Truck Trend Shop Class: Engine Compression

By Team Writer / August 9, 2019

Compression plays a critical role in the operation of internal combustion engines by pressurizing the mixture of fuel and oxygen that is then ignited to power the engine. The pressure helps make the ignition produce more energy more efficiently by aerosolizing the fuel/air mixture into an abundance of tiny droplets, which will combust more strongly than the same amount of fuel arranged in larger drops. Static compression measures how much an engine compresses its fuel in “ideal” circumstances.

Key Takeaways:

  • In order to produce enough force to work properly, your engine must ignite a fuel/air mixture under the right level of pressure.
  • Smaller but more numerous droplets of fuel will burn more efficiently than the same amount of fuel in fewer, larger droplets.
  • Your engine’s compression is determined by a wide variety of different traits, not just its compression.

“A mild comparison might be your home furnace keeping you warm and fuzzy at night and a supercharged big-block lifting the front wheels off the ground on takeoff.”

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