3-cylinder engine: better or worse?

4 de May de 2022 5 minutes read Technical Tips

It doesn’t matter if you are a mechanic, a rectifier, an applicator, or if you just follow the news and novelties in the automotive industry, the fact is that you have certainly heard about the 3-cylinder engine. This technology, which still divides opinions among some experts, is almost a must-have among the newly launched compact cars on the market. That is why, in today’s article, we will better understand how this machine works. Come with RIO!

What changes with the 3-cylinder engine anyway?

Cutting to the chase, the 3-cylinder engine is a trend that has become established over the past few years in automakers worldwide. This practice, also known as downsizing, involves reducing the size of the engine to improve the efficiency of the car.

The central idea is to keep power, torque and throttle response even with one cylinder less in the equation. It is worth pointing out, however, that this has nothing to do with building “miniature engines.” Actually, the concept is more related to the development of an engine capable of delivering more performance with less weight and less fuel consumption.

Just do the math: if there is a smaller amount of fuel being burned, the emission of pollutants decreases, as does the consumption of gasoline, alcohol and the like. In addition, this type of engine, with its more modern rearrangement, delivers other benefits that are felt throughout the life of the vehicle.

In other words, a mechanic that delivers obvious overall weight and internal friction reduction, which is great. All very fascinating and innovative, it is true. But, in all this scenario, what about performance? After all, a 3-cylinder engine is incapable of delivering the performance and speed of a 4-cylinder engine, right? Well, not quite! We will understand this better in the next topic.

Understand the benefits of this technology

In good old Portuguese, the idea of creating an engine without the standard 4 cylinders is to put into circulation a car that “drinks” less fuel. Just do the math: if less fuel is burned, the emission of pollutants decreases, as does the consumption of gasoline, alcohol, and the like.

In addition, the 3-cylinder engine also has a lower production cost, since this technology decreases the number of pistons, piston rings, connecting rods, valves and springs in each vehicle. And to make the official test run, we have organized here some of the main advantages that this downsizing trend presents:

Lighter engines

By being more compact and using fewer materials, the 3-cylinder engine also manages to be lighter than an equivalent four-cylinder engine. To get an idea, it is a difference that can reach 30 kilos.

This directly affects the final weight of the car, besides benefiting some other points, such as workshop maintenance and relieving the strain on the front suspension.

More efficiency and performance

As we mentioned above, another highlight of the 3-cylinder engine is its overall efficiency. Whether in fuel consumption or emissions, the fact is that this technology has proven to be more environmentally responsible than its counterpart.

This is possible precisely because of changes in the shape of the combustion chamber and piston head, resulting in lower losses through the exhaust system. Other than that, they usually use variable valve timing, a technology that improves the way the gases enter and leave the chamber.

Less friction on components

Did you know that in a 4-cylinder engine, much of the power generated by combustion serves only to combat friction between the moving parts? With the reduction in moving parts, friction is also reduced and the vehicle is able to perform better.

Did you know about these particularities of 3-cylinder engines? Don’t forget that when it comes to maintenance, the applicator’s greatest ally is always a reliable supplier like RIO, which offers certified quality parts and a guarantee of provenance with the Orange Box you already know!

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