Car Engine Parts: 21 Basic Parts of an Engine

Car Engine Parts

A car engine is a complex mechanism, design with multiple internal parts that work like clockwork to create power that runs your vehicle. All parts must be in good condition for the engine to work properly. A mistake can be catastrophic!

Let’s know the parts of an engine. The engine block houses the parts such as the timing chain, camshaft, crankshaft, spark plugs, cylinder heads, valves, and pistons. Pistons pump up and down as the spark plugs fire and the pistons compress the air/fuel mix.

The list of Engine parts Name:

  • Engine block
  • Piston
  • Cylinder Head
  • Crank Shaft
  • Camshaft
  • Engine Valves
  • Oil Pan
  • Manifolds
  • Connecting Rod
Refer to the Car engine diagram to get an inside look at your engine. For a 4-stroke engine, an important component of the engine includes the engine block, crankshaft, connecting rod, piston, and valves. A single sweep of the cylinder by the piston in an upward or downward motion is known as a stroke.

Let’s discuss one by one each of the engine parts:

1. Engine block

The engine block is the main part of an engine. Often made of aluminum or iron, it has several holes to contain the cylinders as well as provide water and oil flow paths to cool and lubricate the engine. Oil paths are narrower than water flow paths.

The engine block also houses the pistons, crankshaft, camshaft, and between four and twelve cylinders depending on the vehicle, in a line, also known as inline, flat, or in the shape of a V.

All other parts of the motor are essentially bolted to it. Inside the block is where the magic happens, such as combustion.

2. Piston

The piston is a cylindrical apparatus with a flat surface on top. The role of the piston is to transfer the energy generated from combustion to the crankshaft to propel the vehicle. Pistons move up and down as the spark plugs fire and the pistons compress the air/fuel mix.

This reciprocating energy is converted to rotary motion and transferred to the tires by the transmission, via the driveshaft, to make them spin.

Pistons on engines rotating at 1250 rpm move up and down 2500 times per minute. Inside the piston are piston rings, which are used to generate compression and reduce friction through constant rubbing of the cylinder. Read in detail about the parts and working of pistons.

3. Cylinder head

The cylinder head is attached to the top of the block to seal with the head gasket the area and prevent the loss of gases.

The cylinder head contains many elements, including valve springs, valves, lifters, pushrods, rocker arms, and camshafts to control passages that allow intake air to flow into the cylinders during the intake stroke, as well as exhaust passages that remove exhaust gases during the exhaust stroke.

4. Crankshaft

The crankshaft is located at the bottom of the engine block, within the crankshaft journals (an area of the shaft that rests on the bearings). This keenly machined and balanced mechanism is connected to the pistons through the connecting rod.

Similar to how a jack-in-the-box operates, the crankshaft turns the pistons up and down motion into a reciprocal motion, at engine speed and converts energy from reciprocating motion into rotation.

5. Camshaft

The camshaft can vary from vehicle to vehicle and is located either in the engine block or in the cylinder heads. Many modern vehicles have them in the cylinder heads, also known as Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) or Single Overhead Camshaft (SOHC), and are carried by a series of bearings that are lubricated in oil for long life.

The function of the camshaft is to regulate the timing of opening and closing of valves and to transfer the rotary motion from the crankshaft to an up and down motion to control the movement of the lifters and to move the pushrods, rockers, and valves.

6. Timing Belt/Chain

The camshaft and crankshafts are synchronized to ensure the precise timing for the engine to run properly. The belt is made of heavy-duty rubber with gears to grip the pulleys from the camshaft and crankshaft. The chain, much like your bike chain, wraps around pulleys with teeth.

7. Valves

The valves regulate the air, fuel, and exhaust gas flow in the cylinder head. There are both inlet valves and outlet valves.

8. Oil Pan

The oil pan, also known as the oil sump, is attached to the bottom of the engine and stores all of the oil that is used to lubricate the engine.

9. Combustion chamber

A combustion chamber is an area within the cylinder in which the fuel/air mixture is ignited. When the piston compresses the fuel-air mixture and comes into contact with the spark plug, the mixture is burned and forced out of the combustion chamber in the form of energy.

The combustion chamber is defined by the position, size, and location of the piston within the cylinder. The bore is the inner diameter of the cylinder. The volume at the bottom dead center (VBDC) is defined as the volume occupied between the cylinder head and the piston face when the piston is farthest from the cylinder head.

The volume at the top dead center (VTDC) is the volume occupied when the piston is closest to the cylinder head; the distance between the piston face and cylinder head at VTDC is called the clearance. The distance traveled by the piston between its VTDC and VBDC locations is stroke.

The compression ratio is the most important factor affecting the theoretical efficiency of the engine cycle.

10. Intake manifold

The intake manifold is the pipe that is the part of an engine that supplies the fuel/air mixture to the combustion chamber for combustion. It is connected to intake valves.

In a diesel engine intake manifold is used for providing air to the engine but in the petrol engine intake manifold is used to supply fuel-air mixture to the engine or combustion chamber.

From the construction of the above manifold, one can easily understand that is a manifold of the four-cylinder engine because it has four outlets.

12. Exhaust manifold

The exhaust manifold is generally simple cast iron or stainless steel units that collect engine exhaust gas from multiple cylinders and deliver it to the exhaust pipe. It is connected to exhaust valves. Its construction is the same as the inlet manifold.

The exhaust manifold has the same function in both petrol and diesel engines, in both cases, it carries exhaust gas.

13. Intake and Exhaust valves

Inlet and exhaust valves are used to control and regulate the charge (or air) coming to the engine for burning and exhaust gases going out from the cylinder respectively.

They are provided either on the cylinder heads or on cylinder walls. They commonly have a mushroom-shaped head.

In the case of Petrol engines, air and fuel mixture enters through the inlet valve. But in diesel engines, only air enters through the intake valve. The exhaust valve in both cases is meant for letting exhaust gases out.

Intake valves are connected to the intake manifold and exhaust valves are connected to the exhaust manifold. Both intake and exhaust manifolds are discussed above.

14. Spark plug

The spark plug is an important component of the ignition system and is one that must operate under the most severe conditions. Because this combustion chamber is exposed to temperature and pressure and contaminated products of combustion, it requires more service attention and is typically the shortest-living component of a gasoline engine.

It consists of a steel shell threaded to fit a standard 14-mm hole in the head of the cylinder. Spark plugs can use a gasket or tapered seat to fit the gap between the cylinder head and the plug.

A fused ceramic insulating element is molded into the plug body, and the steel center electrode passes through the insulator up to the connector to which the high-voltage lead from the distributor is attached.

The other electrode is welded to the metal body of the plug, which is mounted on the cylinder head. Electrodes are found in many configurations and are made of different types of alloys. Read in detail about the What is a Spark Plug?

15. Connecting Rod

A forged steel-connecting rod connects the piston to the throw (offset part) of the crankshaft and converts the rotating motion of the piston to the rotational speed of the crank.

The connecting rod has two ends small end and a big end. The small end is connected to the piston head with the help of a gudgeon pin and the big end is connected with the crankshaft with the help of a crankpin. V-type engines typically have opposite cylinders. Which are sufficiently vibrated to allow the two connecting rods to operate together at each crank throw.

16. Piston Ring

The piston is a major part of a Piston Ring. It forms a movable boundary. When fuel burns inside the cylinder. It applied a pressure force on the piston which moves it downward and converts thermal energy into mechanical energy.

Pistons are equipped with some metal rings which perform many functions. These rings are known as piston rings.

There are mainly three types of piston rings are used in the piston

  • The first one is the temperature ring. This piston ring is designed to bear extreme temperatures.
  • The second one is a pressure ring. This piston ring is designed to bear extreme pressure due to thrust generated by the engine.
  • The third one is the Lubrication ring. This piston ring is designed in such a way that a small amount of lubricant always passes through it to the combustion chamber.

Read in detail about the What is Piston ring and there function?

17. Gudgeon pin

In the car’s engine, the Gudgeon pin attaches the piston to the connecting rod. And gives a bearing for the connecting rod to drive the piston.

Material: Steel Alloy or Titanium Pin (Low Density) (Ti-6Al-4V)

18. Cam

These are an integral part of camshafts. Due to cams, a camshaft is known as a camshaft. The cams are mounted on the camshaft to control inlet and exhaust valve timing.

Now, we are talking about the most important car engine part.

Read in detail about the What is cam and types of cam?

19. Flywheel

The torque provided by the engine is not uniform and is fluctuating in nature. If a vehicle continues to move with this fluctuating power. It will cause huge discomfort to the rider and also it will decrease the life of its different parts.

Hence to deal with the problem of fluctuating load a flywheel is used. A flywheel is generally mounted on the camshaft.  It stores torque when its value is high and releases it when its value is low in a cycle of operation. It acts as a torque buffer.

20. Gasket

The head gasket is compressed between the engine block and the cylinder head. The head gasket seals in the internal combustion process and also keeps coolant and oil from mixing as the two fluids travel from the engine block to the cylinder head. Head gaskets themselves are not very expensive.

These all are essential parts of a car engine, And the heart and soul of your vehicle is the internal combustion engine. The engine block features parts such as the timing chain, camshaft, crankshaft, spark plugs, cylinder heads, valves, and pistons.

Read Also


What are the main parts of an engine?

Let’s know the parts of an engine. Engine block. The block houses the parts such as the timing chain, camshaft, crankshaft, spark plugs, cylinder heads, valves, and pistons. Pistons pump up and down as the spark plugs fire and the pistons compress the air/fuel mix.

What are the Name of Car Engine Parts?

The main parts of an engine.
1. Engine block.
2. Pistons.
3. Cylinder head.
4. Crankshaft.
5. Camshaft.
6. Engine Valves.
7. Oil pan.
8. Manifolds
9. Connecting Rod
10. Piston Ring