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How a 4 stroke engine works

The Otto cycle is characterized by four strokes, or straight movements alternately, back and forth, of a piston inside a cylinder:

1. intake (induction) stroke

compression stroke

power (combustion) stroke

exhaust stroke

The cycle begins at top dead centre (TDC), when the piston is furthest away from the crankshaft. On the first stroke (intake) of the piston, a mixture of fuel and air is drawn into the cylinder through the intake (inlet) port. The intake (inlet) valve (or valves) then close(s) and the following stroke (compression) compresses the fuel-air mixture.

Four-stroke cycle (or Otto cycle)The air-fuel mixture is then ignited, usually by a spark plug for a gasoline or Otto cycle engine or by the heat and pressure of compression for a Diesel cycle or compression ignition engine, at approximately the top of the compression stroke. The resulting expansion of burning gases then forces the piston downward for the third stroke (power) and the fourth and final stroke (exhaust) evacuates the spent exhaust gases from the cylinder past the then-open exhaust valve or valves, through the exhaust port.

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