How Does A Car Engine Function?
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How Does A Car Engine Function?

Have you ever thought about how unique a car and its engine truly are? A device that takes you from Point A to Point B and even Point C, if you wish to, after pouring some amount of oil and by purely using your hand and feet, you can get to places. 200-odd years ago, nobody would have envisioned this at all.

The engine, of all the other components in a car, is truly the most important one. We will deep dive into how a car engine exactly functions.

Table of Contents

Three Main Parts of a Car Engine

Broadly speaking, the engine can be separated into three main parts: The head, the block and the oil sump.

  1. The cylindrical shaped head is the channel through which the fuel comes into the engine chamber and exhaust gases leave. Camshafts, valves and spark plugs are important components.
  1. The block is the place where all the combustion happens. The important components, in this case, are a chamber, piston and crankshaft.
  1. The oil sump comprises the lowermost part of the engine. The oil pan and oil filter are Its main components.

Fundamental Workflow of the Car Engine

The modern-era car engine has a four-stroke engine. This means that it uses the power of four different strokes. These four strokes are Intake Stroke, Exhaust Stroke, Power Stroke & Compression Stroke.

Each stroke is defined as the movement of the piston from the bottommost position i.e. Bottom Dead Center, to the topmost position i.e. Top Dead Center and vice versa.

The Processes Inside the Engine Head of the Car Engine

The process starts at the head of the engine, specifically in the intake manifold. The intake manifold is the channel from where the air-fuel mixture flows to the combustion chamber.  The air is sucked in directly to the manifold from a throttle body. Fuel is injected from the end of the manifold. Through a nozzle called a fuel injector.

Then, move on to the valve where we tap to control the fuel release. The valve, in layman’s terms, is a device that seals the chamber for gases to exit. The valves open and close depending on which type of stroke is taking place first. The opening and closing of valves are usually done by an actuator rod. Which is also known as a camshaft.

The camshaft is a cylindrically shaped rod with drop-shaped protrusions which are also known as cams. When the end of the cam rotates against the valve, it will push the valve downwards and open up the port. Once the sharply pointed end transitions back to the round end, the valve springs push back the valve to the original position and eventually, shut the port. This rotation of the camshaft is connected with the rotation of the crankshaft through belts and pulleys. The rotation is timed with a very delicate and precise timing mechanism which can be then adjusted manually.

Processes Inside the Engine Block of the Car Engine

The combustion process starts inside the combustion chamber, which is present at the head of the engine. It is the most important part of the piston. The rotational force that is powered on the wheels begins with the movement of the piston. The piston then generates the usable power through the four strokes or four movements of the piston, from end to end.

Car Engine Functions: The Oil Sump

In the lower part of the engine, the function of the oil sump is to store and circulate lubricant oil to different moving parts of the engine. The main two primary parts are situated in the oil sump, the oil pan and the oil pump. The oil pan is the reservoir wherein all the lubricant is stored. It is submerged under this oil pan and the oil pump is where the oil is sucked and transferred to the lubricant channel.

The oil pump has a small strainer at its opening that is used to filter the large debris out of it. Once all the oil is sucked by the pump, it passes the oil to a primary oil filter. That filter removes all the smaller debris and metal bits. This oil is then passed to the lubricant channel and sprayed around in various parts of the engine. Oil falls back through a different channel and then eventually, it is sent back to the sump where the entire process restarts from scratch.

Summing Up

This is a brief explanation of how a car engine works. Hope this answers your basic question regarding the process of how a car engine functions. If in case you require to know more about the engines or transmissions of your car, you can always visit A1 Auto Wrecking to enquire more about car engines and transmissions specific to your make and model. We deliver high-quality engines and transmissions, straight to your home.