The Heart of Automobiles: Engines Figure 1: Audi S4 Perspective View Introduction



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Engine Block/Cylinder Block

Cylinders containing pistons are combined together to form a cylinder block. Engines vary according to the number of cylinders and the way those cylinders are laid out. Generally, the more cylinder an engine has, the more power it can generate. Figure 2 displays a typical straight line engine. It contains four cylinders, and all cylinders are laid in a straight line and are perpendicular to the crankshaft. There are also other types of engine such as V6 or V8 that every two cylinders form a pair with the shape of letter “V”.


  • Combustion Chamber

Figure 3: Combustion Chamber

As the article mentioned above, there is every piston filled within each cylinder. Pistons look like soup cans, and they can move up and down the cylinder with support of a connecting rod attached to the crankshaft. At the same time, there are cylinder heads on top of all cylinders. These cylinder heads are pieces of metal that joint the cylinder to the cylinder block for stabilization, and there are valves, spark plugs, and fuel injectors mounted to the cylinder head. The combustion chamber is then formed by these components. It plays the role of heart of the engine, which allow fuel, air, pressure, and electricity mix up and create tiny explosions for generating moments.



  • Crankshaft

Figure 4: Crankshaft

Crankshaft is where the pistons connect at the bottom. Crankshaft is installed with egg-shaped lobes that can be orthogonally pushed to rotate. When the explosions occur, generated power pushes the piston downward. The crankshaft can then rotate with high speed. Through the connection with a rubber belt at the end of the crankshaft, the rotating crankshaft will power the alternate, which will then create electricity for car to move.



  • Timing Chain/Belt and Camshaft

Figure 5: Timing Belt and Camshaft

While the crankshaft is driving the alternator through the belt, it is also connect back to the top of cylinder block via the same belt. The belt is called the timing belt or timing chain, and at the top of the cylinder block where the timing chain is attached, there is another device called camshaft. In order for cylinder block to accomplish tasks like absorbing resources, creating explosion, and releasing waste, a series of actions must be performed. Using a timing belt connecting the camshaft is a great solution. The function of the camshaft is to open up and close up the valves located on the cylinder heads. Through the control of the timing belt, it will open and close the valves at the right time, so air and gas will be going in, mixing up, exploding, and coming out with the right time. Imagine a car running at 120mph, the pistons inside the engine is turning at 6000rpm. The timing belt and the camshaft have to be really delicate to time the cycle right. And the cycle mentioned above, is the practicing theory of why the engine is designed.



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