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How do you make an engine work?

How do you make an engine work?
Mitchell Helm from Redcar and Cleveland (age 5-14)

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2 Responses

  1. A car engine is one of a type of engine called an internal combustion engine. It works when petrol or diesel is sprayed into a cylinder with a movable piston inside. When the cylinder has the right amount of fuel and air, a spark ignites the fuel and it expands rapidly pushing the piston away from the explosion. This up and down movement is turned into a rotary movement by a crank.

    There are many different types of engines like steam engines that use expanding steam instead of explosions, and jet engines that use complicated fans to compress and expand the hot gas. They all need a fuel of some sort and most of them work by burning the fuel.

    I hope that helps, but there are many different engines so I assume you mean a car.

  2. The simple method to remember how car engine or jet engine works is: Suck – Squeeze – Bang – Blow.
    Air (and importantly the Oxygen in the air!) is Sucked into the engine from outside.
    The air is Squeezed to a higher pressure to concentrate the Oxygen.
    Bang – the fuel is added to the compressed air, then ignited (burnt).
    As the fuel and air burns hot it expands, either pushing on a surface (a piston in a car engine) or pushing out the back of a nozzle (in a jet engine) – this is the Blow that causes something to move and makes the engine work.

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