What’s an Intake Valve?

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Intake valves allow air/fuel mixture into an engine’s cylinders for compression and combustion. Two valves are used in each cylinder, with the exhaust valve driving air out. Improper valve function can decrease power and gas mileage. The most common type of intake valve is the poppet valve, which can be located at the top or side of the cylinder.

An intake valve is the name for a valve that allows air or fluid to pass through it, typically during the intake phase of an engine’s operation. The most common example is found inside a typical modern car engine, also known as an internal combustion engine. The valves allow a mixture of air and fuel into the engine’s cylinders, where it can be compressed. They close during the compression stroke and the spark plug ignites the fuel-air mixture, creating a force that pushes the car forward.

Two valves are used in each cylinder of the car engine. The intended purpose of the intake valve is to open and close in time to let in the right amount of air/fuel mixture. The second valve in the cylinder is known as the exhaust valve. It is almost identical to intake, except that its purpose is to drive air out after combustion has occurred instead of in.

If these valves do not close or open properly, problems can occur. The engine will create less power and the car will not move as fast. Not only can this damage the engine over time, but it also hurts your gas mileage as the car uses more gas while also creating less horsepower than normal.

The most common valve type used for an intake valve is the poppet valve. It is also called a poppet valve because of its shape: it looks like an elongated mushroom with a large head blocking the inlet to the cylinder and an attached stem to move the head. When the head is moved, air can pass around it, but when the head blocks the cylinder, it fits snugly like a cap to keep more air from getting in.

The location of the intake and exhaust valves in a car engine can vary. Many have both valves located at the top of the cylinder, while other engines may put the valves on the sides. The valves can also be in combination with one valve on the top of the cylinder and the other located on the side.

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