June 2023

Choose wisely: Why are diesel engines more efficient than gasoline engines?

How well do you know your engine? As we enter into summer, it could be time for a change for your engine. Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your medium-duty diesel engine or a replacement for work, DFC Diesel offers a wide selection of crate engines and parts to fit your needs. This year, we are excited to provide our Speed of Air crate engine series featuring the Speed of Air Hyperformance pistons. This state-of-the-art technology can save you time and money by extending the life of your diesel engine and increasing your fuel efficiency. 

It’s time to debunk some myths surrounding diesel engines. Are you ready?

Diesel versus gasoline: Which engine has a longer lifespan?

At face value, the price tag of a diesel engine can be off putting, but the return on investment is higher than with a gasoline engine. With technological advancements and new designs, the average diesel engine will surpass 800,000 km (500,000 mi) compared to the average of 320,000 km (200,000 mi) for gasoline engines. Diesel engines are the powerhouse for work trucks, offering you greater load capacities and towing capacity compared to gasoline. 

There are three aspects of a diesel engine that lengthen its lifespan. First, the engine design improves its overall performance. They are designed to withstand a higher compression ratio and cylinder pressure. The powerful nature of the compression chambers and high heat requires high-quality internal parts, meaning that diesel engines house larger and sturdier bolts compatible with larger crankshafts and camshafts. Overall, they offer better engine lubrication to keep it functioning as it should. For more information on the benefits of your engine, check out our previous blog post to find out which engine design gets the best fuel mileage.

The second aspect is diesel fuel. The price difference at the pumps for diesel and gasoline fuel is reflected in the different chemical makeups. Gasoline fuel is an aromatic hydrocarbon, making it harsh and corrosive to your engine over time. Alternatively, diesel fuel is made from crude oil and allows your engine to burn the fuel slower than gasoline as a result of a smaller air-to-fuel ratio. The slower burn rate is reflected in slower cylinder wear and tear compared to a gasoline engine.

Finally, the last aspect of a diesel engine’s lifespan is the lower RPMs. The power of a diesel engine comes from the higher torque in the engine compared to gasoline. Through requiring less power, there is less wear and tear on each of the engine parts, namely the pistons, rings, cylinder walls, bearings and valves. Regardless of your relationship with your mechanic, fewer trips to the shop for maintenance make diesel engines a more attractive option.

At DFC Diesel, our remanufactured engines are designed to withstand tough working conditions that you may encounter. We partnered with Speed of Air Technologies to test the Hyperformance Pistons and see the results for ourselves. The dimpled effect of the pistons allows for less carbon build-up inside the combustion chamber, giving you more power and a longer lasting engine.

What makes a diesel engine more fuel efficient?

When measuring fuel efficiency, a good indicator of fuel savings is how your engine and vehicle performs under load. For hauling and towing, diesel engines can outperform gasoline engines while under load and last three times longer. The fuel efficiency of a diesel engine is a result of the longer strokes of the engine. There is more time for the piston to move away from the heat, lengthening its lifespan and building up the power in the engine. Due to the high heat in the chamber, diesel engines require high-quality parts, and pistons are part of the puzzle as they are designed to withstand countless heat cycles without crumbling. To reduce heat transfer, pistons are coated with a protective thermal barrier coating.

Why are maintenance and high-quality parts important for a diesel engine?

When you care for your engine, your engine will care for you by saving you money time and time again. At DFC Diesel, there is no doubt that we love diesel engines and the potential they hold. Built for reliability, durability and longevity, when you take time to properly care for your vehicle, you will save money every year. Regular maintenance and investing in quality parts and service will help save costs for replacement parts and oil changes. 

So why do we love our Speed of Air engine series? Each Hyperformance Piston in our crate engines is custom-made and follows a strict quality control procedure to ensure that our customers are receiving industry-standard safety and quality. This is the only piston in the world that pays for itself. Did you know you can save $20,000 to $60,000 when purchasing a Speed of Air engine? We care about providing our customers with the best, and we found in our testing period that our remanufactured engines show:

  • Reduced engine maintenance
  • Better fuel economy by 20%+ greater efficiency
  • Smoother running engines
  • Increased power
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Reduced oil change intervals by 50%

We offer 0% financing for up to 24 months on all SOA Series engines for our Canadian customers. If you are interested in learning more about our products, contact us today for a custom quote for your engine type and pre-order your DFC Diesel SOA series engine. Don’t forget to check out our Speed of Air calculator for your personalized fuel efficiency and maintenance savings.

How will Speed of Air Hyperformance Pistons improve my fuel economy?

With long hours on the go, hauling supplies and ensuring your gear is ready to go, ensuring your engine is ready for anything is our top priority. Diesel engines are powerhouses, but even with the best care they can start to break down over time. Speed of Air’s Hyperformance Piston is designed with you in mind to give your engine a longer-lasting life and save you money to invest back into your work.

The 3 most common pitfalls for fuel efficiency in diesel engines

Diesel engines are known for their consistency, and that can extend to common troubles that people encounter over time that can dramatically impact fuel efficiency. The three most common pitfalls include carbon deposits, glow plug replacements, and engine oil oxidation. 

Carbon deposits, or carbon build-up, take first place for being one of the most common causes of decreased fuel efficiency in diesel engines. Due to the high temperatures within the combustion chamber, carbon soot can form within the chamber and around the piston and injectors over time, preventing it from reaching the necessary temperature. 

In diesel engines, glow plugs are heating elements used to preheat the air in the combustion chamber before the engine starts, allowing the fuel to ignite faster for a smoother start. Along with improved cold weather starts, glow plugs can improve combustion efficiency, but they are designed with a limited lifespan due to corrosion and increased wear and tear from high temperatures. For more information on glow plugs, check out our previous blog post.

The last common pitfall is engine oil oxidation, which can cause the formation of deposits or sludge, increased oil degradation and decreased fuel efficiency. Like each of the other issues we have covered, this cannot be avoided but the use of engine oil additives can greatly improve the oil quality.

What makes the Hyperperformance Pistons more fuel efficient?

The unique design of Speed of Air’s Hyperformance Pistons was made with customers in mind by focusing on the challenge of carbon build-up within the chamber. In testing, flow bench techniques revealed the fuel wash areas on a typical diesel engine piston crown to determine where carbon is most likely to build up. The turbulators, or dimple effect, are optimized for medium-duty vehicles with Powerstroke, Duramax, and Cummins engine pistons.

So how does it work? 

The turbulent layers and surfaces allow for the flames within the chamber to burn closer to the cool metal surface of the combustion chamber wall, thereby making it difficult for carbon to form with each use. Each Hyperformance Piston is crafted with a thermal barrier and anti-friction coating on the crowns and skirts of the piston, which help to keep the heat in the combustion process while minimizing resistance. The result means more power within your engine and greater fuel efficiency.

At DFC Diesel, we are committed to offering high-quality products and services to ensure you are getting the best quality engine for your money. For two years, we have been independent testers of Speed of Air Technologies with over a dozen models found in Dodge, Ford, and Chevy trucks. As of 2023, we now offer a full range of Speed of Air remanufactured engines.

Under work conditions, our real-life testing of Speed of Air Hyperformance Pistons found that they offer: 

  • 20% or more fuel consumption reductions based on your engine tuning
  • Reduced engine maintenance
  • Reduced emissions ranging from 20 – 80%
  • Smoother running engines
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Increased power

What are the benefits for commercial diesel trucks?

Finding ways to keep your operating costs low can be a challenge, but it is possible. We have found that Speed of Air Hyperformance Pistons can help you to reduce your overall fuel expenses, while also staying with safety regulations. With after-gas modifications factored in, they can also help to stay within your emissions requirements across Canada and the United States.

How do I calculate my fuel savings?

On average, there are more than 20% for fuel savings with a Speed of Air remanufactured engine, but it can vary. Determining your fuel savings can depend on several factors including:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Engine application
  • Altitude and temperature
  • Idle time
  • Driver habits

As a side note, when compared to gasoline engines, diesel engines operate with greater fuel efficiency at higher altitudes because they do not have a throttle.

Interested in what you could save? For our calculations, we compared the saves for 100,000 km based off oil change extensions of 50%

  • Under normal usage, with oil changes every 10,000 km: $5450
  • Under moderate usage, with oil changes every 7,500 km: $5700
  • Under heavy usage, with oil changes every 5,000 km: $6200

Did you know that you can test your own fuel savings? Check out our fuel savings calculator!

We currently carry Speed of Air remanufactured engines for DFC Long Blocks, Street Series, Tow/Haul Series, and Tow / Haul HD Series engines at DFC Diesel. For up to 24 months, we offer 0% financing on all SOA engines for our Canadian customers. 
Interested in learning more about Speed of Air Technologies? Contact us today for a custom quote for your engine type and pre-order your DFC Diesel SOA Series with Hyperformance Pistons!