The engine is the crucial part for an automobile. The modern engine as you see today evolved over a long period. It passed through different stages.
The first automobile Motorwagen from Benz got patented in 1885. This had a single piston engine and could generate two third of a single horsepower. The first affordable automobile was made by Ford. The Ford model T was released in 1908. It had a capacity of twenty two horsepower, 2.9 liter and with four-cylinder engine.
Automobile engines are constantly evolving. Today, much more powerful engine are available. These engines cauuse less environmental pollution, more durable, quieter and more fuel efficient. In this article we will discuss the evolution (important stages) of the automobile engine.
- Four stroke engine: In the late eighteen hundreds the internal combustion engine improved. When the piston in the internal combustion engine moves up and down twice, the four stroke engine will take the burn gasoline in four stages. Those four stages are intake, compression, power and exhaust. Four stroke engines are advantageous when compared with previous two stroke engines. These cause cleaner emissions, high torque, more power and durability, and improved fuel economy. Four stroke engines are more complex and it is expensive to manufacture.
- Forced induction: Forced induction engines were used for aircraft engines. From 1960s onwards they were sued for car engines. Forced induction is beneficial to small engines. The small engines with forced induction will generate extra power without increasing engine size and high fuel usage. The forced induction engines can get more power from each stroke because of air is forced into combustion chamber at a higher pressure. With the help of fuel, air and ignition, the engine can cause motion in the vehicle. The power generated by the engine’s pistons increases by cramming more air into the engine.
- Fuel injection: Before fuel injection the carburetor was used to mix fuel, air and sends it to the combustion chamber. The carburetor will allow air and fuel into the engine while pressing the accelerator pedal. The fuel injection replaced the carburetor since late 1980s because of effective system of mixing air and fuel. The fuel injection process controls by the engine’s on board computer. The fuel injected engines with computer controlled can even start effectively on cold days. These are more expensive to repair than the carburetors. These became industry standards for fuel delivery.
- Direct injection: The fuel in the direct injection will directly spray into the combustion chamber of the engine. The computer controlled system will take care of the fuel burning as per the requirement to the engine. In fuel injection, the air and fuel will mix and then it will go to the engine. But here this step is removed and because of computer controlled fuel burn leads to the better fuel economy and more power than the fuel injection.
- Aluminum engine blocks: For better performance, the engine started made from aluminum instead of iron was used in engines. Today, iron is used for large engines and for small engines aluminum is using. As aluminum is light, it reduced the engine weight by half. Thus, it improved it increases the fuel economy. Also, the aluminum does not have the capability to bear heat and not stronger than the iron. The problems faced in the beginning with the aluminum are tremendously reduced.
- Overhead camshafts: The valvetrain controls the flow of fuel and air into the cylinders. The camshafts are a part of valvetrain. These drives the valves in a more direct manner compared to overhead valves and pushrods. The overhead camshafts will provide better performance. These are made increased completely and more cost.
- Variable valve timing: The traditional engine does not allow when more air required in cases like hard acceleration. It impacts performance. The variable valve timing will allow much air or reduce the air flow as per the requirement of the engine. It will provide more flexible power delivery and fuel economy. But it costs greater to produce.
- Engine control unit: The engine control unit control and manage the processes like idle speed, fuel injection, air and fuel mixture, ignition time and others. It provides the better diagnosis of the problems and fuel economy. The technology makes more completely and cost.
- Diesel and hybrid engines: Diesel engines to start with were noisy, less reliable and smells. But the present diesel engines are competing with the gasoline or petrol engines. The hybrid engines are become more environmental friendly and fuel efficient than the traditional fuel cars.
The auto mobile engines are keep on developing. The problems faced in the early stages of the engine are greatly reduced. New types of metals, techniques and technologies are being used to improve the performance.