Car EngineIf you are not the kind of person who is more hands on when it comes to repairing your own car then you probably have no idea what goes on under the hood.

However, it is important to at least know the basics of your car. This can save you the embarrassment when someone asks you what engine you got in your car. It can also give you a basic idea of what to do when the time for auto recycling comes. So what’s really inside your car?


Well, all cars are made up of the same components just on different brands and performance level. The main and best-known component is the engine. At least everybody knows that the engine is what drives your car. What most people don’t know is that there are different types of engines. The engine consists of some metal cylinders and piston that move as you pump gas and air into it. A typical engine has four of this cylinders.

Types of Engines

Sometimes, you may hear engines being referred to as V6 or V8. What that means is the number of cylinders in the engine. A normal four-cylinder engine has the cylinders lined up horizontally in two groups. When it comes to V6 or V8, the cylinders are positioned in an upright position into two banks. This makes the engine take the shape of a V with several cylinders on one side and the others on the other side. That is where the term V6 or V8 comes from. Therefore, the number after V is equal to the number of cylinders in your engine.

The more cylinders an engine has, the better its performance. This is also true when it comes to fuel consumption. The more the cylinders in the engine, the more fuel can be combusted in a particular time. This means that fuel consumption also goes up as the number of cylinders increase. The general idea is that the more fuel an engine is able to combust in a minute, the faster the car can go. High-performance cars have a high number of cylinders in their engine.

The transmission is a component connected to one side of the engine and the drive wheels. The component is basically used to move power from the engine and take it to the wheels.

Types of transmissions
Manual transmission
In the old days, we had the manual transmission. It consists of a mechanical gearbox that comes with different gear levels. With the manual transmission, the driver had to tell the transmission what to do in different situations. A car typically has 5 drive gear levels, a neutral, and reverse gear.

Automatic transmission
This is the latest technology in transmission. It consists of gears, hydraulic systems, electrical systems and a computer system all working together to make transmission possible. This is a more complex area as the gears are never manually changed. The system is set to time exactly when the car needs a gear change and it does it automatically without the driver doing anything.

Different gear levels
The main difference between the low gear and the high gear is just how much the engine is working versus how much the wheels are moving. In the low gear, the engine is working more and turn faster than the wheels. In high gear, the opposite is true – the engine works less but the wheels have a high momentum.

The reverse gear changes the mechanism of the whole system. Instead of the gears moving forward, it makes them go backward. The neutral position of the gearbox disconnects the transmission from the engine. This way the engine cannot power the wheels even if you turn it on and step on the gas. The engine can still move but the wheels won’t. Lastly, the parking gear. On this position, a locking mechanism is put in place in the drive wheels. This prevents them from rolling at unwanted times. This is only found on an automatic transmission.

Types of drive mechanisms
You’ve probably heard of rear wheel drive or front wheel drive. The type of transmission in a car is what determines this. With front wheel drive, the transmission is connected to the front wheels while in a rear wheel drive; transmission connects to the rear wheels.