Monday, May 18, 2009

Size Does Matter!size Does Matter!

We've all heard the saying: size does matter! We believe that bigger is better and not much can change our perspective in this regard. But do we even always really know what we are talking about?

If you're looking at investing in a new vehicle, you will likely look at a few different brands and models which will in turn have different engine sizes. And no, engines size has nothing to do with the actual height and width of an engine! Small engines for example will not be engines with a dimension of less than 30cm x 30 cm while large engines will be engines with dimensions of larger than 60cm x 60cm! So then what does the engine size actually refer to? What's the difference between a 1.8 liter, 2.5 liter and a V6 engine? And should we look at cars with small engines or cars with big engines? In the end, provided that the engine has all of the required parts that move up and down and in and out, why do we need to care about the rest?
Let's touch on the fundamentals of an engine quickly - The process inside an engine occurs through internal combustion.

Basically this means that a piston will move up or down in a cylinder and by doing that a blend of air and fuel will be compacted until it's ignited by a spark. This spark will then drive the piston back and voila, you've got engine power! The piston chamber consists of two dimensions, the bore (the chamber diameter) and stroke (the distance the piston travels in the chamber) and these two factors determine the actual size of the engine.
If we then take the numbers above and we combine it with the number of cylinders, we would be left with engine displacement which is essentially what we are speaking about when we are bragging about our new 1.6 liter passion wagon with all the features!

The more displacement within the engine, the more "work" is done. The more work, the more power, it's really as simple as that! Remember that not just air is required to carry out this "work", fuel is also a prerequisite - how else would the spark form? For that reason I'm sure that you will agree that the larger the engine, the harder it's working, the more fuel will be required. 1.6 liter cars will quite certainly then not use as much fuel as a 2.5 liter car (this statement is made assuming that both vehicles are standard and in a good working condition. with a handful of performance modifications even a 1.2 liter car can end up quite thirsty!)

Next time when you hear somebody boasting about his V6 monster engine, just give him a polite smile, then turn around and console yourself with the undeniable fact that his fuel thirsty machine is costing him an arm and a leg in travelling cost each month, while small engines may not be as powerful, but they're still getting from point A to point B without a hassle!

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