Working principle of automobile engine system

Working principle of automobile engine system

Have you ever wondered how the engine system under the hood of your car works or the concept of a 4-stroke engine, what is horsepower, and torque?

What are the parts of a car engine?

To learn the principle of engine operation of a car, First of all we need to know some basic concepts about an engine and an automobile engine construction. Almost every engine used in a car is an internal combustion engine and uses either gasoline or diesel fuel. The advantage of the internal combustion engine is high efficiency, compact size than many external combustion engines.

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Burning engines in cars

In terms of main structure, the engine will have components such as piston, cylinder, spark plug, intake / exhaust valve, camshaft, transmission rod, crankshaft and cacte. When the engine works, the piston will move up and down in the cylinder.

Car engine Usually there will be many cylinders, maybe 4, 6, 8, 10, 12… and the cylinders will usually be arranged in 3 main forms such as straight line, letter V or horizontal symmetry. Such placement will affect the smoothness, construction cost, and overall appearance of the machine. From there, it will be suitable for each different car based on the purpose of use.

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Working principle of the automotive engine system

The working principle of the internal combustion engine is a closed cycle with a series of bursts of hundreds of times per minute in the engine cylinder. Mixed mixture at a specified ratio between air and fuel will be put into the combustion chamber. Here, explosions will be performed to put pressure on the piston and push the piston to move. The cycle of the combustion engine in a car will have 4 steps to be able to convert gasoline into operation of the car. It’s called a 4-stroke engine that includes charging, compression, combustion and exhaust.

4-period diagram of the engine


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Working principle of 4-stroke gasoline engine:

First period (charge): Air and fuel will be loaded into the cylinder when the piston is at the top dead point.

Second stage (compression): The mixture of gas and fuel will be compressed by the piston when moving from the lower dead point to the upper dead point. At the end of the second term, the gas and fuel mixture will be ignited by spark plugs.

Third stage (burning): At this time, the gas mixture has been burned up and thanks to that, the increased pressure causes the piston to move the top dead point to the lower dead point. This movement will act on the crankshaft and create a rotation.

The fourth (exhaust): When the explosion is finished, the gas will be pushed out the exhaust pipe (exhaust) to be released into the environment.

If we analyze more closely the principle of the vehicle’s operation, we can see that the movement in the first, second and fourth period is done by the surplus of the third period. A 4-stroke engine has an ignition angle of 720 degrees and according to that angle the crankshaft must rotate 2 times to have 1 ignition. So if the car has more cylinde, your ignition angle will be smaller and the car will run much quieter.

Some of the technical terms for an automobile engine

At this point, you must have grasped some basic knowledge about the principle of the vehicle engine. Next we will learn about some car engine terms to help you talk with technicians when maintaining your car.

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What is horsepower?

Horsepower is what? This is the unit used to measure the capacity of cars with the abbreviation HP (Horse Power). One horsepower would equate to the capacity of 15 kg to 30.48 cm in 1 minute.

Horsepower is very important to the performance of the engine

Reference: Common errors on car engines

What is torque?

Parameter torque used to denote the effect of the rotational force on an object around the axis. The simplest example can be used with screwing of a spanner. Torque will be proportional to actuation force (Newton) and arm length (meters). If the torque is 30N and the swingarm is 30cm long, the torque will be 30 * 0.3 = 9Nm.

Back to car engines, if the engine has 1Nm of torque with 1N force, 1m swing arm and 60 rpm, the power generating 1 second will be 6.28Nm and the power is 6.28W. So from torque we can understand how much machine power is. In addition, one needs to be concerned about what rotation speed the motor will reach its maximum torque range. Because the higher the torque index, the vehicle will have strong traction and good off-road.

Minh Tung

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