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Types of Car Engines

Car Engines

Different Types of Car Engines

This is really an absolute must to know about everything under the bonnet in detail to apprise yourself all the working of car machinery especially car engine that is the main hub of car. Engine gives power by converting energy into mechanical motion. When you turn ignition key, have you ever thought what goes on then after turning key. Undoubtedly an engine is a grand feat of engineering.

When you turn the ignition key, internal combustion process starts. Small controlled explosions create power as a result of ignition of fuel-air mixture occurring in cylinders of car. Occurring this process thousands of times per minute, causes the car to move. Powering of the engine is known as combustion cycle. Mostly it consists of four strokes or steps known as 4-stroke engine i.e. intake, compression, combustion and exhaust.

How Four Stroke Engine Works?

By upward and downward movement of pistons by crankshaft movement, valves on crankshaft open and release fuel-air mixture during intake. Piston is compressed by upward movement to mix the fuel air. Now piston moves down and a spark is produced in spark plug. This causes ignition of fuel air mixture and a small explosion occur forcing piston downward releasing energy and power is given out. And when piston goes at lowest level, the valves of exhaust are opened. By backward movement of piston, it pushes gases produced during explosion and valve is closed repeating the cycle again.

Four Stroke Engine
Four Stroke Engine

In a bid to have a better choice of an engine, you must be aware of various types of engines. With the untiring efforts of car manufacturers and engineers, there is a proud history of engine development, briefed below:

Internal Combustion Engines (ICE)

Fuel combustion in these engines is carried out inside the engine creating pressure to rotor, pistons or a nozzle. This results into the movement of car. The two-stroke and four-stroke diesel and petrol engine are based on internal combustion.

Petrol Engine
Petrol Engine

External Combustion Engine (ECE)

Fuel combustion in steam engine is carried out outside the engine. In this engine heat is produced by fuel burning in which water or other fluid is changed into steam. These engines used cheaper fuels and is flexible with fgreat starting torque.

Internal combustion engines or ICE can be further divided on the basis of design, ignition method, number of cylinders, cylinder arrangements, fuel type used and number of strokes:

  1. Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) Based on Design

Reciprocating and wankel engines are internal combustion engines based on design. The reciprocating engine has one or more pistons to change pressure into rotatory motion. Wankel or rotor engine converts pressure into rotatory motion. Racing cars and Mazda RX-8 uses Wankel engine.

  • Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) Based on Ignition Method

Compression and Spark ignition engines are its examples. Compression ICE are without spark plug at cylinder head, compressed airs’ heat ignites the fuel. Diesel engine is good example of it. Petrol car has spark ignition engine wherein spark plug at engine head emits spark for igniting air-fuel mix after fuel compression.

  • Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) Based on Number of Cylinders

Such are single cylinder engine, double cylinder engine and multiple cylinder engine. Single cylinder engine has one cylinder that is connected to crankshaft. These engines have best weight to power ratio. Being lightweight and compact, these engines are used in motorcycles, motor scooter, dirt bikes and go-karts. So far as double cylinder engine is concerned, it is of two cylinders. Whereas multiple cylinder engine is consisting of more than two cylinders like three, four, six, twelve or sixteen. Such engines equalize imbalances perfectly and get maximum revolutions per minute easily. 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines and diesel or spark ignition are examples of multiple cylinder engines.

  • Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) Based on Cylinders’ Arrangement

Now question arises how will you identify a car engine to which type it belongs. For it, lay-out of cylinder is of paramount importance as detailed blow:

  • V-Engine

The cylinders in V-engine are arranged at an angle of 600 in two rows joined at base by a crankshaft. Many cylinders can be adjusted in it, that is why V-engine is found in mostly premium cars.

  • Straight and Inline Engine; the Most Common Car Engine

Cylinders are arranged in line from front to back of car. This too accommodates many cylinders, this engine is used in high power cars like Mercedes and BMW cars. In the engine bay, cylinders are lined side by side upwardly. These are ideal for small family cars and hatchbacks. Radiator, cooling system and battery are fixed around this engine.

BMW Engine
BMW Engine

 Inline engine design is traditionally very conventional. An inline engine can accommodate 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 8 cylinders. Though car producers refer inline engine having four cylinders as Inline-4 yet mostly it is depicted as l4 or L4. The majority of cars, trucks and SUVs being manufactured have Inline or Straight engine.

  • Flat Engine

Cylinders in flat engine are fixed horizontally when two rows face outwards. Very rarely used, for instance Porsche uses it in 911 sports car.

Is an i4 Engine Better Than a V6?

The engine selection is purely one’s own choice. When it comes the choice between four cylinders or six cylinders’ engine, it is confusing. Though both are best but either you want to have powerful six cylinder or fuel efficient four-cylinder engine. Without even any shadow of doubt, six-cylinder engine is a better choice. Issue is this that four and six cylinder engines are popularly being used in most of the vehicles.

More power can be achieved by a six-cylinder engine than four-cylinder engine but at the same moment better fuel efficacy can be achieved by four-cylinder engine. Turbocharger changes the situation greatly. When you install turbocharger with four-cylinder engine, it can put six-cylinder engine far behind with reference to power. But its fuel efficiency will never be affected at all. Actually turbocharger gives more torque, decreased emissions and increases power and ultimately gives fuel economy too.

Does any Car Can Have a V4 Engine?

For most of vehicles, the choice of four cylinder engines have become an ultimate choice. Why is so? Actually this engine provides more efficacy and power. Almost every four-cylinder engine is an In line with four cylinders arranged in engine bay either transversely or longitudinally. V4 is not much encouraged in car manufacturing. The fact is that it costs high in producing V format engine. V4 is heavier than flat four.

Despite these disadvantages, some attractions make V4 the ultimate choice. Packing of V4 is easy as it is shorter than inline four engines. Above all this engine is rare having its individuality that is why cars like Saab Sonett V4, Ford Taunus, Lancia Fulvia and Porsche 919 Hybrid are proudly using V4 engine.

What Does V Mean in Engine?

The alphabet V describes how cylinders are arranged in an engine. For instance, V6 engine shows that it has six cylinders fixed in a V shape. It depicts that engine cylinders are layered in two rows at an angle of 600 on a single crankshaft. It is pertinent to mention here that this configuration lessens the entire engine height, weight and length. Actually Vee or simply V engine is arrangement of cylinders in an internal combustion engine wherein cylinders and pistons are aligned in two independent banks or planes.

  • Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) Known on Basis of Fuel Being Used

ICE engines based on fuel power, are petrol engine, diesel engine or gas engine.

  • Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) Based on Number of Strokes

Two stroke, four stroke, six stroke engines are based on number of strokes. In two stroke engine, piston has double motion i.e. upward and downward. Where as in four stroke engine, piston gets four motions i.e. two upward and two downward.

What’s the Difference Between Motor and Engine?

Basically motor and engine are devices meant for converting energy into mechanical motion. In our common conversation these two are referred as synonym of each other but grammatically both are different entirely. An engine is a device which utilizes heat or combustion to make motion whereas motor is a device which changes electric or hydroelectric energy into motion. To make it more easy you will find scores of examples in literature like petrol engine, gas engine, diesel engine, heat engine and brush motor, hydraulic motor and asynchronous motor.

What are Car Engines Made From?

Since the smelting of iron ore, this and other metals have become a name of strength and durability for making sophisticated machines like an engine. The block is the heart of an engine. Mostly in this century, engine block has been made from cast iron. The engine block provides main foundation to other engine parts. It has coolant jackets, cylinders and shaft paths giving ways to assemble various engine parts.

The long life and efficiency of engine depends upon the stability of block of engine. Although cast iron is being used for cylinder and block making, yet designers are using aluminum too, to lessen weight and also to enhance the efficiency. But many controversies are under discussion still about durability of aluminum blocks, their heat resistance, their response to polluted coolant and oil. Engine Trust is the best place if you are searching for a car engine in UK.

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