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

I have read the articles on diesel and gasoline engines. Several of my friends drive Mercedes turbodiesels and I have seen several diesel hummers. I was wondering that if diesel engines are more efficient and use cheaper fuel why don't all cars use diesel?


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 »