How a Car Engine Works

How a Car Engine Works

A car Engine, also known as internal combustion engine is designed to use controlled explosions to create the required power which is necessary in moving the vehicle. Internal combustion engines can be used in motorcycles, lawnmowers and other motorized devices. With advancement in scientific innovations over the years, there have been tremendous improvements on the design of engines in order to boost power and efficiency. However, the car engine is a very simple device in terms of structure and operation.

Every car engine is basically structured to use a four stroke combustion cycle. This involves the intake of fuel, compression of the fuel and gases by the compressor, and actual combustion and ejection of the exhaust. The four stoke cycle is continuously repeated in quick succession to produce the required power to move the vehicle. All the four parts of the cycle occur within an enclosed engine.

The engine has a piston which is a metal rod connected by a crankshaft to the connecting rod. When fuel and air is getting into the engine, the intake valve opens and the piston moves downwards in order to start the cycle. This motion permits a small amount of gas and a cylinder full of air into the engine.

In the compression cycle, the piston moves upwards reducing the space occupied by air and fuel. The smaller the space, the higher the power of the explosion produced. In addition, the seal on the space occupied by air and fuel should be airtight, so that minimum energy is lost as a result of radiation and conduction.

At the upper part of the cycle, the spark plug produces a spark which explodes the gasoline whose power forces the piston down. At the lower part of the stroke, an exhaust valve is opened in order to expel waste gases from the explosion out of the engine. The speed of the vehicle depends on the speed of the cycle. The pistons speed up their motion when the driver increases the amount of gas and fuel getting into the engine. This eventually results in increased speed of the whole combustion cycle.

Author: Anne Stone

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