Kia makes fundamental changes to the Stinger’s engine for better performance
Why does the Kia Stinger use sodium-filled engine valves?
We know. We know, this is yet another blog post about the Kia Stinger. You’ll have to bear with us while we swoon. It will get better, we promise. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times; the 2018 Kia Stinger, especially the GT trim, is the highest-performing vehicle the automaker has ever produced. The twin-turbocharged, V-6 engine makes more than 360 horsepower which puts it among the most impressive in its portion of the sedan segment. However, an element that has been overlooked is how the engine is actually built. So, why does the Kia Stinger use sodium-filled engine valves? Let’s take a look at this surprisingly straightforward concept.
To understand why the Kia Stinger employs sodium-filled engine valves, we need to briefly review how an internal combustion engine works. Power is created by harnessing the power of small explosions occurring inside the engine. Each time the fuel/air mixture is ignited, it drives the valves down which is then mechanically converted into motion. Properly dissipating heat is always a concern, for the most part keeping an engine comfortably cool comes down to oil and engine coolant. The rest of that heat is either sent out of the engine through the exhaust system or simply absorbed by the metal of the engine.
Traditionally, engine valves are made from aluminum or some other strong metal. By using valve stems that are filled with sodium, the components themselves actually play an important part of dealing with the heat that builds up in the engine.
How do sodium valves work?
From a metallurgic standpoint, sodium has a very low melting point and a very boiling melting point. As the sodium in the valve stem changes from solid to gas, sodium-based condensation collects at the bottom of the valve and boils at the top of the valve. This process of evaporation is the same basic principle behind how sweat cools us off when we get hot.
The 2018 Kia Stinger is currently available at the Spitzer Kia Cleveland showroom. If you would like to see this technology in action, call the showroom today to schedule a test drive.