Car engine basics
Components of a car engine, what they're called and how they work.
Terms in this set (24)
4-stroke combustion engine.
Also known as the Otto cycle, this is the 4-step process that cars use to convert fuel in to motion. These four steps are (i) intake (ii) compression (iii) combustion and (iv) exhaust.
The "intake" step of a 4-stroke engine.
The piston starts at the top and the intake valve opens. The piston moves down to allow a mixture of air and fuel into the cylinder (only a small drop of petrol is needed).
The "compression" step of a 4-stroke engine.
The piston moves back up the cylinder to compress the fuel/air mixture, making the explosion more powerful.
The "combustion" step of a 4-stroke engine.
At the top of the stroke, the spark plug ignites the fuel and the subsequent explosion forces the piston back down.
The "exhaust" step of a 4-stroke engine.
At the bottom of the stroke the exhaust vale opens and allows the release of the exhaust from the cylinder into the tailpipe.
An electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of an internal-combustion engine and ignites the gas by means of an electric spark
One lets the fuel/air mixture into the cylinder while the other allows the exhaust fumes to be released into the tailpipe. Both must open and close at the correct time points for the engine to run, remaining completely closed during combustion.
A cylindrical piece of metal that moves up and down inside the cylinder.
These provide a sliding seal between the outer edge of the piston and the inner edge of the cylinder. These prevent leaks into and out of the combustion chamber.
The connecting link between the piston and the crankshaft. It can rotate at both ends so its angle can change as the piston moves and the crankshaft rotates.
This turns the piston's up and down motion into circular motion.
This surrounds the crankshaft. It contains some oil which collects in the bottom of the sump (oil pan).
A rotating shaft within the engine that opens and closes the intake and exhaust valve in the engine.
The camshaft is located above the valves.
This links the crankshaft to the camshaft so that the valves are in sync with the pistons.
The camshaft is geared to turn at one-half the rate of the crankshaft.
Dual overhead cams
Many high-performance engines have four valves (two for intake, two for exhaust) and this requires two camshafts per bank of cylinders.
Electrical device that delivers voltage to the spark plugs of a gasoline engine in the order of the firing sequence.
These transmit a high-voltage electrical charge to the spark plugs from the distributor.
A remotely operated, semi-automatic switch used to relay power from the battery to the starter motor.
Mixes fuel and air in appropriate proportions and volume as the air flows into the engine.
The right amount of fuel is injected individually into each cylinder right above the intake valve.
The right amount of fuel is injected directly into each cylinder.
Circulates motor oil through the engine to reduce friction and make the engine run smoothly.
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