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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.

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What are the types of internal combustion engines?

Car engines that run on gasoline aren't the only kind of internal combustion engines. Learn about the types of internal combustion engines in this article.


Chevy 454-cid V-8 Engine

 Chevy 454-cid V-8 Engine

The 454 Chevy V-8's performance was heavily compromised due to smog restrictions. Learn about one of Chevy's milestone performance engines. See more »

How Quasiturbine Engines Work

How Quasiturbine Engines Work

Quasiturbine engines allow for continuous combustion and increased fuel efficiency. Learn how quasiturbine engines improve the internal combustion engine. See more »

How HEMI Engines Work

 How HEMI Engines Work

A HEMI engine is a popular high-performance engine type. Learn about the history of the HEMI engine and see what sets a HEMI apart from other engine types. See more »

 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 »