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what's the difference between petrol cars vs diesel cars?

The Difference Between Petrol VS Diesel Cars

Petrol Cars vs Diesel Cars
While most cars refuel using petrol such as RON 95 and RON 97 in Malaysia, we do see that some cars and most motorbikes refuel using diesel instead. But what makes these engines different that different fuel types are required? Read on and let’s find out together!

Forms of Fuels
Both diesel and petrol come from mineral oil but are refined differently. Refining diesel is said to be easier and produces more energy during combustion. Petrol is lighter and has a more evaporative consistency compared to diesel, which is denser and thicker. That being said, different fuel is made for different engines are not interchangeable.

Cost of Fuels
In terms of Ringgit per litre, Diesel is slightly costlier compared to petrol (RM1.68 vs RM1.61 as of 14 Nov 2020. However, given the fact that each litre of diesel produces more energy than petrol, it is said to be more efficient, which translates to less diesel is required to produce the same amount of energy. Diesel is obviously more energy and cost efficient in the long run.

Car Performance
Apart from the fact that diesel engines are more powerful than petrol engines, diesel engines also have higher torque and hence they give a smoother drive. The power developed by petrol engine is low due to the compression ratio, thus making diesel engines more powerful. However, a point of concern is that the harshness, noise, and vibrations in diesel driven cars are way higher than that of a petrol-driven car.

Car Maintenance Cost
Due to more expensive consumables such as engine oil and spares used in diesel vehicles, the maintenance cost of diesel cars is usually higher compared to those of petrol cars. On the flip side, the resale value of a used diesel car is higher. However, the life span of petrol engines is longer compared to diesel engines.

As compared to diesel cars, petrol cars emit 10 times more carbon emission. While diesel cars in the past have been known to burn much dirtier than petrol cars, some modern diesel fuels and engines have improved significantly. The carbon emission comparison is made in reference of diesel engine cars being made to the modern cars that have also been fitted with filters to reduce emission, not the old models that are more than a decade old.

So, should we go with petrol cars or diesel cars? Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference and it is not possible to say which is better, petrol or diesel engines, because it’s very much a case-by-case sort of thing. That being said, petrol cars are hands down more common and easily found in most brands of cars. What’s your take in this?