How Does A Car Engine Work?


The car engine is known as one of the most famous discoveries the humankind has ever seen. However, have you ever wondered how the car engine really works? Under the hood of any car, there is an engine which runs the car. An engine is a device that uses several parts to turn the fuel into energy or power. The engine produces sufficient energy to make the car move. It is just like a human body, we take food for energy and that food is converted into the energy which is required to move our body. Similarly, a car engine also turns the oil into the motion of the car. Some new cars, such as hybrid cars use electricity from batteries to work properly. Some fuel-efficient modern cars also get energy from the sun using the solar panels attached to the car.

How does it work?  

When we need to move we eat food, and similarly when cars need to move they require oil. The working of the engine is different for various cars but the basic functionalities are somewhat similar. The method of converting oil into power is called internal combustion. The Internal combustion engines apply tiny and controlled bursts to produce power, which is required to move the car. An internal combustion engine consists of several parts such as a spark plug, valve spring, exhaust valve, cylinders, cooling water cells, piston and crankcase.

The car engine is an Internal Combustion Engine, where the energy is produced by burning either diesel or petrol in a combustion chamber of the car. In such an engine, the power is shifted from the pistons going up and down at high speed. This up-down movement is converted into rotary motion through the crankshaft and axle. The axle rotates the wheels and makes the car roll forward. There are four strokes of the engine that occurs to run the engine and your car and they are intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. One full cycle happens with every two crankshaft rotations.

Intake Stroke: The cycle starts during the piston is at the top of the cylinder and is running downward. This produces a mixture of petrol and air or just air in the case of a diesel engine to be discharged into the cylinder.

Compression Stroke: The piston proceeds to go upward and compresses the mixture inside the car cylinder.

Power Stroke: The power stroke starts the second rotation of the crankshaft. A flash burns the mixture of petrol and air present inside the cylinder of the car. In case of a diesel engine, during this phase that diesel is inserted into the cylinder. The stress created by combustion drives the piston back down.

Exhaust Stroke: During the exhaust stroke, the exhaust valve opens up and the piston forces the by-products of combustion out of the cylinder to run the car.


A car engine produces explosions more than hundreds of times per minute. The engine then uses the energy released and utilizes it to power the car. The explosion drives pistons to move. When the power from the first explosion has been used up by the car, a new explosion happens. This power the pistons to run continuously until it converts into a cycle which provides the car with the power it needed to run.

Do check out how does a jet engine work and let us know how did you find these two in the comments section below!