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Old 04-17-2009, 02:51 PM   #1
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motor or engine?

When communicating to another about the hunk of metal in which gasoline burns under the hood to move the heavy boxes that we travel great distances in short amounts of time within, what word do you use to designate said hunk of metal?

I've always called it an engine and thought it weird when anyone called it a motor. While it is a motor, engine seems more appropriate(specific) when talking about it in this case.

A motor is a machine that converts other forms of energy into mechanical energy and so imparts motion.

An engine is a motor that converts thermal energy to mechanical work.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:56 PM   #2
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No poll? Thinking about it, I use both (no idea in what ratios, except qualitatively - engine wins). From the definitions, either "motor" or "engine" is fine, since it's both. Engine's just more specific. You can pretty quickly come up with some very ridiculous overly specific things you could call it to differentiate from all the types of heat engine. Kind of entertaining to ponder. Well, if you have a silly bent of mind.

I guess in the future, it might matter more with electric power becoming more common.
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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It depends on the context I am using it in. You have an "engine cradle", but a "motor mount".
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
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i associate engine w/ internal combustion, as in ICE...
car, boat, lawnmower, etc engine.

non ICE, i use motor...
power window, fan, forklift(electric), etc motor
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieguy View Post
i associate engine w/ internal combustion, as in ICE...
car, boat, lawnmower, etc engine.

non ICE, i use motor...
power window, fan, forklift(electric), etc motor
Thats how I think of it too, though the first guy is right about an engine being a motor but not vice versa.

I call them engine mounts...
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:51 PM   #6
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I mostly use engine when it's standing alone, but I use motor when it sounds/flows better. I say motor oil, motor mount, etc.

Motor is a much clearer-sounding word, but engine is more specific as described above.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:37 PM   #7
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an engine is in something where as a motor is on something.

car engine (on the inside)

boat motor (on the outside)

that's just the way I have always heard the arguement. but as holycow said (kind of) engine oil sounds funny
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:29 PM   #8
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The way I used to see it when I was younger was anything that incorporated multiple systems was an engine and anything basic was a motor. It isn't correct but it made sense to me then.

A car engine has multiple systems, like a cooling system, an oiling system, an ignition system, and a fuel system.

An electric motor has its electrical system.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
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I have always been led to believe that a engine burned fuel and a motor used electricity.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:48 AM   #10
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Hay pizano itsa engine she no Italian word for to describa moooota like moto morini shes a great Italian motor a cycle! Letsa makea upa your minds haa! chapeesh?
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