Today, we might be moving towards electric vehicles and alternative fuel-powered vehicles but let’s not forget, it was the internal combustion engines where all the magic began. Just like us, the engine is the heart of a car. A car engine is a complex machine that consists of various parts working simultaneously to power your vehicle.
Knowing about the different parts of the engine and their functions, you can easily identify which part is causing the problem and take appropriate action. Also, understanding the parts of a car engine can help you make informed decisions when purchasing a car or when deciding on upgrades or modifications.
Here, we compiled a list of different parts of the car engine and share tips to extend their lifespan.
Basic Of Car Engine
A car engine is a complex mechanism, designed 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.
The engine is the heart of your car. It is a complex machine built to convert heat from burning gas into the force that turns the road wheels.
It consists of two basic parts: the lower, heavier section is the cylinder block, a casing for the engine’s main moving parts; the detachable upper cover is the cylinder head.
To withstand its heavy workload, the engine must be a robust structure. The engine is set in motion by a spark, which ignites a mixture of petrol vapor and compressed air inside a momentarily sealed cylinder and causes it to burn rapidly.
That is why the machine is called an internal combustion engine. As the mixture burns it expands, providing power to drive the car.
The cylinder head contains valve-controlled passages through which the air and fuel mixture enters the cylinders, and others through which the gases produced by their combustion are expelled.
The block houses the crankshaft, which converts the reciprocating motion of the pistons into rotary motion at the crankshaft. Often the block also houses the camshaft, which operates mechanisms that open and close the valves in the cylinder head.
Car Engine Parts Diagram with Name
Refer to the diagram to locate below where parts of your engine are represented by their location.
These diagrams typically include the engine block, combustion chamber, cylinder head, pistons, crankshaft, camshaft, timing chain, valves, rocker arms, pushrods/lifters, injectors, spark plugs, oil pan, distributor, connecting rods, piston ring, flywheels.
List of Car Engine Parts Names
The list of Car Engine parts Name:
Parts Of An Engine
Car engines are designed around sealed, resilient metal cylinders. Most modern vehicles have between four and eight cylinders, though some vehicles can have as many as sixteen! The cylinders are made to open and close at precisely the correct time to bring in fuel to combine with the spark for burning internally and to release the exhaust gases produced.
While many of us think of the engine as one major component, it’s made up of several individual components working simultaneously.
You may have heard of some of these car engine parts’ names but it’s important to know what their role is and how they relate to other components within the engine.
There are the various parts of a car engine consist of: the engine block (cylinder block), combustion chamber, cylinder head, pistons, crankshaft, camshaft, timing chain, valves, rocker arms, pushrods/lifters, injectors, spark plugs, oil pan, distributor, connecting rods, piston ring, and flywheels.
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.
All other parts of the motor are essentially bolted to it. Inside the block is where the magic happens, such as combustion.
Pistons are responsible for transferring the energy generated during the combustion cycle to the crankshaft that powers our vehicles.
Pistons travel up and down within the cylinder twice during each rotation of the crankshaft. Therefore, pistons in engines rotating at 1250 RPM move up and down 2500 times per minute.
Inside the piston, there are piston rings that help create compression and reduce friction from the constant rubbing of the cylinder, compression rings, and oil rings that help seal the combustion chamber and prevent oil from entering this area.
Pistons are commonly made of aluminum alloy, which is lightweight and has good thermal conductivity. It must be precisely machined to fit the cylinder bore and to ensure proper engine operation.
Pistons in automobile engines can accelerate from zero to over 53 mph (85 kph) and then back to zero, all in the space of 3 inches (7.62 cm).
3. Cylinder head
Attached to the engine through cylinder bolts, sealed with the head gasket.
The cylinder head contains many items including the valve springs, valves, lifters, pushrods, rockers, and camshafts to control passageways that allow the flow of intake air into the cylinders during the intake stroke.
As well as exhaust passages that remove exhaust gases during the exhaust stroke.
The crankshaft is located in the lower section 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 piston up and down motion into a reciprocal motion, at engine speed.
Varying from vehicle to vehicle, the camshaft may either be located within 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 supported by a sequence of bearings that are lubricated in oil for longevity.
The role of the camshaft is to regulate the timing of the opening and closing of valves and take the rotary motion from the crankshaft and transfer it to an up-and-down motion to control the movement of the lifters, moving the pushrods, rockers, and valves.
6. Timing Belt/Chain
A timing belt, timing chain, or cambelt is part of an engine that synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft so that the engine’s valves open and close at the proper times during each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes.
In an interference engine, the timing belt or chain is also critical to preventing the piston from striking the valves. A timing belt is usually a toothed belt, a drive belt with teeth on the inside surface. A timing chain is a roller chain.
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. Engine Valves
The valve operation is very simple: the cam pushes the valves down into the cylinder against the spring, opening the valve so gases can flow, and then letting the valve shut under the force of the spring.
The pressure in the combustion chamber rather neatly helps seal the valve shut.
8. Oil Pan
The oil pan is a vital, though simple, part of your engine’s lubrication system. Oil circulates through parts of your engine to keep them lubricated. It reduces friction so everything works smoothly. Without oil, friction would quickly destroy your engine.
The oil pan keeps that oil contained in the lubrication system, so the oil mustn’t leak out. Since it’s a metal part attached to another metal part, there is a gasket between the oil pan and the part of the engine it attaches to.
9. Combustion Chamber
A Combustion Chamber is the area within the Cylinder where the fuel/air mix is ignited. As the piston compresses the fuel/air mix and makes contact with the Spark Plug, the mixture is combusted and pushed out of the Combustion Chamber in the form of energy.
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10. Intake manifold
The intake manifold in a car is part of the engine that distributes the airflow between the cylinders. Often an intake manifold holds the throttle valve (throttle body) and some other components.
In some V6 and V8 engines, an intake manifold can be made of several separate sections or parts.
The intake air flows through the air filter, intake boot (snorkel), then through the throttle body, into the intake manifold plenum, then through the runners, and into the cylinders. The throttle valve (body) controls the engine rpm by adjusting the amount of airflow.
11. Exhaust Manifold
The exhaust manifold is generally simply a cast iron or stainless steel unit that collects engine exhaust gas from multiple cylinders and delivers 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.
12. 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.
13. spark plug
A spark plug is a device for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine to ignite the compressed fuel/air mixture by an electric spark while containing combustion pressure within the engine.
A spark plug has a metal threaded shell, electrically isolated from a central electrode by a ceramic insulator.
The central electrode, which may contain a resistor, is connected by a heavily insulated wire to the output terminal of an ignition coil or magneto.
14. Connecting Rod
A connecting rod is part of a piston engine that connects the piston to the crankshaft. Together with the crank, the connecting rod converts the reciprocating motion of the piston into the rotation of the crankshaft.
The connecting rod is required to transmit the compressive and tensile forces from the piston. In its most common form, in an internal combustion engine, it allows pivoting on the piston end and rotation on the shaft end.
The predecessor to the connecting rod is a mechanical linkage used by water mills to convert the rotating motion of the water wheel into a reciprocating motion.
15. Piston Ring
The main functions of piston rings in engines are:
- Sealing the combustion chamber so that there is minimal loss of gases to the crankcase.
- Improving heat transfer from the piston to the cylinder wall.
- Maintaining the proper quantity of oil between the piston and the cylinder wall
- Regulating engine oil consumption by scraping oil from the cylinder walls back to the sump.
16. Gudgeon pin
A gudgeon pin, also known as a wrist pin, is an important component in an internal combustion engine.
It creates a connection between the connecting rod and the piston. Gudgeon pins can also be used with connecting rods and wheels or cranks.
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 the inlet and exhaust valve timing.
Now, we are talking about the most important car engine part.
A flywheel is a mechanical device that uses the conservation of angular momentum to store rotational energy; a form of kinetic energy proportional to the product of its moment of inertia and the square of its rotational speed.
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.
A gasket is a ring or sheet composed of a supple material used in static applications to seal joints, flanges, and other mating surfaces to prevent leakage.
These are different types of gaskets generally used in an engine:
Exhaust Manifold Gasket. The exhaust manifold gasket is a multi-layered gasket that contains metal and other materials that provide the best seal possible. It is the first gasket in the exhaust system and is very important for preventing leaks.
Water Pump Gasket. The water pump gasket is a ring-like part made of a durable material that can withstand varying temperatures. It is located between the water pump and the engine block and prevents coolant from leaking as it moves from the pump to the engine and back.
Oil Pan Gasket. The oil pan gasket is located between the oil pan and the bottom of the engine block and prevents oil from leaking as it moves from the pan to the engine and back. Because oil is constantly flowing, oil leaks can occur if the gasket is worn or not well-fitting.
20. Cylinder Liner
A cylinder liner is a thin metal cylinder-shaped part to be fitted into an engine block to form a cylinder. It is one of the most important functional parts to make up the interior of an engine.
The cylinder liner, serving as the inner wall of a cylinder, forms a sliding surface for the piston rings while retaining the lubricant within.
During use, the cylinder liner is subject to wear from the rubbing action of the piston rings and piston skirt. This wear is minimized by the thin oil film which coats the cylinder walls and also by a layer of glaze that naturally forms as the engine is run in.
21. Crank Case
A crankcase is the housing for the crankshaft in a reciprocating internal combustion engine. In most modern engines, the crankcase is integrated into the engine block.
Two-stroke engines typically use a crankcase-compression design, resulting in the fuel/air mixture passing through the crankcase before entering the cylinder(s). This design of the engine does not include an oil sump in the crankcase.
Four-stroke engines typically have an oil sump at the bottom of the crankcase and the majority of the engine’s oil is held within the crankcase.
The fuel/air mixture does not pass through the crankcase in a four-stroke engine, however, a small amount of exhaust gasses often enters as a “blow-by” from the combustion chamber.
The crankcase often forms the lower half of the main bearing journals (with the bearing caps forming the other half), although in some engines the crankcase surrounds the main bearing journals.
22. Engine Distributor
A distributor is an enclosed rotating shaft used in spark-ignition internal combustion engines that have mechanically timed ignition.
Except in magneto systems and many modern computer-controlled engines that use crank angle/position sensors, the distributor also houses a mechanical or inductive breaker switch to open and close the ignition coil’s primary circuit.
23. Distributor o ring
Distributors commonly employ a specifically sized o-ring that fits on the distributor’s shaft to seal it with the engine referred to as the distributor o-ring.
The distributor o-ring simply seals the distributor housing with the engine to prevent oil leaks at the base of the distributor. When the o-ring fails it can cause oil leaks from the base of the distributor, which can lead to other problems.
24. Cylinder Headcover
In many modern four-stroke engines, the cylinder head cover houses the upper actuation elements of the engine control unit as well as the valves in the crankcase ventilation with all its peripheral devices.
Additionally, it protects the engine from dirt or other foreign objects.
25. Rubber grommet
Rubber grommets are used to protect or cover holes and reduce vibration. Inserting a rubber grommet will help eliminate sharp edges and protect the engine valve to pass through a hole. The rubber grommet will help shield the valve from damage.
26. Camshaft Pulley
A cam pulley is part of the timing system in an engine used to control the rate of rotation of the camshaft, the component that controls the poppet valves responsible for air intake and exhaust in the cylinders.
The cam pulley articulates with the timing chain to rotate the camshaft in synchronicity with the crankshaft.
27. Oil Filter
Your car’s oil filter removes waste, too. It captures harmful debris, dirt, and metal fragments in your motor oil to keep your car’s engine running smoothly.
Without the oil filter, harmful particles can get into your motor oil and damage the engine. Filtering out the junk means your motor oil stays cleaner and longer.
28. Timing belt drive pulley
A timing belt pulley is a specialized pulley system with teeth or pockets along the outside of the pulley body’s diameter.
The teeth or pockets on the outside of the pulley are not used for power transmission. Rather, they engage the pulley belt, assisting with timing and averting misalignment.
29. Water Pump
A vehicle’s water pump is a belt-driven pump that derives its power from the crankshaft of the engine. Designed as a centrifuge, the water pump draws the cooled fluid from the radiator through the pump’s center inlet.
It then circulates the fluid outward into the engine and back into the car’s cooling system.
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30. Oil pan drain bolt
The oil drain plug is typically located on the bottom of the engine on the oil pan. It is used to drain the oil from your pan during an oil change. If you notice a leak at the oil plug, in some cases it can be as simple as replacing the gasket.
If the bolt or oil pan has been cross-threaded, you may need a new oil drain plug. In some cases, an oversized oil drain plug will cut new threads to help you avoid replacing the entire oil pan.
Common Engine Problems
With so many mechanisms performing many tasks at lightning speed, over time, parts may begin to wear causing your car to behave differently. Here are the most common engine problems and their associated symptoms:
- Poor compression – Results in loss of power, misfiring, or no-start.
- Cracked engine block – Causes overheating, smoke coming from the exhaust, or coolant leaks, usually identified on the side of the engine.
- Damaged Pistons, Rings, and/or Cylinders – Exhibit rattling sounds, blue smoke coming from the exhaust, rough idle, or a failed emissions test.
- Broken or worn Rods, Bearings, & Pins – Cause tapping or ticking sounds, low oil pressure, metal shavings found in engine oil, or rattling upon acceleration.
Car engines may seem complicated, but their task is simple: to propel your vehicle forward. With so many components working together to create this motion, your vehicle must receive proper maintenance to ensure its longevity.
Regularly scheduled oil changes, fluid flushes, and changing belts and hoses at the recommended time is a great way to help prevent the unfortunate circumstance of a failed engine.