How Engine Parts Work


Internal Combustion Engine

  • Engines utilize internal combustion of fuel through an oxidizer inside the combustion chamber at high temperatures and pressure. The forces cause the parts inside the engine such as the pistons or turbine blades to move. This process creates significant mechanical energy over a certain distance inside the engine to power the machine. The internal combustion engine is popular in many vehicles, aircraft and portable machinery due to its high power-to-weight ratios and good fuel energy density. The engines typically use petroleum to power modern transportation.

Engine Parts at Work

  • A piston connects to the crankshaft through a connecting rod as the crankshaft moves in a cycle called "resetting the cannon." Basically, the piston begins at the top as the intake valve opens and allows a mixture of air and gasoline to fill the cylinder thus pushing down the piston. The piston pushes up and compresses the combination of air/gas that causes a powerful explosion of sorts. As the piston reaches the top, the spark plug ignites the gasoline and makes an explosion in the cylinder. Toward the bottom of pistons stroke, the exhaust valve releases the exhaust emissions from the cylinder to the tailpipe of the car.

Engine Problems

  • Despite the advances in technology, car engines are not immune to common problems that hurt their performance. One problem is an improper cooling system due to a leakage or malfunctioning cooling fan that causes the engine to overheat. Damaged or worn-out parts like the spark plugs, ignition wires or rotor create faulty engine noise until the problem is fixed. Regular oil checkups help to keep the engine in peak performance, since dirty oil or incorrect grade and type will hurt its effectiveness to lubricate vital parts inside the engine. A bad ignition system hurts the engine's response time when a driver starts the vehicle.


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