What’s The Difference Between A Diesel Truck Mechanic And A Car Mechanic?

When you need help with your diesel truck, who should you call, what’s the difference? Not all engines are alike, and not all mechanics are alike either! Because diesel engines are very different from the typical automotive engine, diesel truck mechanics require different knowledge and a separate set of skills. The past couple of decades have only made this 


The Differences Between Diesel Truck And Car Mechanics Start In The Engine

petrol engine difference - Patrick's MobileThe engines of both cars and trucks are designed to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy. This mechanical energy moves the pistons, which are connected to a crankshaft that moves the wheels of a vehicle forward. The difference between a diesel engine and a standard car engine that runs on gas is how the chemical energy turns into mechanical energy. 

A gasoline engine mixes fuel with air, and this is compressed by the pistons. Sparks from the spark plugs then create a small explosion (the combustion in the “combustion engine”), making the force that moves the rest of the components. A diesel engine, by contrast, compresses the air first, heating it and mixing it with the fuel. This mixture ignites and causes combustion and creates mechanical energy. Diesel engines use their chemical and mechanical energy more efficiently than gasoline engines, making them more suitable for frequent heavy use and long routes. 

The work these engines do is one of the reasons specialized mechanics are needed for diesel truck maintenance. The diesel engines of today are much more complex than they have ever been before, and what’s asked of them is different, too: there are higher emissions standards, more horsepower, increased torque, better computer technology, and many different filters and fluids all mean that diesel trucks need more complicated maintenance. As the differences between gas and diesel engines became starker in recent years, technology has also advanced, and so has the knowledge needed to keep these trucks running smoothly!


Different Working Conditions

Difference between fuels - Patrick's MobileTruck mechanics have to do many of their repairs in much less ideal working conditions than car mechanics. While both get called for roadside assistance, the brunt of car mechanic work is done in a shop. A diesel truck mechanic can be expected to run diagnostics and make repairs on the side of the highway, regardless of the weather or traffic conditions. Our mobile trucking units are equipped with tools you wouldn’t find in a tow truck because it’s a lot harder to tow a semi than it is to tow a car.

There are quite a few similarities between diesel truck and car mechanics, as both involve troubleshooting, problem-solving, and using diagnostic equipment to service and repair vehicles. But diesel trucks run on more specialized motors, and this means they require more specialized training to repair the large systems that make diesel engines run more efficiently. This knowledge is especially important when a person’s livelihood depends on the engine that powers the truck!