Learn how an inline-4 engine works

The inline-4 engine has become a standard powertrain across most automakers’ vehicle lineups, due mostly to its small size and efficiency.

But, have you ever wondered how inline-4 engine actually operates? Thanks to 3D printing technology, and Engineering Explained‘s Jason Fenske’s commentary, we have a better idea as to what happens under the hood.

For this video, the engine happens to be an single overhead cam inline-4 from an older Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner. However, the bases are all largely the same across many inline-4s. The intake manifold and exhaust manifolds are both present on left and right sides of the engine.

What’s intriguing about an inline-4 is how it provides power. The two inner pistons fire at once, and the two outer pistons fire at once, moving in pairs. This is to provide a linear firing interval that lets the operation’s forces balance out. This also makes for a smoother engine with less vibrations transferred. The technical term is “sum of forces,” which includes primary and secondary forces, and it explains why as inline-4 engines increase in displacement, they tend to create more vibrations.

The engines are also usually pretty simple to work on since there’s a single cylinder head. V-type engines and other variants split cylinder banks up and become a little more technical in the process. Of course, each engine style has its own benefits and downfalls. An inline-4 has a higher center of gravity than other engines since the cylinders are placed vertically.

Have a look at how the inline-4 works and allow Jason to do the heavy lifting with technical terms.

Check Also

GM to commercialize Cruise AV self-driving car in 2019

General Motors will put into production self-driving cars devoid of steering wheels and pedals in 2019, the automaker said Thursday. GM also said it planned to start a commercial service for the vehicles that same year, where the public would be able to hail a ride via an app. The car, known as the Cruise AV (Autonomous Vehicle), is based on the Chevrolet...

Lincoln Aviator concept teased ahead of 2018 New York auto show

All the rumors are about to prove true as Lincoln has just announced the reveal of an Aviator concept at this month's 2018 New York International Auto Show. The Ford luxury division posted a video to its Facebook page on Thursday that gives us a few glimpses of the SUV concept, which looks to continue the design theme first introduced in 2015 on the Lincoln...