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Four Cylinder Engine

Understanding Four-Cylinder Engines: An Overview Of How They Work

This article is for anyone interested in learning about four-cylinder engines, working on cars, or building race cars! In this discussion, we will look at the parts of four-cylinder engines.

We will also discuss the advantages they offer over other types of engines. Additionally, we will compare them to different engine setups. Now, let's get going!

Introduction to Four-Cylinder Engines

An internal combustion engine having four cylinders arranged in a row is called a four-cylinder engine. Small cars and bikes frequently have this engine layout. These engines typically have better fuel efficiency compared to larger engines with six or eight cylinders. Typically, engines function by first transforming chemical energy into heat energy and then heat energy back into kinetic energy.

How do Four Cylinder Engines Work? 

In a four-cylinder engine, the pistons in each cylinder go up and down.

The pistons' up-and-down motion generates the power that turns the crankshaft, which connects to the vehicle's wheels.

An essential part of a four-cylinder engine is the timing belt.

The timing belt synchronizes the crankshaft's rotation with the pistons' movements.

If the timing belt breaks, the engine will not run correctly and may sustain significant damage.

There are two types of four-cylinder engines: naturally aspirated (NA) and turbocharged (forced induction). Air is drawn into the cylinders of naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines by ambient pressure. Turbocharged Four-cylinder engines pressurize the air inside the cylinders using a turbocharger. Because of this, naturally aspirated engines lack the power that turbocharged engines do.

The market currently offers a wide variety of four-cylinder engine types. Typical varieties include  

  • Inline 4
  • Boxer 4
  • V4

Parts of the Engine and Their Functions

As the name suggests, a four-cylinder engine has four cylinders placed in a line. The combustion process happens inside the cylinders. These places are where gasoline and air mix together and ignite to make the engine go boom.

A connecting rod connects the piston within each cylinder to the crankshaft. When the spark ignites the mixture in each cylinder, the expanding gases push down on the piston and turn the crankshaft. This circular action eventually propels the wheels of your car.

Each cylinder's valves regulate how much gasoline and air enter the cylinder and how much comes out. The intake valve opens to allow new fuel and air to enter the cylinder. To let out burned gasses, the exhaust valve opens. The crankshaft rotates the camshafts, which in turn regulate both valves.

The efficient operation of an engine depends on the precise moment at which each valve opens and closes. Inaccurate timing can lead to poor performance or even damage to the engine.  

Benefits of the Four-Cylinder Engine

The four-cylinder engine has numerous advantages over other engine types.

The fact that four-cylinder engines use less fuel than larger engines is perhaps the most evident advantage. This is because four-cylinder engines use less fuel and have fewer pistons. Because four-cylinder engines are often lighter than six- or eight-cylinder engines, they use less fuel.

Four-cylinder engines emit less pollution than larger engines, another significant advantage of these engines. They become a more eco-friendly choice, lowering your carbon footprint.

Over time, four-cylinder engines can help you save money because they typically need less maintenance compared to larger engines."  

Comparing Four-Cylinder Engines to Other Types of Engines

There are numerous varieties of engines available. Nonetheless, some of the most popular engines are four-cylinder models. Contrasting them with other kinds of engines is crucial to comprehend how they operate.

Four-cylinder engines are distinct from other engine types in the following important ways:  

Number of cylinders

Four cylinders are present. Other engine types might have six or eight cylinders. An engine's total power and efficiency are influenced by the number of cylinders it contains.


An inline or boxer design is the most common setup for four-cylinder engines. This indicates that the cylinders are positioned either in a boxer configuration or side by side (inline). Other engine types can have two rows of cylinders stacked V-shaped.

Power output

Compared to other engine types, four-cylinder engines typically provide less power. However, because of their tiny size, they frequently use less fuel.

When contrasting four-cylinder engines with other engine types, there are a few essential points to remember. You'll be able to choose the best kind of engine for your requirements by being aware of the main variations.  


Gaining knowledge about four-cylinder engines helps speed up troubleshooting and improve vehicle maintenance. Many courses in various subjects, such as mechanical, electrical, civil, biological, etc., are available at Skill-Lync. We provide courses on the development and design of hybrid electric vehicles. Upskill your technical skills by enrolling in our classes and consulting with our specialists!

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40mL Pressure Relief Water Tank for Four-cylinder In-line Water-cooled Gasoline EngineFeatures:.40 mL in volume.The transparent shell is simple to use and allows real-time cooling liquid monitoring. It stores cooling fluid for liquid cooling devices like computer and engine model cooling.Specificati..
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140ml Metal Oil Tank Fuel Container with Oil Level Display and 2 x 4mm Oil Pipe for Engine Model / Gasoline Powered RC Cars Boats - BlackFeatures:Miniature metal oil tank with fixed stand and 2/4-inch oil hose.With the oil level display, you can always see how much petrol is left in the metal fuel t..
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Aluminium Alloy Base with Bracket Holder for TOYAN FS-L400 4 Stroke L4 Water-Cooled EngineFeatures:The TOYAN FS-L400 engine attachment bracket base.Convenient installation is made possible by the holes for the ignition accessories, which are made of aluminum alloy.The surface is polished before oxid..
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Brushless 80A ESC 12V-24V for Enjomor D6 Engine ModelFeatures:Excellent straight-four gasoline engine compatible 80A brushless ESC.It is also extensively applicable to various model engines, aircraft, fans, oil pumps, etc..It can be utilized with a power supply, brushless motor, and a speed regulato..
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Model: 10215
Carburetor for 32cc Four-cylinder L4 Water-cooled Gasoline EngineFeatures:.100% brand newSpecifications:.Color: As Shown.Material: Metal.Product Weight: 200g.Package Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 6cm.Package Weight: 220g.Packing: BagPackage Content:.1 x Carburetor..
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CISON FL4-175 Flathead / OHV Inline 4 Starter KitFeatures:The spark plug is appropriate for the matching CDI kit on in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine models with an ignition start feature.High quality: extended service life and good igniting effect.Please get in touch with us with any questions ..
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distributors for 32cc inline four-cylinder water-cooled gasoline engine distributors for 32cc inline four-cylinder water-cooled gasoline engine
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Distributors for 32cc Inline Four-cylinder Water-cooled Gasoline EngineFeatures:This distributor works with gasoline engine models in line with four cylinders; it can also be used with other engine models.Excellent Quality: Excellent quality, extended service life, and sound effects.Please get in to..
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DIY Modified Metal Gearbox with Reverse / Neutral / Forward Gear for TOYAN Engine Gasoline CarFeatures:The gearbox, which has a forward, neutral, and reverse gear, is constructed entirely of metal.Clutch principle: lever control, massive gear output, tiny gear input; both sides' lengths are user-adj..
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Exhaust Pipe for 32cc L4 Water-cooled Gasoline Engine AccessoriesFeatures:.The inline four-cylinder gasoline engine model can use the exhaust pipe. For improved use effect, an additional exhaust muffler extension pipe is advised. Minimum Age: 14Specifications:.Color: As Shown.Material: Metal.Product..
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Washer Gasket Full Set for Inline Four-cylinder Gasoline EngineFeatures:.Appropriate for Inline 4-cylinder Gasoline Engine. As a spare, it is obtainable.For those who are over 14Specifications:.Color: As Shown.Material: Plastic.Product Weight: 180g.Package Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 8cm.Package Weight: 2..
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