We are so used to the presence of cars in our lives that we never stop to ask how they work anymore. Nevertheless, the processes, technologies and techniques are very interesting, so it’s worth checking out one of the 21st century wonders we so take for granted. The most important part of a car is the engine, of course, because it sets the whole metal machinery in motion, allowing us to get from one place to another in short periods of time. In what follows we’ll take a look at how a car engine works and try to explain it in layman’s terms so anyone can figure it out.
As most of you may have gathered, the main purpose of the engine is to change gasoline into energy, motion to help the car dislodge its heavy, heavy weight. You can just imagine the forces required for this to be possible; so far, the only way we’ve managed to do this is by placing the gasoline inside the engine, which burns and consumes it. This is why car engines are called internal combustion engines, of which there are various other categories. The more common forms of internal combustion engines are the diesel engines and the gas turbine engines.
The reason gasoline is used is because it is a powerful fuel which can produce a great amount of energy. In order to understand how a car engine works, we must learn that most cars nowadays use a four-stroke combustion cycle: intake stroke, compression stroke, combustion stroke and exhaust stroke. An engine can take various forms, but we are going to discuss as is a simple, single-cylinder engine is involved. Thus, in order to learn how a car engine works, we must imagine a piston being activated; the piston moves, and the intake valve opens, so the engine can feed itself with a cylinder-full of gasoline and air.
After the intake stroke is completed, the piston moves into its initial position and compresses the mixture of gas and air created previously. In this compression stroke, an even more powerful explosion is created; this is when the spark plug produces a spark which ignites the gasoline. The mixture explodes, sending the piston downwards, where it hits the base of its stroke; this is when the exhaust valve is opened and the exhaust goes out through the tailpipe. These are the basic steps of how a car engine works, but in fact, the processes and components are much more complex, especially if you want to know exactly how cylinders work, what piston rings are, etc.