One doesn’t have to be an astrologer or philanthropist to say that diesel is or would rule the roost in the near future. With rising prices of crude, more and more people are taking a liking to diesel engines. It seems that F1 would also be a part of the diesel brigade very soon. Even premium sports car manufacturers like Lamborghini are thinking of taking the diesel route. However, the question is whether these new age diesel engines as reliable as say a less technologically advanced petrol engine. Even now, first time buyers opt for a petrol engine thinking that a diesel one would put strain on their pockets in the long run. So, here is a debate on whether the modern day diesel motor matches upto its petrol counterpart or not? We have kept the comments section alive so that you can post in your valuable comments.
Today, most of the diesel engines available even in the cheapest of hatchbacks happen to be CRDI. CRDI stands for Common Rail Direct Injection. The Hyundai Accent CRDI was the first car which came with the CRDI engine in India. Earlier diesel engine cars included the likes of the diesel Zen, diesel Esteem, Bolero, Sumo, Spacio, Ford Ikon D, Fiat Petra, Palio 1.9d and the ilk. Of all these cars, the Ford Ikon D was notorious for failing engine internals and stuff. Of course, it did amass a lot of kms before this particular problem was noticed. Maintenance issues were also very prominent in those days with owners refusing to take their vehicles for a complete service or stuff. Even oil changes were delayed to a great extent and it was only after the vehicle started showing signs of loss in power that the owner thinks of taking it to a nearby service station.
Modern day petrol and diesel engines are engineered with an high amount of tolerance and this makes them one heck of a reliable machines. However, the regular servicing part is the one which is most often neglected and this leads to notions that diesels are more expensive to maintain than regular petrol vehicles. More often than not, the myth of a diesel engine being more expensive stems from the fact that diesels are more on the expensive side from the initial point of procurement. Modern day diesels come with a Diesel Particulate Filter which needs to be cleaned in stipulated service intervals. Diesel engines don’t like to be revved, however, once in a blue moon, a diesel engine needs to be revved so that it can actually get rid of all those soot accumulated in the exhaust pipe. It is also said that the bare bones diesel engines were much more reliable than the ones with all the modern widgetries in them. Fuel injectors in a diesel car and especially the likes of the Accent CRDI were much more sensitive to the quality of fuel in India than the likes of other cars. This inspite of the fact that in India, the diesel glow plugs, fuel pumps and even turbos run at higher ratios than elsewhere in the world.
Petrol engines on the other hand face lubrication problems since petrol as a fuel acts as a corrosive agent while diesel on the other hand is non-corrosive. Petrol engines have a longer service interval depending on the fact that there are fewer moving components involved in them than in a diesel. Earlier diesel cars needed to be run quite frequently so that they don’t encounter problems during cold starts and stuff, however modern day diesel engines don’t follow the same pattern.
In short, current diesel engines are equivalent to their petrol counterparts and its only their slightly expensive feature as regards to the parts and servicing which would tilt the favor towards the petrol engines. The bottom line is that which ever choice of engine one makes, it ultimately boils down to the kind of maintenance one keeps with their automobile and not otherwise. All the modern engines have been engineered with a precision that belies their usage and also age.