What type of engine do you want when buying a car? | OkCarz

What is the difference between I-4, V6, and V8 engines? 

Buying a new car means that you have to navigate all of the terms and specifications. While some are obvious, like how the size and style of the vehicle will relate to the interior dimensions, there are other aspects that can feel as unfamiliar as if they were in another language. For many people, this sticking point in vehicle knowledge is often related to performance and which engines are available on models. 

An engine in a vehicle works when a piston moves in a cylinder, which is connected to a crankshaft that provides energy to the transmission and wheels, which is what causes the vehicle to move. The piston in the cylinder compresses a mixture of air and gasoline, which creates a small explosion when a spark from a spark plug is given off. This energy is what moves the piston back down, starting the cycle over again, after the exhaust is expelled. The number of cylinders, and by extension, pistons, is what determines how powerful the vehicle is.  

[Related: How to measure engine performance]

Image of an engine from a 2018 Ford ExplorerWhich engines are the most powerful? 

When you’re looking for a car or a crossover, it is likely that the engines you’ll encounter are an I-4 or V6. That means that there are either four or six cylinders in the engine providing power. The “I” and “V” stand for the configuration of the cylinders on the engine block. The “I” stands for inline, meaning that all of the cylinders are in a straight line on the engine. With a “V” the cylinders are placed so that they are at an angle from one another, creating a V-shape. Most inline engines have four, five, or six cylinders, while V-oriented engines are best suited with six or more cylinders.  

This is why drivers who are looking for a truck or a larger SUV are more likely to find a V-configured engine with either six or eight cylinders. These will likely provide more power, allowing the vehicle to tow a trailer or accommodate more weight. No matter what style of engine you’re looking for, OkCarz has plenty of options for you to consider, as well as financing assistance that can be found online, along with the entire inventory.

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