Updated at: 05-04-2022 - By: micdot

There is a plethora of technical jargon and acronyms associated with automobile engines. Here is the definitive guide to automobile engines. If you’re looking for an expert on this subject, you’ve come to the right place. On our website, you can find out more about us. Your vehicle’s motion is controlled by an engine, which utilizes cutting-edge technology.

For those who want to know how hybrid and electric vehicles work, this information is for you. Let’s get right down to the fundamentals of automobile engines, shall we?

List of Chapters

The Basics Of A Car Engine

There are a lot of cars on the road nowadays that run on the internal combustion engine (ICE). A mixture of mostly air and gasoline is necessary for the engine to run and produce power. Fossil fuels, such as diesel and gasoline, power the majority of automobile engines. Bioethanol or hydrogen power certain different types of engines. Most automobile engines operate on the same principle regardless of the fuel used. But there are certain variances depending on the fuel that’s being utilized.

Diesel engines, for example, do not have spark plugs. Combustion occurs instead as a result of highly compressed hot air igniting the fuel.

Power Generation

An engine’s power generation can be summarized in four steps. Fuel and air are introduced into the cylinder using an injector during the induction process. The piston compresses the mixture of air and fuel in the same cylinder. Valves close, igniting a fuel-air mixture, which generates power.

When the piston is pushed down by the explosion, it moves the crankshaft, which in turn moves the burned gases to the exhaust. Most gasoline-powered internal combustion engines use this four-step process. The “four-stroke cycle” is the name given to the four phases of what are referred to as “four-stroke” engines.

How Car Engine Works | Autotechlabs - YouTube

Components Of An Engine

Internal combustion engines have numerous components, the most basic of which are as follows:

The engine cylinder block




Fuel Pump

Manifold for Exhaust

All of these items and more can be found in the basic four-stroke internal combustion engine seen in the majority of gasoline-powered automobiles. In order for the engine to function, there are a number of other parts and systems that must be in place. You’ll also get things like an engine control unit (ECU), a cooling system, a lubrication system, and more. We’ll go into greater detail about this list. As we explain, they all work together to produce electricity and move your vehicle.

Engine Block

The engine’s nucleus is its block. All the cylinders in a monobloc engine are housed in the same block. As well as housing the cylinders, the engine block has oil galleries and coolant channels for the lubrication and cooling of the engine, respectively. V8, V12, inline 4, boxer engines, and a slew of other monikers have been used to describe various types of engines. The engine block’s cylinder alignment determines these designations. The following is a list of the most prevalent types of internal combustion engines. A small number of variants and variant types exist.

How Does a Car Engine Work? - Carsforsale.com Blog | Car engine, Car  mechanic, Engine working


It is because the cylinders are arranged in a “V” shape when viewed from the front or back, that V-engines, such as V6, V8, and V12, are referred to as “V” engines. Cylinders in the engine block are denoted by a specific number. There are six cylinders in a V6, ten cylinders in a V10, and so on and so forth.

Inline Engine

The cylinders of an inline engine are arranged in a single row. Engines with less than four cylinders are more cost-effective to produce.

Boxer Engine

A flat engine of the boxer variety is a more specialized design. On a flat surface there are two opposed pistons moving at once. Due to their movement, which mimics that of a pair of boxers throwing fists at each other during a fight, the name was coined.

Rotary Engine

There are no pistons in Wankel engines, or rotary engines. Instead, a triangular rotor is employed. Only a handful of automobiles nowadays are equipped with rotary engines, making them extremely rare. Because the engine is capable and enjoys running at high RPMs, they have piqued the interest of a number of vehicle enthusiasts.

The Crankshaft

The combustion chamber’s responses are directly visible to the pistons. When the fuel is ignited, the pistons move down as a result. Connecting rods attach the pistons to the crankshaft. The crankshaft turns in tandem with the pistons. The movement of the pistons causes a rotation of the crankshaft, which in turn causes the pistons to move up and down. Massive forces are exerted on the crankshaft. As a matter of fact, the crankshaft is responsible for delivering the power that keeps your car going. In addition, the crankshaft loses a significant amount of energy due to friction.

How a Car Engine Works - Animagraffs

It is the flywheel’s job to smooth out the power that comes from the crankshaft. The crankshaft and transmission are connected by a clutch, which transfers power from the crankshaft to the transmission. The output shaft is connected to the axles via the transmission. The cylinder’s power travels all the way to the wheels, where it is coupled to the axles. Also, the crankshaft provides the transmission with rotational power. To power other parts of the car (such as a power steering pump or alternator), the crankshaft is connected to a series of accessory belts.


Creating power in an internal combustion engine is often attributed to the piston, as you’ve seen. The engine block’s cylinders encircle the piston. In order to generate the necessary compression for combusting the fuel, the piston rings, which are attached to the piston, form a flawless seal. The combustion chamber refers to the portion of the cylinder’s top not occupied by the piston. A smaller and smaller combustion chamber is formed as the piston advances closer to the top of the cylinder. A tremendous deal of heat and pressure are generated when the piston rises, and the fuel-air mixture explodes, releasing energy and generating power.

Diesel engines do not use spark plugs, as previously explained. Instead, the combustion chamber is made “smaller” by the piston, which ignites the fuel by applying immense pressure to the cylinder.


Camshaft movement in the engine block is synchronized because of their connection to the crankshaft, which was previously discussed. Intake and exhaust valves are opened and closed by the camshaft, allowing air and fuel to enter the combustion chamber. Timing belts and chains may be familiar to you. Camshaft and crankshaft are linked by these. In order to provide fuel and air to the cylinder, they ensure that the valves open fully while the piston is in the lower position, and close the valves when the piston is moving toward its peak, which ignites the fuel. Your car manufacturer recommends changing the timing belt at regular intervals if your vehicle has one. Damage to the engine can be severe if the timing belt snaps, causing parts that shouldn’t be touching each other to come into contact with each other in a violent manner.

Fuel Injector

Older gasoline-powered vehicles had carburetors, which are no longer used. The throttle valve would open when your right foot touched the gas pedal, allowing air to flow through the carburetor. Carburetor fuel was injected into the mixture as air went past it. The fuel in the carburetor’s “float bowl” was “dragged” by the air. This was made possible by the Bernoulli’s principle, which ensured a roughly equal ratio of air to fuel. An intake manifold and valves are next in line for the air-fuel mixture, where it will be burned in the cylinder.

It is now common practice to employ a fuel injector, which injects just the right amount of gasoline into the combustion chamber. Fuel injectors come in a variety of configurations, with the most common two being exterior and internal. In general, external mixture formation fuel injectors are mixed before they enter the combustion chamber, as the name suggests. External mixture formation fuel injection. In most cases, fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber via an internal mixture formation. The fuel injection system in modern cars employs a variety of sensors and other electronics to guarantee that the air-fuel ratio is within acceptable limits.

Exhaust Manifold

Exhaust Manifold | Cars.com

Exhaust gases must be expelled from the combustion chamber once the fuel has been burned. This occurs while the piston is rising and the exhaust valve is open. This may appear to be a simple operation at first glance. It is, in terms of the engine’s other components and systems. These systems, however, are also highly engineered.

To keep things simple, we won’t go into too much detail here. For additional information on the exhaust manifold and the engineering that goes into it, check out Wikipedia. It’s worth noting that the exhaust manifold also receives unburned fuel. A fuel-air ratio that is either overly rich or low is detected by an oxygen sensor installed in the manifold.

Hybrid Vehicle Engines

Most of the basic workings of an automobile engine should be clear to you at this point. A hybrid vehicle’s engine is a bit more complicated than the gasoline and diesel engines discussed thus far. To form a hybrid, two distinct elements are mixed together. The term “hybrid vehicle” in the automotive industry refers to a vehicle that uses both electric and gasoline propulsion. There are three basic types of hybrid vehicles: electric, gas-electric, and plug-in hybrid.

An all-in-one hybrid

The mild hybrid

The term “plug-in hybrid” refers to automobiles that can be

Depending on the degree of hybridization, these species are subdivided.

It is possible to run a full hybrid car on either the engine or the batteries alone.

Unlike a full hybrid vehicle, a mild hybrid vehicle does not contain an electrical motor or generator that can power the vehicle on its own. In mild hybrids, the alternator is replaced by an electric motor. To save gasoline, for example, while a car is at a standstill or braking, the electric motor can aid the vehicle by shutting down the internal combustion engine. Regenerative braking may also be supported by some, as well as internal combustion engine acceleration.

A vehicle’s wheels create kinetic energy that can be harnessed and stored as electricity when regenerative braking is engaged. It might be compared to an alternator, which generates power. However, the wheels provide the kinetic power, not the crankshaft. A full hybrid and a plug-in hybrid are both types of hybrids. A plug-in hybrid has a considerably larger battery because it is a hybrid vehicle. In order to fully charge the car, you will need to connect it in.

How Do Hybrid Vehicle Engine Work?

Electrified motors are used to classify these products. In the sections that follow, we’ll go over the various hybrid implementation approaches. Hybrid designs will be examined in detail. They are as follows:

a hybrid of the two

The series is a combination of two different genres

combination of series and parallel

Alternative Fuels Data Center: How Do Plug-In Hybrid Electric Cars Work?

Parallel Hybrid

It’s easy to see an automobile engine creating energy and transmitting that energy to an axis which, in turn, sends that power to the wheels. You have an electrical motor at the other end sending power to the same axis as the generator. A parallel hybrid works on this premise. The same axis receives power from both internal combustion engines and electric motors. Between the engine and gearbox, in most cases, an electric motor is used for power generation.

Series Hybrid

“Extended-range electric vehicles” are something you’ve probably heard of. A hybrid vehicle has both an electric motor and a gasoline engine.. The engine is not connected to the wheels in any way in series hybrids. Instead, an electric motor is powered by a generator hooked up to the engine. When the battery is depleted, the car’s internal combustion engine kicks in to provide direct power to the electric motor. Charge the battery with this device.

Series-Parallel Hybrid

With this hybrid, the parallel-series design and the series hybrid design are both combined into one. This means that the engine gives power to both the wheels and a generator, as well as to the transmission.

How Do Electric Vehicles Work?

Electric vehicles do not have an engine. For components, they have a simpler design that doesn’t necessitate things like alternators or exhaust systems. Many electric cars include a “frunk” in addition to a trunk because of the lack of a huge engine. For those who need additional space in their vehicle, this can be a good option. One or more electric motors are employed in place of the engine. The location of the engine depends on the model of the vehicle. Some cars only have a front-wheel drive system, while others feature a front-and-rear dual-wheel drive system. It’s not uncommon for high-end electric sports vehicles to have a motor on every wheel. Electric vehicles, regardless of price, all operate in very much the same way.

It is made up of several different parts, such as:


Traction motors powered by electricity


An outlet that accepts a charge.

A DC-to-DC converter.

The controller of the power electronics

Batteries for traction.


In addition to the lack of standard oil lubrication, an exhaust system, and other such necessities, there are only a few components. Because of this, maintaining and servicing electric vehicles is significantly simpler than it is for vehicles powered by a typical internal combustion engine.

How Do Electric Car Motors And Batteries Work | CarBuzz

From The Outlet To The World

Electric vehicles have their own specific charging stations. Most electric vehicles, on the other hand, may be charged using a standard household outlet. As long as there is electricity, your car can go around the world using electricity from your home. Let’s take a closer look at what makes up an electric vehicle.

Charge Port

Plugging the charger into the car’s charging port is the first step. In order to store the traction battery pack, the onboard charger first transforms the alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC).

DC/DC Converter

There is too much DC power stored in the traction battery pack for the vehicle’s electrical systems to utilise. The DC/DC converter fixes this issue by converting it to low-voltage DC, which may be used to power the vehicle’s many accessories. The battery is both a power source and a storage device for the same kinds of gadgets.

Electric Traction Motor

The electric motor is what drives the wheels and maintains the automobile on the road. ‘ The traction battery provides the electricity.

Traction Battery

The car’s traction battery provides the necessary electricity. Lithium-polymer batteries are the most common type. The battery is positioned near the bottom of the vehicle because of its size.

Power Electronics Controller

The electronic processes’ brain is the power electronics controller. It affects everything from the electric motor’s speed to the amount of energy it delivers to the battery.


It is through the transmission that the electric motor’s power is transferred to the wheels. Most electric automobile transmissions only have one gear, unlike those of typical internal combustion engines.

Thermal System

The entire system is cooled by the thermal systems. The temperature of this component has a significant impact on the vehicle’s performance, making it vital.

How Do Electric Vehicles Work? - YouTube


Typically, an internal combustion engine uses either gasoline or diesel as its fuel source. Compression rather than spark plugs is the most significant difference between diesel and gasoline engines. Hybrid engines are those powered by more than one source of energy. Internal combustion engines and electric motors are common components in hybrid vehicles. Hybrids can be divided into two types based on their design or the degree of hybridization. Series-parallel hybrids are the most common configuration for hybrid vehicles, in which the internal combustion engine supplies power to both a generator and the wheels at the same time. There are fewer parts in an all-electric car than there are in a typical engine. As they have fewer parts and do not require lubrication, they are significantly easier to maintain.