Since the 19th century, when they were invented, diesel engines have taken the vehicle industry by storm, providing an alternative to gasoline engines with numerous benefits. The diesel mechanics industry has grown significantly, providing plentiful jobs to mechanics and technicians who specialize in diesel. Here’s a brief history on diesel engines for those of you interested in diesel parts and service.
Diesel engines: The basics
The major difference between diesel engines and gasoline engines is that diesel engines ignite fuel through compression—a piston compresses and heats air, and fuel is ignited by that hot air.
Diesel engines get two benefits from this compression ignition. First, there is no complex electrical ignition like in gasoline engines. Second, diesel engines can use a wide variety of fuels, unlike gasoline engines.
Due to these benefits, their efficiency and their easy starting mechanisms, diesel engines began to displace steam engines shortly after their conception, leading to a large industry for diesel parts and service.
The diesel engine was invented in Germany in 1892 by Rudolph Diesel. The first diesel engine was built in the United States in the late 1890s. They were initially used in industrial roles such as locomotive engines.
The 1920s introduced the first vehicular diesel engine, and these engines were used for passenger vehicles first in the 1930s. However, due to the Great Depression and World War II, the spread of diesel passenger vehicles was limited.
After the war, the interstate highway system of 1956 was built, which allowed for wider spread vehicular travel. This increased the ability for diesel commercial freight vehicles to hit the road, leading to them making up a large portion of cargo shipping in the U.S.
The spread of diesel passenger vehicles also began rising due to the increased fuel economy and durability of the engines. More gas stations offered diesel, which also contributed to an increase in passenger vehicles over the years.
With this increase in diesel vehicles came a need for diesel mechanics. High demand for diesel parts and service professionals led to more training opportunities and more formalized diesel engine mechanic training programs.
Pollution reduction focus
Between the 1970s and today, American citizens have been highly focused on reducing pollution, conserving energy and reducing dependency on fossil fuels, which is driving the popularity of diesel. Diesel engines consume less fuel, produce little pollution and can run on different fuel types such as biofuels. Because of this, there should be a bright future for diesel engines and mechanics.
Diesel mechanic training is also much more extensive. Today, training requires more knowledge on electronic diagnostic systems and a wider range of complex electronic systems in engines. Mechanics often also need state-sponsored certifications to work on emission control systems. However, more formal programs allow technicians to learn all about diesel parts and service, allowing for the continued growth of the diesel engine industry.
If you’re looking for a diesel mechanic, call Purrformance Diesel. Our experts specialize only in diesel vehicles, meaning your vehicle will receive the best service possible. We’ve served the diesel industry for over 25 years and are committed to helping our customers.