Cars typically have one intake valve and one outtake valve per cylinder. Most high-performing cars (Jaguars, Maseratis, etc.) have four valves per cylinder (two intake, two outtake). While not considered a “high performance” brand, Honda also uses four valves per cylinder on their vehicles. There are even engines with three valves per cylinder — two inlet valves, one outtake valve. Multi-valve systems allow the car to “breathe” better, which in turn improves engine performance.
On the top of the piston, you’ll find three or four grooves cast into the metal. Inside the grooves piston rings are put in. The piston rings are the part that actually touch the walls of the cylinder. They are made from iron and come in two varieties: compression rings and oil rings. The compression rings are the top rings and they press outward on the walls of the cylinder to provide a strong seal for the combustion chamber. The oil ring is the bottom ring on a piston and it prevents oil from the crankcase from seeping into the combustion chamber. It also wipes excess oil down the cylinder walls and back into the crankcase.
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