How does a common-rail diesel engine work?

Explained in layman’s terms
Oct 2, 2017
What is an Advertisement Feature?
Follow Castrol on

To understand how common-rail diesel engines work, it’s best to first start with how traditional diesel mills operate: A fuel pump feeds diesel into each cylinder’s fuel injectors, and the motor goes vroom. It's a simple process, but not a very efficient one. These traditional fuel pumps operate at low pressure, and are simply triggered by engine revs. 

Common-rail diesel engines are more efficient because they keep the fuel pump at high pressure, while computerized components adjust the pressure for the engine's needs. Since fuel pressure is high, the fuel is better atomized, and is thus more efficiently distributed. 

Having a hard time imagining it? Compare it to how cars can be washed: 

Old diesel technology is like using a faucet and a hose. The faucet is the fuel pump: It gets the water flowing. It also does the job of the injector: You control how much water you need at the faucet itself. If you need more water, you open the faucet more, and vice versa. Faucets are also relatively low-pressure; you won’t be blasting away dirt instantly with a hose, hence you end up cranking the faucet wide open and using more water (that’s why old diesels belch smoke whenever you abruptly mash the accelerator). 

A common-rail diesel is like using a pressure washer: There is a high-pressure source of water, while the adjustable nozzle of the washer is like your computer-controlled injector—by twisting it, you can get a wide, softer spray, or a thin, focused jet. You can even shut it off instantly if needed. That higher level of power and control means you use less water—or, in the case of a diesel engine, less fuel. 

Just like how a power washer needs better care than a regular faucet, it’s a good idea to use a specially formulated engine oil to protect your modern diesel engine. In the case of diesel engines, oil tends to thicken over time because of dirt and carbon deposits. And common-rail diesel engines—which many modern diesel vehicles use today—are not exempt from this. Castrol Magnatec Diesel is a new product that’s been developed specifically with common-rail compatibility in mind. Castrol’s proven diesel protection technology maintains engine efficiency and responsiveness in common rail diesel engines.  It is also paired with intelligent molecules for an extra layer of protection, reducing wear during the critical warm-up period. And with excellent soot handling performance, you can be sure that oil thickening will be minimized. Which means your diesel vehicle (with proper and regular maintenance) can potentially run more efficiently, for longer.

For more about Castrol Magnatec, visit Castrol’s Facebook page.

This article is created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with Castrol.
Shop the items in this story!
More From Castrol
  • Quiz Results

  • TGP Rating:

    Starts at ₱

    TGP Rating:
    Starts at ₱