diesel fuel is that at very low temperatures, the fuel turns into a non flowing gel and thus affecting the operation of the engine. Although special diesel fuels are available to be used in extremely low temperature conditions, starting a diesel engine at low temperatures remains as a difficulty. Diesel engines also risk the possibility of a run away failure when the fuel pump breaks at open position resulting in an unrestricted supply of fuel. Diesel fuel cars have produce less greenhouse gas emission and have better fuel efficiency than gasoline fuel cars.
The diesel fuel has a higher energy per litre content. Due to various emission restrictions, the sulfur content of the petro diesel has reduced considerable and thus finally resulting in lesser sulfur emissions on combustion. But reducing the sulfur content reduces the lubricity of the petro diesel fuel. As the fuel evaporates very slowly, any spilled fuel can result in reduced grip and traction.
The servicing cost of unleaded fuel cars is less compared to that of diesel cars. Since the unleaded fuel cars have engines with ignition system and moving parts, they demand more frequent servicing.
Diesel use in different countries
Untaxed diesel fuel is available in many countries to use in non-commercial vehicles like tractors which do not run through public roads. In India, majority of the transportation, which transports grains and other necessary commodities across the country, runs on diesel fuel. So the diesel fuel is taxed at a lower rate in India compared to the gasoline fuel. In India most of the commercial cars are having unleaded gasoline fuel engines. The UK has seen many proposals to tackle climatic change by gradually eliminating unleaded gasoline cars from the roads. Some countries are gradually banning or restricting the use of gasoline fuel cars because of the limited supply of the fuel as well as the health hazards which these fuels impose.
Environmental drawbacks of Diesel and Unleaded Fuel
The petro diesel used for combustion in diesel cars contains sulfur. The emission of sulfur on combustion results in various environmental health hazards. The petro diesel if spilled on the road remains there as it does not evaporate quickly and thus forming a greasy slick which is dangerous and can result in accidents. The diesel fuel on combustion releases many atmospheric soot and particles which are major components polluting the atmosphere. These particles are real danger to human beings as they damage heart and lungs. Exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to many cardiovascular diseases. The nano particles present in the diesel exhaust contain mainly unburned lubricating oil and exposure to them causes serious health hazards.
The unleaded fuel on combustion releases many toxic air pollutants, hydrocarbons. They do produce nitrogen oxide and particle matter on combustion but less compared to the diesel engines.
Reliability of Diesel and Unleaded Cars
Diesel engines don’t have any electrical ignition or moving parts which may be subject to wear and tear and so they have longer life compared to gas engines. The cooling system in a diesel fuel car is very important. Due to the higher compression pressure, more heat is generated which needs to be cooled properly. The cooling system requires proper maintenance for proper efficient operation of diesel fuel engines. The coolant hoses in a diesel engine can deteriorate quickly if they are not secured properly. The engine air filter requires proper monitoring and maintenance as the diesel engines use a lot of air. Similarly with the oil filter.
Unleaded fuel cars require frequent servicing as they use ignition system and have moving engine parts. The gasoline engines are seen to be more long lasting and less noisy.
Cost of the fuel
The running cost of a diesel engine depends on road tax, insurance, and cost of capital, depreciation, and breakdown cover. The running cost of diesel and gasoline powered cars varies with distance. As separate accessories are not required with the car, the initial cost includes mainly the cost of the car.
Fuel Tax in the UK
Generally petro diesel used in diesel engines is taxed heavily in many countries including the UK. Untaxed diesel fuel is available in the UK which is used for non-commercial vehicles. This untaxed diesel is dyed for identification purposes. In the UK the untaxed diesel is called as red diesel or gas oil and is used in refrigeration units on locomotives, agricultural vehicles and marine crafts. In the UK, any person found using the red diesel for commercial purposes will be fined heavily. The tax rate on unleaded fuel cars are more than that of diesel fuel ones.
Submit your Own Diesel and Unleaded Prices
If you are reading this then you probably own a car and are horrified by the amount you are paying to fill up. If so use the map below to find cheap fuel in your area, please also update the map with any petrol prices that you know.