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Engine Classications and Advanced Transportation Technologies

Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to: Explain various engine classications and systems. Know the various differences in cylinder heads. Describe differences in operation between gasoline and diesel four-stroke piston engines. Explain the operation of two-stroke and Wankel rotary engines.


cylinder bank ring order companion cylinders oxides of nitrogen (NOX) bimetal engine electrolysis L-head I-Head OHC SOHC DOHC cross-ow head stratied charge diesel-cycle compression ratio Wankel engine two-stroke engine ZEV regenerative braking hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)

A service technician needs an understanding of the basic designs and congurations of automobile engines to be able to intelligently use service manuals or communicate with customers or peers. Examples of engine-related terms found in a service manual might include reference to a 1.6L OHC V6 engine, or the term crankcase capacity. This chapter deals with the terms related to engines. After reading it, you should be able to look under the hood of an automobile and describe what type of engine it has.

Valve location: head or block Combustion chamber design Cam location: head or block Fuel used: gasoline or alternative fuel Ignition system: spark or compression Number of strokes per cycle: two or four

An automobile engine has three, four, ve, six, or more cylinders. Cylinders are arranged in several ways including: in-line, in a V arrangement, or opposed to each other (Figure 16.1). Modern engines come with 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, or 12 cylinders. An in-line engine has all of its cylinders lined up in one row. Some in-line engines have the cylinders vertically arranged and some of them are slanted at various angles. This is so that they can t into an

Piston engines all have the same basic parts, as we learned in the last chapter. But differences in design can affect how you will go about repairing them. Understand the following engine classications as you read this chapter: Cylinder arrangement Cooling system: air or liquid

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Figure 16.3 A crankpin for a V8 engine is double wide so it can t two connecting rods. (Courtesy of Tim Gilles)

Figure 16.1 Cylinder arrangements.

engine compartment with a lower hood line for less wind resistance. A V-type engine looks like the letter V when looked at from the end. V-type cylinders are cast in two rows, called the left and right cylinder banks. Left and right banks are identied when viewed from the ywheel end of the engine. V8 blocks are cast with the cylinder banks separated by a 90-degree angle. V6 blocks have either 60 degrees or 90 degrees between banks. The V6 shown in Figure 16.2 is a 60-degree V.

Older cars had in-line eight-cylinder engines called straight eights.

There are big block and small block V8 engine designs. Smaller, lighter blocks are more popular in passenger cars because of their fuel efciency. An intake manifold covers the area between the heads known as the valley. The V cylinder arrangement has an advantage over the in-line arrangement when an engine has more than four cylinders. The V-type engine is considerably shorter in length, and a completely assembled V-type engine can typically be lighter in weight than an in-line engine. Connecting rods from two cylinders on opposite sides of the engine will share one crankpin (Figure 16.3). Thus, the engine block requires fewer main bearing supports. Opposed engines, sometimes called pancake engines, have their cylinders arranged so they face each other from opposite sides of the crankshaft. Opposed engines are especially suited for smaller underhood areas. They have been found on such cars as Porsche, Volkswagen, and Subaru.

To make a smooth-running engine, multiple-cylinder engines have their power strokes spaced at specied intervals. In a four-cylinder engine, one cylinder starts a power stroke at every 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation (Figure 16.4). This interval between power strokes is known as the ignition interval. Within two turns of the crankshaft, all of the engines cylinders will have red once. The order in

Figure 16.2 A 60-degree V6 engine. (Courtesy of DaimlerChrysler)

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First stroke

Second stroke 720 360

Third stroke

Fourth stroke

360 180 180 180


First cylinder Second cylinder Third cylinder Fourth cylinder

Power Compression Intake Exhaust

Exhaust Power Compression Intake

Intake Exhaust Power Compression

Compression Intake Exhaust Power

Figure 16.4 A four-cylinder engine has one cylinder on a power stroke every 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation.

which the cylinders re is known as the ring order. The ring order does not usually follow the order of cylinder numbering. It is not unusual for two V6 or V8 engines to have different ring orders.

1 5 3 | | | second revolution, 6 2 4 For a V8 with a 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 ring order, put numbers 1, 8, 4, and 3 above numbers 6, 5, 7, and 2. 1 8 4 3 | | | | second revolution, 6 5 7 2 Remember, the crankshaft turns two revolutions (720 degrees) to complete one four-stroke cycle. The rst half of the ring order represents one crankshaft revolution (360 degrees). The second half of the ring order represents the second revolution of the crankshaft (360 degrees). In the above example, when cylinder number 7 is beginning its intake stroke, cylinder number 4 is beginning its power stroke. This eight-cylinder engine would have one power stroke every 90 degrees of its 720 degrees four-stroke cycle. Therefore, a V8 should have banks 90 degrees from each other for even ring; a V6 should have 120 degrees or 60 degrees between its banks. 720 _______ 90 degrees 8 (cyl.) rst revolution,

rst revolution,

Companion Cylinders
Any engine with an even number of cylinders will have pairs of cylinders called companion cylinders, or running mates. The pistons go up and down in pairs. The companions in the in-line six-cylinder engine shown in Figure 16.5 are 1 and 6, 2 and 5, and 3 and 4. When one piston is starting its power stroke, its companion piston will be at the start of its intake stroke. To nd out which cylinders are companions, take the rst half of the engines ring order and place it above the second half. The ring order for the engine shown in Figure 16.5 is 1-5-3-6-2-4. To determine the companions, put numbers 1, 5, and 3 above 6, 2, and 4.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Engines use either of two types of cooling systems: air cooling or liquid cooling. Air-cooled engines are found on lawnmowers, motorcycles, and some automobiles. Cooling happens when air is circulated over cooling ns that are cast on the outside of engine parts. Because of higher running temperatures that cause increased oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions (a major component in photochemical smog), production of these engines has been curtailed in recent years. Liquid-cooled engines have water jackets to cool the areas around all cylinders and valve-seat areas.

Figure 16.5 This vintage L-head in-line six-cylinder engine shows companion cylinder pairings. The pistons in cylinders 1 and 6, 2 and 5, and 3 and 4 go up and down together. (Courtesy of Tim Gilles)

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Radiator cap Radiator hose Electric cooling fan Thermostat


Radiator Water pump

Combustion chamber

Water jacket

Figure 16.6 Cooling system parts and coolant ow.

Coolant is pumped through the system by a coolant pump, commonly called a water pump. A thermostat controls the ow of coolant between the engine and radiator to maintain temperature at a specied level. Figure 16.6 shows parts of a cooling system. A coolant mixture with a concentration of about 50% water and 50% anti freeze provides freezing and boiling protection. The coolant is designed to prevent rust and electrolysis, which causes corrosion. In the bimetal engine found in most of todays cars, the combination of iron cylinder blocks and aluminum cylinder heads is found. These two dissimilar metals promote electrolysis, or the creation of an electrical current. Electrolysis causes much faster deterioration of the metals.



Engines are also classied by where valves are located. There are two common valve arrangements for internal combustion four-stroke engines: L-head and I-head (Figure 16.7). The I-head is used in todays automobiles. (a) (b)

Figure 16.7 (a) An L-head, or athead, engine has the valves in the block. (b) When the valves are in the cylinder head, the engine is known as an I-head engine.

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L-Head (Vintage)
Many automobiles until the early 1950s had L-head engines (see Figure 16.5). The valve conguration resembles an upside-down L (see Figure 16.7). These engines are also called atheads or sidevalves and are still used in lawnmowers, generators, and other industrial engines. The advantage of the L-head is that it is less expensive to manufacture. Its main disadvantage is that it produces more exhaust emissions than other engine designs. The athead is also limited in its compression ratio and valve lift (the height of the valve opening). Increased valve lift would require more clearance in the combustion chamber, which would lower compression.

The overhead valve (OHV) engine found in todays cars is known as an I-head or valve-in-head engine (see Figure 16.7). It breathes better than the athead because it has a more direct path of air-fuel ow. I-heads also create less smog because they have less surface area in the combustion chamber; more surface area causes more quenched, unburned fuel. Unlike the L-head, an I-head valve job can be performed with the head on the workbench. The head may be cleaned before it is reinstalled so that grinding grit will not enter the engine. Higher compression is possible with the I-head because, unlike the athead, the combustion chamber does not need extra volume to accommodate the valves. Increased valve lift is possible because, as the valve opens, the piston is moving down in the cylinder (on the intake stroke) or is already at BDC (on the exhaust stroke). Increasing the valve opening to a certain point is necessary to allow enough airfuel mixture into the cylinder to develop maximum power. The more air-fuel mixture that is packed into the cylinder, the more power will be developed. This is called volumetric efciency, and it is the reason that turbocharging or supercharging is so effective in producing extra power from relatively small engines. In these engines, an air pump forces more air-fuel mixture into the cylinder at higher engine speeds (see Chapter 42).

above the valve. The OHC is popular for high-speed operation. It has the advantage of having fewer parts and less weight. Some OHC engines have a single overhead cam (SOHC). Each cylinder is provided with two separate lobes to operate the intake and exhaust valves. High-performance OHC engines often have two cams per head. This engine design is called dual overhead cam (DOHC). One cam operates the intake valves; the other operates the exhaust valves. To drive the cam, the OHC engine uses a long chain or belt from the crankshaft sprocket to the camshaft sprocket (Figure 16.8). Some OHC engines use an auxiliary shaft to drive the ignition distributor; others use the crankshaft to drive it. OHC was limited in the past to smaller, in-line engines, except for its use in luxury or racing automobiles. In recent years, belt-driven OHC engines have become commonplace.


The camshaft on I-head engines is located in either the cylinder head or in the cylinder block. The cam-in-block engine is called a pushrod engine, and the cam-in-head design is called an overhead cam engine (OHC). In a pushrod engine, the camshaft acts on pushrods that operate rocker arms to open the valves (see Figure 15.12). In late-model vehicles, pushrods are found most often on V-type engines. A more popular type of valve operating arrangement for in-line engines is the overhead cam design, or OHC (see Figure 15.6). This type of engine has the camshaft mounted on top of the cylinder head, just

Figure 16.8 V-type overhead cam engines. (a) Beltdriven overhead cam V6. (b) Chain-driven overhead cam V8. (Courtesy of Tim Gilles)

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When intake and exhaust manifolds are on opposite sides on an in-line engine, the head is called a crossow head (Figure 16.9). This design improves engine breathing (how efciently intake and exhaust mixtures can ow through it). Cross-ow heads have a coolant passage that provides the intake manifold with heat to help vaporize the fuel.

High-Performance Breathing Arrangements

Multiple Valve Heads. High-performance late-model

engines commonly use three or four valves per cylinder (Figure 16.10). Some exotic engines even have five or six valves per cylinder. The use of multiple valves has become popular due to its improved higher rpm breathing and reduced valve weight. A greater amount of flow area for a given amount of valve lift is possible compared to two valve heads. When an engine will be operated at high engine rpm, the light weight of valves becomes more important. Combining smaller combustion chambers (because of multivalves) with a more central spark plug location has decreased the chances for an engine to knock. This allows the use of higher compression ratios, and delivers more power. To burn very lean air-fuel mixtures, the fuel must be mixed well. At high speeds, there is plenty of turbulence, so this is not a problem. But multivalve heads tend to allow fuel to fall out of the mixture at low speeds. Some multivalve heads use control valves that cause only one intake valve to open at low rpm and another to open at higher rpm. This helps maintain velocity and swirl at low speed and high ow at high speed (Figure 16.11). Other multivalve heads use two intake manifold runners per cylinder. These manifolds are variably tuned using a buttery control valve to control airow.

Exhaust valves

Intake valves

Figure 16.10 Four-valve combustion chamber.


Common combustion chamber designs include the hemi and the wedge (Figure 16.12). Other chamber designs include the pent-roof and chambers shaped like a D or a heart. The wedge chamber is mostly used in pushrod engines, with the camshaft located in the block. It has a squish/quench area that causes movement (turbulence) of the air-fuel mixture and cooling of the gases to prevent abnormal combustion. This movement causes more complete burning at lower speeds with less chance of detonation.

Exhaust port Cross-flow head

Intake port

Figure 16.9 Cross-ow head. (Courtesy of DaimlerChrysler Corporation)

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Below 2,500 rpm

efcient for high-speed use. Because the mixture is centered near the spark plug, the ame spreads evenly. A hemi chamber also allows the use of bigger valves. Sometimes hemis have a tendency to spark knock when using lower octane fuels (see Chapter 39). Diesel engines have no chamber in the cylinder head itself. The combustion chamber side of the head is virtually at. Turbulence and squish in the cylinder are controlled by the shape of the piston head. A pent-roof combustion chamber is shaped like a V. This design is popular for use with four-valve per cylinder designs. The pent-roof and other newer designs are designed for more efcient combustion and better emission control. In a high swirl chamber, like in the wedge chamber, areas on the head surface are raised to cause a planned turbulence of the air-fuel mixture. A stratied charge design was pioneered by Honda in the 1970s. The name comes from the stratication, or layering, of different densities of air-fuel mixtures, where a very small amount of rich mixture ignites a very lean (normally unburnable) mixture in a small precombustion chamber. When it is ignited by the spark plug, the advancing ame front from this small, rich mixture ignites the leaner mixture in the main cylinder. This makes it possible for the engine to run on an air-fuel mixture that is leaner than normal. Newer direct-injected gasoline engines use sophisticated computer controls to cycle high-pressure fuel injectors on and off during the combustion event, providing a very controlled stratied charge.

Above 2,500 rpm

Figure 16.11 At low rpm, velocity and swirl are maintained. At high rpm, there is high ow.


Although this text does not deal specically with diesel engines, most of the automobile engine information included here applies to light-duty diesel engines found in some passenger cars and light trucks. Diesel-cycle and four-cycle gasoline engines share the same basic principles of operation. The difference is in the way the fuels are ignited. The gasoline engine is called a spark ignition (S.I.) engine. A spark is created in the ignition system. A distributor, geared to the camshaft, times and distributes the spark to the spark plug at exactly the correct instant. Late-model engines have computer-controlled spark ignition. Many new engines have distributorless ignition systems (D.I.S.) with ignition coils that are triggered by the computer in response to a signal from a camshaft or crankshaft sensor.

Spark plug

Spark plug

Cylinder Cylinder Hemi (Nonturbulent)

Squish/ quench area



Wedge (Turbulent)

Figure 16.12 Hemi and wedge combustion chambers.

Diesel Engine
The diesel engine was invented by Rudolph Diesel in 1892 in Germany. Diesel engines, which can be either two- or four-stroke cycle, are used extensively in heavy equipment and were not used in automobiles until the 1930s. The operation and appearance of the diesel engine is very similar to the gasoline engine.

There are turbulent and nonturbulent combustion chambers. Turbulent combustion chambers, like the wedge, can cause air and fuel to separate from each other at high speeds. A nonturbulent combustion chamber, the hemispherical (hemi) design, is more

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A diesel is a compression ignition (C.I.) engine. It does not use a spark to ignite the fuel. Basically, when air is compressed and fuel is injected into it, the fuel ignites. Compression ratio is the comparison between the volume of the cylinder and combustion chamber when the piston is at TDC and BDC (see Figure 17.4). Diesel compression ratios can be in the neighborhood of 20:1. Gasoline engine compression ratios are usually from 8:1 to 10:1. When air is compressed, it heats up. Because an air-fuel mixture explodes if it is compressed too much, the diesel engine compresses only air. Diesel fuel does not burn at room temperature. But when it is injected into the cylinder at the exact moment ignition is desired, it burns easily in the hot environment of the compressed air (approximately 1,000F). Instead of the ignition system used with gasoline engines, a diesel uses either mechanical injectors operated by a camshaft, a precision fuel distributor and individual injectors, or electronic injectors (Figure 16.13). With either type of injector the pressure of the fuel must be very high in order to overcome the pressures in the cylinders that are reached during the compression stroke. Electronic diesel direct injection is covered in Chapter 42. The diesel can run at very lean mixtures at idle and is generally about one-third more efcient on fuel, although it produces less power than a gas engine. In gasoline engines, the amount of air is changed to control speed and power. In the diesel, the amount of air remains the same while the fuel mixture is changed to control speed and power. The mixture can be as rich as 20:1 under load and as lean as about 80:1 at idle. Problems with the diesel are its high particulate emissions (soot) and the high temperature of combustion, which produce high levels of NOX emissions. Diesels also have starting problems in cold weather, and they require more frequent oil changes and other owner maintenance.

Almost all automotive and truck engines use internal combustion four-stroke piston engines. Over the years, several other engine types have been developed by designers, but only the Wankel rotary and the two-stroke piston engines are found in todays vehicles. The gasoline internal combustion four-stroke piston engine has proven to be the best engine choice to date.

The Wankel Rotary Engine

The Wankel engine is also known as the rotary engine. It operates on the four-stroke cycle, although there are actually no strokes. Automotive rotary engines have two rotors that rotate inside of a chamber that looks like a modied gure eight (Figure 16.14). The rotor has three sides that act as pistons. While one of the chambers is experiencing intake, the others will be doing other parts of the cycle. Thus, one revolution of the crankshaft produces the equivalent of three power strokes. As the rotor turns, the end of one of the lobes moves past the intake port, drawing in fuel and air. Turning further, the mixture is compressed as it nears the spark plug. The spark plug ignites the air-fuel mixture, and the rotor continues revolving until the exhaust port is uncovered. When the exhaust has escaped, the rotor is in position above the intake port to begin the cycle again. Rotary engines do not have pistons that have to start and stop moving hundreds of times per second at high rpm like reciprocating engines do. There are no poppet valves to open and close either. This means that these engines run very smoothly at higher rpm. Rotary engines require complicated emission control systems. The result is that they are not as fuel efcient as they could be. The engine has been in

Fuel injector (a) (b)

Figure 16.13 A diesel engine has a timed high-pressure fuel injector to control the point of ignition.



Figure 16.14 Rotary engine cycle.

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Intake port

Exhaust port

Intake by-pass port


Figure 16.15 A two-stroke cycle engine.

limited use in Mazdas. If readily available alternative clean-burning fuels become a reality, the rotary engine could become a popular choice.

Two-Stroke Cycle
A two-stroke engine can be made smaller and lighter than a four-stroke engine of comparable size. Twostrokes, used for years in outboards, chainsaws, and motorcycles, use a mixture of oil and gasoline for lubrication of the crank, rod, and piston. Some of the new designs for automobiles have crankcases lubricated with pumped oil. A two-stroke engine has a power stroke every crankshaft revolution. The two-stroke cycle begins with the piston at TDC on the power stroke. The cylinder has intake and exhaust ports, which are openings in the side of the cylinder (Figure 16.15). As the piston reaches the bottom of the power stroke, the exhaust port is opened to release exhaust gases. Shortly after the exhaust port opens, the intake port opens and the air-fuel mixture is pushed into the cylinder. This action also helps to push the exhaust out. As the piston moves up on its compression stroke, both the intake and exhaust ports are covered. Older two-stroke engines used a mixture of oil and fuel. This mixture lubricated the lower end (crankshaft and bearings) as it owed through the crankcase on its way to the cylinder. New direct-injection two-strokes use fuel injectors to put fuel into the combustion chamber. Air is pushed into the cylinder using a supercharger (see Chapter 44). The crankcase is pressure lubricated in these engines just like in four-stroke engines. Some older diesel truck engine designs also use a two-stroke cycle, but these engines have high exhaust emissions.

a certain percentage of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) like hybrids, and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), like hydrogen fuel cell electrics. Electric vehicles (EVs) lack exhaust emissions and are therefore ZEVs (other than the power sources used to charge their batteries). Advantages include reduced noise and excellent acceleration torque. If you have ever driven an electric golf cart, you probably have noticed that electric motors have a tremendous torque advantage over gasoline engines during acceleration from a stop. There are some concerns regarding battery EVs and hybrid EVs. One disadvantage is that they must carry many heavy nickel metal hydride or lithium-ion batteries. Also, in the event of an accident, electrolyte in the batteries and their dangerous high voltage require specialized hazard and safety training for emergency service personnel. Most manufacturers developed EVs on an experimental basis in the 1990s, often with research subsidies from the government. Due to practical considerations, the manufacture of EVs powered solely by an electric motor has been discontinued, however. A key problem was their somewhat limited range between recharges (often less than 100 miles). Also, recharging the battery pack required several hours at best. This limited their practicality to short-trip commuter driving. Electric-powered heating and air conditioning were also concerns. The technology that was developed for EVs was not wasted, however. Currently, hybrid vehicles couple existing internal combustion engine (ICE) technology with EV technology to produce a viable alternative to battery EVs. Fuel cell EVs that have been produced and are undergoing further development are also based on technology developed for EVs.

Regenerative Braking
Electric and hybrid vehicles use a large, high-efciency electric motor and a very large battery pack, controlled electronically. During deceleration, the motor is used as a generator, producing electricity to recharge the batteries as it slows the vehicle down. This feature, called regenerative braking, also increases the longevity of the vehicles conventional friction brake linings.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) (Figure 16.16) overcome some of the shortcomings of EVs by combining the electric motor(s) with one or more additional power sources. Hybrids offer improved fuel economy, increased performance, and a reduction in exhaust pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. A moped (Figure 16.17) is one example of a hybrid, with power provided by either the pedaling effort of the rider or by a gasoline engine, or a combination of the two. Submarines are hybrids as well, combining electric power with


The United States Environmental Protection Agency is very interested in clean air. California and other states have regulations requiring manufacturers to sell

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Gasoline engine IC engine Transaxle

Battery pack Starter generator

Figure 16.16 Most hybrid automobiles are powered with an internal combustion engine or a batterypowered electric motor, or both at the same time.

Electric motor assist

Figure 16.18 A Honda Civic hybrid has an electric assist motor/generator between the engine and transaxle.

Pedal power

Fuel tank


Engine power
Figure 16.17 A moped is one example of a hybrid.

Electric motor High-voltage battery Generator

either nuclear or diesel power. Buses, trucks, and locomotives can also be diesel-electric hybrids. Another type of hybrid is the hydraulic hybrid, used mostly in trucks. The energy that would normally be used in braking is captured and stored in hydraulic uid storage tanks. Most hybrid automobiles are powered with an internal combustion engine or a battery-powered electric motor, or both at the same time. NOTE: A motor and an engine are two different things. The following illustrates the difference in HEV terminology: Engine: piston powered by burning fuel Motor: armature powered by electricity Figure 16.18 shows the relationship between the engine, motor generator, and transaxle in a Honda hybrid.

Figure 16.19 A series hybrid.

A gasoline- or diesel-powered engine turns a generator to recharge the battery pack, but the generator does not have direct input to the transmission. The generator can either charge the batteries or power the electric motor that drives the transmission. A series hybrid requires significant battery size and output. No production series hybirds are sold in North America. Another type of series hybrid is the fuel cell hybrid (covered later in this chapter), which replaces the engine and motor/generator with a fuel cell. A fuel cell produces only electricity, so fuel cell hybrids are congured in series.

Series and Parallel Hybrids

Most automotive hybrids have a four-stroke cycle gasoline- or diesel-powered engine, as well as a battery pack and electric motor. The engine and motor can be coupled in series or parallel, or a combination of series and parallel. Series Hybrid. A series hybrid is closer to a true EV because it is powered only by the electric motor (Figure 16.19).

A Santa Fe locomotive used diesel engines to create electricity to run motors and move the train. It was a series hybrid, not used in automobiles because the size of the battery would be extremely large. Trains do not have storage batteries. This technology could have future use in hydrogen fuel cells.

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Parallel Hybrid. A parallel hybrid uses the engine and motor together to provide power to the transaxle (Figure 16.20). The motor is typically mounted in line with the engine, either between the engine and transaxle or inside the transaxle itself. Power is sent by the transaxle to the wheels. Series/Parallel Hybrid. Many automotive hybrids use a series/parallel configuration. Power can be provided by the motor or the engine individually, or the motor and engine together. Some hybrids have two motor generators in the front and another one in the rear (Figure 16.21). These provide all-wheel drive and a substantial boost in torque output. Automotive parallel and series/parallel hybrids have their batteries charged by the engine or by regenerative braking. Instead of using conventional braking, the electric motor used in a parallel hybrid acts like a generator as it slows the car down. Figure 16.22 shows an all-wheel-drive hybrid during regenerative braking. When the batteries are sufciently charged, power to move the vehicle is provided by the electric motor. To allow the regenerative brakes to work more often and to prevent overcharging, the target charge is usually around 60%. The battery can be allowed to charge to as much as 80% to 90% and discharge down to about 30% to 40% of charge while waiting for opportunities for regenerative braking to recharge it without using fuel.

HV battery

Inverter assembly

MG2 Final drive

MGR MG1 Planetary Engine

Mechanical energy

Recovered energy

Figure 16.22 An all-wheel-drive hybrid during regenerative braking.

Differences between Conventional Power and Hybrid Power

The major operating difference between a hybrid and a conventional vehicle powered only by an engine is that the engine in a hybrid vehicle stops running at idle (when certain operating conditions are met). When the hybrids computer program calls for the engine to be restarted, the motor/generator reverses to provide a powerful starting motor. When starting a conventional internal combustion engine, a starter motor turns the crankshaft at about 250 rpm. On a hybrid engine, the motor/generator turns the crankshaft at 5001,000 rpm, much faster than normal. This feature allows the engine to stop running when it would normally be idling, when the vehicle is at rest or decelerating. The engine can seamlessly restart, without the driver or passengers being aware. One objective of the hybrid design is to improve fuel economy. An engine in a hybrid car is often smaller than what would normally be required to run a gasoline-powered vehicle of similar weight. Used in conjunction with an electric motor, a reasonable amount of power is available to accelerate the vehicle. When extra power is needed for climbing a hill, the electric motor assists the small engines power. Disadvantages to hybrid vehicles include their high initial cost and concerns for technician safety from electrocution. Hybrids are more expensive than ordinary ICE vehicles due to the additional expenses of the battery pack, motor controller, and the expensive starter generator. An additional concern is that when freeway driving is the primary mode of operation, regenerative braking is not used. Without regenerative braking, fuel economy suffers to a considerable degree.

Fuel tank High-voltage battery



Figure 16.20 A parallel hybrid.



Rear motor

Front motor

Types of Hybrids
There are several classications of hybrids, depending on the manufacturer. Hybrid classications include mild, medium, full, and plug-in.

Figure 16.21 An all-wheel-drive hybrid with front and rear electric motors.

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Starter/generator stator


Bell housing Starter/generator rotor Torque converter

Figure 16.23 A mild hybrid with a starter/generator attached to the crankshaft-driven explate. Mild Hybrid. A mild hybrid cannot move the vehicle

without assistance from the ICE. A mild parallel hybrid like the General Motors or Dodge light truck provides a gain of about 15% in fuel economy because the engine shuts off at idle. Its key component is a starter/generator attached to its crankshaft by way of the flexplate (Figure 16.23). It has a standard 12-volt battery with a 14-volt charging system. Three additional absorbed glass mat 12-volt batteries and a 42-volt charging system are included as well. Regenerative braking recharges the batteries, except when the antilock brake system is operating. This system cannot power the vehicle with its electric motor, and there is no fuel economy improvement at freeway speeds. A belt alternator starter (BAS) hybrid is a variation of the mild hybrid system. In this system, a belt-driven starter/generator is located in place of a conventional AC generator (Figure 16.24).
Medium Hybrid. A medium hybrid has high-voltage (144V) idle stop capability. It can propel the car using its electric motor, but only after the ICE has started the vehicle in motion. The high-voltage electrical system allows for electric power steering. Full Hybrid. Full hybrids operate with voltages ranging from 300V to 650V. They do everything that medium hybrids do, but they can also power the vehicle from a standing stop. A typical full hybrid idles with the ICE off, using the electric motor for initial acceleration before restarting the engine. The electric motor also provides an additional power boost to the engine when needed. In larger-sized hybrid vehicles, this provides a high-performance feel. Unlike ICEs, electric motors provide full torque from a standing start. Torque is what gives you the feeling of being pushed

Internal combustion engine

Electric motor/ generator

Electronic controls

12/14V battery

36/42V battery

Figure 16.24 A belt alternator starter hybrid system.

back into the seat. Customers buy horsepower, but they drive torque. Electric motors have 100% torque all of the time. This is why an electric go-cart with only 8 HP feels like it is fast. In a hybrid system, as the motor speeds up but its torque remains the same, the engine provides supplementation. From a fuel economy standpoint, the highperformance aspect of hybrid vehicles can result in worse mileage when coupled with an overly enthusiastic driver. Wide-open throttle kills the battery pack and ruins fuel economy. Driving in bursts, accelerating and decelerating, is the most fuel efcient.

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NOTE: Toyota, Ford, and Chrysler use the Toyota hybrid system, which has a series/parallel full hybrid configuration. Honda and GM have regenerative braking and idle stop. Honda uses the engine primarily, with the electric motor providing additional assist. This is the opposite of the Toyota system, which uses the motor for primary power and the engine for recharging and assist. The GM and Dodge truck systems cannot power the vehicle using the electric motor alone.
Plug-In Hybrid. Plug-in hybrids are a newer development

that will become more popular as battery technology improves. A power socket allows their larger batteries to be recharged by an external source of electricity. Conventional hybrids cannot run for more than a very short distance on battery power alone. NOTE: The hybrid was not designed to be driven as an electric vehicle. If the engine fails or runs out of fuel, the electric motor can still move the vehicle for 12 miles. Plug-in hybrids can run for longer distances, although, like EVs, their range is limited to about 70 miles between charges. From an environmental standpoint, driving on electricity alone reduces greenhouse gases and exhaust pollutants, and can provide very high fuel economy (about twice that of a conventional hybrid). They are more expensive than ordinary hybrids due to their higher battery cost.

Figure 16.26 On hybrid vehicles, orange cables are high-voltage cables and are dangerous! (Courtesy of Tim Gilles)

NOTE: Some hybrids use a smart key. If a hybrid is left in the ready position, even though the engine is off, it can restart if the transponder is within a few feet of the vehicle. This is especially unnerving to a technician when the vehicle is in the air with the oil drained out of the engine.

Hybrid Vehicle Service and Safety

For your personal safety, you will need to be aware of some important considerations when you service a hybrid vehicle. This book is written with the objective of preparing a student for an entry-level job. Most experienced automotive technicians will not work on the electrical systems of hybrid vehicles. Manufacturers are very concerned about the possibility of electrocution (Figure 16.25), so they provide training and certication only to highly skilled master technicians. Therefore, the emphasis to this point has been on hybrid vehicle theory. Become familiar with the three color designations of electrical conduit: Black conduit signies ordinary low 12 volts. Yellow conduit indicates 42 volts. This provides enough voltage to jump a gap and arc weld when a wire is disconnected. Orange (Figure 16.26) is the electric/ hybrid color (144 to 650 volts). This can kill you!

Other Hybrid Vehicle Operation, Safety, and Service

More information on hybrid vehicles can be found in other chapters in this book. Operation, safety, and service of hybrid vehicle electrical systems are described in Chapters 30 and 31 (Charging System Fundamentals and Charging System Service, respectively). Battery operation, safety, and service are described in Chapters 26 and 27. Hybrid CVT and planetary operation and power ow are described in Chapter 73, Automatic Transmissions Fundamentals. A good Web site with indepth information on hybrids and fuel cells is http://


When an EV is powered by a fuel cell, it is called a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV or FCX). Figure 16.27 shows an FCEVs design layout. An FCEV does not store electricity but converts it when needed to power the electric motor. The only exhaust by-products are water and heat. Different types of fuel cells exist, but the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell (covered later in this chapter) is thought by many to be the power source most likely to replace the ICE in the next generation. FCEVs are technically hybrid vehicles. They use an electric engine rather than a heat engine to power an electric motor. An FCEV has a battery module to provide backup or supplemental power, like an electric


Can shock, burn, or cause severe injury or death. Service must be performed by qualified personnel only. Refer to Owners Guide or vehicle service manual.

Figure 16.25 A high-voltage warning label from a hybrid vehicle.

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Power control unit Fuel cell radiator

Ultra capacitor

A fuel cell can be described as a sandwich (Figure 16.28). Its two electrodes, the anode and the cathode, are the bread. They are separated by a polymer membrane electrolyte, the lling. Each electrode has a platinum catalyst bonded to one side. Oxygen passes over one electrode, and hydrogen passes over the other. At the anode, the hydrogen reacts to the catalyst and separates into positively charged protons (H+ positive hydrogen ions) and negatively charged electrons (e-). The protons and electrons take different return paths to the cathode. The free electrons produce usable electrical current, which is conducted through the electrical circuit. The oxygen enters the fuel cell through the cathode. The protons move through the electrolyte membrane to the cathode. The catalyst layer on the cathode causes the protons to combine with oxygen from the air and leftover electrons from the electrical circuit. The result is heat and pure water.

Humidifier unit Powertrain radiators (2) Fuel cell stack

Hydrogen tanks

Figure 16.27 Layout of a typical fuel cell vehicle.

supercharger. The battery module is recharged by the fuel cell as well. Fuel cells, invented in the late 1800s, began to gain popularity when they were used by NASA for electrical power generation and water production during manned space ights. They are currently viable for power generation in stationary applications but have always been large in size. Recent advances in technology have resulted in their size being diminished to the point of practicality for installation in automobiles, trucks, and buses. Small fuel cells are now available for powering portable electronic devices. Fuel cells use an electrochemical reaction to produce electricity, much the same as an ordinary car battery. But, unlike the car battery, fuel cells do not wear out or require recharging. They feed on a fresh supply of hydrogen and oxygen. Pure hydrogen is the fuel of choice for a fuel cell, but it must be kept chilled to 253C to remain a liquid. This presents serious refueling and storage problems. Hydrogen can be reformed, using an onboard reformer, from hydrocarbons such as methanol, gasoline, or natural gas, to extract their hydrogen content. There is a big loss of efciency in the reforming process, and it is only a bridging strategy until a future time when pure hydrogen fuel is readily available. The advantage to gasoline reforming is that the rening and distribution system is already in place.

Fuel Cell Construction

Individual cells generate a relatively small voltage, on the order of 0.7 to 1.0 volt each, after accounting for resistance losses. To develop higher voltages, cells are stacked and connected in series. Fuel cells are arranged in stacks of several hundred cells that generate direct current (Figure 16.29). This is converted into alternating current to power the electric motor.





Water (H2O)



Fuel Cell Operation

Fuel cells use hydrogen for fuel, with oxygen from air as the oxidant. Combining hydrogen and oxygen produces electricity. The fuel cell operates similar to a conventional car battery, which produces direct current using an electrochemical process (see Chapter 26). But unlike car batteries, fuel cells never run dead.

1/2 O2



Catalyst Heat

PEM Electrolyte

Figure 16.28 Operation of a fuel cell. (Courtesy of Ballard Power Systems)

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The Future of Fuel Cells

Since the late 1990s, most vehicle manufacturers have built prototype FCEVs, and some have been put in use by the public on an experimental basis (Figure 16.31). Fuel cell vehicles are very responsive and have been well received by the public. However, there are some serious concerns that will need to be addressed before fuel cell automobiles become commonplace. A production and distribution system for hydrogen fuel is just one of the problems. Another serious concern is that fuel cells are expensive and have not proven to have sufcient longevity. Replacing a very expensive fuel cell at 60,000 miles is not a viable option. The idea of a fuel cell vehicle is highly appealing, and in some form it will become the way in which future vehicles are powered. However, a commercially viable fuel cell vehicle is not yet on the horizon in the near future.

Expanded single fuel cell

Complete fuel cell stack

Figure 16.29 A fuel cell stack. (Courtesy of Ballard Power Systems)

New Vehicle Development

Many types of vehicles have been invented. But whether they come to production depends on many things. The availability and distribution of fuel, cost of the vehicle, customer satisfaction, drivability and performance, and fuel economy are all considerations. Alternative fuel vehicles are used extensively in eet operations such as utility companies. Specialized training in these technologies is available. Alternative fuels are discussed in Chapter 41.

Instead of a battery, some fuel cell systems use an ultracapacitor (Figure 16.30). It operates in place of a battery, supplying supplemental power to the electric motor during startup and when the fuel cell is under load. It also supplies power for electrical accessories when the vehicle is stopped. Like a battery, a capacitor is an electrical storage device. But unlike a battery, a capacitor does not use a chemical reaction when charging and discharging. It has lower internal resistance and is capable of nearly twice the output of a battery of the same weight. It discharges and stores electricity as the output of the fuel cell stack changes and does not require a converter for voltage regulation as in a battery system. Further information on capacitor operation can be found in Chapter 25, and battery theory is described in Chapter 26.

Figure 16.30 An ultracapacitor that supplements a fuel cell to provide a burst of power to the electric motor and run accessories when needed. (Courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.)

Figure 16.31 A fuel cell installed under the hood of an experimental vehicle. (Courtesy of DaimlerChrysler)

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Piston engines share common parts but there are many different design variations. Cylinders are arranged in-line, in a V, or opposed to each other. The most popular automotive engines have either four, six, or eight cylinders. Cylinders rows, called banks, are determined from the flywheel end of the engine. The crankshaft turns two revolutions (720 degrees) to complete one four-stroke cycle. The first half of the firing order represents one crankshaft revolution

(360 degrees). The second half of the firing order represents the second revolution of the crankshaft (360 degrees). Engines use either liquid or air cooling. The two camshaft designs are pushrod and overhead. An engine operating at 3,000 rpm on the freeway has to open and close each valve 25 times per second. Alternatives to the four-stroke piston engine are not yet viable.

1. What are three ways that cylinders are arranged in a block? 2. What are the rows of cylinders in a V-type block called? 3. What is the name of the area between the heads on a V-type block? 4. List two firing orders for a V8 and for a V6 (see Chapter 37). 5. If a four-cylinder engine has a firing order that is 1-3-4-2, which cylinder is on its exhaust stroke when cylinder #2 is on its intake stroke? 6. What is the name of the design that uses a small amount of rich air-fuel mixture to ignite a leaner mixture? 7. What kind of engine has a combustion chamber that is flat? 8. What is the name of the engine design that is called compression ignition? 9. What kind of engine is a Wankel, reciprocating or rotary? 10. What kind of engine is often found in chainsaws and outboard motors?


1. Technician A says that it takes two revolutions of the crankshaft to fire all eight cylinders on a V8. Technician B says that it takes two revolutions of the crankshaft to fire all six cylinders on a V6. Who is right? a. Technician A c. Both A and B b. Technician B d. Neither A nor B 2. An eight-cylinder engine has a firing order of 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Technician A says that if cylinder #2 is at the beginning of its power stroke, cylinder #3 is starting its intake stroke. Technician B says that if cylinder #3 is at the beginning of its power stroke, cylinder #2 is starting its intake stroke. Who is right? a. Technician A c. Both A and B b. Technician B d. Neither A nor B 3. What valve arrangement is found in modern passenger cars? a. The L-head c. Both A and B b. The I-head d. Neither A nor B 4. All of the following statements are true except: a. The camshaft in an OHC engine is located in the cylinder head. b. Some OHC engines have one camshaft only. c. Some OHC engines have two camshafts. d. The camshaft in a pushrod engine is located on the cylinder head. 5. Which of the following is known as a turbulent combustion chamber? a. The hemispherical combustion chamber b. The wedge combustion chamber c. Both A and B d. Neither A nor B 6. Which of the following engines is likely to be the heaviest? a. An in-line six cylinder b. A V6 c. An in-line four cylinder d. An opposed four cylinder

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7. How many camshafts does a V8 DOHC engine have? a. One c. Three b. Two d. Four 8. Which of the following describes pistons for companion cylinders? a. Two pistons that are next to each other in the block b. Two pistons that are both at TDC or BDC at the same time c. Two pistons that are the same size d. All pistons in one bank of a V-type engine

9. Most automotive hybrids are ___________ hybrids. a. Series c. Fuel cell b. Parallel d. Plug-in electric 10. All of the following are true about hybrid vehicles except: a. The starter cranks at a higher speed than a normal starter. b. The engine is shut off at higher speeds. c. The battery pack is recharged as the vehicle slows down. d. Hybrid vehicles are more expensive than ordinary internal combustion engine vehicles.

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