Driving comes with many risks, but the simple task of fuelling up isn’t risk-free either. If you’ve ever put petrol in your diesel vehicle, you’re not alone in making that mistake. According to the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (RAA), 7500 misfuelling events, of people doing just that, occur every year nationally. This mistake could cost you your engine if you don’t deal with it properly, however, there are actions you can take to minimise the cost of repairs.
The Petrol Vs Diesel debate is a never-ending one. No matter where you stand, there is truthfully no clear winner. Your champion will depend on what you need your car for and what you want from your vehicle. Do you want a vehicle to help you run quick errands? Or, do you want to go on long drives dragging a trailer behind you? Each engine type has unique benefits, but many do not realise how diesel could better cater to their needs.
Diesel vehicles are more fuel efficient and emit less CO2 than petrol engines which is better for the environment. Efficiency will vary from vehicle to vehicle, but owners can generally expect fuel efficiency to be 24 to 30 per cent better than petrol equivalents. Diesel engines have more compression, so the expansion part of the cycle occurs over a greater range, delivering more usable power and better economy. Ultimately, this means that diesel vehicles have to refuel less.
Diesel engines operate at higher pressures when compared to petrol engines. This means that structurally, the engine needs to be significantly stronger. Their hardiness makes them ideal for drivers covering rough terrain, particularly off-road. This strength also means better longevity and dependability.
Torque and power
Recent additions to the diesel market have developed diesel engines that are more powerful and responsive than ever – and many now outperform their petrol-powered equivalents. Diesel engines deliver substantially greater low-speed torque at about 2000rpm at three or four times the torque of a petrol engine. Diesel vehicles are therefore better-performing on the freeway as they provide strong overtaking agility and can often do so without changing gears; they can scale hills effortlessly, are ideal for towing, and generally move without complaint. For those who regularly tow caravans, boats, trailers, general heavier loads or carry more people than average, diesel is the better choice.
The distinctive ‘rattle’ generated by large diesel engines have been virtually eliminated in most modern passenger vehicles. When the engines are cold and near idle, they can sometimes generate more noise than a petrol engine. But at suburban or highway speeds, diesel engines are mostly quieter and smoother than ever.
In the end, you need to think about what you want to use your car for and what you want it to do. Diesel may not be the perfect fit for everyone, but they are a fantastic choice for the drivers who cover long distances, venture off-road frequently or want superior torque.