7. How to Clean Car Engine1

Basic Parts of Car Engine – Professional Car Parts Guide

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Some of these car engine parts may be familiar to you, but it’s important to understand their functions and how they interact with other parts of the engine.

You’ll feel more at ease driving and bringing your car in for service and maintenance if you have a basic understanding of the various components in your car and how they operate. Perhaps you have come to the realization that your car needs an engine service in McKinney but have paused to wonder what components an engine is made of and how they function. This information will help you take better care of your car, saving you time, money, and effort while also ensuring that it keeps its value.

Get to Know Your Engine

Metal cylinders with seals and resilience are the foundation of automobile engines. Most modern vehicles have between four and eight cylinders, though some vehicles can have as many as sixteen! The cylinders are designed to open and close at precisely the right moments to let the exhaust gases produced by the internal combustion of the fuel and spark escape. Although there are many parts to an engine, we’ve compiled a list of the most crucial car engine parts and what they do to power your car. To find where they are located on your engine, consult the diagram.

  • Engine Block – This is the engine’s very nucleus. It is frequently made of aluminum or iron and has a number of holes for the cylinders to be contained as well as for water and oil flow paths to cool and lubricate the engine. Compared to water flow, oil paths are more constrained. The pistons, crankshaft, camshaft, and four to twelve cylinders—arranged in a line, also known as an inline configuration, flat, or in the shape of a V—depending on the vehicle—are also housed inside the engine block.
  • Pistons – consists of a cylindrical device with a flat top. The piston’s job is to move the crankshaft with the energy produced by combustion so that the vehicle can move. Each time the crankshaft rotates, pistons move twice up and down inside the cylinder. 1250 RPM engines have pistons that move up and down 2500 times per minute. Piston rings, which are inside the piston, are designed to lessen friction caused by the cylinder’s continuous rubbing and to aid in generating compression.
  • Crankshaft – In the crankshaft journals (the portion of the shaft that rests on the bearings), which are found in the lower portion of the engine block, is where the crankshaft is housed. The connecting rod connects this expertly crafted and balanced mechanism to the pistons. The crankshaft converts the pistons’ up-and-down motion into a reciprocal motion at engine speed, much like a jack-in-the-box does.
  • Camshaft – The camshaft could be found in the cylinder heads or the engine block, depending on the vehicle. They are found in the cylinder heads of many modern vehicles and go by the names Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) or Single Overhead Camshaft (SOHC). They are supported by a series of bearings that are oil-lubricated for longevity. The function of the camshaft is to control the timing of valve opening and closing. It also converts the crankshaft’s rotary motion into an up-and-down motion to control the movement of the lifters, pushrods, rockers, and valves.
  • Cylinder Head – Attached to the engine through cylinder bolts, sealed with the head gasket. Numerous components, such as valve springs, valves, lifters, pushrods, rockers, and camshafts, are found in the cylinder head. These components regulate the flow of exhaust gases out of the engine during the exhaust stroke as well as intake air into the cylinders during the intake stroke.
  • Timing Belt/Chain – To ensure precise timing and proper operation of the engine, the camshaft and crankshaft are synchronized. A heavy-duty rubber belt with cogs to catch the pulleys from the crankshaft and camshaft is made. Similar to a bicycle chain, the chain is wrapped around pulleys by its teeth.

Main Parts of a Car Engine

This post addresses four of the most relevant main parts of a car engine, starting from the cylinders to the camshaft:

1. Engine Block & Cylinders

The engine block is the backbone of the car’s engine, and is often made out of aluminium or iron. It is divided into three fixed sections: the cylinder head, the block, and the crankcase, and it houses nearly all of the engine’s essential parts, including the pistons, the crankshaft, and the connecting rods.

Its holes house the cylinders, which are made up of 4–16 metal tubes, depending on the type of vehicle, and whose diameter determines the engine displacement. where the piston rotates while the fuel burns. Some other holes in the engine are the much-needed coolant and oil flow paths, required for cooling and lubrication.

2. Pistons & Crankshaft

The piston’s movement is the first step in the rotational force that is produced on the wheels. Pistons are in charge of transferring the energy that is created during the combustion cycle and transmitting it to the crankshaft, propelling our vehicles.

Pistons do this by moving up and down inside the cylinders, pushed by the heat and expanding gases. When the crankshaft of the engine, which is attached to the pistons by rods, begins to rotate, the drive wheels of the car are propelled.

This is located in the lower section of the engine block and is designed to convert the piston’s linear (up and down) motion into a rotational and reciprocal motion, working at engine speed.

It is a finely machined component, as it requires very accurate balancing in order to function properly. To prevent losing balance while rotating at a high speed, it has holes.

3. Camshaft

The main part of the engine is the camshaft. Its main role is to regulate the timing of the opening and closing of valves, by pressing the end of the valve stem. It is necessary in order for the engine to start.

On the other side, the camshaft absorbs the rotary motion of the crankshaft and transfers it back to linear motion.

Basic Engine Parts

The piston travels up and down inside the cylinder, which is the heart of the engine. While most lawn mowers have single-cylinder engines, cars typically have multiple cylinders (four, six, and eight are common). In a multi-cylinder engine, the cylinders usually are arranged in one of three ways: inline, V or flat (also known as horizontally opposed or boxer), as shown in the figures to the left.

So the inline four engine we mentioned at the outset is an engine with four cylinders lined up in a row. Regarding smoothness, manufacturing costs, and shape characteristics, different configurations have various benefits and drawbacks. They are better suited for specific vehicles based on these benefits and drawbacks.

Here is a closer look at a few essential engine components.

Spark Plug

An air/fuel mixture needs to be ignited in order for combustion to take place, and the spark plug provides that spark. Everything must come together at precisely the right time for the spark to occur.


To allow for the proper flow of air, fuel, and exhaust, the intake and exhaust valves open at the appropriate times. It should be noted that the combustion chamber is sealed during compression and combustion because both valves are closed.

7. How to Clean Car Engine2


A metal cylinder that moves up and down inside the cylinder is called a piston.

Piston Rings

The outer edge of the piston and the inner edge of the cylinder are sealed by sliding piston rings. The rings serve two purposes:

  • They stop the sump from being contaminated during compression and combustion by the fuel/air mixture and combustion chamber exhaust.
  • They prevent oil in the sump from dripping into the combustion area, where it would be lost through burning.

Most cars that “burn oil” and have to have a quart added every 1,000 miles are burning it because the engine is old and the rings no longer seal things properly. For piston rings, many contemporary vehicles use more advanced materials. This is one of the factors that contribute to engines lasting longer and requiring fewer oil changes.

Connecting Rod

The piston and crankshaft are connected by the connecting rod. As the piston moves and the crankshaft rotates, it can rotate at both ends, allowing its angle to change.


Similar to how a jack-in-the-box crank converts up-and-down motion into circular motion, the crankshaft does the same for the piston.


Around the crankshaft is the sump. There is some oil in it, and it gathers at the bottom of the sump (the oil pan).

The potential engine problems will be covered next.

The Importance of Cooling the Engine

Although the performance of your vehicle’s engine will be determined by the proper operation of all the major components of a car engine listed above, there are other crucial components, such as the cooling system, for the proper operation of the engine.

Due to combustion and the constant movement of its parts, an engine’s starting temperature can be high. This, without a correct cooling system to help the engine heat away from the system, could cause the engine to overheat and cause a breakdown, in many cases even being catastrophic for the engine.

The water pump, which is essential to the cooling system’s smooth operation, is hidden beneath the timing belt’s cover.

Heat can leave the vehicle and enter the outside air by forcing coolant through the engine block. Without it, the engine would malfunction due to overheating.

Common Engine Problems

With so many mechanisms operating so many functions quickly, parts may start to wear down over time and change how your car operates. Here are the most common engine problems and their associated symptoms:

  • Poor compression can cause power loss, misfiring, or a failure to start.
  • Engine block cracks: These are typically visible on the side of the engine and can result in overheating, exhaust smoke, or coolant leaks.
  • Damaged Pistons, Rings, and/or Cylinders: These exhibit rattling noises, blue exhaust smoke, a rough idle, or a failed emissions test.
  • Broken or worn rods, bearings, and pins can result in rattling when accelerating, low oil pressure, metal shavings in the engine oil, and tapping or ticking noises.

Although car engines may appear complicated, their purpose is straightforward: to move your vehicle forward. It is essential that your vehicle receives proper maintenance to ensure their longevity because this motion is produced by a number of interrelated components. A great way to help avoid the unfortunate situation of a failed engine is to schedule routine oil changes, fluid flushes, and belt and hose replacements when necessary.

Engine upkeep and repairs are Sun Auto Service’s area of expertise. You want someone you can rely on to do honest and excellent work when you’re looking for a repair shop to take care of your car. Sun Auto Service is the company you can trust to offer sincere, high-quality service at a cost you can afford. We are pleased to mention that we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, employ ASE Certified Technicians, and provide a fantastic nationwide warranty that ensures your satisfaction long after your vehicle has left our service center.

Comparison of the Dry and Wet Liner

Dry Liners

  • It’s possible to include dry liners in the design from the beginning or even later.
  • The cylinder block’s construction is extremely difficult. The cooling effect could be better.
  • The cylinder casting must be perfectly in contact with the dry liners, which requires precise machining.
  • In this type, it cannot be finished before fitting. It’s not necessary to have a leak-proof joint.
Wet Liners
  • The initial design must incorporate wet liners. The cylinder block’s design is straightforward.
  • As a result of the liner’s close proximity to the cooling water, the cooling effect is improved.
  • It’s not necessary to have accurate machining. They can be completed before fitting in this type.
  • Wet liner and cylinder block should be joined in a way that prevents leaks.

Engine Lubrication, Fuel, Exhaust and Electrical Systems

The amount of gas in your car is likely your top concern when it comes to routine auto maintenance. How does the gas you put in operate the cylinders? The engine’s fuel system pumps gas from the gas tank and mixes it with air so that the proper air/fuel mixture can flow into the cylinders. Direct fuel injection and port fuel injection are the two typical methods used in modern vehicles to deliver fuel.

The proper amount of fuel is individually injected into each cylinder in a fuel-injected engine, either directly into the cylinder (direct fuel injection) or just above the intake valve (port fuel injection). Older cars were carbureted, which meant that as the air entered the engine, a carburetor mixed the gas and air.

Oil also has a significant role. The lubrication system makes sure that every moving part in the engine gets oil so that it can move easily. The two main components that require oil are the pistons (so they can slide easily within their cylinders) and any bearings that permit the free rotation of components like the crankshaft and camshafts. Oil is typically squirted under high pressure onto bearings and cylinder walls after being drawn out of the oil pan by the oil pump and passing through an oil filter to remove any grit. The cycle then repeats as the oil drips into the sump, where it is collected once more.

Now that you know about some of the stuff that you put in your car, let’s look at some of the stuff that comes out of it. The exhaust system includes the exhaust pipe and the muffler. You would hear the sound of tens of thousands of tiny explosions coming from your exhaust pipe if you didn’t have a muffler. A muffler muffles the noise.

The emission control system in modern cars consists of a catalytic converter, a collection of sensors and actuators, and a computer to monitor and adjust everything. The catalytic converter, for instance, burns off any leftover fuel and some other chemicals in the exhaust using a catalyst and oxygen. An oxygen sensor in the exhaust stream checks to make sure there is enough oxygen available for the catalyst to function and makes adjustments as needed.

What else powers your car besides gas? The electrical system consists of a battery and an alternator. A belt connects the alternator to the engine, which produces electricity to power battery recharging. Everything in the car that requires electricity, including the radio, headlights, wipers, power windows, seats, and computers, can access 12-volt power thanks to the battery.) through the vehicle’s wiring.

Let’s look at ways to improve engine performance now that you are familiar with all of the major engine subsystems.

Engine Questions and Answers

Here is a set of engine-related questions from readers and their answers:

What is the Difference Between a Gasoline Engine and a Diesel Engine?

A spark plug is not present in a diesel engine. Instead, diesel fuel is injected into the cylinder, where it ignites due to the heat and pressure of the compression stroke. Diesel engines get better mileage because diesel fuel has a higher energy density than gasoline. To learn more, visit How Diesel Engines Work.

What is the Difference Between a Two-stroke and a Four-stroke Engine?

Two-stroke engines are typically used in chainsaws and boat motors. A two-stroke engine has no moving valves, and the spark plug fires each time the piston reaches the top of its cycle. Gas and air enter the cylinder through a hole in the lower part of the wall. Combustion is started by the spark plug as the piston rises, and exhaust leaves the cylinder through a different hole. In a two-stroke engine, you can’t use rings to seal the combustion chamber because of the holes in the cylinder wall. Instead, you must mix oil into the gas. Due to the fact that there are twice as many combustion cycles per rotation, two-stroke engines typically produce a lot of power relative to their size. However, a two-stroke engine produces significantly more pollution because it consumes more gasoline and burns more oil. For more details, see How Two-stroke Engines Work.

Are There Any Advantages to Steam Engines and Other External Combustion Engines?

The main benefit of a steam engine is that it can run on anything that burns. For instance, whereas an internal combustion engine requires pure, high-quality liquid or gaseous fuel, a steam engine can run on coal, newspaper, or wood as fuel. For more details, see How Steam Engines Work.

Why Have Eight Cylinders in An Engine?

Eight half-liter cylinders rather than a single large 4-liter cylinder are used in a large 4.0-liter engine for a few different reasons. Smoothness is the main factor. A V-8 engine has eight evenly spaced explosions as opposed to one large explosion, which makes it much smoother. Starting torque is an additional factor. When a V-8 engine is started, only two cylinders (1 liter) are driven through their compression strokes; however, if there were only one large cylinder, four liters would need to be compressed.

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