Your Car’s Engine: 3 Important Systems to Know

You probably don’t think about your car’s engine very much until it breaks or your check engine light pops on. It’s not necessary for you to become an expert, but knowing a few key parts of an engine and how they work can give you a little more understanding of what’s under the hood.

Cylinder Block

The cylinder block is the main part of an engine in which the combustion of fuel takes place. Most cars have four, six, or eight cylinders that are arranged in one of three ways: inline, V, or flat. The different configurations give a vehicle certain advantages and disadvantages like smoothness and manufacturing costs.

Cooling Systems

The cooling system in most cars consists of the radiator and water pump. Water circulates through passages around the cylinders and then travels through the radiator to cool it off. In some cars (like VW Beetles), as well as most motorcycles the engine is air-cooled instead. You can spot an air-cooled engine by the on the exterior of each cylinder. Air-cooling makes the engine lighter but hotter, which decreases the engine life and overall performance a bit.

Fuel System

How does the gas that you fill up your tank with power the cylinders? The engine’s fuel system pumps from the gas tank and mixes the gas with air so that the correct mixture can flow into the cylinders. Fuel is delivered in three ways,

  • Carburetion: a carburetor mixes gas into air as the air flows into the engine.
  • Port or Direct Fuel-injected Engine: the right amount of fuel is injected into each cylinder individually either right above the intake valve (port) or directly into the cylinder.

When your car needs maintenance and repairs, contact the experts at Performance Auto at (334) 245-6600 today.

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