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How a Car Engine Works

Ever wonder how an engine works?


This is how a car engine works, let’s start, with a single piston, the powerhouse of the engine and work our way outwards.


A four stroke cycle, travels to the end of its range whether up or down as a stroke, car engines use a four stroke cycle and it goes like this.

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1. Intake: The Intake sucks an air, fuel mixture into the cylinder into the intake port with both intake valves open.

2.Compression: With all valves closed the system comes back up compressing the fuel and air mixture from a powerful combustion.

3.Power Stroke: An electrical spark ignites the compressed fuel and air mixture in the resulting combustion forcing the piston to the bottom of the cylinder again, a connecting rod transfers this power to the crankshaft.

4. Exhaust: The piston comes back up pushing the spent mixture out through open exhaust valves and exhaust port, connecting multiple pistons for smooth power delivery, the pistons take turns firing.



Camshaft: Camshafts with specially shaped lobes push spring loaded valves open intern. Cam gears and a timing belt or chain links everything to the crankshaft, it all spins together.


CrankShaft: The crankshaft translates piston power out of the engine, it has counterweights to balance against the pistons for perfectly smooth revolutions. This is what rpm (revs per minute) means, we’re counting the number of full crankshaft revolutions per minute.


Engine Block: Holds the crankshaft and cylinders.

Cylinder Head: Holds valves, ports, cams etc.



A geared fly wheel sits one side of the crankshaft for connection to a transmission, its also where the starter connects to the system.


Hope you got a better understanding of how the car engine works.

We will be writing about other parts of the car and how they work in the future, so keep an eye out for the next post.




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