TYPES OF ENGINES

The types of engines you'll learn about in this section include diesel, rotary, HEMI, stirling and quasiturbine, to name a few. You'll also see photos and animated images of the technologies we explore.

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How Rotary Engines Work

A rotary engine is an internal combustion engine, but it's not like the one in most cars. Learn about the unique rotary setup and how it compares performance-wise to a piston engine.

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  • 5 Benefits of Beltless Engines
    5 Benefits of Beltless Engines

    Look under the hood of most cars and you'll probably find one or more pulley-driven belts. But if one of those engine belts break, your car can suddenly become undriveable. See more »

  • Car Smarts: Diesel
    Car Smarts: Diesel

    While diesel earned itself a bad reputation for spewing soot in the early days, improvements have made it much cleaner. Test your knowledge of all things diesel with this quiz. See more »

  • Car Smarts: Engines
    Car Smarts: Engines

    It's under the hood of every car, truck and SUV (unless the vehicle is electric), but how many people really know how an engine works? Do you know a spark plug from a fuel injector? Test your auto smarts in our engine quiz. See more »

  • How a Hot Bulb Engine Works
    How a Hot Bulb Engine Works

    Today, hot bulb engines are a mainstay for serious antique engine collectors and represent a historic landmark in the evolution of gas engines. Efficient, simple and robust -- hot bulb engines had it all. See more »

  • How an Atkinson Cycle Engine Works
    How an Atkinson Cycle Engine Works

    Four strokes, less fuel. How's that sound? With the addition of just a couple of linkages, an Atkinson cycle engine can complete all four strokes with a single rotation of the crankshaft. See more »

  • How Car Engines Work
    How Car Engines Work

    It's the reason you can put the pedal to the metal and go from zero to 60 in seconds. But to the uninitiated, an engine can look like a jumble of metal and wires. See more »

  • How Diesel Engines Work
    How Diesel Engines Work

    Ever wonder what the difference is between a gasoline engine and a diesel engine? Diesels are more efficient and cheaper to run than gasoline engines. Learn what makes diesel engines different! See more »

  • How Diesel Two-Stroke Engines Work
    How Diesel Two-Stroke Engines Work

    Take diesel-engine technology, throw in a two-stroke cycle, and you've got the basis for the huge engines found in trains and big ships. Learn about the diesel two-stroke engine! See more »

  • How Direct Injection Engines Work
    How Direct Injection Engines Work

    You may think your dreams of fuel economy can be fulfilled only by a car with a diesel engine, but direct injection engines offer another option for high efficiency and performance. How do they differ from standard gas engines? See more »

  • How does an electric water pump benefit your engine?
    How does an electric water pump benefit your engine?

    The traditional water pump is a relatively simple, belt-driven component. But could an electric water pump be more efficient and more in tune with your engine's specific cooling needs? See more »

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