Car Diesel vs. Truck Diesel – Differences

Car Diesel vs. Truck Diesel – Differences

Even though electric and hybrid vehicles are making their way into the market, petrol and diesel vehicles still dominate sales.

On the same note, petrol may be cheaper and less noisy than diesel, but diesel is more efficient with lower carbon dioxide emissions. For this reason, there are more diesel vehicles on the road than petrol, electric, or hybrid.

However, we’re not here to compare diesel vs. petrol vs. hybrid vs. electric cars. We’re here to help drivers understand the differences between car diesel and truck diesel.

In many cases, motorists get confused when they come across car/auto diesel and truck diesel.

Car Diesel VS Truck Diesel What are the differences

Diesel for car and truck is the same and drawn from the same tank in a filling station, but there are some differences that you should know about.

Continue reading to find out the differences between car diesel and truck diesel.

Critical Differences Between Car Diesel And Truck Diesel

Small vs. Large Nozzle

The first and most obvious difference is the nozzle used to pump the fuel. Small diesel vehicles typically use smaller nozzles, while trucks use larger nozzles.

This allows trucks to be filled quickly, as they have larger tanks than small cars.

Also, larger nozzles allow vast amounts of diesel to pass through, while small nozzles allow less diesel to pass through.

Note that you cannot choose any nozzle just because it is faster or delivers more fuel. A small nozzle is for small vehicles, while large nozzles are usually for trucks.

Nonetheless, some pumps may have a master nozzle and a slave nozzle that you can change to match your vehicle.

Difference Inflow

Another major difference between car diesel and truck diesel is the rate at which fuel flows in the nozzle. Since trucks use larger fuel nozzles to fill their tanks, the flow is slightly faster than diesel cars.

This means that if you’re filling a car and truck with the same fuel capacity, the truck will fill faster than the car. And if you use a larger muzzle to fill a car, it will even be quicker.

Nozzle Power

Using the right nozzle for your vehicle is vital to avoid causing an accident or damage. If you attempt to fill your small vehicle with fuel using a larger nozzle, it might be challenging.

This is because the pump for trucks is more powerful than the pump for cars.

Therefore, if you use a truck’s pump to fuel a small vehicle, you may see much foam come out as you try to fill it. This is dangerous, and it is caused by the large volume of fuel being produced by the nozzle.

Taxed Vs. Untaxed

Depending on which state you live in, truck diesel and car diesel may be taxed or untaxed. Most states under tax trucks, but instead, they tax trucking companies.

That’s why you may find diesel’s price for cars and trucks to be the same in many places within the country.

However, for a truck to receive tax exemption, it must have a label on the pump or a valid certificate posted on the truck you’re fueling. Without the label, you can receive a hefty fine.

Price Of Diesel

In most areas, the price of car diesel is lower than the price of truck diesel. However, in states where truck fuel is untaxed, the price is almost the same, but the tax payment arrangement is different.

Overall, truck diesel is taxed slightly higher than car diesel.

This is because of the damages trucks cause on the road; thus, they contribute more towards maintenance.

Do All Filling Stations Sell Car Diesel And Truck Diesel?

No, they don’t. Most filling stations sell car diesel or auto diesel, but not all of them sell truck diesel. Contact the station before visiting.

What Are The Other Types Of Diesel?

Differences between truck diesel and car diesel

Fossil diesel

Fossil diesel or petroleum diesel is the most common type of diesel on the market. This diesel is used in trucks, buses, trains, farms, and construction vehicles.

On top of that, most of the latest passenger vehicles run on fossil diesel.

The components of petroleum diesel are extracted from the fractional distillation of crude oil at temperatures of around 200 to 350 degrees Celsius at atmospheric pressure.

This leads to fuel with carbon chains, having about 8 to 20 carbon atoms per molecule.

Synthetic diesel

The urge to have a low-carbon fuel option lead to the development of synthetic diesel. Unlike petroleum diesel, synthetic diesel can be produced from any carbonaceous material, which is not confined to natural gas, biomass, coal, or even biogas.

What makes synthetic diesel special is its almost zero sulfur content. Thus, fuel reduces a lot of emissions.


Biodiesel is the substitute renewable fuel source for petroleum-derived diesel produced from animal fats, vegetable oils, or even recycled restaurant grease.

In the U.S, some of the popular ingredients used to make biodiesel are soybean oil, corn oil, and canola oil.

Biodiesel is referred to as B100 in its purest form. However, there have been concerns from fuel equipment manufacturers about biodiesel corroding fuel injection parts.

Hydrogenated oils and fats

Hydrogenated oils and fats diesel has a lot of similarities to synthetic diesel.

The diesel involves changing the triglycerides constituted in animal fats and vegetable oils into alkanes with a procedure that polishes and hydrates the substance.

Note that triglycerides are a chemical compound referred to as ester, which is extracted from fatty acids and glycerol.

Off-road diesel

Off-road diesel is different from normal diesel. This is because it comes with more sulfur than normal diesel. Just like its name suggests, this type of diesel is used for vehicles driven off the highway.

That’s why it is, at times, referred to as off-highway diesel, alternative fuel, farm diesel, red-dyed fuel, or red fuel. What’s more, this diesel doesn’t feature state and federal taxes.

Advantages Of Using Diesel

  • Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than petrol as they generate greater power from less fuel. This means you will use at least around 20% less fuel. As a result, you will have a lower running cost than when you use petrol. On top of that, diesel vehicles tend to have a high resale value than other vehicles. However, this is changing slowly.
  • Diesel vehicles produce lower carbon dioxide emissions. This applies to diesel vehicles made in 2017 backward. Additionally, this means that diesel vehicles bought before April 2017 are taxed lower than petrol engine vehicles. Unfortunately, diesel vehicles bought after this period are subjected to higher taxes than petrol vehicles.
  • Diesel vehicles provide better torque thanks to their engine design, that emits more energy than petrol or gasoline. That’s why diesel is the best option if you intend to tow a trailer or haul heavy loads regularly.
  • Another advantage of diesel engines is that they are more durable than gasoline. This is because they can withstand higher temperatures. Aside from durability, they are also easy to maintain. Thanks to compressed hot air to ignite the fuel, instead of a spark-style ignition system found in gasoline vehicles.
  • Diesel has a lower fire hazard than gasoline. There is a very small chance that fuel ignites fire when in an accident than gasoline. This doesn’t mean that it cannot catch fire, but it takes time, unlike gasoline.

Disadvantages Of Using Diesel

  • Diesel-powered vehicles are more expensive to fix than gasoline vehicles. That’s why it is crucial to properly maintain your diesel vehicle instead of waiting for it to develop a problem. On the same note, diesel vehicles are more expensive than gasoline vehicles.
  • Despite diesel being more efficient than gasoline, its initial cost is high. For this reason, you need to weigh whether the efficiency offsets the initial cost. Therefore, you will have to consider whether you need a diesel or gasoline vehicle depending on where you’re driving. That’s why many trucks on the road are powered by diesel engines.
  • Diesel engines perform poorly in cold climates. This is because diesel tends to gel up.
  • Even though diesel has lower carbon dioxide emissions, it produces some substances that have been connected to breathing disorders like asthma.


Now that you know the differences between car diesel and truck diesel, you should get the right diesel for your car or truck. Many people make the mistake of fueling with truck diesel without knowing that they can get in trouble.

Also, truck diesel can be dangerous to small vehicles, especially when it produces excessive foam.

If you have a diesel truck, ensure to post a valid certificate for fueling your truck from one state to another.

Even though car diesel and truck diesel have several differences, the fuel used is the same and usually from the same source. What brings the difference is the mode of fueling the vehicles.

We hope that you’ve been informed and can make an informed decision. Choose the right diesel for your car or truck, and you will have a smooth and safe ride.