Most car drivers don’t really understand the dynamics of a vehicle engine. All they know is that they turn a key and presto their vehicle is in motion. For all you drivers who think that your car is running magically on its own, think again. Just like any other component in a vehicle the engine requires periodic maintenance and repairs when necessary if its to stay in the race.
The Basics About a Vehicle Engine
In most automobiles manufactured today the engine is comprised of several components that function collectively to convert chemical energy into useful mechanical energy. This change to the latter type of energy is required in order for the engine to transform fuel into motion. Known as the heart of a vehicle the engine is an extremely important component which is why it should be regularly maintained to ensure smooth operation. Here are a few of the main components of a car engine and their function:
- Pistons – These are responsible for the transfer of force from expanding gas in the cylinder to the crankshaft via a piston rod and/ or connecting rod.
- Crankshaft -This mechanism converts the reciprocating motion of the piston to rotational motion as the piston moves up and down in the cylinder.
- Valvetrain – This mechanical system controls operation of the valves within an internal combustion engine. Here a sequence of components transmits motion throughout the assembly, a job similar to that of a traffic cop. It also allows air and fuel to move in and out of the engine at a designated time which is controlled by the camshaft.
How a Vehicle Engine Functions
After identifying the basic components of a vehcile engine understanding the way these components work collectively would be the next step. When you look at most automobiles manufactured today they tend to be manufactured with 4-stroke or 4-cycle engines. Basically this refers to the four distinct events which complete a cycle within a car engine. Below details these cycles and the functions that they facilitate.
* The Intake stroke: This is the first event that occurs within the four stroke cycle. Here the intake valve goes into an open position while the piston pulls an air-fuel mixture into the cylinder by producing vacuum pressure into the cylinder through its downward motion.
* The Compression stroke: With this stroke the piston compresses the air-fuel mixture in preparation for ignition during the power stroke. Both the intake and exhaust valves are closed during this stage.
* The Power stroke: Also referred to as ignition is the start of the second revolution within the four stroke cycle. At this point the crankshaft has completed a full 360 degree revolution. While the piston is at top dead center the compressed air-fuel mixture is ignited by a spark plug
*The Exhaust stroke: This is the last stroke of the 4 cycle process. With this stroke the piston once again returns from bottom dead center to top dead center while the exhaust valve is open. This action expels the spent air-fuel mixture through the exhaust valve.
Understanding this process may seem complicated at first but once each component and its function is fully understood its really a no brainer. Get repairs from the #1 auto repair company in the country, All Around Auto. We were founded right here in the San Francisco area in 2001. Over the years, we have become the leading auto repair company with the best customer service.
All Around Auto gives you the options you need to manage repairs and maintenance stress free. Contact us online or call 707-837-0646 to schedule an appointment or ask for more information about our vehicle repair and maintenance services!