Your Car’s Flywheel Drives You Down the Road

This post answers the following questions

1) What is The Flywheel?
2) What does The Flywheel do in your vehicle to provide you with reliable forward movement?
3) How does piston move?
4) What do you call the upward motion of the cylinders?
5) Which is said to be delivering power?

Buried deep in the confines of your automobile’s engine is a part called “The Flywheel”.  Just what is a flywheel and what does it do in your vehicle to provide you with reliable forward movement and transportation of your Crossover SUV, truck, mini-van or simple car?

Your Motor/’s Flywheel – Attached to Your Crankshaft:

The flywheel is a heavy rotating plate attached to generally the rear or back end of your crankshaft.  Each piston typically moves up and down four times within its cylinder (in standard “four cycle engines – as opposed to the “two cycle” engines you gas lawn motor may employ).   Yet only one out of four motor cylinder “strokes” actually delivers power itself, energy is needed to move your pistons during the other remaining three strokes of your gasoline power plant.  Some of the power itself supplied during the power stroke is used to rotate this plate.  The rotational energy in turn, is used to move the pistons during these three remaining phases, when they are not working delivering power themselves.

 Gasoline Internal Combustion Engines – Cars Mainly Have 4 Cycle Gas Engines With Cylinders Pistons & Valves: 

Yet how do these basic parts work together?  The internal combustion engine essentially is a four phase machine: each upward and downward motion of the piston is called a “stroke”.  At the start of the first or “intake” stoke, the piston is in the upper part of the cylinder itself; the intake valve is open, allowing a mixture of gasoline and air to enter the combustion area.  The outgoing “exhaust valve” is closed, preventing any of the gas / air mixture to escape.  As the flywheel and crankshaft turn, the connecting rod and piston are pulled downwards causing more of the explosive fuel/ air mixture to be sucked into the combustion chamber itself.  As the crankshaft continues turning, the rod and piston are both pushed “upwards”.  Next the intake valve closes. With both valves now closed, the fuel and air mixtures essentially have nowhere else to go, are compressed at the top of the cylinders themselves. as the cylinder or cylinders continue on their upward journey and journeys.

A 4 Cycle Engine’s Compression Stroke – the Spark Plug – Yet it’s the Power Stroke That Drives Your SUV down the Road:

This upward motion of the cylinders is called the “compression stroke”, an electric spark is sent into the cylinder via that age old icon of automobilia – the ubiquitous “spark plug”.  The spark emitted via the trusty spark plug ignites the fuel /air mixture residing in the cylinder cavity.  When this happens, the gasoline / oxygen mixture burns rapidly, and expanding gasses are created in a flash.  When this happens, the mixture burns rapidly.  Expansion gasses are created, which force the piston in a downwards motion.  Lastly the piston moves the connecting rod moves with it, pushing hard on the crankshaft causing your engine’s power train to move faster and faster.  Your gasoline power plant under your hood is said to be delivering power – this phase of the cycle is aptly named “the power stroke”.  Its these power strokes in your gas internal combustion engine that propel your method of transport both reliably and conveniently down roads and highways to your destination or destinations of choice.

Attached Images:

Louise Leduc

Leduc as her friends call him has been well known as a “truck gal” in the northern regions of Alberta for as long as anyone else has driven around.  Still she  says while new is always best if you have a used vehicle – first of all keep it well maintained , Secondly drive safely for as Louise  says its not always easy to find a auto service center open  in Edmonton  early 3 am Sunday morning.  Then again she says – you can always check out Kijiji or Craiglist in BC, Ab or Saskatchewan.  Although a purist with manual transmission Louise says automatic transmissions and power accessories are creature comforts. The rule of life and new car ownership –  Leduc summarizes is that – routine maintenance of your automobile is a must.

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