Main Parts of a Car Engine

by Justin Obrien

Knowing and understanding what each part of your vehicle does is crucial in order to be able to understand what may be wrong with your vehicle. Also having a general car engine knowledge is great to have because your car is something you use everyday, so why not understand all the components of your engine which could probably even save you money when it comes to fixing minor things on your car yourself.


Intake valves control the amount of fuel and air that is released into the piston chamber on the combustion stroke. Exhaust valves release burnt fuel and gas from the piston chamber and release emissions out the tail pipe.

Piston & Flywheel & Crankshaft

The piston is the reciprocating power device in your engine that is forced down on the combustion stroke and the flywheel on the crankshaft brings the piston back up with momentum on the exhaust stroke. The flywheel is a varying weight on the crankshaft that stores momentum. The crankshaft receives its rotating movement from the pistons strokes. The crankshaft is the initial drive line for moving your vehicle.

Cooling Systems

Engines create a great deal of heat. The block of your engine is cooled by anti-freeze that is stored in the radiator and cooled by the radiator fan. Antifreeze is on a constant moving flow path of hoses and compartments in order to cool your engine block.

Starter Systems

Each piston needs a spark to light the compressed fuel air mix. The starter systems provide this. The battery turns the starter which starts crankshaft movement and the spark plugs ignition on the pistons compression stroke.

Lubrication Systems

An engine would not function long without lubrication. Lubrication keeps all the parts friction free for the most part and moving soundly. The oil pan is filled to a certain level of oil in order to keep the block with the crankshaft, cylinders, and pistons lubricated with each rotation. Other components of the lubrication system in the engine include transmission fluid to keep the gears that rotate your wheels lubricated. The lubrication system also provides various fluid pressure to steer your vehicle and apply line pressure to use your brakes.

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  • photo_camera Car engine image by George Dolgikh from