What Type of Engine Does My Car Have?

December 4, 2023

The engine is a key part of any vehicle. It is responsible for combusting the fuel and oxygen mixture to generate power, so knowing what type of engine your car has can make all the difference in terms of your driving experience. Whether you choose to drive a small petrol or diesel engine, the octane of your fuel can have an impact on your car’s performance and economy, with lower octane options often producing better results than premium versions.

There are several ways to find out what type of engine your car has, with many online tools available able to decipher the details provided by your vehicle’s VIN. This serial number can be found under the windshield or on the driver’s side door jamb and is a 17-digit code that will reveal a lot of information about your car, including its engine type.

Your engine type is determined by the way in which its cylinders and pistons are positioned and arranged. There are three main factors to consider:

Straight Engines - Straight engines have cylinders that are arranged in a linear way from front to back with four to six cylinders. They use the energy released by burning fuel to drive the crankshaft, and are the most common type of car engine.

V Engines - V engines have two lines of cylinders oriented on a 60 to 90 degree angle, and are used in vehicles that require more power and torque. They use the same principles as straight engines to create power, but can be more compact than other types of cars.


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