Have you ever opened the hood of your car and wondered what was going on in there? A car engine can look like a big confusing jumble of metal, tubes and wires to the uninitiated.


Photo courtesy DaimlerChrysler
2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee Engine

You might want to know what's going on simply out of curiosity. Or perhaps you are buying a new car, and you hear things like "3.0 liter V-6" and "dual overhead cams" and "tuned port fuel injection." What does all of that mean?

If you have ever wondered about this kind of stuff, then read on -- In this article, we'll discuss the basic idea behind an engine and then go into detail about how all the pieces fit together, what can go wrong and how to increase performance.