Engine Technology

Five Engine Design Improvements Important to Auto Technicians

Technology keeps the automotive industry evolving, which in turn changes the way automotive technicians work on vehicles. With the new, innovative, and efficient ways engines are being built, it’s important that aspiring technicians take note of the evolution of engine design to stay on top of the industry. To help, we’ve listed a few ways that engines are improving so you can get a better feel for where the industry is heading.

Forced Induction

Air makes your engine’s pistons generate power, so by cramming more air into your engine, you can generate more power. A new way of doing this is through a forced induction system. These systems, which were implemented on aircrafts at the beginning of their use, force air into your engine’s combustion chamber to generate more power without increasing the engine’s size. For example, the addition of a forced induction system can give a 1.6L engine up to 220 horsepower.

Aluminum Engine Blocks

Car makers are switching from iron engine blocks to aluminum ones in order to create lighter vehicles. In turn, these lighter vehicles can go faster and achieve better fuel economy. The technology is still being adjusted so it can be perfected. Manufactures are finding that aluminum tends to be less durable at high temperatures than iron.

Engine Computers

On-board engine computers, called engine control units (ECUs), can monitor all of the many working components of a vehicle’s engine. These ECUs can make sure your ignition is working correctly or if your air/fuel mixture is optimal. By using advanced technology, ECUs can allow for easier engine diagnosis for automotive technicians. However, these ECUs are extremely advanced, so automotive technicians may have to take the time to study how they operate.

Variable Valve Timing

Car engines require a combination of air and fuel.  However, there are times during your drive when your engine requires more air than fuel to run at an optimal level. That’s where variable valve timing comes into play. These systems can recognize when you need more air or fuel and will adapt to create an improved performance and fuel economy.

Direct Injection

Engines that use a direct injection method have increased power and fuel efficiency since the method directly injects fuel into the combustion chamber instead of passing through the air tank manifold first. This provides a more pure mix of fuel that’s designed to be used exactly when it’s needed to increase fuel economy and overall efficiency. While new and still requiring modifications, automotive technicians can expect to see this type of engine more often in the future.

As engines continue to change and evolve, the importance of automotive technicians with current knowledge of advanced engines grows each day. As an aspiring automotive technician, doing your research and familiarizing yourself with these new trends can help you in the long run.

If you’re interested in learning more about innovative engine models, you can download our free e-book Clean Diesel: A New Model Comparison Study.

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