A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Auto Engines

A car engine is a complex and powerful machine that makes driving a car possible. But due to its complexity, the average driver doesn’t have a clue about how an engine works, including what are its parts and how they interact.

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Auto Engines

Learn all about the components of the engine, what happens when an engine runs, and why it’s so important to keep your car well maintained.

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Internal Combustion Engine

Types of Combustion in engine

Combustion is the process of two chemicals reacting to produce heat and light. In theory, there are three major types: complete combustion, incomplete combustion, and staged combustion systems. Complete combustion happens in a closed system with heated air. The procedure begins by introducing fuel into an open space (such as a cylinder) at high pressure that causes it to vaporize quickly or be atomized; this makes it easier for the mixture’s molecules to react with each other and release energy when they do so. It then undergoes rapid oxidation which creates enough heat to boil water in seconds while consuming all its oxygen supply; if any remains after the reaction ceases, some cools down forming carbon monoxide gas until another flame from somewhere else reacts with more fuel.

Incomplete combustion happens when there is insufficient oxygen for the fuel to burn completely in a closed system; this can happen during startup, if too much air is added at once or if extra combustibles are present (such as oil). Unburned products accumulate and then finally ignite after more heat produces enough pressure to force it out of the engine’s cylinder head into an exhaust pipe.

Staged combustion systems involve several different steps with various fuels each undergoing complete oxidation before they’re introduced to another type of material until most everything has been consumed by its designated stage.

Complete Combustion: This form occurs in a closed space where heated air causes vaporization due to high pressures from fuels being atomized and reacting with other molecules releasing energy.

History of Internal Combustion

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Internal Combustion Engine

Internal combustion engines, also known as IC Engines, are the mechanism that is responsible for powering many of our modern-day machines. It was invented by Nicholas Otto in 1867 and patented on November 25th 1876. This type of engine has been widely used since its invention because it can produce a very high power output from a relatively small volume and weight; this advantage helped to end the dominance of steam engines which had previously held such an esteemed position. The first internal combustion engine powered locomotive was built by Émile Levassor in 1895 while working for Panhard et al., and he later served as head engineer at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft from 1900 to 1901 before founding his own company Léon Levassor in 1907.

Ever since its invention, the internal combustion engine has gone through many changes and revisions to increase efficiency or performance, such as fuel injection systems from Robert Bosch that work on the principle of constant pressure; these are one of the most essential aspects of modern day cars because they improve both power delivery while reducing emissions like hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. The latest innovation is called electrification which uses electric motors instead for propulsion with an IC Engine providing auxiliary power. This is seen as a key technology by major automakers such as Volvo Cars who have announced all new models will be only hybrid or fully electric-powered starting next year.

Car Engine Anatomy

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This is for those who are curious about how these machines work and what goes into making them run! The engine itself is really just a large air pump designed to convert thermal energy (heat) into mechanical motion which can then produce kinetic energy (motion). It does so by converting chemical potential energy in gasoline or diesel fuel into heat through combustion with oxygen from intake air. That heat expands the gases within the cylinders and forces pistons downward due to pressure produced by gas volume rather than external pumps that will push against movement of piston downstroke using high-energy fluids.

A typical modern automobile engine contains upwards of 250 rotating parts, including cooling system pumps, the pistons and cylinders themselves for up to four cycles per power stroke, valves that let in air or fuel/air mixture at precise intervals so as not to disturb piston movement on downstroke (which would waste energy) but which also must open before a given cylinder can complete its power cycle.

Since engines function by converting chemical potential energy into heat, then it is necessary that they be kept cool with a constant supply of liquid water from a cooling radiator. This ensures hydrocarbons do not exceed combustion temperatures and make their way out through exhaust pipe–a phenomenon known as engine knock or detonation.

This is where the oil comes in: It lubricates all moving metal surfaces within an engine; this reduces friction between metal parts and helps stop wear. The oil also works as a cooling agent for the engine, both by circulating in passageways that direct it toward hot spots within an engine (usually at or near exhaust manifolds) but also by coating surfaces of certain components such as pistons to reduce heat transfer into those same metal surfaces.

It is not unheard-of for cars today to get upwards of 20 miles per gallon on paved roads and 30 mpg on city streets with good maintenance–a far cry from 1960s gas guzzlers! This efficiency comes about through greater attention to detail in design process: Smaller engines are performing double duties thanks to technology advances like variable valve timing and electronic fuel injection; dual overhead cams now operate camshafts in place of old-fashioned pushrods and rocker arms.

Engine design is a fascinating process, but it’s also one more reason to step away from the gas pump every now and again!

There are many different parts involved with an engine–from pistons and valves to camshafts and cooling systems.

Direct Fuel Injection


The first thing you need to know about direct fuel injection is that it doesn’t use a carburetor. A carburetor mixes air and gas together so they can combust in an engine, but with DI the gasoline goes straight into the cylinder from a high pressure pump.

This means there’s no throttle or choke cable adjustments because all of these systems are done automatically by sensors before fueling up your car! Another benefit is that DI engines don’t rely on vacuum; instead, their spark plug timing controls how much fuel enters each cylinder at any given moment. This helps eliminate knocking caused by unburned air pockets inside your engine block when running traditional port injection engines as well as making for easier starts because the startup enrichment system has already been primed with fuel.

Ported Fuel Injection

Fuel injectors are different than carburetors. Ported Fuel injectors shoot the fuel into the intake manifold. The manifold is outside of the valve, and when you open a valve, fuel and air go in with it at the same time. So they work together to make combustion happen just right for that engine’s needs.

Throttle Body Fuel Injection

The throttle body is the main engine component responsible for mixing air and fuel to produce an explosion in the chamber that drives a piston. The more you press on the pedal, or “throttle”, the more air flows into this opening. This allows you to control how much power your engine has by adjusting it according to your needs. Fuel injection then injects fuel at precisely timed intervals when necessary with spark plugs providing ignition of each pulse of combustion. Throttle-body injection combines both these functions together within one unit which reduces complexity and simplifies design making them easier to manufacture while also improving emissions performance so they are cleaner than their predecessors (port fuel injections).

Below shows what a throttle body looks like:

The Four-Stroke Cycle engine

This is the most common engine in use today.

When you turn a key or push an ignition button, gasoline is mixed with air inside your car’s combustion chamber and ignited by sparks from spark plugs. The heat of this flame forces piston rods to move up and down four times – one stroke per cylinder on each side of the engine block – to create power that moves your vehicle forward. It takes about 12-14 strokes for all cylinders to fire as fuel is being injected into them at just over 60 mph; when they are done firing, so have we reached our cruising speed!

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Intake Stroke in engine

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The intake stroke is the first of four strokes in an engine cycle. This is where a mixture (called “air and fuel”) called atmospheric air-fuel, enters the cylinder at or near top dead center position during each piston’s travel to its bottom most point on a power stroke. The volume inside this chamber is reduced because both valves are closed at this point. The air-fuel mixture is drawn into the cylinder through a valve called an inlet, and as it moves downward from atmospheric pressure to increased backpressure caused by piston compression, its temperature rises.

In other words, during intake stroke of engine cycle

the atmospheric air is compressed and heated. During the exhaust stroke of engine cycle, the air is allowed to escape from the cylinder.

The compression and release of pressure with each power stroke causes a controlled explosion that starts just before top dead center and finishes at bottom dead center. These explosions cause pistons to move up and down in their cylinders, which produces rotational motion for use by other engine parts, such as the camshaft.

Compression Stroke in engine

Compression stroke in an engine is the first part of a four-stroke cycle. It starts with intake and continues through when compression occurs. This process compresses air/fuel mixture that then ignites later on to create energy or work, which forces displacement during power stroke. The piston moves downward because combustion creates pressure; this needs space for the piston to move freely. It is a low-speed, high-torque process that requires an external source of energy such as fuel or compressed air for combustion.

The compression stroke in diesel engine happens when the exhaust valve has closed and piston starts moving up again after it has reached near bottom dead center during intake stroke. This creates pressure in the cylinder and prevents leakage of air/fuel around piston.

The compression stroke in gasoline engine happens when intake valve closes, which creates pressure to keep air in combustion chamber during power stroke. It also needs an external source of energy for combustion like a spark plug or fuel injector. The compressed mixture ignites because it has enough oxygen from previous stroke to combust.

The compression ratio is the volume of space in a cylinder when piston reaches top dead center divided by volume at bottom dead center, which determines how much power an engine can produce because it increases pressure and air/fuel mixture density for combustion. The higher the compression ratio, the more torque or horsepower that an engine generates during power stroke.

Compression ratio is an important factor in determining power output and efficiency of engine because it affects the maximum amount of air/fuel mixture that can be compressed during intake process, which determines how much pressure is created for combustion to occur. The higher compression ratios result in more fuel being used with greater amounts of heat-energy emitted from the exhaust.

Compression ratio is determined by the stroke length, bore diameter and number of cylinders in an engine. It can be increased but will shorten life-span because it creates a lot more heat from friction for parts to operate on without sufficient cooling resources available like air or water flow.

The intake valve closes during compression process which creates pressure to keep air in combustion chamber during power stroke. The compressed mixture ignites because it has enough oxygen from previous stroke to combust. Higher compression ratios can create more torque or horsepower by increasing the amount of fuel being used with greater amounts of heat-energy emitted from exhaust.

Combustion Stroke in engine

Combustion stroke is the second stage of a four-stroke engine. It consists in a controlled release of high-pressure exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine, through its valves to transfer them into the fast moving air stream that fills the cylinder during intake (the first stage). In this way, energy is transferred by means of heat and pressure from the gases to the air, which is then successfully and completely mixed with fuel.

Combustion stroke takes place when both valves are closed. This happens before pushing the piston back down for another cycle of compression (the third stage). The pressure in this part of engine is created by waste gases that have been heated up due to their high-speed contact with the air they just left.

In this particular stage of an engine’s operation, there is no intake so only heat and pressure are transferred from exhaust gases to the incoming fast moving stream of air that will fill up next during compression stroke (the third stage). This release must be carefully controlled by adjusting a valve called throttling valve, which is located near the end of exhaust pipe.

The pressure in this part of engine is created by waste gases that have been heated up due to their high-speed contact with the air they just left. The release must be carefully controlled by adjusting a valve called throttling valve, which is located near the end of exhaust pipe.

In this particular stage of an engine’s operation, there is no intake so only heat and pressure are transferred from exhaust gases to the incoming fast moving stream of air that will fill up next during compression stroke (the third stage). This release must be carefully controlled by adjusting a valve called throttling valve, which is located near the end of exhaust pipe.

The pressure in this part of engine is created by waste gases that have been heated up due to their high-speed contact with the air they just left. The release must be carefully controlled by adjusting a valve called throttling valve, which is located near the end of exhaust pipe.

This stage can also be used for intake of cool air – in carbureted engines, the throttling valve is closed (i.e. it does not admit any air) and intake starts as soon as compression stroke ends with piston coming back up to its top position before making another downward push for a new cycle of combustion (the third stage).

This release must be carefully controlled by adjusting a valve called throttling valve, which is located near the end of exhaust pipe.

Exhaust Stroke in Engine

The exhaust stroke is the third phase of an engine cycle. It corresponds to a piston moving downward and atmospheric pressure forcing burned gases out through the open exhaust valve or port into either the atmosphere, a side pipe (if equipped), or into another chamber that leads back in to be cleaned for re-use.

A powerstroke is a term for the use of internal combustion engine in which exhaust gases are used to produce work.

Other Engine Designs

Piston Engine

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The piston engine is the most common type of internal combustion engines in use today. It consists of three parts: a cylinder, where fuel and air are mixed; a piston that moves up and down inside this chamber to compress it; and an ignition system that ignites the mixture when high enough pressure has been created by compression. When you put your car into drive the piston is pushed down by a connecting rod, which turns the crankshaft. Power from this engine design is usually seen in large vehicles such as trucks and buses.

Rotary Engine

This type of internal combustion engines has been used for years but was most notably found in Mazda RX-series cars up until 2006. The rotary engine was designed to replace the piston engines of that time and is said by many, including inventor Felix Wankel himself, to be much more efficient than a normal four-stroke reciprocating engine on average. This type of engine design uses only one cylinder but has two opposing pistons rotating around it in an oval shaped chamber. The crankshaft is stationary and the two pistons are connected to each other by a rotating housing.

Steam Engine

This type of engine was invented in 1804 by Thomas Newcomen and made use of mechanical power generated from steam produced by heating water. When this heat eventually produces enough pressure, it forces down a metal rod which is connected to a valve at the top of the piston. This pushes down on the air and fuel mixture in between, compressing it enough for ignition by an electric spark plug that sends high-pressure steam through another pipe into the cylinder (this process is called “steam direct injection”).

Diesel Engine

Invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1893, this type of engine is most commonly used today to power locomotives and large ships. It differs from the traditional gasoline-powered engines as it makes use of a diesel fuel that can be ignited without high pressure air. To do so requires both heat and compression; which are provided by an electric heating element inside the combustion chamber and the tight-fitting piston. Once a certain temperature is reached, fuel from the injector nozzle ignites with little to no outside help as long as it has enough oxygen in its air/fuel mixture.

Combustion Engine

The design of this type of engine was perfected by Nikolaus Otto who created an engine that used a four-stroke cycle and had the first working internal combustion engine. The design of this type of engine uses air, fuel (either gasoline or diesel), and an oxidizer to produce power. A piston is forced down on top of a mixture of these three components as they are ignited by either electricity or heat; which starts off with a spark plug. The piston then compresses the air and fuel as it moves back up, pushing on a camshaft that is connected to the crankshaft of an engine which drives all other parts in motion.

Hybrid car engines.

The hybrid engine was created in 1951 by Francis W. Davis and is now used in many modern cars that use an electric motor to power the drive train with a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine as backup, or “assist” mode. The design of this type does not have any pistons moving up and down but instead has two rotors that spin independently of each other inside a housing while making use of the rotating force. One rotor is connected to a drive shaft and spins at very high speeds, which creates electricity through induction with magnets placed in a fixed location outside it. The second rotor has an electric current applied to it as it rotates and turns another magnet located near by; which in turn also creates electricity. The two rotating rotors are connected by a common shaft and the energy that is created goes to driving either the vehicle’s motor or any other device such as an alternator for charging batteries.

Cooling System Type in Engine

One of the most important components in an engine is its cooling system. Cooling systems are responsible for keeping the car’s engine cool and operating at a safe temperature so that it doesn’t overheat or seize up on you while driving down the road. There are many different types, but each type has advantages and disadvantages to consider before installation.

This article will explore the three types of cooling systems: air-cooled, liquid-cooled and heat pipe. These are different cooling system designs that have advantages or disadvantages in certain circumstances.

Air cooled engines rely on airflow to keep them from overheating. They do not need a specific water pump because they cool themselves with the engine fan. Air cooled engines are popular in vehicles that have high power output, like motorcycles or race cars. They do not perform as well in closed environments for extended periods of time because they don’t stay cool without airflow around them.

Liquid cooled engines use a liquid to keep the engine from overheating and always need an external water pump. Liquid cooled engines are usually found in vehicles that have a low power output but still need to stay cool, like sedans or trucks.

Heat pipe systems use metal pipes with liquid inside of them and special fins on either side for cooling. Heat pipes transfer heat from the engine into the ambient air so they don’t require any airflow around them to stay cool. They’re often used in trucks or boats because of their ability to be run without airflow and they do not need an external water pump for cooling.

The type you choose will depend on the performance needs of your vehicle, whether it’s more important to have a high power output or better fuel efficiency.

Torque and Horsepower in engine performance

Torque and Horsepower are two terms that may be used in the automotive industry. Torque is a measure of rotational force, while horsepower is an expression for power output measured at the engine’s crankshaft. This article will break down what Torques mean and how they work with engines.

The term torque, in the engineering world, is a measure of rotational force. Imagine trying to move something that weighs 200 pounds by manually pushing on it with both arms from two different sides. That’s 400 pounds of force you’re applying to this object – but if your angle was off and you were only able to push using one arm at a time, then that would be 200 pounds of force. This is the basic idea behind torque: you need to apply a certain amount of it in order to do work, such as move an object or turn something.

Torque does not have anything to do with how much power your engine makes; they are two separate measurements of a vehicle’s performance and efficiency. Horsepower is a measurement of power output, or how much work the engine can do. This means that torque measurements are dependent on what type and size of engine you have as well as the car’s weight.

Horsepower has to do with how efficiently your engine uses gas; it measures airflow (or air volume) times pressure in the cylinder. Torque is a measure of rotational force, so it has to do with how fast the engine can spin around and how much effort you have to apply in order for that rotation to happen.

What’s the Application When it Comes to Engine Performance?

The applications for engine performance depend on the type of fuel being used. Gasoline engines, by virtue of their design and engineering are more powerful than diesel motors even when both have equivalent displacement. This is because gas provides a higher octane rating which allows it to burn cleaner and hotter at higher compression ratios without detonating prematurely in the combustion chamber.

This is not a hard and fast rule, however. Diesel engines are capable of running at higher compression ratios than gasoline motors without detonating prematurely in the combustion chamber due to their design and engineering with diesel fuel. Despite this advantage, diesel still generates more heat when burned which requires these types of engines be fitted with additional components that aid in cooling the combustion chamber.

Larger throttle body and injectors in Engine

One of the other major upgrades that can be done to your car is increasing the size of these parts. A bigger throttle body will flow more air, which means you’ll need a higher octane fuel. The increased airflow also means that injectors have to work harder and use more fuel themselves. Injection timing becomes very important because too little fuel will not provide enough for the engine, too much fuel can cause knock and decreased power.

A larger throttle body is a good way to increase horsepower on an otherwise stock vehicle that does not have many modifications or one with limited modification points due to its age. This upgrade is not as common of a performance mod because it only requires changing out a single part, there are not many other ways to increase power in this way.

I recommend a larger throttle body when you have an engine that is running rich and needs more air (because of the lack of fuel or because it’s being forced into knock). This will help get your car off its lean condition so that it can produce better power and work with a higher octane fuel.

The injector size is going to depend on the stock setup, how much power you want, and what kind of engine your vehicle has (a carburated vs. fuel-injected). The main thing in increasing the size of an injector will be determining if it can flow enough fuel for the engine.


What kind of gearbox do you prefer in your vehicle?

If you’re determined to save fuel, the dual clutch type will be your best bet. With a little research, you’ll discover that these are not just hybrids with gears and do in fact use better than half the fuel of a traditional automatic. To date I have found only one company that actually manufactures this transmission and they call it “less-automatic”.
If economy is really not your concern but performance is then there’s only one kind of gearbox I would ever consider: manual transmission. This had been my choice for as long as I could remember until I did some research for this answer and found out they use more gas than any other type of gearbox

What is your take on gasoline vs electric engines?

Opinions vary wildly on this topic. There doesn’t seem to be an official answer to the question yet, but in my own personal opinion-I believe that gasoline engine cars are best for long road trips and country drives and then switching from a gas engine to an electric one when you get back into the city. You would have the convenience of driving around longer distances with more range without worrying about finding nearest stations for gas. Plus, it makes sense economically since people can start saving money by spending less at home while still having enough charge power for living in a major city near many charging stations.

How has the way car manufacturers are adding more power to auto-engines affected their performance?

It’s a good thing for us motorists. Automakers are moving to produce more powerful engines because new equipment regulations have kicked in, and sooner or later, they’ll be inevitable required by law all around the world. No one wants a car that can’t keep up with traffic and the blokes next door are talking about emission standards for new cars. So if you like fine automobiles and want them to be safe, it’s not going to change anytime soon what kind of power you get from an engine– even if it means $10-40,000 pricier options for your dream wheels. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of debate about this issue in carmaker boardrooms worldwide over the next decade as we go.

Which do people look for most, gas mileage or power output when buying a new car?

It really depends on what your priorities are. You could say that the two usually go hand-in-hand though. The first consideration of a potential buyer is typically cost, and while the price of gas does fluctuate this can be a good indicator for shoppers looking to save money in the long run. As for power output, cars have been designed with technology like turbo chargers or direct injection systems which minimize down time at filling stations and allow drivers to enjoy more flexibility with refueling times.
You might also consider vehicle performance as you purchase options – think about how fast you want to drive where you’re located, the size of your family, how often you’ll be driving on rough roads/weather conditions.

Do you think using manual transmissions will save the environment and fuel costs overall in cars if they were used more often like they were back in normal times before 2000s?

If every car was a manual transmission, we would see an increase in fuel saving because of less efficient engines and more time spent warming up while waiting at red lights. Cars would also be able to use better gas if the engine was not rotating excess engine parts unnecessarily. Electronically controlled automatic transmissions waste gas when idle and are not designed for the long-term demands of stop-and-go driving that is common in dense cities.
Finally, there is no debate that shifting gears manually makes you feel more in control of your vehicle.