Auto | Under the Hood | 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.

Featured
Chevy 427-cid V-8 Engine

Available for the Corvette and full-size Chevrolet in 1967, the 427 Chevy V-8 superseded the 396 with its aluminum cylinder heads with enlarged ports, hotter crankshaft, and bigger carburetor. Learn about one of Chevy's milestone performance engines.


What does 2.4 liter mean in the context of an engine?

This may sound silly, but on the back of my car there is a little sign that says "2.4 liter," and every morning I see that and wonder "What does that mean?" So what does it mean? See more »

How Stirling Engines Work

How Stirling Engines Work

The Stirling engine is very different from a typical car engine -- there's no combustion in a Stirling. Learn all about the stirling engine. See more »

How Rotary Engines Work

How Rotary Engines Work

A rotary engine works completely differently than the conventional piston engine. Learn what makes a rotary engine unique among engines. See more »

Is there a way to compare a human being to an engine in terms of efficiency

Is there a way to compare a human being to an engine in terms of efficiency? For example, can you calculate the equivalent "miles per gallon" (kilometers per liter) rating for a person riding a bicycle? See more »

Is it true that a diesel engine can operate under water while a gasoline engine cannot?

Is it true that a diesel engine can operate under water while a gasoline engine cannot?

Is it true that a diesel engine can operate under water while a gasoline engine cannot? See more »

If diesel engines are more efficient why do most cars have gasoline engines?

Diesel engine efficiency is greater than a regular gasoline engine, but they never really caught on. Learn about some of the diesel engine disadvantages. See more »

Is there a difference between inline and V engine configurations?

Is there a difference between inline and V engine configurations? Find out what designers look at when deciding which configuration to use in a car. See more »

How Car Engines Work

How Car Engines Work

The car engine is a staple of modern life, a piece of engineering genius and one of the most amazing machines we use on a daily basis. Learn how the four-stroke internal combustion engine works. See more »

How does a Miller-cycle engine work?

How does a Miller-cycle engine work? See more »

How Diesel Two-Stroke Engines Work

How Diesel Two-Stroke Engines Work

Diesel two-stroke engines are used to power locomotives, large ships, and generating facilities. Find out how a diesel two-stroke engine works. See more »