Learn the Basic Car Engine Components

When you`re driving and your car engine light comes on, it can put you in panic mode. “Check engine” could mean issues with any number of car engine parts. That`s the worrisome part because car engine repair can get expensive. No matter what`s gone wrong, you may need to consult an auto mechanic. And it`s best you do so sooner than later. Otherwise, you could damage your car engine beyond repair. But before you make an appointment, learn a bit about your car engine so you`ll know if the diagnostic`s legit. Here`s a list of basic car engine components and the purposes they serve.

Learn the Basic Car Engine Components 1

Engine Block

You may also hear this referred to as the cylinder block. Depending on the age of your car, the engine block is aluminum alloy or cast iron. Strong metals tolerate high temperatures and maintain your engine`s stability.

The engine block houses between 4 to 12 cylinders that power the engine. And it has passageways to transfer fluids for cooling and lubricating the engine. Not maintaining your car`s engine could leave you needing an engine repair.

The engine block holds several components that work together to power your car. Failure of any of the engine`s parts causes that dreaded “check engine” light.


One part of the internal combustion engine that sits inside the engine block is the pistons. They`re metal cylinders that convert burning air and fuel into energy. As the pistons move upward, they compress the gas to generate enough force to power your car.

There are 4 to 8 pistons, all connected to a straight rod. As the pistons move up and down, the connecting rod moves in a circular motion. When power reaches the crankshaft, it creates the momentum to rotate the car`s tires.

Spark Plugs

Have you ever experienced an issue with starting your car? This could result from bad spark plugs. So could a delayed acceleration, unusual fuel consumption, and loud idling.

At the time the pistons generate heat energy, the plugs produce an electric spark. That powerful spark ignites the air and fuel mixture and causes combustion. As the car turns on, the car`s mechanics go into action.


The engine has intake and exhaust valves. They`re closed during combustion. But they open when needed to let air and fuel in and allow exhaust to escape.

Cleaning Your Car Engine

Poor-performing engines could result from excessive dirt and grease residue. When you notice this change it`s time to wash your engine. You can either apply a car engine cleaner yourself or have it cleaned at your local auto shop.

Getting to Know Car Engine Components

Learning the many car engine components gets overwhelming. But knowing how they each work to power a 3,000+ pound vehicle sounds fascinating. It could also make a big difference when it comes to discovering why your “Check Engine” light came on.

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