This is the perfect place to start for learning how automotive engines work, and the various types of engines that are out there. The first video will give a general overview of everything involved with an engine and how it ultimately powers the wheels.
Now that you know how a basic piston cylinder engine works, let's take a look at how gasoline engines differ from diesel engines.
Not all automotive engines operate with a four stroke cycle. Though two-strokes are more common in small engine applications like dirt bikes, atvs, lawnmowers, etc, they can also be found in some cars.
Car engines come in many different forms. The following video provides insight on the naming system used to identify different engine layouts.
Not all engines are piston-cylinder based, however. Mazda has used rotary engines in a few of the cars it has previously made. The workings of a rotary engine are quite different than piston cylinder engines, and require far less moving parts.
There are several important parameters you will hear about when discussing engines. Probably the most common are horsepower and torque. These figures explain the force the engine is capable of creating. The higher these numbers, the more powerful your engine, and more capable it is for high speeds, acceleration, and towing.
Another important parameter when discussing engines is the compression ratio. The greater this ratio, the more efficient the engine will ultimately be. This is a main advantage of diesel engines as they run on very high compression ratios.
Understanding compression ratio is important for understanding what grade fuel a car uses. Gasoline engine cars with high compression ratios will typically use higher octane fuel. The following video helps make things clear:
It's now recommended to head to the engine components lesson, to learn about all that is involved with engines which enables them to function.