What is & Maintenance of Internal Combustion Engines

What is Internal Combustion Engine

Internal combustion engine

Do you have an internal combustion engine. The answer is probably YES. 

An internal combustion engine uses fuel such as petrol or diesel to generate power/motion.

It does so by burning the fuel internally under controlled conditions. As the fuel is being burnt a large explosion occurs inside the cylinder of the engine (where the pistons are located). Because this large explosion occurs inside the engine this phenomenon gives it the name ; Internal combustion engine. The force from the explosion moves the piston in an up and down motion which inturn transfers power to where it is needed. For instance in a car engine, the force from the explosion moves the pistons which inturn enables the car to move on the road.

The process by which fuel is burnt and the explosion that occurs and consequently the movement of the pistons is a fast and continuous process and lasts as long as the engine is on.

Examples of things that are powered by internal combustion engines are;


Motor car

Generator set ( that generates electricity)



Mechanical power saw



Ships and boats


Mechanical grinder

Mechanical weed cutter

and so on

How to maintain internal combustion engines.

Internal combustion engines are expensive. To make them last much longer, you must take good care of them. In developing good engine maintenance habits, you must note these;

Engine oil

The engine oil is like the blood in our bodies.

Engine oil is necessary to lubricate the engines, remove impurities and keep it cool. Always check the level of the engine oil of your engine and fill up with the same type of engine oil  when necessary. Check around the body of the engine or floor for oil leakages. If you suspect pil leakage take the car for service immediately. Change the engine oil with the same recommended type every 3 months.


Bigger engines are fitted with radiators which are used to cool the engine with water. Always check the level of water in the radiator. Also always check for water leakage from the radiator.

Engine sound

Always observe changes in engine sound. If you notice an unusual sound from the engine engine , have it checked by a qualified personnel 

Spark plugs

If your engine uses gasoline or petrol  then it is fitted with a spark plug. When engine sound changes, or fails to start, or it is not working as powerful as it used to then the spark plug may need replacement.

Low fuel

Never let your engine run out of fuel. If you are in the habit of doing this; STOP!. Allowing fuel to finish in your engine while running can damage the carburetor of fuel injection. System. For a diesel engine you may always need qualified personnel to start it each time it occurs.

Engine performance 

If engine performance has weakened. Then it’s a good  time to take it for repair.

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