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How Dynamic Skip Fire Works – Variable Displacement Engines

Each and every day, engineers behind the automobiles that you’ll see on the road keep on working harder and harder to make them more efficient whether that be in some sort of performance aspect to make them faster, maybe up the comfort factor a little bit while not spending extra money, or perhaps making the vehicle more efficient so that it will burn less fuel. Even short of going to a hybrid or electric vehicle, different technologies are being put in place every day to make sure that, when necessary, the machine that you’re behind the wheel of will try to sip fuel where it’s possible. I mean, if you weren’t laying into the throttle, the less fuel spent the better, right?

One example of how they will do this is through technology known as “variable displacement.” Basically, what happens, for example, is if you have a truck with an eight-cylinder engine, perhaps when it’s going down the highway and doesn’t necessarily need that power to get going, some of the cylinders will shut off and essentially your v8 will become a four-cylinder on-demand. Through this technology, the theory is that you’ll burn less fuel in the process and keep some of that money that you would otherwise spend at the gas pump in your wallet.

How exactly does all this work, though? I mean, your engine doesn’t just randomly decide it’s going to shut off cylinders, after all. In order to break it down for us, our host over at Engineering Explained takes the reigns and gives us his rundown of exactly how your engine could be functioning at its highest efficiency in order to take that old technology and bring it into the new age, stretching out the boundaries of what we know and digging into technology that could really make this world a better place to live.