Our Guide to the Basic Parts of a Car Engine

September 9th, 2020 by

Power generator, fuel burner, fire starter, and the auto part that makes your car more than life sized Hot Wheels toy. Your car engine is key for processing fuel and generating power to keep your vehicle moving down the road to your destination. While the engine can be reduced to a power generator, this part is far more complex than a metal box that lights gas on fire.

To fully understand how a Charlotte Toyota engine works it takes many hours and certifications. But, we believe it’s helpful for every driver to have a basic understanding of crucial auto parts, like the engine. In the spirit of sharing knowledge, our expert auto service staff is here to teach you the basic parts of the engine.

Charlotte car engine tips

Complex Made Basic. The Car Engine Explained

When it comes to your Charlotte car’s engine, there’s a lot to pick through and learn about. To keep things simple and comprehensible, we’re going over a few of the key parts.

Engine Block

In a Charlotte Toyota car engine, the engine block is the main and largest part. Sometimes called a cylinder block or just block, this part is made of different metals and houses all the different parts of the engine within it.


Most engines, if they’re internal combustion engines (ICEs) are designed to ignite fuel within them to generate power. That’s where pistons come in. These parts compress the air/fuel mixture in your engine block. When combined with a spark plug, the compressed mixture can be ignited and power generated. The resulting power results in rotary motion that the transmission then sends to the wheels through the driveshaft.

Cylinder Head

Your vehicle is full of different seals to ensure that fluids can continue to flow without issue. Charlotte car engine cylinder heads seal in the gas/air mixture and prevent the combusted material from creatings fires elsewhere in the engine. Cylinder heads also house the spark plugs.


The crankshaft rotates the cylinders of your engine to create reciprocating motion. The crankshaft and cylinders are joined together by connecting rods.


Valves perform the important task of regulating the flow of air/fuel mixture that enters into the combustion chamber. Intake valves allow fuel to enter the chamber and exhaust valves allow spent exhaust to exit the chamber to allow the Charlotte combustion process to continue unimpeded.

Oil Pan

The oil pan can also be referred to as a “sump.” This component performs the simple function of collecting cycled oil as it moves through the engine and lubricates components. The oil pan also removes excess materials like water and other chemicals that are exhausted during ignition.

We know that was a lot, but understanding the finer points of your vehicle can make you a more confident driver and help when it comes to emergencies (or just car related trivia).

If you have more questions on car engines or need your vehicle serviced, schedule an appointment with us at Toyota of North Charlotte! Call us at (704) 875 9199 or schedule an appointment online today.

Posted in Toyota Service