How Does A Car Engine Work

How Does A Car Engine Work

car engine

The Four Stroke Combustion Cycle of a Car Engine

Starting a car is as easy as waking up in the morning for humans. Comparable to drinking coffee to energize the body, a car needs fuel in order to function. Moreover, similar to metabolism in which the digestive system breaks down the chemicals to provide energy, there is a process with how a car engine turns gas, and electricity for hybrid cars, into motion.

A car engine or a motor is a machine designed to convert energy into mechanical energy in the process called internal combustion. This process utilizes controlled explosion in an enclosed small space, such as a piston in an engine, to generate the heat needed to create motion. A normal car engine produces these explosions hundreds of times per minute to force pistons to move. As soon as the energy from the initial explosion expires, another one automatically takes place. This cycle provides the power that the car needs to run.

In this process, car engines undergo a four-stroke combustion cycle, namely: a) intake, b) compression, c) combustion, and d) exhaust.

The cycle begins with the intake cycle, in which the intake valve opens. This is where the piston descends into the cylinder, sucking air into the cylinder through the intake valve. Simultaneously, the fuel injector sprays fuel into the cylinder. This phase brings air and gas into the engine.

After the intake cycle, the compression cycle takes place. The air-fuel mixture compresses from the closure of the valves and the upward movement of the piston. As the air and the gas move into a smaller space, a more powerful explosion occurs.

Once the piston reaches the top, the fuel-air mixture ignites and explodes from the stimuli brought upon by the spark plug. The combustion forces from the explosion push the piston back into the bottom of the cylinder. This phase is called the combustion cycle or the “power stroke.”

Lastly, the exhaust valve opens up once the piston reaches the bottom. This is necessary to release the waste gas produced by these explosion. The waste gas is forced to the catalytic converter, where it is cleaned. It then proceeds to the muffler, and then disposed out of the vehicle through the tailpipe.

When these strokes are repeated, power generation takes place. The four-stroke combustion cycle is necessary for the conversion of gas or electricity to mechanical energy, leading to a smooth engine transmission.

West Coast Transmission in the Sacramento area offers diagnostic checks to guarantee that every part of the car engine is running smoothly.

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