Engine Parts Name and Their Functions

While checking or changing your engine oil, have you ever wondered what are the components that make up an engine? Every vehicle engine consists of several components that work in unison to produce power. The power is transferred to the transmission to move the vehicle.

An automotive engine is a fine-tuned piece of engineering that is capable of traveling hundreds of thousands of miles.

Let’s draw back the curtain and look at the individual components that make up an automotive engine. I’ll also explain how they function with a brief description of each component.

engine parts diagram names

Important Engine Parts Name and Short Descriptions

Here are engine parts list with their functions and short descriptions.

Engine Cylinder Block

The engine block is the main part of an internal combustion engine. It holds the cylinders at their place. All the main functions of an engine such as suction, intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust, take place in the engine block. The primary work of the engine block is to hold the piston and fuel.

The manufacturers mold the cylinders with cast steel or cast iron to handle the high pressure and temperature produced during combustion. More precisely, the engine cylinder block has a high compressive strength.

Cylinder Head

What is a cylinder head? This is a common query among car owners. A cylinder head is the end cover or housing of an internal combustion engine.  It is mounted on top of the engine block. It houses essential parts like springs, lifters, and inlet and exhaust valves. And it contains more moving components than any other parts of an engine.

The cylinder head contains some passages which allow the fuel and air to flow inside the cylinder. These passages are known as tracts or ports. The manufacturer provides a metal or paper head gasket between the cylinder head and engine block for a proper leak proofing.


The crankshaft is the backbone of an internal combustion engine. It is the part that helps convert the piston’s linear motion into a rotational motion. The crankshaft should have wear resistance and not to be fatigued enough to ensure the engine reaches its shelf life.

The crankshaft has a flywheel connected to its rear end. The flywheel helps the engine transmits power to the transmission and in turn, the transmission moves the vehicle.


Like the crankshaft, the camshaft is another important part of the engine. It is a major mechanical component part of internal combustion engines (ICE). The main task of the camshaft is to open and close exhaust and inlet valves at the right time. It connects to the crankshaft via a timing belt or chain.


The piston is a reciprocating part of an internal combustion engine. It converts the power released during combustion into mechanical work, carries out other essential tasks and it seals the combustion chamber. And it is a crucial compression component that compresses the air-fuel mixture as it pushes upward, where the air-fuel ignites.

Piston Ring

Piston rings are crucial engine parts that fit into the pistons to ensure there are no leaks in the combustion chamber. Piston rings also carry heat away from the pistons into the cooled cylinder wall. Heat energy flows from the pistons’ grooves into the cylinder walls, where the engine coolant will help to cool it. You can see them better on the car engine parts diagram.

Engine Valve

The engine valves are located in the cylinder head. They play an important role in the engine. Their main task is to let the air in and out. The air in the cylinder helps to ignite the fuel.

Without fuel ignition, the pistons will not move, and thus the vehicle will not start. There are two types of valve; the intake valve and the exhaust valve.

Timing Chain

The main function of the timing chain is to keep the movement of components parallel to an engine. The timing chain is found on the top side of the engine, and it connects the camshafts and crankshafts.

It features several lobes all over its length as the camshaft spins, and valves open and close with the help of the lobes. This process enables air and fuel into the combustion chamber simultaneously. Some vehicles use timing belts in place of the timing chain. Both the timing chain and belt have the same function.

Oil Pump

An oil pump is a crucial component for both small cars and heavy-duty vehicles. The oil pump circulates oil to the camshaft, sliding pistons, and rotating bearings while keeping the oil under pressure. It helps in lubricating and cooling internal engine parts.

Oil Sump

The oil sump is often called the crankcase. The oil sump houses the engine oil. The oil pump sucks the motor oil from the sump and carries it to other engine parts for lubrication purposes. The oil returns to the oil sump from the lubrication points.

Engine Oil Filter

An oil filter is a filter designed to trap contaminants and any particles from the engine oil that accumulate over time. Without an engine oil filter, the motor oil will accumulate contaminants, metal shavings, and other particles that will cause accelerated wear on the internal engine parts. Every internal combustion engine has an oil filter. They come in different sizes and shapes.


The primary job of the turbocharger is to compress more air flowing into the cylinders. Auto manufacturers design turbochargers to increase fuel economy and enhance overall engine performance. Some vehicles feature superchargers in place of turbochargers. There is very little difference between turbochargers and superchargers.

Exhaust Manifold

The exhaust manifold is tasked with collecting exhaust gases produced in the combustion chamber and exporting them into the atmosphere through the exhaust pipe. In common sense, the exhaust manifold serves as a funnel used in collecting emissions. Exhaust manifolds are made of stainless steel or cast iron.

Inlet Manifold

The inlet manifold is the opposite of the exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold collects exhaust gas from cylinders and blows it through the exhaust pipe. On the other hand, the inlet manifold supplies air/fuel mixture to the cylinder. The primary function of this device is to distribute air/ fuel mixture to the intake ports evenly.


The carburetor is a major component of the internal combustion engine. Its main function is to mix the air and fuel in a specific ratio for an internal combustion engine. It ensures that the air and fuel mix at the right ratio. Though, carburetors are found on older car models.

Throttle Body

A throttle body is a part of the air intake system. It controls the amount of air going into the engine. They are only available in fuel-injected engines. When a driver depresses the gas pedal, the throttle body opens, allowing more air into the engine. This will cause the engine speed to increase.

Radiator Fan

The radiator fan is an engine fan designed to produce air in the engine bay, which in turn cools the radiator. The radiator fan is crucial to keep the engine at normal operating temperature and keep the cooling systems working as they should.


The Radiator is a heat exchanger. It is an essential part of the cooling system that uses a mix of antifreeze and water to keep the engine at normal operating temperature. It supplies cool coolant to the engine and collects hot coolant from the engine. It then cools the hot coolant before sending it back to the engine.


The thermostat is an essential cooling system component that regulates the engine temperature. It prevents the engine from getting too hot or too cold. When you start your vehicle, the thermostat remains closed, preventing coolant from going to the engine. As soon as the engine gets to the normal operating temperature, it opens and allows coolant to flow into the engine.

Fuel Injector

The fuel injector is a major fuel delivery system component. The fuel injectors receive fuel from the fuel pump. It then atomizes the fuel before injecting them into each cylinder. It, however, receives instructions from the car computer about when and how to adjust the fuel pressure it sends to each cylinder.

Different Types of Sensors

Every car engine features several sensors, especially the newer models. And these sensors play different roles and tasks. Some of the most important car sensors in automotive engines are:

Spark Plug

The spark plug delivers spark to ignite the compressed air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. Without the spark plugs, a gasoline engine will not start.


I mentioned earlier that the engine transmits power to the transmission. The flywheel is the connection that transmits and interrupts power between the engine and the transmission. It also stores mechanical energy to balance the engine, so it has good performance.

Mechanical energy is the power produced during combustion. The flywheel balances the engine by storing mechanical energy.

Turbo Intercooler

The turbo intercooler is an air-cooling intake device. It is mainly found on supercharged and turbocharged engines. The main task of the turbo intercooler is to cool down compressed air with the turbo or supercharger.

Fuel Injection Pump

The fuel injection pump is a crucial fuel delivery system component in diesel engines. The function of the fuel injection pump is to send fuel into each cylinder in a diesel engine. However, the process of delivering the diesel impacts the engine performance, noise characteristics, and emissions.


Above are the engine parts name list and brief description. This information is important to help you understand how your car engine works. These components work in harmony for an efficient and seamless engine operation. If one of these components fails, it may cause the engine to stall or not start at all.

Some of the common signs of failed engines are low engine power, check engine lights on, annoying noises, and odd odors. If you see these signs, the most prudent action is to visit an experienced mechanic for a check-up. Ignoring the signs may lead to more damages, causing expensive repairs or replacements.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

4 thoughts on “Engine Parts Name and Their Functions

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