Have you ever thought about what is going on inside your car engine? Are you familiar enough with the processes your engine undergoes when you take your car out for your daily drive? Learning how a car engine works will give you a deeper understanding of your vehicle and will allow you to take better care of it, extending the life of your engine and other related parts.
Let’s start off with the basics–car engine types. In terms of combustion, we’ve got two types of engines: external and internal combustion engines. In an external combustion engine, as the name suggests, combustion takes place outside the engine, while in the latter, combustion takes place inside. Engines can also be classified according to cylinder arrangement. The basic types are in-line, straight, V, flat, boxer, W, and rotary. The most common type in modern cars according to this classification is the in-line engine. Aside from the arrangement of cylinders, engines also vary in the number of cylinders they have. Cars nowadays may have three, four, six, eight, up until sixteen cylinders. Popular belief is that more cylinders means more power, which is not entirely wrong, but it usually comes down to the fit of the engine to the vehicle’s intended use (Is it a race car? A utility car? A daily driver?). Car engine weight can also be a factor in a vehicle’s overall performance. Typically, it’s around 300 pounds for a four-cylinder without the transmission. There are many things that can determine the weight of an engine, including displacement, the number of cylinders, complexity of the parts, and their material composition.
How a Car Engine Works Step by Step
The main parts of the engine are the crankshaft, the piston, the piston rods, the valves, and the spark plugs. In a four stroke in-line engine, a common setup in hatchback and sedan cars involves four different strokes to complete one cycle that produces power—namely, intake, compression, power, and exhaust stroke.
Intake: The intake valve opens, allowing fuel-air mixture to be drawn into the cylinder.
Compression: When the piston is near the bottom of the cylinder, the intake valve closes and then the piston starts to compress the gas.
Power: The compressed fuel-air mixture is then ignited with the help of the spark plug, which increases pressure inside the cylinder, resulting in expansion. When the piston is pushed down, the crankshaft starts turning, providing power to propel the car.
Exhaust: After gases are burned in the power stroke, the exhaust valve opens to clear the cylinder of all exhaust gases. The process then repeats all over again.
Understanding how the car engine works can help you more accurately diagnose problems in the future. For your engine and transmission part needs, browse our broad selection right here: https://bit.ly/2rAGT3E.