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4 stroke engine cycle intake exhaust cylinder piston connecting rod crankshaft piston to cylinder clearance exaggerated for illustration purposes 1 intake intake valve opens piston is drawn down the cylinder by the turning crankshaft and connecting rod the expanding volume in the cylinder draws in the fuel air mixture 2 compression intake valve closes piston is moved upwards in the cylinder compressing squeezing the air fuel mixture 3 combustion spark plug ignites the compressed fuel air mixture the expanding gases force the piston downwards the linear motion of the piston is translated into rotational motion of the crankshaft 4 exhaust exhaust valve opens piston moves upward pushing the burnt fuel air mixture exhaust gas out the port