Investigations that have used the second law of thermodynamics to study internal-combustion engines in a detailed manner date back to the late 1950s. Over two dozen previous investigations which have used the second law of thermodynamics or availability analyses were identified. About two-thirds of these have been completed for diesel engines, and the other one-third have been completed for spark-ignition engines. The majority of these investigations have been completed since the 1980s. A brief description of each of these investigations is provided.In addition, representative results are presented for both compression-ignition (diesel) and spark-ignition engines to illustrate the type of information obtained by the use of second law analyses. Both instantaneous values for the engine availability, and the overall values for energy and availability are described.