Unless you’re a car fanatic or aficionado, you probably don’t know much about the inner workings of your vehicle. This is true for most people, and it’s also true that it’s not necessary for everyone to have specialized knowledge about how their devices tick. At the same time, however, it’s never a bad thing to be knowledgable and learn a bit about how our everyday machines work.
One thing most people know is that the engine is the heart of the vehicle. Without the engine, the car doesn’t start and it certainly doesn’t move. But why is that? How do engines work, and how did they get to be as efficient as they are today?
Engines Over The Years
The idea behind any engine is to take one form of energy and convert it to mechanical energy. In the early days of the engine, steam was used for this purpose. The heat energy given off by water vapor could power large ships and trains, and this type of engine is still used today, though more efficiently. More powerful than the steam engine, however, is the combustion engine.
Combustion engines, like steam engines, deal with energy in the form of heat. The difference, however, is that combustion engines utilize a chemical process (combustion) rather than a physical one (evaporation in the case of steam power). These engines require fuel and an oxidizer. The interaction between these two creates a great deal of energy that can cause mechanical parts to move. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that combustion engines became efficient and commercially used. Today these engines are still used in nearly every automobile and plane. They have other uses as well.
Parts of an Engine
Just like hearts, engines are also made up of several components. The main parts include the cylinder block, cylinder head, piston, connecting rod, crank shaft, camshaft, oil sump, spark plugs, valves, injectors, manifolds, pushrods, gaskets, piston rings, piston pins, and engine bearings. If this list sounds like a lot, it is. Engines are complex because they are both powerful and efficient. Without each of these parts working together and moving the right way, the whole system fails.
It would take some time to go into the details of what all of these separate parts do and how they all work together. Instead, let’s take a look at just one part of the engine that is often forgotten: fuel injectors.
Diesel Fuel Injectors
Fuel injectors are used in diesel engines. Their function is to release fuel into the cylinder through the cylinder head in the form of a spray. Only a small amount of fuel is needed to create the combustion reaction, after all. Dodge Cummins injectors are well-made, popular types of fuel injectors used by consumers for their engines. Diesel injectors like Dodge Cummins injectors vary depending on the displacement of the engine. Displacement is a measurement of the volume of the cylinders inside an engine, typically in units of Liters. So, the larger the engine, the larger the size of Dodge Cummins injectors (in this instance).
Fuel injectors open or close their valves via electric signal. The length of time the valve is open or closed determines how much fuel is injected into the cylinder. For the best performance, fuel injectors should be cleaned whenever a dip in performance is noticeable. Over time gasoline left behind can gunk up, clog, and rust the injector.
Diesel fuel injectors are just one small but important piece of the engine puzzle. Every part works in concert together to make the whole thing work. You can thank all these parts for allowing your car to get you from point A to point B every day.