Piston engines can be found in everything from gas-powered weed trimmers, to giant eighteen-wheel tractor-trailer rigs, to the car you drive every day. The piston engine converts combustible fuel to energy by using a four-step process of intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. Air is brought into the engine through the intake manifold, mixed with fuel, compressed and ignited in the combustion chamber, then expelled as exhaust. The combustion of fuel causes the pistons to move up and down and turn the crankshaft, which ends up moving the wheels of your car. For a piston engine to operate efficiently, all components should be in good working order. While internal engine components may be difficult to inspect without taking the engine apart, external symptoms can indicate whether there may be a problem with your car’s engine. One of the most obvious signs of a possible problem can be excessive smoke. Rough idling or running engines could mean an internal problem or something very minor. For more information on piston engines, consult a mechanic in your area.