Technically Speaking Your Auto’s Engine is Not a Motor

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Technically speaking, your automobiles' engine is not a motor - although most people use these two words interchangeably. In purists terms a "motor" converts electrical energy into mechanical work such as the starter motor that cranks your engine. An "engine: on the other hand is a machine that converts heat energy into mechanical work. Your autos' engine does this by burning gasoline inside its combustion chambers.

When gasoline and air are mixed together in the right and correct proportions and is ignited by a spark, this mixture explodes creating tremendous heat and pressure. Although it can be said and summarized that although combustion occurs in a split second, it does so in a "controlled" fashion and manner. When the spark ignites the mixture a "flame front" sweeps out from the point and points of ignition similar and akin to a rapidly expanding balloon until the entire fuel mixture is consumed. This causes a most sharp rise in cylinder pressure, which pushed the piston down and ultimately turns your vehicles' crankshaft. Thus in a swoop and overall function heat energy is this transformed into useful mechanical work to power your car down the road.

Pressing down on the accelerator pedal opens up the throttle, which ultimately allows for both more air and additional gasoline fuel to be drawn into your engine? This in turn increases the density of the fuel mixture in each of the engines' cylinders, which in turn increases the intensity of cylinder pressures when the mixture is ignited. As a result, the engine develops more power allowing it to run faster or work harder depending on the load. Let off the accelerator pedal and the amount of air and fuel are decreased. Cylinder pressures drop and your engine "slows down".

Lastly speaking of workhorses, an engines' power output is often measured and described in automobile manufacturers' tech specs in "horsepower'. One horsepower is the equivalent of lifting a full 33,000 pounds weight one foot in one minute. How on earth was this figure arrived at? The measurement of one horsepower was arrived at by observing the amount of work that a typical horse could do. Simple as that. Only now its horsepower in our cars, trucks and S.U.V.'s that transport us not actual working live horses.

William E. Simpson Edmonton Dodge Caliber 2010 Fort McMurray Alberta Chrysler Caravan


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