How Does a Car Engine Work?
A car engine works by burning a mixture of gasoline and air inside a cylinder. When the engine is turned on, gasoline first goes into a carburetor.
There the gasoline mixes with air. The gasoline-air mixture then goes into the cylinder. In the cylinder is a piston that moves up and down. An electric spark from a spark plug sticking into the cylinder ignites the fuel.
The gases burn and expand quickly, pushing the piston down. A car has four or more of these pistons. They “fire” one after another, and their pump-like action turns a crankshaft that drives the wheels of the car.
This process of converting gasoline into motion is called “internal combustion.” Internal combustion engines use small, controlled explosions to generate the power needed to move a car all the places it needs to go.
Car engines use a four-stroke combustion cycle. The four strokes are intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. The strokes are repeated over and over, generating power.