The History of Diesel Vehicles

Diesel vehicles can be found all around the world. They can be as small as a hatchback or as large as buses, lorries, and even tankers, yet it is difficult to believe that diesel engines were only developed just over a century ago.

Have you ever wondered how the diesel engine first came about? At Wrong Fuel, we know everything about diesel vehicles, which is why we will take you on a journey on how the diesel engine developed over the years.

Diesel engine. X-ray render isolated on black background

In the Late 1800’s

The diesel engine was actually the second type of engine to be invented  out of those that can be found in modern engines today. The first type of engine is the petrol engine, but it was commonly referred to the Otto engine because of its inventor, Nikolaus Otto. The petrol engine was invented in 1876 and it was an engineering, as well as a thermodynamic, feat.

After this, in 1893, another German inventor, Rudolf Diesel, then decided to use his knowledge of thermodynamics, and fuel efficiency to develop an engine that adopted his name; the diesel engine.

What Was Rudolf Diesel Trying to Achieve?

In the late 1800’s, one of the most predominant methods of operating motors in industry, for example in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and even trains, was steam. However, Diesel noticed, after performing lots of calculations and experiments, he realised that steam power was extremely inefficient.

This was one of the motivations for Diesel wanting to create an engine that doesn’t have a spark ignition. The other was that he wanted to make the most efficient engine possible. In thermodynamics, the most efficient engine is known as the Carnot engine, but it is a hypothetical engine.

Sixties Car

However, Diesel made his own version of the Carnot engine, that maintained a constant temperature all the way until the temperature of the air would exceed that of combustion due to a high amount of compression within the engine.

What Happened After That?

Once Diesel patented his engine in the late 1800’s, coincidentally, the father of German cars, Karl Benz, invented the world’s first motorcar. However, it wasn’t until just before the Second World War, in 1936, when Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft merged with Karl Benz to create Mercedes-Benz and launched the world’s first diesel passenger car.

Around two decades later, European manufacturers were gradually developing their own diesel cars, and it wasn’t until the 1980’s when the same manufacturers were starting to develop the first turbo-charged diesel engines, greatly increasing the performance of diesel vehicles. Now, diesel engines are one of the most popular in the world.

Diesel engines have constantly changed ever since they were first rolled out in the 20th century, so it is important to understand how they operate in everyday situations. At Wrong Fuel, we specialise in making sure that, if you have put the wrong fuel in your vehicle, your engine doesn’t suffer any significant damage.

If you want to know more about our services, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 0800 634 9827 and one of our specialists will be more than happy to help.