Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How Does Engine Timing Work?

asked by on

How does engine timing work?

A: Engine timing is actually a closely coordin...

Engine timing is actually a closely coordinated dance between valve timing, injector timing, and spark timing.

Valve timing is the control of opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves in synchronization with the up / down movement of the pistons. This ensures that air and fuel get into the combustion chambers, the fuel burns at the proper time, the exhaust gases are expelled from the cylinders, and the cycle begins again.

Fuel injection timing is spraying fuel into the intake air stream or combustion chamber while the cylinders are on their intake strokes.

Spark timing is igniting the air/fuel charge at the right time so that the most usable power is created and the least amount of emissions exit the engine.

When you combine all three of these systems together - pistons moving up and down, intake valves opening and closing allowing air and fuel to enter the cylinders, spark plugs igniting the air/fuel mixtures, and exhaust valves opening and closing allowing exhaust gases to exit the cylinders, you have the total effect of engine timing.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: shuts off after driving

If I was diagnosing your Hummer, I would want to know if there were any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) stored in any of the computer modules. I would see if the Check Engine light was on and use my scan...

Q: I wanted to replace the timing belt and was told to replace other belts as well since it is being pulled off and also bearings,

When doing the timing belt maintenance, it is normal procedure to replace the water pump, timing belt, belt tensioner (which may be the bearing he was referring to), and the camshaft seals. The camshaft seals are not always included in...

Q: Broken belts oil leak

This vehicle uses only one belt and an automatic tensioner. You didn't say what engine you have, but the V8 engines are known for having problems with the harmonic balancer coming loose or falling apart. This could be one reason...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...