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What does engine capacity mean?

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When we started these comparisons, there are quite a number of things we took for granted. These same issues continue appearing in stories which make it difficult for some readers to understand what we are talking about.

We shall therefore try to demystify some of the terms we commonly use. We normally refer to the engine capacity as 1.6 or 2.0 liter engine. What we mean by engine capacity is the displacement of oil needed to fill all cylinders.

Simply explained, if you put all the pistons at the bottom of the engine and poured say water in the cylinders, the amount you would require to fill all the cylinders is 2 litres for a 2.0 engine capacity. In other words each cylinder requires half a litre for a 4-cylinder engine.

The other difference that should be noticed is the EFI (electronic fuel injection) or the naturally aspirated carburetor. The EFI is a latter technological advancement in the motor vehicle industry. Where two vehicles with the same engine capacity but with EFI or carburetor, the choice should be the EFI because it is definitely more economical. However, the gadgets for calibrating an EFI are not as many as the technicians who can repair the carburetor. Even when diagnosing fuel related faults, there are more trouble shooting in an EFI.

The manual (stick-shift) transmission has its own experience especially for new drivers as compared to the automatic transmission. The automatic transmission will normally decide when to change gears while the stick shift leaves that challenge to the driver. Where two similar vehicles with the same engine are automatic and the other manual, the manual will have a better fuel consumption. However, with the ever increasing traffic jams, the fatigue is higher in a manual transmission. Also tear and wear of components like the clutch disc, clutch cover and the release bearing will be higher. The cost of replacements can therefore be foregone by the convenience of an automatic transmission.

Until 2 decades ago, the common thing was driving a rear wheel drive. Selling a front wheel drive would be a very difficult task. Today, most of the dot-com drivers don’t even know such vehicles exist save for trucks. Such sedan vehicles are still many but given an option, the front wheel drive has several advantages over the rear wheel drive.

The FWD will easily get out of the mire as compared to the rear wheel drive. Also, since the engine and final drive are near each other, the amount of materials used is less, giving it less weight to carry thus a lower fuel consumption other factors being equal. The stability of a FWD is also enhanced by the weight in front. That said, the stress of this weight is born by the front wheels. If you want even wear, you have to frequently rotate the tyres otherwise you will have to buy front tyres more frequently. The front wheels brakes also take a fair beating.

 It should be remembered that the same vehicle can give different drivers different performance. The reason is because we race differently, change gears differently and at different speeds, even our braking is different. Human factors therefore play a major part in our vehicles reaction.


Comments (7)Add Comment
engine capacity
written by harshil, January 07, 2010
how can we measure engine capacity.?
please reply as soon as possible
Informative
written by Engine Crazy, September 24, 2010
Thanx. I have always wondered what engine capacity meant and until now I couldnt find an article that clearly defines it as well as you do. Good job
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written by Michael Elias , December 19, 2010
I am interested with your topic about the differences between AT and MT cars. The relationship between cc engine capacity visa avs cyclinders. My question is what is the different between two cars like Nissan Patrol all with 4 cylinders but one with addition of Turbo.

I hope to hear from you.
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written by Ricky, January 30, 2011
Good point, next you should give readers a comparison between caburator and EFI, followed by diesel and petrol engines, esp when they're all aotu or manual transmission.
Couldn't get my comment added, here it it is
written by Ricky, January 30, 2011
I think the writer is scared to mention his preference. He's failed to tell us that the landcruiser has a VX and GX!! It's only the GX that you could compare with the patrol. Both trucks should be having something copied from Landrover the 'king.' As for sale of both, this depends on gov't (the biggest buyer) today they order this and t'row the other, depending on who'll supply (enjawulo), then the spares will also be available.
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written by Meza Jere, January 22, 2014
That is good info now i have to know how that fuel that is filled in these is used up.I mean if you have a 2l engine,how fast is that two liters used up.

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