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What does ICE stand for?

Abbreviations can cause confusion, especially when it comes to the numerous car acronyms, but one you may see a lot of is 'ICE'. ICE stands for many different things around the world, but in the automotive industry 'ICE' is commonly the shorthand for 'internal combustion engine'.

Internal combustion engines have been around since the 19th century and, essentially, they burn a mixture of fuel and air to create hot energy, which powers and moves the vehicle.

Cars and vans with an ICE, tend to be powered by a 4-stroke, multi-cylinder engine which can either be arranged inline (straight) or in the shape of a 'V'. For example, you may hear of an inline 4-cylinder engine or a V6, the numbers stand for how many cylinders the engine has.

Within each cylinder is a piston, which performs a 4-stroke combustion cycle to turn a mixture of oxygen and fuel into power before expelling the gases out of the engine and through the exhaust tailpipe.

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What are the different engine parts and what is their role?

Engine Diagram
What is a timing chain?

The timing chain, similar to a cambelt or timing belt, synchronises the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft, ensuring the intake and exhaust valves open and close at the correct times during the cylinder's intake and exhaust strokes.

What is a camshaft?

Camshafts have the job of opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves at the top of the engine cylinders.

Along the shaft there are several cam lobes which come into contact with rocker arms when the cam rotates.

These rocker arms then open the valves to let the air and fuel mixture into the cylinders and allow the exhaust gases to leave following the combustion cycle.

What is a spark plug?

A spark plug is a component in a petrol engine that ignites the air and fuel mixture, inside the cylinder, to create an explosion resulting in power.

What is a piston?

A piston is a component, made of either aluminium or cast iron, which moves up and down within the cylinder of the engine. A tight seal is formed within the cylinder thanks to the piston rings.

Pistons are connected to the crankshaft via the connecting rod and the power produced by the pistons forces the crankshaft to rotate, resulting in motion.

What does a crankshaft do?

The crankshaft has an important role in an ICE as it's responsible for converting a linear motion into a rotational motion which results in the vehicle's wheels moving.

What is a flywheel?

Positioned between the vehicle's engine and transmission, the flywheel has the very important job of transmitting power to the gearbox, which then ultimately sends power to the wheels.

What is a sump?

Aforementioned, engine oil is essential for maintaining a healthy engine as it lubricates the moving components, preventing wear and corrosion. The sump is basically a reservoir at the bottom of the engine where the oil collects.

How does a car engine work?

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Internal Combustion Engine FAQs

What engine is in my car or van?

If you're unsure what engine powers your car or van you can head over to the government's vehicle tax checking service to quickly find out the cylinder capacity, CO2 emissions and fuel type.

When should you check the engine oil level?

Engine oil, also known as lubricant, is essential for internal combustion engines to keep running. The engine is often referred to as the heart of the car and the oil is basically the blood that pumps around.

You should check the engine oil every week to ensure all the moving parts in the engine can operate correctly and reliably.

What engine oil do I need for my car or van?

It's important to always use the recommended oil for your engine to ensure you use the correct viscosity grade (thickness) and the lubricant meets the relevant specifications.

Usually, your vehicle's manual will state what oil you need for your car or van but if you're unsure contact your nearest Evans Halshaw service centre for advice from a professional.

How do I check engine oil?

We've created a handy guide on how to check and top up your car's engine oil.

Why is my check engine light illuminated on the dashboard?

If your engine management light is lit up there could be a malfunction in the engine management system and therefore it's best to get your vehicle checked out by your local Evans Halshaw dealership.

What is engine coolant?

Coolant is a liquid, often a diluted antifreeze, that stops the water in the system freezing and also helps reduce the risk of the engine overheating.

Who invented the internal combustion engine?

The first 4-stroke internal combustion engine was developed in 1876 by the German inventor, Nicklaus Otto. This design was used to help Karl Benz in developing the World's first automobile.

What is combustion?

Combustion is the scientific term for burning and within an ICE, combustion is the reaction of oxygen mixing with petrol or diesel fuel and igniting to transfer energy as heat.

What is an EGR valve?

EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation and it's a method to control Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions, produced as a by-product during the combustion process.

What is a DPF?

DPF stands for diesel particulate filter and it's an after-treatment device fitted to diesel vehicles that filters particulate matter (PM) from diesel exhaust gas.

What is a PPF?

PPF stands for petrol particulate filter and it's an after-treatment device fitted to petrol vehicles that filters PM from petrol exhaust gas.

Find your perfect petrol or diesel vehicle

Although there are many mild, full and plug-in hybrids being introduced by vehicle manufacturers, as well as fully electric cars and vans, petrol and diesel-powered methods of transport are still high-in-demand.

At Evans Halshaw we have an extensive range of new and used cars, as well as new and used vans.

If you would like to arrange a test drive of a vehicle, please contact your nearest Evans Halshaw retailer.