The old debate of motor vs. engine.

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by stchman, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. stchman

    stchman Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    A friend of mine got into a discussion about motor vs. engine. He seems to think the two are interchangeable while I do believe there is a fundamental difference.

    It's similar to the clips vs. magazines debate for firearms owners.

    I use motor to describe electric devices (blower motor, windshield wiper motor, window motor) and engine to describe what's under the hood powering the vehicle.

    Engines convert fuel via internal combustion to work to move the vehicle. Motors use electric current as the energy source to do work.

    Hybrid vehicles have an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.

    Any thoughts.
  2. seaark20

    seaark20 New Member

    I call it either one because I don't say engine cycle I say motorcycle same with outboard motor not engine. Just a thought
  3. stchman

    stchman Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    I call them a motorcycle as well, I just refer to the engine part as an engine.

    When referring to boats I call it an outboard engine.

    Ther term motorcycle, motorcar, motorbike are all VERY old terms, only the motorcycle term is still commonly used.
  4. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Without digging out a bunch of old text books, if I remember correctly, an engine uses fuel to create energy which is converted into mechanical work, while a motor converts external energy into mechanical work.

    Therefore, the big block of metal, under the hood, would be an engine; while, as stchman suggested, the blower is a motor.
  5. TimTom64b

    TimTom64b Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    electic - motor, uses magnetic pulses to generate energy
    combustion - engine, uses controlled explosion to generate energy
    steam - engine, uses expansion of water/oxegen to generate energy.

    I really think the diff is how the energy is captured... Just my two cents
  6. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I agree with this!!
  7. TimTom64b

    TimTom64b Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    I believe you guys are correct... One uses a fuel source to generate energy and the other uses energy generated from another source.
  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts


    -- Surreal
  9. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    not to confuse the matter even more, then what is a compressor..... I have a 5.3L 8 cylinder compressor under my hood.... motor, engine ......
  10. stchman

    stchman Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    A compressor requires one of two things to make it work, same with a pump:

    1. An electric motor
    2. An engine (usually a small gasoline engine)

    One of these devices will drive the compressor or pump.

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