In passenger cars, the diesel engine has never really
caught on. During the middle to late 70s, diesel
engines in passenger cars did notice a surge in
sales due to the OPEC oil embargo, although that is
the only real significant penetration that diesel
engines have made in the market.
Although diesel engines are more efficient, there
are eight historical problems that may have held
1. Due to the higher compression ratios,
diesel engines tend be heavier than the equivalent
2. Diesel vehicles and diesel engines tend to
be more expensive than gas.
3. Because of their weight and compression
ratio, diesel engines tend to have lower RPM ranges
than gas engines. This gives diesel engines more
torque rather than higher horsepower, and this tends
to make diesel vehicles slower in terms of acceleration.
4. Diesel engines have to be fuel injected,
and in the past fuel injection was very expensive
and less reliable.
5. Diesel engines tend to produce more
smoke and smell very funny when compared to gasoline
6. They are harder to start in cold weather
and if they contain glow plugs, the diesel engines
may require you to wait before you start the
engine so that the glow plugs can heat up.
7. Diesel engines are much noisier than
gas engines and tend to vibrate quite a bit.
8. Diesel fuel is less available than gas.
Although one or two of these disadvantages would be
acceptable, a group of them is a big turn away for
Even though the list above are reasons in the past
as to why diesel never really took off, you can
expect these reasons to get corrected and improved
in the future, meaning that you will see more and
more diesel vehicles on the road.