The crankshaft is what converts the up and down motion of the pistons into a rotational motion that allows the car to move. The crankshaft typically fits lengthwise in the engine block near the bottom. It extends from one end of the engine block to the other. At the front of the end of the engine, the crankshaft connects to rubber belts which connect to the camshaft and delivers power to other parts of the car; at the back end of the engine, the camshaft connects to the drive train, which transfers power to the wheels. At each end of the crankshaft, you’ll find oil seals, or “O-rings,” which prevent oil from leaking out of the engine.
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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