What Is A Car Engine?
The engine is the heart of your car. It is a complex machine designed to convert energy into mechanical energy. Specifically, an internal combustion engine is a heat engine in that it converts energy from the heat of burning gasoline into mechanical work, or torque. That torque is applied to the wheels to make the car move.
In order to withstand a heavy workload, the engine has to be built robustly. It consists of two basic parts: the lower, heavier part is the engine block, a housing for the most important moving parts of the engine; and the removable top cover is the cylinder head.
Engines have pistons that move up and down inside metal tubes called cylinders. The expanding combustion gases push the piston, which in turn rotates the crankshaft. After the piston compresses the fuel-air mixture, the spark ignites it and causes combustion.
The expansion of the combustion gases pushes the piston downside. When the mixture burns, it expands and provides 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 during their combustion are expelled.
The block houses the crankshaft, which converts the reciprocating motion of the pistons into rotary motion on the crankshaft. Oftentimes, the block also houses the camshaft, which operates mechanisms that open and close the valves in the cylinder head. Sometimes the camshaft is mounted in the head or above it.
How Does an Engine Work?
You already know starting a car is as easy as turning a key, but have you ever wondered what really goes on under the hood?
When your body needs fuel, feed it with food. When your car needs fuel, “feed” it gasoline. Just as your body converts food into energy, a car engine converts gasoline into motion. Some newer cars, called hybrids, also use electricity from batteries to power a vehicle.
The process of converting gasoline into motion is called “internal combustion”. Internal combustion engines use small, controlled explosions to create the power needed to move your car wherever it needs to go.
Two types of internal combustion engines are currently manufactured: the spark ignition gasoline engine and the compression ignition diesel engine. Most of them are four-stroke cycle engines, which means it takes four piston strokes to complete a cycle.
The cycle comprises four different processes: intake, compression, combustion, and power stroke, as well as exhaust.
Spark ignition gasoline and compression ignition diesel engines differ in the way they deliver and ignite fuel. In a spark-ignition engine, the fuel is mixed with air and then sucked into the cylinder during the intake process.
After the piston compresses the fuel-air mixture, the spark ignites it and causes combustion. The expansion of the combustion gases pushes the piston during the power stroke.
In a diesel engine, only air is inducted into the engine and then compressed. Diesel engines then spray the fuel in a suitable, metered amount into the hot compressed air, which ignites it.
The Four Strokes Of A Four-Stroke Engine
Most internal combustion engines work in a four-stage cycle process. These steps are formally known as strokes, referring to the four movements a piston makes to complete each cycle. The strokes take place in this order: intake, compression, combustion, exhaust.
With each stroke, the piston moves either up or down in the cylinder and moves in conjunction with the intake of air and fuel or the exhaust of exhaust gases. Here is an overview of how the process works
1. Intake stroke
During the intake stroke, the piston moves downward as the intake valve opens to let in a flow of gasoline and air. As soon as the piston reaches the base of the cylinder, the valves close and seal the gasoline-air mixture. (It’s worth noting that on some modern vehicles, gasoline is injected later during the compression stroke.)
2. Compression stroke
At this point the piston moves back up to compress the gas and air towards the top of the cylinder. Squeezing this mixture into a tighter space prepares it to be ignited on the combustion stroke.
3. Combustion stroke
The combustion stroke, also known as the power stroke, creates the power of your engine and gets the car moving. This is where the spark plug ignites to ignite the gas. The resulting heat and the expanding gas push the piston back into the cylinder.
4. Exhaust stroke
When the piston reaches the bottom of the cylinder, the exhaust valve opens to allow the piston to pump the used gases out of the engine. From there, the gases enter the exhaust system and leave the vehicle. Eventually, the exhaust valve closes and the four-stroke cycle repeats.
The Different Types of Engines
There are, of course, exceptions and tiny differences between the internal combustion engines on the market. Atkinson engines, for example, change valve timing to make a more efficient but less powerful engine.
Charging and supercharging turbochargers, grouped under the forced aspiration options, pumps extra air into the engine, increasing the available oxygen, and therefore the amount of fuel that can be burned, resulting in more power when you wish so, and to be more efficient when you don’t need the strength.
Diesel engines do all of this without spark plugs. Regardless of the engine, the fundamentals of functionality remain unchanged as long as it is an internal combustion engine. And now you know her. Read More about: Different Types of Engine
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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.
The engine consists of a fixed cylinder and a moving piston. The expanding combustion gases push the piston, which in turn rotates the crankshaft. After the piston compresses the fuel-air mixture, the spark ignites it, causing combustion. The expansion of the combustion gases pushes the piston during the power stroke.