How does a rotary engine work?

I’m a burgeoning gearhead; over the pandemic, I got really curious about engines and which kind is best. But, I still have a lot to learn. What is a rotary engine and how does it work?

Natalie Todoroff · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
A rotary engine works by having the main internal components spin, as opposed to pushing up and down, to power your car.
A conventional engine has pistons that move up and down, similar to how your legs move on a stationary exercise bike. The pistons are attached to a crankshaft, which converts the up and down motion into energy that moves your car.
A rotary engine swaps the up and down pistons for ones that move in a circular motion, a more simple and efficient way to transfer energy to your wheels. This makes them much smaller, but don’t be fooled by their compact size. They’re actually quite powerful, and can even be scaled up to fit in larger vehicles.
If you’re curious about car engines, it’s probably time to get curious about
car insurance
as well. After all, your car is only as good if it’s protected!
Car insurance shopping app
can help you find the best insurance and answer all your nitty-gritty
engine questions as well. Signup takes less than a minute, and Jerry can help you save an average of $887 on your policy.
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

Join 4M+ members in lowering their car insurance

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings