# Step by step process on how a car converts heat energy to mechanical energy.

Good day to all of you. I hope you guys are staying safe. Today i wanna share with you the secret and techniques on how and what makes a car move.

Back in my teens, I have always wondered what magic did the white man conjure to make a lifeless object to move at ease without any aid.

When my father returns from work, I always wondered, looking perplexed at this piece of magic and intelligence. Many of us probably think all a car need to move is just fuel in it's tank and off it goes, funny isn't it.? Well I once had the same notion until I made some research about cars.

This passion drove me to research how a car derives the energy to move and here it is.

First all let us take a look at the energy transformation inside a car that powers it's wheels to move.

When we say the energy transformation in a car. We simply means the process of changing one form of energy to another energy inside the car.

Energy conversion in cars

The internal combustion engine in the car is what converts the chemical energy in the gasoline oxygen into heat energy, which is transformed into mechanical energy that accelerate the car by causing the pressure (force) that enables the Pistons in a car to work. What i mean here is that for a car to move it needs to convert the energy inside the fuel to produce heat energy which is needed to fire up the engine( mechanical energy) in a car to be able to move.

The car engine transfer the chemical energy stored in the fuel into kinetic energy by expanding the gas via combustion ( this is when the fuel mixes with oxygen to produce heat energy) in the wheels and engine.

After the transfer of heat energy into mechanical energy, the mechanical energy of expanding the gas in car is converted to the Piston movement that is converted to rotary crankshaft movement, this movement is passed into the transmission process or assembly.

As we progress further I will explain the Pistons movement and rotary crankshaft movement.

The rotary movement is further passed to the drive wheels, the rotary movement of the drive wheels is converted to the linear motion of the vehicle. The rotary movement simply means how the crankshaft sends the power to drive wheels to move as a result of the combustion of fuel and oxygen. A crankshaft is a part of a car engine that receives the power from the Piston to make the car wheels move.

See photos of a car crankshaft below:

At this point the mechanical energy changes in electrical energy and the electrical energy changes into light energy in the car lamps, sound energy in car radio cassette, and a part of the electrical energy changes into heat energy in the electric heater of the car air conditioner.

When the battery is used to start the car, the energy is converted from electrical energy to mechanical energy to move the car by converting the chemical energy in the form of fuel(gasoline). It is the mechanical energy which powers the wheels to produce movement and each transformation leads to the production of heat.

What is a Piston?

This article won't be complete without explaining what a Piston is in the engine of a car.

A Piston is one of the most vital component of a car engine. It is plunger- like component of a car engine that moves up and down in a cylinder. A normal Piston has 4 stroke internal combustion. The exhaust stroke forces the Pistons backward upward and removes the left over gas through the exhaust valve under the car. See photos of a four stroke Pistons below:

Now this where the magic happens in the combustion chamber of a car. It is where fuel, air, pressure, and electricity come together that produce the small explosion that makes the car Pistons move up and down, which generates the power in the car engine to move the car. See more photos of Pistons below;

The Pistons apply the same power when you move your legs up and down to turn the pedal to move your bicycle. Pistons are connected via rods to the crankshaft, and they move up and down to spin the crankshaft which in turn power the wheels of the car.