This is how your car’s engine works

The internal combustion engine of an automobile is one of the key components that enable it to get from point A to point B. This engine, made up of various parts such as cylinders, pistons and crankshafts, works by combining fuel with the air and then igniting it to create energy that allows the vehicle to move.

The resulting explosion pushes the pistons, which are connected to the crankshaft by rods, up and down in the cylinders. This movement creates a rotational force that drives the wheels of the car and makes it move forward or backward.

While it may seem like a complex process, understanding how an engine works is crucial for anyone who wants to truly understand modern transportation technology. Get more information about used engines here!


What is an Internal Combustion Engine? How does it work?

An internal combustion engine is essentially a machine that uses the energy generated by the combustion of gasoline to power a vehicle . Thanks to the internal combustion process, this type of engine converts heat into mechanical work, or torque.

This torque is then transferred to the car's wheels, enabling it to move over the ground.

Whether you drive a modern sports car or an old-school family sedan, the basic principles of an internal combustion engine remain the same. In fact, whether you're cruising down the highway in a Ferrari or a Ford truck, the heat from the fuel is still converted into force that propels your vehicle.

Engines are among the most important components of any vehicle , as they provide the power needed to get us where we need to go. Engines are based on pistons that move up and down inside metal tubes known as cylinders. These pistons are connected by pushrods to a crankshaft, which rotates as the pistons move up and down.

This movement is very similar to that of our legs when we ride a bicycle: as our legs move up and down, they turn the pedals and move the bicycle forward. Likewise, the pistons in an engine are responsible for turning the crankshaft and driving the drive wheel or wheels of a vehicle.

Depending on the type of vehicle, an engine can have anywhere from two to 12 cylinders , each cylinder having its own piston that moves up and down to keep it running smoothly.

Where does the engine power come from?

The internal combustion engine is one of the most essential components of modern civilization, powering everything from cars and trucks to motorcycles and lawn mowers. Propelling the pistons up and down are thousands of small, controlled explosions that occur every minute, created by mixing fuel with oxygen and igniting the mixture. Every time the fuel ignites, this event is called a combustion stroke, or power stroke. The heat and expanding gases produced by these small explosions push the piston down into the cylinder.

Although it may seem like a relatively simple system, there are actually many elements and factors behind the functioning of every internal combustion engine.

To function properly, engines rely on a complex series of operations. One of the key components of this system is the intake cycle , which allows air and fuel to be drawn into the engine. During the suction stroke, the valves open to allow the piston to act like a syringe as it moves downward, drawing in more air from its surroundings.

As the piston nears the end of its motion, the intake valves close, effectively sealing that area of ​​the cylinder in preparation for the compression stroke . With its upward movement, the piston compresses and intensifies the air ready for combustion, preparing it for ignition during the other cycles. Thanks to these coordinated phases, engines are able to burn fuel efficiently and effectively, allowing them to power and propel all types of vehicles and machinery.


The different types of engines

While there are some exceptions and minor differences among internal combustion engines on the market, most engines share similar design principles.

The heart of an internal combustion engine is a combustion chamber where fuel is ignited and burned. The result is energy that is transferred to a piston, which moves up and down in a cylinder to power an output shaft.

Some engines use various arrangements, such as Atkinson cycles , forced induction, or even diesel engines, to optimize efficiency and power under different operating conditions. However, regardless of these differences, the basic principles by which all internal combustion engines work remain the same.

The article This is how your car's engine works was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .