Hey, it’s me again. Things were getting a little murky the other day when my buddy and I were discussing hot rides. He was talking about the motor in his car and I was calling it the engine. Supposedly, we were talking about the same thing. Well…which is it?

Way back yonder, before today’s confusing times, motor and engine were both used and interchanged quite well and nobody thought about it. I took my sharp pencil and tried my best engineering focus to come up with a simple way of ‘splainin’ the differences. Both items are propulsion devices.

Think of a motor as having a fixed inputs and outputs of power. Something like the heater blower motor that defrosts your car windows on a cold morning. The speed is governed only by an external control switch. Now an engine, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated than that. Because of internal control devices such as throttle openings, cam timing, and computers for efficiency optimization, an engine thus has infinite variable inputs and outputs of power.

Do you see how these definitions will even cover search engines on the internet? No need to ever scratch your head again.

Until next time,
Sam Slick

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