Getting to Know Your Car Engine

Opening the hood of your car can be intimidating, especially if you have been only glancing at your owner’s manual for the past couple years. At Quanz Advanced Auto Body, we think it is a vital lesson for all car drivers to understand the parts in their car’s engine in case of emergency.

Your car engine works like any machine—it needs gas to go, and when a piece or part is broken, well, it won’t go. Here’s a breakdown…

The Anatomy of a Car Engine

The parts of the engine and how they all work together during the combustion cycle help your car run. The combustion cycle is responsible for converting gasoline into energy and motion, helping your car go.

  • The Cylinder and Piston: The heart of the engine is the cylinder. Pistons located within the cylinders move up and down, keeping the combustion cycle in motion.
  • The Spark Plug: The plug ignites the spark needed to supply the air and fuel mixture that the engine needs so the combustion cycle can occur.
  • Valves: Letting in air and fuel, the intake and exhaust valves must open at the right time in order to release exhaust. However, during the combustion cycle, the valves are sealed in order to contract energy from the compress and combustion sequence.
  • Piston Rings: These rings prevent exhaust and the air/fuel mixture from leaking into the compression and combustion cycle. This prevents your car from burning oil.
  • Connecting Rod and Crankshaft: The crankshaft is responsible for making the piston move up and down in a circular motion, and the connecting rod is the connection between the piston and the crankshaft. The connecting rod allows for rotation with both the piston’s movement and the crankshaft’s rotation.
  • Sump:  This contains some of the oil in the engine. This collects in the bottom of the oil plan—known as the sump. The sump encloses the crankshaft.

If these parts are working well together, your car will run well!

Working Together

Now that you understand the parts that makeup the engine, check out how the parts work together to make your car go.

  1. Starting at the top, the piston moves up and the intake valve opens. Then the piston moves down, letting the cylinder take in a full mixture of fuel and air.
  2. In turn, the piston moves back up, compressing the mixture. This makes the mixture of fuel and air more powerful, keeping things moving.
  3. As the piston reaches the top, the spark plug ignites the gasoline. Then spark from the gasoline causes a powerful charge, causing the piston to move back down.
  4. As the piston finally reaches the bottom, the exhaust vale opens. The exhaust exits from the cylinder out of the tailpipe.
  5. Vroooom….your car is ready to go for another combustion cycle, keeping it going.

In order to make sure your car continues to run well, schedule regular maintenance checkups and oil changes for your car when necessary. At Quanz Advanced Auto Body, we will make sure your car and its engine stay in top-notch condition.