Car Engines UK has more than 30 years of experience in supplying quality used vehicle engines to the trade and personal buyers, but there are questions we are often asked including, “What does a car engine do?”

It’s important to appreciate that while we are among the biggest suppliers of quality used engines in the country for just about every make and model of vehicle, you will need to replace your vehicle’s engine with a similar offering.

So, while you can buy replacement engines online – whether you need a diesel or petrol engine – you will be saving lots of money instead of buying a brand-new engine for your car or van.

However, for those who may not appreciate why you can’t simply switch another, more powerful engine into your vehicle, you need to understand the science of how an engine works.

How a car or van engine works

This is how a car or van engine works:

  • The power that propels your car is generated by mixing air and fuel in the engine cylinder
  • This air and fuel mix is then ignited by a spark that essentially creates a small explosion
  • This happens in all of the cylinders in the engine and it happens several thousand times every minute
  • The resulting explosion then forces the piston to move down and it’s this force that creates the power which is sent to the wheels via the gearbox.

The science of how an engine works means that engines with larger cylinders, or engines with more cylinders, will produce more power than smaller engines will.

You’ll need to understand that since different engines produce different levels of power your car or van will be built to handle the power from a particular engine – installing a more powerful engine will mean carrying out other work to ensure that it works properly. This is best done by a professional mechanic.

Layout of the engine

You may also hear terms such as ‘in-line’ and ‘straight’ which refer to the layout of the engine as well as a ‘flat’ configuration which are also known as boxer engines.

You will also need to appreciate that the number of cylinders will deliver the power and fuel efficiency so those engines with two cylinders will have a small capacity and not generate lots of power.

Twin cylinders are used for very small cars – as are three-cylinder engines which utilise turbochargers without sacrificing the engine’s fuel efficiency. Cars such as the Peugeot 308 and the Ford Focus, for example, will have these.

The most common arrangement is the four-cylinder engine and these are usually fitted in an ‘in-line’ configuration, while five-cylinder engines tend to be fairly rare.

Premium cars may be using a six-cylinder engine, or a V6, as they deliver more power.

If you’re looking for a replacement eight-cylinder engine, or even a V10 or a V12 unit, then you will be looking for an engine to be fitted into a luxury saloon or supercar.

And while a home mechanic may have the experience to switch engines, it’s always worth contacting the team at Car Engines UK to source a used engine quote so you get the best price for your replacement engine.

In addition, the team also supply local garages and mechanics with quality used engines at trade prices, so it’s worth contacting them on (01204) 388488 if you are a professional and want to enjoy these discount prices.

What does my car engine do?
A Car engine is complicated and understanding how they work will help find a suitable replacement.