Diesel Tuning: A Guide to Diesel Engines

A diesel engine uses heat compression to initiate the process of burning the fuel previously injected into the combustion chamber. It differs from spark-ignition engines that run off petrol gasoline, which are commonly found in standard automobiles. The diesel engine ranks as having the highest thermal efficiency of any standard internal or external combustion engines, because of its exceedingly high compression ratio. Diesel engines come equipped in two different models, including the two-stroke and four-stroke. In 1893, Rudolf Diesel built the engine as a replacement for stationary steam engines; the diesel engine became the definitive answer for commercial transportation vessels, such as locomotives, submarines, ships, trucks, heavy equipment, and manufacturing plants. Automobile manufacturers began to slowly introduce diesel engines in a few on-road and off-road vehicles, and eventually led to the rapid selling of non-commercial cars across the United States. As of 2007, nearly half of all new car sales have diesel equipped engines in Europe.

The first diesel engine prototype used injected fuel with the assistance of compressed air to atomize the fuel before forcing it into the engine through a built-in nozzle. The nozzle opening had a pin valve that was closed by a camshaft, which started the flow injection process, also known as an air-blast injection. This early model used minimal power compared to the efficiency and net power output of modern diesel engines. Today's diesel engines increase the fuel to high pressures through a series of mechanical pumps that lead to the combustion chamber by pressure sensitive injectors. Direct injected diesel engines use injectors to spray fuel through four to twelve different orifices in its nozzle. The earliest air injection diesel engines always had top notch combustion without the extreme increase in pressure during the combustible phase. Researchers have taken the effort to design efficient air injectors that will reduce the overall pollution emissions in today's automobiles.

Diesel engines employ a mechanical or electrical governor, a vital component that regulates the idling and maximum speed of the engine's fuel delivery rate. Without a governor, diesel engines exceed their speed capacity, which sets the self-destructive process in motion. All mechanical governor fuel injection systems utilize the diesel engine's gear train, which consists of a combination of springs and weights that control fuel delivery according to the automobile's load and speed specifications. Diesel engines equipped with an electronic governor utilize an electronic control module (ECM), a device that receives an engine's speed signal and other operating controls. Altering the advancement and delay of the start injection results in reduced fuel efficiency, exhaust smoke, and elevated engine noise.

There are many advantages of owning a diesel-powered engine over other internal combustion engines. For instance, diesel engines burn less fuel than petrol-based engines exerting the same force, because of the engine's high temperature combustion and expansion rate. In addition, a diesel engine lasts about twice as long as petrol-based engines due to the fuel's lubrication properties. Diesel fuel has a safer composition than petrol, and can be applied in various ways. Diesel engines generate far less heat in their cooling and exhaust processes. They accept super and turbo charging pressure without setting natural limitations, and only become restrained by the engine's internal components. Diesel engines also emit far less monoxide content than their counterparts.

Despite its advantages, diesel engine technology certainly has its pitfalls. In cold weather, high-speed diesel engines may prove difficult to ignite, because the cylinder block and cylinder head absorb the heat compression. Diesel fuel also becomes prone to waxing and gelling in cold weather. In addition, diesel engines tend to create loud noise, also known as diesel clatter, diesel knock, and diesel nailing. Diesel nailing is caused by the internal combustion process that occurs from the ignition started from the heat compression.

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Citroen C6 2.7 HDi 204

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Vauxhall Insignia MK1 2.0 CDTI ecoFLEX 130

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BMW 1 Series F20 120d 190

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Ford Kuga MK2 2.0 TDCi 163

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Kia Sportage MK3 1.7 CRDI 116

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Audi A6 MK4 3.0 BiTDI 313