People had never wondered that they would be able to fly high in the sky like the birds, or make a way through water just like the aquatic creatures. But all these are possible now with the help of scientific advancements and technology. Engines have played a major role to make these dreams come true, and so too in automotive progress and development. Just as the heart does the main work in the body, the similar role is played by a car engine in a vehicle, the source of its motion and power.
The first question that arises in the mind of the novice is, what actually happens in the jungle of wires, tubes, and metal pipes that creates the smooth motion and movement of the car? The main function of an engine is to convert energy from the burning of petroleum gasoline fuel, to create motion for the car. The fuel is burnt inside the chamber only, and a car engine’s full title is an internal combustion engine. The principle of operation of these varies according to their types as two-stroke cycle, four-stroke cycle, six-stroke cycle, diesel cycle and Atkinson cycle. For a car, a four-stroke cycle engine is most commonly used.
In a four-stroke engine, the whole combustion process is exothermic and takes place in four key steps. Firstly the combustible fuel is transferred to the combustion chamber. In the second stage, a pressure is applied on these mixtures. After applying ample amount of pressure, the combustible mixture is ignited. After burning, the hot mixture starts expanding and as a result of this expansion, it puts pressure on the movable parts, which start moving then, thus performing a useful work. In the last stage, the cooled products are liberated in the environment. This is how an engine works.
While getting an engine, the first thing that should be kept in mind is its capacity. It is measured as the total volume that all the pistons can sweep out in one movement. It is generally measured in cubic inches or liters. Greater is the capacity of the engine, the more powerful it is. To increase the capacity, two ways can be adopted- firstly the number of strokes can be increased and secondly the diameter of the piston can be increased. However, sometimes it becomes necessary to adjust the fuel intake to ensure the finest performance.
The main parameters that mark the performance of an engine are efficiency, fuel consumption and compression ratio. Efficiency is generally measured as a ratio of the useful energy to the total energy present in the fuel. During combustion, the fuel is not completely burnt, some volume of it still remains due to which a reduction in efficiency is encountered and knocking occurs due to which there comes a problem in the smooth movement of car and more jerks take place. Thus while choosing a fuel, proper care should be taken that maximum fuel part gets ignited. Further, proper servicing of the engine should be done at regular times because its good performance keeps your vehicle in a good and smooth condition.