IC Engine Terminology | Basic Definition Used In Engine Terminology | Car Engine Terminology

Basic Engine Terminology:

01-IC Engine Basic Terminology - Parts of an IC Engine

Top Dead Centre (TDC):

Refers to the position of the crank shaft when the piston is in its top most position

Bottom Dead Centre (BDC):

Refers to the position of the crankshaft when the piston is in its lowest position

01-Basic Engine Terminology - Car Engine Perormance Terminology


Diameter of the engine cylinder


Distance travelled by the piston in moving from TDC to BDC

01-Engine Terminology - TDC - BDC - Swept Volume - Clearance Volume

Clearance Volume:

Volume of cylinder (including combustion chamber) above the piston when it is in the TDC position

Piston Displacement:

Volume swept by the piston in moving from TDC to BDC. It's also called as swept volume

01-compression ratio - Clearance volume - Displacement volume

Engine capacity:

Total piston displacement of all the engine cylinders

Compression ratio:

Ratio of the volume above the piston at BDC to the volume above the piston at TDC. About 9 – 11 in Petrol Engines and 15 – 24 in Diesel Engines

Mean Effective Pressure:

Average effective pressure throughout the whole power stroke


Work done in a given period of time

Indicated Power (IP):

Power developed within the engine cylinders; calculated from area of the engine indicator diagram. Unit – Kilowatts (KW)

Brake Power (BP):

Actual power delivered at the crankshaft; obtained by deducting various power losses in the engine from the IP; measure with a Dynamometer. This is what keeps the vehicle running at any speed once you have accelerated.

01-Brake power - Engine Power - Indicated power

Engine Torque:

Force of rotation acting the crankshaft axis at any given instant of time. It provides the vehicle acceleration and is directly proportional to engine power.

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