Have you heard of all these engine types?

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The engine in your car will be the main factor that decides how fast and how powerful your vehicle is. There are so many different types of engines that it can sometimes get a little bit confusing.

So here’s a short a list of the main engines types you can get for your car, and what their features are as far as performance goes.


External Combustion Engine

The simple explanation for this engine is exactly what it says on the tin: the combustion happens outside the engine.The way this engine works is that fuel is burnt, which heats up the car- and this heat converts fluid into steam.

The steam is then used to rotate a turbine which makes the car move. It is a simple engine type and is often used in ships these days, but was once used in steam powered automobiles. Due to the external combustion, cheaper fuel can be used for the vehicle and the torque of the vehicle is generally pretty high.


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Internal Combustion Engine

As you’ll guess by the name, with this engine type: combustion takes place inside the engine.

When fuel burns, inside the engine, creates pressure which is then forced onto the piston inside the engine. This in turn causes the wheels to move forward. Only petrol and diesel can be used inside these engines unlike the external engine which can also utilise solid fuel.

The efficiency and compact space that this engine gives is a great advantage, and because of the use of volatile fuel- it has no issues starting up even in freezing temperatures.

Here are some of the types of I.C engine you can get:

  • Reciprocating engine (piston engine) – in this type of engine, pressure is exerted on the piston, and the piston reciprocates the motion and makes the car run
  • Rotary engine (Wankel engine) –  there is a rotor in this engine which spins
  • Compression ignition engine  – nothing is burning the fuel in this type of engine, instead it is the pressure inside the engine which causes the fuel to burn
  • Spark ignition engine – the fuel is lit by a spark and this causes the engine to run
  • Single cylinder engine
  • Multi-cylinder engine
  • In-line engine – cylinders are in a straight line, you will see this type of engine on cars such as BMWs
  • V-type engine- This is where the cylinders are in a v shape, you will see most cars with this type of engine such as Audi because they are powerful. You can look at Audi lease deals from ICL and see that most of the engines are V6 or V8 in style.


Opposite piston engine

This type of engine has two different types of piston inside each cylinder. The combustion chamber is then set in the middle of the pistons. Within this engine the reaction which occurs is a single combustion process, however because there are two pistons you see two power strokes at the same time.


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