Car Engine: Types of Car Engines, Parts and How it Works
We all are aware of the importance of a car’s engine. Just as humans require energy to move around, similarly car engines also need energy. But despite this, most people measure the importance and aesthetics of a car by judging it from the outside. It’s very rare, for people, to think about the internal parts of a car, like a car engine.
But if you talk to any car or automotive enthusiast, they would proudly explain how essential a car engine is. There is a strong possibility that a common man may not know much about its parts or how an engine work. So, today we will talk about what a car engine is, what are its major components and how these parts and the whole engine works.
Get ready! You’re in for a detailed and educational ride.
What is a Car Engine?
To simplify the understanding of a car’s engine, it would be better if you would equate it to a heart of a car. An engine is a device that transforms energy from fuel with help of a spark. This spark helps in creating the power to move the car around. This combustion process is the reason why a car engine is also called an internal combustion engine.
The car engines are sealed with designed around sealed, resilient metal cylinders. The mixture of petrol vapour and compressed air inside these cylinders of the engine expands that in turn helps in providing the power to move the car.
Types of Car Engine
It would be safe to say that, mostly all modern cars are equipped with a car engine that is somewhere between two to eight cylinders. In fact, in some vehicles, there are as many as 16 sixteen cylinders! Isn’t that awesome. As mentioned before, cylinders are a very essential component. They are designed in a way in which they can be opened and closed whenever there is a need to bring in fuel to combine in order to release the produced exhaust gas.
Car Engine Layouts
You must be wondering now what is car engine layout is? In layman’s terms, an engine layout is basically the arrangement and the number of engine cylinders present. There are several types of engine layouts but we would be talking about the most popular ones. These are as follows:
– Straight or Inline Car Engine Layout
Most of the cars that we see on the roads today are equipped with Straight or Inline Car Engine layouts. As the name suggests, here, the engine cylinders are placed one after another, in a vertical line. It is quite popular as the installation and manufacturing of such car engines are inexpensive and less complicated. But inline layout gives the advantage of storing more cylinders and giving more power. They are mostly used in either family cars or luxury cars.
– Flat Car Engine Layout
Also known as the Boxer engine, in the Flat Engine layout, you can see that the cylinders are placed horizontally. The low centre of mass helps in handling the car better and the bigger surface area helps in cooling the air around the cylinders. This layout is not preferred by the industry and is used in limited brands like Porsche and Subaru.
– V-Engine Car Layout
The V-Engine car layout is generally used in high-performance vehicles like Ferrari and Mercedes Benz. In this layout, the chamber of pistons represents the V shape and it can accommodate various cylinders in a limited area. They are more complicated to build and thus, are used in limited, expensive cars.
Engine Cylinder Configurations
The engine cylinder configuration and layout helps in determining the power and performance of a car. Despite the fact that in modern times, the fuel injection system can help in improving the car’s performance even with small engines, the cylinder configuration is essential to understand.
Now we will talk about the popular car engine configurations.
– Twin Cylinders
Twin cylinders are rarely used in a car. In general, they are equipped on motorcycles such as Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Kawasaki Ninja 300. They offer low output and thus aren’t very popular with cars.
– Three Cylinders
The three-cylinder configuration offers more power than the above, twin-cylinder engines. Due to the inclusion of turbochargers, they are used in hatchback cars and slim, compact SUVs.
– Four Cylinders
The four-cylinder engines are the most commonly found configuration in modern cars today. Combined with the inline car engine layout, this configuration offers both power and efficiency. Cars like Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Grand i10, Hyundai Elite i20 and so many more.
– Five Cylinders
– Six Cylinders
Known for producing high-pitched screeching sound, the five-cylinder configuration is mostly used in sports cars for powerful performance. They are often combined with a turbocharger or supercharger
– Eight and Above Cylinders
Eight cylinder configuration is really too much, to be honest. They are used in supercars Ford Cosworth DFV, Dodge, F136, Lotus Type 918, etc. While 16 cylinders are used in Bugatti Chiron, Ferrari F8 Tributo, etc. They provide high speed and mind-blowing torque.
Parts and Functions of Car Engine
To fully understand the car’s engine it is important to get to know about the car parts and their respective functions. Below we will talk about the major car engine components and what they do.
– Engine Block
The engine block is the core component that is generally made up of aluminum or iron. It consists of several holes that help in providing water and oil flow to cool and lubricate the engine. Engine block also houses other engine parts such as pistons, crankshaft, camshaft, and several numbers of cylinders.
A piston is an important component that works in transferring the energy created from combustion to the crankshaft to drive the vehicle. The movement of pistons takes place in the cylinder in up and down motions. They rotate at 1250 RPM and can travel 2500 times per minute, up and down combined.
Located in the lower section of the engine block, the crankshaft is placed in the crankshaft journals. They connected to the pistons through the connecting rod. They help in moving the pistons in up and down motion at the speed of the engine.
– Cylinder Head
The head gasket is attached to the engine through the cylinder bolts. It contains several items like valve springs, valves, lifters, pushrods, rockers, and camshaft. It controls the passageways that allow the flow of intake air into the cylinders.
The location of the camshaft differs from car to car and vehicle to vehicle. They are either placed within the engine block or in the cylinder heads. It plays an important role in regulating the timing of the opening and closing of valves. It also helps in moving the crankshaft, pushrods, rockers, and valves.
– Timing Belt/Chain
The timing belt or chain helps in synchronizing the timings of camshafts and crankshafts. Thus, helping in running the engine successfully. This belt is made up of heavy-duty rubber and cogs to hold pulleys from the camshaft and crankshaft.
That was long but very informative for all the beginners and budding car enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for more of such blogs.