A study by ethical car recycling company Scrap Car Network found that we can’t identify many of the really important parts of our car engines.
This is perhaps surprising, as mechanically, very little has changed in the past thirty years or so.
Engines are Pretty Much the Same as They’ve Always Been
Modern cars use the same type of combustion engine that’s always been used. This type of engine mixes fuel with air which is then inducted into several cylinders. A series of pistons compress the mixture, and a spark then ignites it. The combustion pushes a set of pistons that move up and down. A crankshaft then translates this motion into linear movement, which makes the car move.
However, Modern Engines are More Efficient & Powerful Than Ever
Modern engines are much more efficient and powerful than those found in classic cars. This is because they make use of advanced components that can extract more energy from the fuel.
Features such as direct injection and turbochargers, devices that use compressed air from exhausts, appear to be commonplace in new engines. While other features, such as variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation make sure the right amount of fuel is extracted from the engine, making it as efficient as possible.
In the past, engines were made of mechanical components that could wear out quickly over time. These included things such as carburetors, distributors, and caps. Fast-forward to today, and these have now been replaced with electronic fuel injection systems and throttle bodies that help make the engine as efficient as possible.
Another big difference between classic and modern engines is that modern ones now feature a whole multitude of different electronic sensors. This means that a range of things is measured inside and outside modern engines, making them much more efficient and powerful. Modern engines are also much less likely to fail.
Unlike Classic Engines, Modern Versions Most Likely Need to be Repaired by a Skilled Professional
The main reason for this is because modern engines are now concealed over a plastic cover.
There are many reasons for this. First and foremost, it maintains a tidier appearance when the bonnet is lifted. However, many of these covers serve a deeper purpose than pure aesthetics.
Some of them help the engine run quieter, both inside and out of the car. While others help control airflow and maintain an appropriate level of cooling so the engine can continue to perform well.
With these positives also come negatives. In the past, car owners were able to perform updates relatively smoothly with just a couple of essential tools and the appropriate Haynes manual for their make and model of car.
Now, because car engines are covered, this discourages owners from doing so. Ultimately, this means that fewer and fewer of us are fixing our own cars. Instead, taking it in to the mechanic for repairs and servicing.