How Does a Motor Work?


Quick Answer

A car's engine works by creating internal combustion, using a mixture of oxygen and gasoline. Electrical energy is discharged into spark plugs by the distributor and ignition coil to ignite the fuel mixture, which creates an explosive force.

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Full Answer

The explosion is created in the head of a motor's cylinder, where the camshaft brings the intake of oxygen and gasoline through the inlet valve. Electricity is used to start the explosive reaction that pushes the cylinder's piston downward and turns the crankshaft. The energy created by the moving crankshaft is then distributed out to the transmission, which converts the mechanical energy into rotation of the wheels through the axles. The remnants of burning fuel are pumped out as exhaust, with another camshaft opening the outlet valve to expel the fumes out to the muffler. Other systems in the car, such as the fuel pump and the alternator, keep the engine running by providing the necessary conditions for combustion to take place. The alternator uses the rotational energy from the engine and converts it into electrical energy, so that the battery is not drained. Without a fuel pump combustion is difficult, as a propellant such as gasoline or diesel is necessary to create mechanical energy. Systems, such as the thermostat and radiator, make sure that the engine stays cool by monitoring temperatures and pumping coolant through the engine block. Oil helps maintain the engine by coating the pistons and lubricating their passage through the engine cylinder.

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