Diesel engines tend to be standard in industrial settings with machinery and trucks and they are also increasing in popularity in commercial vehicles. But how exactly do diesel engines work? Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the inner workings of a diesel engine.

Diesel engines explained

A diesel engine is a type of internal combustion engine where, simply put, fuel is burned on the inside of the cylinders of the engine where power is produced. Both petrol and diesel engines are internal combustion engines and both engines convert fuel into energy through a number of small explosions. However, there are significant differences, and one of the main differences is how these small explosions happen.

In a petrol engine, fuel mixes with air, is compressed by pistons and ignited by sparks from spark plugs. With diesel engines, the air is compressed first and then the fuel is injected. Because air heats up when it's compressed, the fuel ignites. Some diesel engines have a glow plug which is an electronically heated wire used to heat the combustion chamber and raise the air temperature when the air is cold. This is because when a diesel engine is cold, the process of compressing the air may not produce enough heat to ignite the fuel.

Like a petrol engine, diesel engines use a four stroke combustion system which includes:

  • Intake stroke - The intake valve opens up, letting in air and moving the piston down
  • Compression stroke - The piston moves back up and compresses the air
  • Combustion stroke - As the piston reaches the top, fuel is injected and ignited, forcing the piston back down
  • Exhaust stroke - The piston moves back to the top, pushing out the exhaust created from the combustion out of the exhaust valve

When it comes to efficiency, diesel engines come out ahead and are up to twice as efficient than their petrol counterpart. This efficiency means you can go further on the same amount of fuel. Compared to petrol engines, diesel engines are designed to be simpler, more efficient and more economical.


Qualified, professional diesel mechanics in Perth

When it comes to diesel breakdown mechanic services, always speak to a qualified mechanic who understands diesel engines. A small issue with your diesel vehicle or machinery can turn into a larger, and more expensive, problem which is why it’s so important to keep up with servicing and repairs.

At Diesel West Mechanical Services, we provide mobile servicing and repairs for all diesel engines. We are based in the Perth metro area and also provide servicing to some regional areas on request. We have the knowledge and experience to quickly diagnose and repair any faults as well as carrying out regular servicing.

For diesel breakdown mechanical services, speak with one of our qualified diesel mechanics today and we’ll be able to help you out with the convenience of our fully equipped mobile servicing vehicle. ​For diesel servicing and repairs, contact Diesel West Mechanical Services today on 0427 501 378.