Different Types of Car Engines

Different Types of Car Engines

When you look to buy a car, the first thing that comes to mind is the type of engine it offers. It is a critical factor to consider as it will determine your fuel budget and the vehicle’s productivity. If you have information on engines, it will play a big role in helping you pick the right car.

Internal Combustion Engine

The most common type of engine—and the one that we use to power our vehicles—is called an internal combustion engine. It contains a series of cylinders connected by a common manifold or crankshaft. These cylinders are filled with combustible, liquid fuel, and air.

When the engine is running, it turns over and pushes air and fuel into each cylinder and compresses that mixture. The mixture burns, creating high-pressure gas within the cylinder, which powers a piston—a rod connected to a crankshaft at one end by gears or drive belts—and pushes it down in the same direction as the crankshaft.

The piston moves down and produces torque in the crankshaft, which powers your car. The engine then stops pushing fuel into the cylinders, allowing them to cool down from the high temperature during combustion.

Once cooled down, the engine expels exhaust fumes out of the tailpipe or manifold into the atmosphere. A gas or diesel engine will operate on four main phases: intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust.

In case you want a new engine, Cummins ISX Engines for Sale offers a variety of engines that work efficiently for the modern driver.

Car Engine Layouts


A straight engine layout is like the one in our vehicles. It uses a single cylinder head with a single cylinder. The engine block can be full-block, long-block, or short-block, depending on the size of the engine for use.


An inline engine layout has two cylinders instead of a single cylinder and is used on many higher-performance engines, including some motorcycles.


A vee engine layout has at least two cylinders placed at an angle of 60 degrees from each other. It is used in racing motorcycles and most commonly in a V12 engine.

It is essential to get quality engines for your vehicle. Try looking for a Cummins ISX Engines for Sale if you decide to change your engine.

Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC)

Types Of Car Engines – Everything You Wanted To Know

The crankshaft is split into two sections in a double overhead camshaft: the upper half and the lower half. The camshaft is designed to rotate pushrods made of lifters. These rods push a bucket tappet in charge of opening and closing the exhaust valve on top of each engine cylinder.

Air, fuel, and spark ignite inside the combustion chamber to start the engine. Fewer exhaust gases are allowed out of the combustion chamber via a valve for further combustion. You can find similar working engines at Cummins ISX Engines for Sale.

Engine Cylinder Configurations

Twin Cylinder

A twin-cylinder engine has two cylinders with two pistons each. It is found on the most common four-stroke internal combustion engine and produces a good amount of torque, but it is also among the most expensive engine configurations.


A three-cylinder engine has three cylinders with three pistons. It is used in some military vehicles, as well as in modern motorcycles and scooters.


A four-cylinder engine is one with four cylinders arranged in a square formation. It has high power but low efficiency and can be found on sports cars, trucks, and even some vans or SUVs.


A five-cylinder engine is a lot like a four-cylinder one with five cylinders. It is among the most powerful internal combustion engine, and although it produces more power than the rest, it still produces less than a V8 or six.

Six Cylinder

A six-cylinder engine has six cylinders arranged in a square formation. It is one of the most efficient engines with great low-end torque and can also be found in commercial vehicles such as large trucks or vans.

Eight-cylinders and Above

An engine beyond an 8-cylinder isn’t common, but some vehicles use them. These are very expensive and powerful engines, so they don’t necessarily have to be applicable for everyday use.

It is essential to know the different types of car engines so that you can pick one that will fit your needs. Also, be sure to buy your engine from a reputable dealership in your area.