YES! Both the size of the engine’s cylinders and the total number of cylinders does have an impact on how much power the engine can generate. Generally larger engines can accelerate faster and tow heavier loads.


Generally, an engine’s size is given in terms of displacement, which is the volume of the fuel/air mixture that the pistons can move at once. Another way to think of displacement is that it is the total volume of the combustion chambers of each cylinder added together.  It is usually quoted in liters (one gallon = approximately 3.8 liters). A combustion chamber is the space inside the cylinder, where the piston is housed and the engine generates its power.

Number of Cylinders:

Sometimes, especially regarding gasoline engines, you will hear the engine sized quoted as V6, V8, etc. This refers to the number and configuration of the cylinders in the engine. The cylinder is the power unit of the engine. Automotive engines rarely have just one cylinder.  In terms of generating raw power, the more cylinders the better. It is akin to working alone vs. in a team to lift something heavy: the larger the team, the easier it is to get the job done.

Budget Considerations:

When buying a truck, it is tempting to get the biggest and best one that you can afford. After all, big trucks are impressive. However, larger engines do consume more fuel. When buying a truck, you should also consider how maintaining it will fit into your daily life. If you are on a strict budget, you might want to consider how much power you need. A slightly smaller engine can still get the job done in a lot of cases. If you still need substantial engine power, but only occasionally, you can look at engines with a turbocharger. A turbocharger adds that extra boost when you need it, but when you drive gently it uses far less fuel.

Or if you absolutely have to have the biggest truck that money can buy, you can also monitor your driving style and do some regular maintenance to maximize fuel efficiency – and save money. For example, accelerate gently from stops when you’re not towing. Also, brake more gently: late braking uses up more fuel and is less safe when attempting to avoid collisions (which are also expensive to repair). Drive with your car in the highest gear possible, to minimize revving. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly. Keeping them at the proper pressure will help with the overall safety of your truck by ensuring that you have the right amount of traction to properly control your truck, but the added traction control helps improve fuel economy, as well.


Written by:

Beckie Bean

Digital Content Coordinator at Country Truck & Auto

October 25, 2016

Sources: Vroom GirlsCar Throttle, Car Buyer UKEcoDiesel Systems

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