Engines can come in several different varieties, with various parts depending on the type of vehicle it is. For example, a truck engine would be different as compared to the engine of a regular car due to the amount of power required. Today, many vehicles make use of the internal combustion engine, however with slight variations according to vehicle types, having some added features or components. Developed in the 19th century, this type of engine still remains a popular choice and it continues to benefit from the technological advances in engineering. Today’s advanced engines may even feature computerized controls and advanced systems to make them more efficient, durable and powerful. With advances come several components which all work together to allow the engine to perform the required tasks. In order to be able to understand how an engine works, it is important to understand what the different engine parts are.
Many of the automotive engines used in the industry today are four-stroke internal combustion engine that uses either gasoline or diesel as a fuel. These engines get their name ‘four-stroke’ from the four distinct phases that occur in the engine during operation. Being the first phase, fuel and air are taken into the combustion chamber, earning this phase the name; intake phase. A piston is then used to compress the fuel in the next phase. Thereafter a spark is used to ignite the fuel to cause a controlled explosion. This explosion provides the engine with the energy required to drive the car forward. The ignition of the fuel varies in diesel-powered engines and gasoline powered engines. Gasoline powered engines make use of a spark to ignite the fuel. The spark is generated through electrical components. On the other hand, the fuel in a diesel engine is ignited through compression and does not require an extra electrical component. After the ignition phase, the final part in the four-stroke phase is the exhaust phase. During which, the unused fuel and carbon emissions are let out of the combustion chamber to allow new fuel and gas to enter the space, allowing the process to start over again.
The core component of an engine is the cylinder that houses the pistons. In a regular car engine, it can have anywhere from four to eight cylinders. The arrangement of the cylinder can pose different advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the size and type of vehicle, manufacturers opt for a differing number of cylinders to match the requirements of the vehicle. The movements of the pistons in the cylinders provide the engine with power for the vehicle to function.
Components of an Engine
1 Spark Plug
As mentioned earlier, gasoline engines make use of a spark to ignite the fuel and cause a controlled explosion in the engine. The spark plug in these engines supplies the spark that is required to ignite the air and fuel mixture
These engine parts allow for fuel and air to enter the combustion chamber and later let the exhaust out. They remain sealed during the combustion process and only open when required.
3. Pistons & Piston Rings
This is a cylindrical piece of metal that is located inside the cylinder of the engine. Piston rings are located between the piston and the cylinder in which the piston is located in. They provide a sealing edge between the exterior of the piston and the interior of the cylinder. The purpose of these engine parts is to seal the space and prevent the fuel and air mixture on one side of the piston from leaking into the sump during the combustion or compression process and also prevent the oil in the sump from leaking into the combustion area as it would get burnt and lost, deterring the movement of the piston.
4. Connecting rod and Crankshaft
The connecting rod connects the piston to the crankshaft. As the piston moves up and down due to the controlled explosions, it causes the connecting rod to move. This then cause the crankshaft to move as well as it is connected to the connecting rod, in a circular motion due to the configuration of the piston, connecting rod and crankshaft.
Surrounding the crankshaft, the sump contains some amount of oil. It’s called so because it is stored in an oil pan the bottom part of engine. Oil’s main purpose is to lubricate all the parts of the engine. Besides that, it also prevents excessive wear of parts, cleans the surfaces, keeps the engine cool, inhibits corrosion and keeps engine sealed properly.