What Parts Make Up a Car’s Engine


If you have a bit of an understanding of your car’s various parts and how they work, then you will feel more comfortable driving it and taking it in for service and maintenance. Perhaps you have realized you need to take your car in for an engine service in McKinney but stopped to ponder what parts make up a car’s engine and how do they work? This knowledge will only benefit you when it comes to taking care of your car, saving you time, effort, and money as well as ensuring your vehicle maintains its value.

Your car’s engine

The engine is the heart of your car. It is what keeps it alive and running. Gas and diesel vehicles utilize internal combustion engines. The name comes from how the engine works, the fuel and air work together to combust inside the engine which then generates an energy that moves the pistons. The core part of your engine is the cylinder. Inside the cylinder is where the pistons move up and down. Keep reading to learn more about these parts and how they work together.

The different parts of your car’s engine

The different parts that make up your car’s engine consist of: the engine block (cylinder block), the combustion chamber, the cylinder head, pistons, the crankshaft, the camshaft, the timing chain, the valve train, valves, rocker arms, pushrods/lifters, fuel injectors, and spark plugs.

The engine block (cylinder block)

The engine block is the core of your engine. It is usually made of aluminum alloy, and on rare occasion iron. It is also called a cylinder block because of the cylinder tubes that help make it up. The cylinder block is the home for the pistons (where they move up and down). Often cars have more than one cylinder (usually four, six, or eight). The more cylinders that the engine has the more powerful it is.

The combustion chamber

The combustion chamber is where the energy is transformed in the combustion process. This is the area of the engine in which the fuel, air, electricity, and pressure have an explosive reaction that causes the pistons to move up and down. The movement of the pistons gives the car the power to move.

The cylinder head

The cylinder head sits above the engine’s cylinders creating a space at the top of the chamber for combustion. It is also the home for various other parts such as intake and outtake valves, the spark plugs, and the fuel injectors.

The pistons

As explained before, when the energy is created the pistons then move up in down to give the vehicle power to move. They look similar to cans and are connected to the crankshaft. Pistons also consist of compression rings and oil rings which help to seal the combustion chamber and prevent oil from leaking into that area.

The crankshaft

The crankshaft is the part of the engine that rounds out the up and down motion of the pistons. It is connected to rubber belts which are connected to the camshaft allowing for power to be delivered to various parts of the car. The camshaft is connected to the drive train which is the part that transfers power to the wheels.

The camshaft

The camshaft works with the crankshaft, connected by a timing chain, allowing the intake and outtake valves to open and close according to a specific timeline.

The timing chain

The camshaft and crankshaft, as mentioned above, are connected by a timing chain. These parts work together to make sure certain actions take place at certain times, which is vital for the functioning of the engine.

The valvetrain

The valvetrain is the part of the engine that controls the movement of the valves. It is made up of the valves, as well as the pushrods and lifters, and rocker arms. It is connected to the cylinder head.

The valves

The valves in an engine are the intake valves and the outtake valves. Intake valves work to transfer the air and fuel levels into the combustion chamber. The outtake valves work to move the exhaust that is created from the combustion out of the chamber.

The rocker arms

The rocker arms work with the cams (from the camshaft) to press down on the valve system and let the needed air into the chamber or the exhaust out.

The pushrods/lifters

In engines (overhead valve engines) in which the camshaft lobes don’t touch the rocker arms, the pushrods/lifters are used in place in the valve system.

The fuel injectors

For the combustion process to occur, fuel is necessary. The fuel injectors work to move fuel into the cylinders. There are three different fuel injection systems: direct fuel injection, ported fuel injection, and throttle body fuel injection.

The spark plugs

There is a spark plugs that resides above each of the cylinders. During the combustion process, the spark plugs spark which ignites the compressed fuel and air and therefore causing the “explosive” process that pushes the piston down.

Having a bit of knowledge of the different parts of your car and how they work is highly beneficial for you as the driver. This especially comes in handy when taking your car into the shop. Having a McKinney car shop that you can trust makes all the difference. Here at Nortex Lube & Tune, you can rely on us. We will happily help explain any services your car needs and why, as we pride ourselves in being a trustworthy business. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with our expert mechanics, contact us today.


Car Tips