How Does It Do That? Engine Operation Basics — West Automotive Group
Your car’s engine is a sizable collection of parts that somehow work together to make the vehicle go, but how does it do that? For many drivers, it’s a mystery. While there’s no need for most auto owners to know all the minute workings of their engines, it’s helpful to understand the basic concepts so that you’ll feel more at ease when seeking preventive maintenance services and repairs for your auto. Then you can leave the complicated tasks to the certified technicians at West Automotive Group in Kearny Mesa, California. We’re approaching three decades of business operation, earning a reputation for excellence along the way.
A Simple Overview
Unless you drive an all-electric car, your vehicle likely obtains its power from an internal combustion engine. (Even hybrid cars, which rely heavily on electric power, also use a combustion engine part of the time.) While gasoline is the first fuel that comes to mind for most people when thinking about combustion, these engines can also, in reality, be powered by diesel fuel, propane, ethanol, biodiesel, or natural gas. Combustion is the chemical reaction that occurs when a fuel and air mixture is ignited to produce a controlled explosion in the cylinder. The force moves the piston, turning the crankshaft. As power is transferred, the powertrain and gears work to turn the wheels, allowing the automobile to move.
Engines work on cycles, with most employing a four-cycle model. These processes include intake, compression/stroke (of the piston), and exhaust. While this basic overview is applicable to any combustion engine, there is a distinct difference between the finer working details of gasoline and diesel engines. In a gas engine, the fuel and air are combined as they enter the cylinder. As the mixture is compressed, a spark (from the spark plug) ignites that mixture, causing the combustion. In contrast, a diesel engine compresses only air. Fuel is then sprayed into the hot compressed air, causing combustion.
Your Go-To Shop for Engine Service and Repair
No matter which kind of engine you prefer, it’s important to identify a reputable shop that can help you stay on top of service and repair. A car, after all, is the second-largest investment for most families. At West Automotive Group in Kearny Mesa, California, we work on any make or model vehicle, domestic or foreign. Our technicians are both ASE and ATRA certified, assuring you that we can take care of any mechanical issue with your auto. Furthermore, we’ve been in business since 1993, developing a reputation for service and repair excellence. You can feel good about the repairs we make because we back our work with a generous warranty.