Automotive Information Flash Card Set 756779

Cards 10
Topics Air-Fuel Mixture, Cylinder Arrangement, Fuel Injector, Intake Manifold, Intake Stroke, Oil Pan, Radiator, Spark Plugs, Steering Linkage, Transaxle

Study Guide

Air-Fuel Mixture

The stoichiometric ratio defines the proper ratio of air to fuel necessary so that an engine burns all fuel with no excess air. For gasoline fuel, the stoichiometric ratio is about 14.7:1 or for every one gram of fuel, 14.7 grams of air are required. Too much air results in a lean air-fuel mixture that burns more slowly and hotter while too much fuel results in a rich mixture that burns quicker and cooler.

Cylinder Arrangement

Cylinder number and arrangement depends on the purpose of the engine. Smaller (four and six cylinder) engines in front-wheel drive vehicles often use an inline design which orients cylinders vertically over the crankshaft and aligns them in a row. Other common orientations are a horizontal/opposed design which places cylinders flat facing each other with the crankshaft between them and a V-type design common in six and eight cylinder engines that features one cylinder head per block of cylinders oriented at a 60 to 90 degree angle to each other with the crankshaft at the bottom of the V.

Fuel Injector

The fuel injector sprays fuel into the air stream that's being fed into the cylinder head via the intake valve. The timing and amount of fuel are regulated by the powertrain control module (PCM) which is the main computer that controls engine and transmission functions.

Intake Manifold

The intake manifold distributes outside air to the intake ports on the cylinder heads. The intake air filter removes any airborne contaminants before the air enters the engine.

Intake Stroke

The four-stroke piston cycle of internal combustion engines starts with the piston at top of the cylinder head (top dead center or TDC) during the intake stroke. The piston moves downward in the cylinder creating a vacuum that pulls an air-fuel mix into the combustion chamber through the now open intake valve.

Oil Pan

The oil pan contains the engine oil reservoir of from four to six quarts of oil and feeds the oil pump through the oil pickup tube. An oil strainer floats at the top of the oil in the oil pan and screens debris from the oil before feeding it to the oil pump.


The radiator is responsible for tranferring heat from the coolant to the outside air. Radiator hoses transfer coolant to and from the engine to the radiator and a radiator cap maintains pressure in the cooling system to increase the boiling point of the coolant mixture and thus allow it to absorb more heat.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs receive current from the distributor and use it to spark combustion in the combustion chamber of a cylinder.

Steering Linkage

The steering linkage is a system of pivots and connecting parts between the steering gear and the control arms. The steering linkage transfers the motion of the steering gear output shaft to the steering arms that turn the wheels.


A differential is designed to drive a pair of wheels while allowing them to rotate at different speeds. A transaxle is a transmission that incorporates the differential in one package. Most front-wheel drive cars use a transaxle while rear-wheel drive cars use a transmission and separate differential connected via a drive shaft. The differential is incorporated into the drive axle which splits engine power delivered by the drive shaft between the two drive wheels. All-wheel drive cars typically use a transaxle that includes an output shaft to the rear differential.