How an Air Intake System Works Inside of an Internal Combustion Engine

How an Air Intake System Works Inside of an Internal Combustion Engine

Anybody that has ever seen gasoline spark a fire or ignite an explosion knows that gas can produce an impressive amount of energy. Everyday drivers on the road carry gallons of gasoline in their tank to help create the energy they need to get from point A to point B. But, how is this energy harnessed to give drivers consistency and not powerful explosions?

The answer is an internal combustion engine. The internal combustion engine mixes a small amount of gasoline and air in a combustion chamber to create the power necessary for driving. Of course, there are many other parts to the engine, but the mixture of fuel and oxygen is the key component.

How an Internal Combustion Engine Works

internal combustion engine
Currently, most vehicles use a 4 stroke combustion cycle to convert their fuel source into driving power. The 4 stroke cycle was originally designed by Nikolaus Otto in 1867 and is also known as the Otto Cycle.

In the first step of this cycle, engines are designed to mix the air and fuel into the combustion chamber. As seen in the image, this process occurs by having the crankshaft and piston force fuel into the combustion chamber, and having the air intake open to allow air into the combustion chamber.

After that is completed, there is a compression of the fuel and air that fires the spark plug and generates the energy for the vehicle. The final step of the 4 stroke combustion cycle is the exhaust opening and releasing the excess fuel. This cycle is like the heartbeat of a vehicle and is something that is constantly in motion.

The Air Intake System

The two main components that generate the power in an internal combustion engine are fuel and air. We all know about fuel and how high quality fuel can help a vehicle run, but what about the air?

air intakeHaving a strong air intake system can increase torque by 20-70 pounds!
Without aftermarket modifications, vehicles come with a stock intake tube, air box, and disposable air filter that deliver the oxygen into the combustion chamber. These intake tubes are usually skinny and filled with a variety of turns and bends, so it can fit inside of the vehicle’s engine. A stock intake system is designed to limit noise and stay concealed; it’s not designed to give drivers maximum power.

Replacing the stock system with a powerful aftermarket air intake system can bolster your vehicle’s power and torque. Ideal air intake systems increase the velocity of the air until it reaches the combustion chamber. They do this by limiting the bends (which helps to increase power) and pulling air from outside of the engine because it is cooler and denser. Adding an air intake system can increase horsepower anywhere from 5-20 HP and can increase torque anywhere from 20-70 pounds!

If you’re looking to take your vehicle’s engine to the next level, then look into an aftermarket air intake system.

By: Tim Snyder
Posted on September 25th, 2013
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