How Many Types of Engine are there? [With PDF]

Hello readers, today I am going to discuss the types of engines.

When we hear the word “Engine” that means delivering directly or indirectly Power, to run the system.

The term Engine can be understood by taking a simple example,

Considering, you going to market for buying a Motorcycle. First thing what you will see

  1. Which Brand would be good
  2. the Price
  3. Which types of Engine and the engine Mileage
  4.  Reliability, Durability
  5. Service center nearer and more stuffs

Moving to Engines, Burning of Fuel how much Power delivers (Power can be used for moving the vehicles forward, lighting the bulb and more).

types of engines
CC BY-SA 3.0,

Types of Engine:

We can broadly classify engines into two categories those are Internal Combustion Engine and External Combustion Engine.

Internal Combustion Engine: Fuel combustion takes place inside the engine system.

Example: Motorcycle, Car, Bus (fuel burns inside the engine system)

External Combustion Engine: Fuel combustion takes place outside the engine system.

Example: Steam Engine, Power Plant (In Turbine blade rotating and with the help of induction motor produces electricity)

Further, the Engines has been classified into 10 different categories:

  1. Number of Cylinder Engine
  2. Arrangement of Cylinder Engine
  3. Valve arrangement 
  4. Number of strokes per cycle
  5. Methods of Ignition
  6. Firing order
  7. Types of fuel burn
  8. Type of Cooling
  9. Reciprocating or Rotary Engine and
  10. Thermodynamic Cycle Engine

Number of Cylinder:

  • Single Cylinder
  • Double Cylinder and 
  • Multi-Cylinder Engine

Single Cylinder:

The single-cylinder means only one cylinder used in the engine. 

Examples: Motorcycle, Scooter

Double Cylinder:

The double-cylinder means two-cylinder used.

Multi-Cylinder Engine:

The multi-cylinder means more than 2 cylinders used.

Here it might be 3 cylinders, 4 cylinders and more.

Arrangement of Cylinder:

  • V type
  • W type
  • Inline or Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Radial
  • Opposed Engine

V and W type:

Here cylinder is placed at some angle between each other. Why angle? because it prevents the problem of vibration and balancing.

Inline or Vertical:

The cylinder arranged or placed in a vertical position.


The cylinder arranged or arranged in a horizontal position.


This is a reciprocating type internal combustion engine.

Cylinders radiate outward from a central crankcase like the spokes of a wheel.

Opposed Engine:

The cylinder arranged horizontally opposite to each other. This type of cylinder arrangement can be run smoothly at much higher speeds and gives higher outputs.

Valve arrangement:

  • L-head
  • T-head
  • I-head
  • F-head


The inlet, exhaust valves are arranged side by side and operated by a single camshaft. 

The cylinder and combustion chamber forms an inverted “L”.


In I-head the inlet and exhaust valves are located in the cylinder head. 

A single valve actuates all the valves. These types of engines are used in automobiles.


It is a combination of L-head and I-head engines.

One valve usually inlet valve which is in the head and the exhaust valve which is in the cylinder block.


It has inlet valves on one side and exhaust valves on another side of the cylinder.

Therefore, two camshafts are required to operate them. 

The number of strokes per cycle:

  • 4 Stroke and
  • 2 Stroke

In 4 stroke the cycle of engine complete 4 strokes of piston whereas

In 2 stroke the cycle of engine completes 2 strokes of the piston.

Methods of Ignition:

  • Spark Ignition (SI) and
  • Compression-Ignition (CI) Engine

Spark Ignition (A homogenous mixture of air and fuel vapor is supplied to the engine and the combustion is initiated by spark plug)

Compression-Ignition (Air sucked inside the cylinder is compressed to a higher pressure and temperature, This temperature exceeds the self-ignition temperature of the fuel.)

The engine cycle of both SI and CI engines can be completed in 2 strokes or 4 strokes of the piston.

Firing order:

Firing order changes from cylinder to cylinder.

  1.   Single Cylinder 1  
  2.   Double Cylinder 1-2  
  3.   Three-Cylinder 1-2-3, 1-3-2  

Types of fuel burn:

  1. Petrol (The engine works on Petrol fuel such as Motorcycle )
  2. Oil or Diesel (engine works on Diesel)
  4. Multi-Fuel Engine (Use gasoline or diesel oil for starting the engine and kerosene as there primary fuel)

Type of Cooling:

  1. Water Cooling (Engine cooled by circulating water)
  2. Air Cooling (Engine cooled by blowing atmospheric air over the hot surface)

Reciprocating or Rotary:

  1. Reciprocating and
  2. Rotary Engine

Thermodynamic Cycles:

  1. OTTO or Constant Volume Cycle (In this the energy released during the combustion of a fuel occurs at constant volume.)
  2. DIESEL or Constant Pressure Cycle (In this the energy released during the combustion of a fuel occurs at constant pressure.)
  3. DUAL or Limited Pressure Cycle (In this the energy released by combustion of a fuel partly at constant volume and pressure.)

So these are all about the types of engine, let me know in the comment section if you have any doubts or suggestions.

Ops! I forget to tell you that do share this article on your favorite social media platform. Bye Bye


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Anup Kumar Dey

A Mechanical Engineer with 19 years of working experience in various renowned MNCs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts