How a Car’s Engine Works?

Our cars are one of the most important things that we use every day. It gets us where we need to and at a relatively fast speed. With the use of a vehicle, you are able to get the necessary things done quickly. In order for us to have the luxury of using a car, all of the parts have to work perfectly. There are many parts in a car, all of them very important. However, the engine has to be the most integral component in any car. An engine is a machine in your car that converts the heat of burning gas into energy that is needed to make the car’s wheels work. Essentially, a car’s engine is the heart of the car, and while the process seems easy, there is a lot in how an engine runs. So how does an engine run? Find out more about how the car engine makes the car move, car engine problems, car engine repair, and more!

How Does an Engine Run?

Four Stroke Cycle Infographic Diagram Including Stages of Internal Combustion in an Engine

The Four-Stroke Combustion Cycle Powers the Engine To Make the Car Drive.

So how does the engine make the car move? In order for the car to drive, it needs gas to set it in motion–also called internal combustion, which is why the engine is sometimes referred to as an internal combustion engine. Internal combustion works when gas and air–or creates little explosions–that generate enough power to move the piston that sets the car in motion. For the car to drive, the engine uses four piston strokes, also known as the four-stroke combustion cycle. A lot of people ask does a car have a motor? The answer is that a type of motor is an engine. A motor converts different types of energy into mechanical energy to create motion, whereas an engine is a type of motor where thermal energy powers a machine. Whether it’s in a boat or car, if it uses combustion, it has an engine. If combustion isn’t used, then it uses a motor.

To generate power, the four-stroke cycle is repeated over and over again. The four strokes in the cycle are intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. They all play an integral part to power the engine.

  • Intake: Air and gas need to be brought in to the engine can power up, so the intake valve has to open, while the piston moves down into the cylinder with the help of the crankshaft.
  • Compression: In the compression stage, the intake valve closes and the piston moves up in the cylinder, compressing the air and gas which makes it flammable. With the flammable mixture in such a small space, an explosion will occur.
  • Combustion: After the piston makes it to the top of the cylinder, a spark will be ignited with the air and gas mixture, causing the tiny explosion. The gas and air mixture gives off power to propel the piston back down and fuel the crankshaft.
  • Exhaust: to release the gas that created the explosion, the exhaust valve opens, letting the gas go through the catalytic converter, to the muffler, and through the exhaust pipe to exit the car.

Once the cycle completes, it will continue to repeat itself over and over again.

Car Engine Problems

Before we get into car engine problems, it’s important to know the different parts of the car’s engine. The engine is made up of both mechanical and electrical components. In the engine, the mechanical parts include

  • Camshaft
  • Connecting rod
  • Crankcase
  • Crankshaft
  • Cylinder
  • Cylinder head
  • Engine block
  • Flywheel
  • Fuel Pump
  • Piston
  • Rocker arm
  • Sump
  • Valves

Of the electrical components in the engine, those are

  • Alternator
  • Electronic fuel injector
  • Ignition coil
  • Spark plug
  • Starter motor
A Close Up of a Car Engine

The Car Engine Has a Ton of Parts, Which Can Become Damaged Due to Various Instances.

The mechanical and electrical parts work together to make the engine run efficiently. While these parts are durable and manufactured to take a lot, there will be times when the engine will stop working as smoothly as it should. This is mostly due to one or more of the parts becoming damaged. Knowing what to look for can prevent car and engine damage

  • Inadequate Lubrication: We need lubrication in our engines for the parts to work smoothly. When your engine is low, it can cause parts to seize up, overheat, or cause friction in the engine.
  • Leaking Coolant: Keeping the engine at a certain temperature prevents it from overheating, which is why the engine needs coolant. If the coolant is leaking, then there is something wrong with the cooling system in the car.
  • The radiator is Clogged: In the car’s cooling system, the radiator is used to remove heat from the coolant. When the coolant in the engine hasn’t been replaced in some time, the radiator can become clogged and in turn, causes your engine to overheat.
  • Old Spark Plug: Is your engine turning over or misfiring when you try to turn the car on? This might be due to a worn out or old spark plug. The spark plug ignites the fuel in your engine, so if it’s worn out, it’s unable to power the engine.
  • Defective Oxygen Sensor: The purpose of the oxygen sensor is to provide accurate data on how much oxygen is still in the exhaust that hasn’t been burnt and how much gas is in the tank. When the oxygen sensor is broken, you will probably get lower gas mileage.
  • Old, Dirty Oil: Oil that isn’t changed periodically can become filled with deposits and turn brownish blackish. The deposits in the old oil can even cause issues with your combustion chamber, intake valves, and spark plugs, so it’s important to have regular oil changes.
  • Malfunctioning Oil Pump: The oil pump is how the engine is supplied with the oil needed for lubrication. If the oil pump is broken, the oil is unable to lubricate the engine, which can lead the engine to overheat and become very damaged.
  • Insufficient Air Compression: In order for internal combustion to take place in the engine, gas and air have to be compressed. When the engine can’t complete the combustion cycle, it’s because there air leaking in worn-out valves, cylinders, and piston rings.

If there is car engine overheating or if there is an instance when car engine shakes, it’s important to call for engine repair. With engine repair from a professional auto mechanic, they are able to diagnose the problem quickly and get your engine back in working order.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace an Engine in a Car?

An Auto Mechanic Checking a Car's Engine

When You Need Engine Repair, Call a Professional Auto Mechanic!

Many times engine repair is able to remedy any issues that you are having with your engine, but there will be times when an engine replacement is the only feasible solution. While car owners would much rather pay for engine repair, sometimes it is better financially, as well as better for your car, to get an engine replacement. When people have to get an engine replacement, the first thing they want to know is how much it costs. There are many factors that make the decision of what the cost will be. These factors include whether its a short or long block replacement, what type of car you have, what the labor costs of a replacement are if the engine is old, and where you are getting the replacement at. All in all, it’s going to cost thousands of dollars for an engine replacement. This is why it’s critical to take your car in for engine service when you think there might be an issue. A mechanic can inspect your engine and figure out if you need engine repair or a replacement. Whether you want a custom muffler or you are wanting engine repair for your car in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ, you must count on a professional. If you want to work with the mechanics at European Plus, please call us at 609-737-7226.