To keep your vehicle in good condition for as long as possible, it’s important to practice regular car maintenance. Although some jobs should be done by a mechanic, knowing how an engine works will help you to maintain your car and to decide when to call a professional. Below is a brief guide to car engines.
The Anatomy of a Car Engine
Pistons transfer energy from burning gas, which takes place in the combustion chamber. The pistons move this energy through other components of the engine until it reaches the wheels and turns them. Rings around the pistons seal the combustion chamber to reduce the loss of gas.
A common problem with pistons is when the rings get worn, and the seal is no longer air-tight, which means oil leaks into the combustion chamber. This leads to a drop in oil levels and white smoke may come from the tailpipe.
2. Cylinder Block
The cylinder block is where the pistons are held along with several other important components of the engine. The pistons move up and down within this block.
It is usually made from aluminum alloy and it can occasionally crack, which causes engine coolant to leak. You may notice a puddle under your car near the engine, but this could be several different fluids, so it’s best to contact a mechanic.
A camshaft uses lobes, known as cams, to open and close valves in the engine. The intake valves let air and fuel into the cylinders, and the exhaust valves let out the spent gases after combustion.
If a camshaft breaks or the lobes become worn, your engine will stop working. Changing the oil regularly and ensuring it is topped off will keep camshafts in good condition.
Pistons produce linear motion, which means they only move up and down. This needs to be converted into rotational motion, which is the job of the crankshaft. It also transmits power to other engine parts such as the oil pump and alternator.
Vehicles have crankshaft position sensors that monitor rotational speed along with the crankshaft’s position. Your check engine light will come on if any problem is detected. Issues with the crankshaft can also result in engine vibrations and slow accelerator responses.
If you have any kind of engine trouble or you need professional car maintenance to keep everything working smoothly, rely on Ken Marcotte's Professional Auto Service in Loveland, OH. They have 30 years of experience with ASE®-certified mechanics, and their fully licensed and insured employees work on almost every aspect of auto repair and servicing. Call (513) 683-7852 to make an appointment or visit them online to learn more.