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Engine Parts

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What is the engine and where is it located?

The engine and drivetrain (also known together as the powertrain or powerplant) work as a team to put your car in forward motion. They go together like a pen and paper — without one piece, you can't really use the other. You see, to get your car moving, your engine needs to convert stored chemical energy in the gas tank to kinetic energy. It does this by creating thermal energy through combustion, which, with the help of the drivetrain, is converted into mechanical energy, putting the wheels in motion to give the car kinetic energy.

In most cars, you'll find your engine sitting in the engine bay under the hood, but there are many models that have the engine placed between the rear and the front or in the rear. These latter are known as mid-engine and rear-engine designs.

There are many kinds of engines, but most today are internal combustion engines that, to put it simply, create thermal energy by using air and fuel and with the help of a spark plug to ignite the mixture to create the energy needed to propel the car forward.

How do I know if my engine parts need to be replaced?

Obviously, the engine isn't just going to blow up and malfunction, but these parts shouldn't be taken lightly. Many are connected and made with integral, tiny parts where if just one skip or malfunction occurs the whole system can be rendered inoperable. These parts can range from the timing system (including the timing belt, water pump, and pulleys), any sensors on the engine, useful kits like a counterbalance shaft seal and retainer kit, ignition coils, fuel injectors, oxygen sensors, engine oil pump, fuel injectors, rocker arms, and more. Symptoms of failure can vary from one piece to another, but will often result in the engine running rough, losing power, or not starting at all.

Can I replace engine parts myself?

Depending on the job, an average do-it-yourselfer can replace many engine parts, such as any sensors, serpentine belt, ignition coil, or spark plugs. However, there are many complicated jobs also, many of which require a certain amount of time and expertise to tackle. Some jobs, like replacing a head gasket, are best left to the professionals.

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