A car engine piston is called the heart of a car engine as it is responsible for powering the car. A car engine piston runs through four important cycles in order to work and all car engines use what is called a four stroke combustion cycle. These four strokes are known as intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. Read on to find out about this four stroke combustion cycle in more depth.
The intake stroke
The intake stroke is the start of the four stroke combustion cycle. On the intake stroke the piston begins a descent from the top of the piston cylinder to the bottom. This stroke motion in turn generates a pressure which forces an air and fuel mixture into the cylinder, known as the intake port. A small valve on the cylinder known as the intake valve then closes, and this initial stroke starts the cycle process.
The compression stroke
At the point that the intake valve closes, the piston immediately begins the return to the top of the cylinder. Whilst doing so the piston compresses the air and fuel mixture into the combustion chamber, which is within the cylinder head. This process causes the temperature of the air and fuel mixture to rises by several hundred degrees.
The power stroke
This next stroke is called the power stroke and for good reason. The piston, when it finally reaches the top of the cylinder causes the compressed air and fuel mixture to ignite via a spark plug. The spark plug releases a spark causing the air and fuel mix to explode. This explosion then forces the piston back down the cylinder shaft to start to process over again.
The exhaust stroke
This final stoke, known as the exhaust stroke opens a valve which allows the waste air and fuel mix from the explosion to leave the engine. Then the air and fuel mix moves down through the pressure of the explosion to the catalytic converter and muffler. Once the exhaust stroke has taken place, the four stroke cycle has completed and the piston then returns again to the top of the cylinder. The process will then continue causing the engine to turn and the vehicle to run. Whatever speed the strokes run at, determines the speed the vehicle will run. When more air and fuel mix flows through the engine, the faster the piston cycle will be, resulting in increased speed of the combustion cycle and increased speed of the vehicle. In the case of racing vehicles special forged racing pistons are used and aftermarket parts such as a 347 stoker kits and 383 stoker kit.
Note: Always make sure that you have your engine regularly checked in order to keep it running well. Regular checks can detect if there are any potential problems such as old engine oil. Engine oil which is old or near empty can cause a great deal of damage to your engine. A good car service center will be able to check over your vehicle for any problems or issues, and repair or replace any parts that require changing.
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