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Mechanical Energy:

This gasoline piston starts at the top, the intake valve opens, and the piston moves down to let the engine take in a cylinder full of air and gasoline. This is the intake stroke. Only the tiniest drop of gasoline needs to be mixed into the air for this to work. Then the piston moves back up to compress this fuel/air mixture. Compression makes the explosion more powerful. When the piston reaches the top of its stroke, the spark plug emits a spark to ignite the gasoline. The gasoline charge in the cylinder explodes, driving the piston down. Once the piston hits the bottom of its stroke, the exhaust valve opens and the exhaust leaves the cylinder to go out the tail pipe.