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Valve Tappet (11)

A tappet is the only part of a rocker arm that makes contact with an intake or exhaust valve stem above the cylinder head of an internal combustion engine. As the cam rotates, it creates both a sideways and a downward force on the tappet.

The most common example of a tappet is found inside an internal combustion engine, the type of engine found in most modern cars. For the engine to work, valves must be opened and closed so air can enter the engine and cause the combustion that moves the car forward. The valves must close during the combustion itself, and open again after the explosion to let the air out and allow new air to enter for the next explosion.

These valves are usually lifted by a part known as the camshaft. The camshaft turns and, as it does, small egg-shaped pieces on it called cams push up on a rod which in turn pushes on other parts that open the valves. As the cam turns over to the flat side of its egg shape, the rod is lowered and the valve closes. The cam continues to spin around and this process opens and closes the valves.