The Complete Automobile Components Guide: What you MUST know as a Vehicle Owner
I’ve always liked opening the engine’s room and watching how everything works. I’d stand there and appreciate that beauty for hours. It’s mesmerizing, right? That doesn’t apply to everyone, of course, but if you’re a vehicle owner, there are some necessary things you need to know and understand to appreciate the wonders of your vehicle truly.
In this article, we’re going to go through the essential automobile components and car body parts and understand how each one of them works.
Essential Car Components:
Although there are hundreds of car models and brands in the world in almost any imaginable design, what’s inside remains the same. Moreover, while the power and capabilities differ, all the vehicles have some core components in common. There are six main parts in an automobile; the engine, gearbox, brakes, drive axles, oil filters, and the chassis.
The engine is the pumping heart of the car. You can’t do anything without it, and that’s why it tops our list. A car’s engine can use different types of fuel. Most cars use internal combustion systems fueled by diesel, propane, petrol or natural gas. New propulsion systems are becoming more and more popular, such as electric cars that are slowly dominating this industry, especially with the rise of the environmental awareness. The engine uses the provided fuel to produce mechanical energy that runs the car. A vehicle’s power depends on its engine, so the more powerful it is, the better is the performance.
If you’re someone who loves changing speeds, you must hold great admiration for the transmission box. The gearbox gives you control over the power of the engine, allowing you to forward it to the vehicle’s wheels. As people’s preferences differ, it deemed necessary to create two types of transmission: Manual and automatic. Most vehicles use automatic gearboxes nowadays. That’s due to how hard it is to control this part of the car and the fact that many find it confusing.
The drive axle is the core of the vehicle. This component controls the direction and ensures coordination between the steering and the wheels. For that, it’s an essential part of the car.
As a speed lover, I must keep my car’s brakes in an excellent condition no matter what. Brakes are the parts that reduce the car’s speed when necessary thus the critical part they play in the automobile world.
How do they work?
When you press the brakes pedal, you move a lever that pushes hydraulic fluid through a narrow metallic cylinder. The liquid is then transmitted to bigger pipes near the car’s four wheel-brakes. That dramatically multiplies the force and clamps the brakes hardly against the wheels, thus reducing the speed. The process is more complicated of course, but the concept is simple and understandable.
Without the brakes, a vehicle represents a danger to both the driver and those around him. It’s essential to maintain both the breaks and the pedals in a neat condition. New braking systems are being invented nowadays. Sensor brakes are modern ones that analyze the need to reduce the speed and adjust the brakes accordingly.
Oil filters are essential parts that clean the engine oil from particles and dust that represent a severe threat to the car’s performance. Automotive oil filters are high-efficient ones as they segregate harmful particles from the engine’s oil.
Just like the skeleton supports the human body, a car’s chassis is what’s holding it together. Wikipedia defines the frame it as the “internal framework of an artificial object, which supports the object in its construction and use.”. In other words, it’s a support for the different parts, including the brakes, engine, steering, wheels and the oil filters. Most automobile chassis are made of sturdy materials such as aluminum or light steel to ensure a lightweight while keeping a firm structure. The chassis plays a significant role as it guarantees stability and low vibration and noise distribution throughout the entire vehicle. It also makes the car stiff and tensile. Frames come in many types; the ladder chassis, the backbone chassis and the monochrome chassis.
Understanding the Gearbox parts and oil filters
The gearbox is a complex system that consists of many parts working together to achieve one sole goal: switching speeds. Those main parts include the countershaft, the main shaft, the gear fork, synchronizer rings and the bearings. You can buy these components in any online or offline car parts store. The struggle begins when you try to fix the transmission yourself. If you type gearbox parts on google, you’ll get a ton of results showing different manufacturers.
I highly recommend getting your parts from modern well-established brands like Motorcraft. They tend to show a better chemical and heat protection, as well as a superior quality, convenient design and a well-built structure that resists tensile and erosion. Transmissions aren’t cheap, and they represent one of the most expensive components of today’s vehicles. For that, you should get high-quality ones that guarantee less noise and vibration and more extended durability.
While a gearbox offers control over your vehicle’s speed, oil filters are the protectors of the engine as they prevent abrasive particles from getting in. Changing oil filters is crucial as it guarantees better protection and prevents dust accumulation. The recommended oil filters are the premium ones marked as high efficient that fall under a specific design and material. A filter’s quality is determined by its durability and the amount of dust and particles collected inside it.
How do the Different Automobile Parts Work?
In today’s world, transportation represents a challenge in everybody’s life. People in crowded countries tend to use public transport or other means such as Uber to avoid getting a vehicle and suffering from the financial consequences. Meanwhile, many prefer to buy cars to enjoy the comfort of driving their own vehicle around. That’s why automobiles are a sophisticated piece of technology that we can’t live without anymore.
If you’re a car owner, it’s essential to have a basic knowledge of how the different parts work together to achieve your transportation. You don’t need a throughout knowledge of every system as that’s expertise reserved to experts. A car consists of different subsystems that work together and understanding the various concepts isn’t hard.
The vehicle’s parts fall into two main categories: The parts that push the car forward, or the pushing parts as I like to call them, and the brakes.
The Pushing Parts:
The Engine: How Does It Work?
An engine is the pumping heart of the car. Just like the heart pumps blood through arteries and veins, the engine pumps fluids through pipes to transform the provided fuel into a mechanical force capable of moving the car forward. To ensure top performance, you need to take some serious maintenance measures. Take this lightly, and you’ll suffer enormous consequences. The engine works in a four-step cycle:
- Intake: During this step, the engine takes in both air and fuel.
- Compression: The piston compresses both air and fuel into the cylinder. During this phase, the power is multiplied as particles are moving into a narrower area.
- Combustion: The spark plug creates a spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture and creates mini explosions. That pushes the piston back in the cylinder which turns the crankshaft and gets your car moving.
- Exhaust: during this step, the waste gas is released through the exhaust valve that moves it to the catalytic converter. The waste gas is discharged through the tailpipe.
The Drive Axle and the Gear Box
The drive axle and gearbox play a significant role in driving as well. The transmission redirects the power produced by the engine from the crankshaft to the drive axle. This component pushes the air through the pipes to the wheels which ensure the car’s movement. These two parts work together in harmony to ensure the proper functioning of the vehicle. The transmission has two types: manual and automatic. While the first relies on the shift lever and clutch pedal controlled by the driver, the second changes gears on its own allowing the driver to focus on going onward or backward only.
Automatic transmissions are more popular than manual ones, but there’s a great debate going on between car enthusiasts about the experience they offer. Many assume that automatic transmission is taking away your control over the car and offering an emotionless experience. I think that manual transmissions are superior and provide more fun while driving.
While going forward looks appealing, you still must slow down and stop the car at some point. That’s when brakes come in. The mechanism of the brake system isn’t that hard to understand. Here’s how the brakes work:
- You press on the brake pedal.
- The master cylinder pushes the fluid to each wheel through steel and rubber lines.
- The brake pads clamp on the rotor of each wheel under the influence of the caliper, which results in slower rotating speed, thus a slower movement of the vehicle. You must always keep an eye on the brake pads and change them when you deem necessary as they’re the most exposed parts to damage and destruction thus the need for continuous maintenance.
Automobiles are the result of countless working hours put by people trying to facilitate our lives and offer us a pleasurable experience. Cars are expensive for that very reason. Producing a high performing vehicle with high precision and look for details requires many sacrifices that must be respected.
A Car’s Design: When the Beauty Meets the Beast
A car is real life example of “The Beauty and The Beast.” A robust, durable engine along with superior exterior design and a comfortable interior makes the vehicle a haven for those seeking speed and aesthetics at the same time.
The exterior of the car is made of different panels like the doors and the hood. Manufacturers moved on from using iron and wood as raw materials for these parts to using lighter substances such as advanced steel. That’s what made modern vehicles far lighter and faster than old ones. With the rise of the electric car, many manufacturers involve Aluminum in the production. That’s the case for Tesla’s vehicles. Researchers are looking for other materials to make electric cars even lighter to extend their battery life and durability.
However, what’s a good exterior if it’s not paired with a sophisticated, comfortable interior? Today, technology is having a massive impact on our cars. You can undoubtedly notice that impact through touchscreens, GPS systems, heated seats and other luxury settings that aim at providing the best car experience. Besides, this is the field of competition for automobile manufacturers.
Automobile Replacement Parts
Do you remember the good old days, when everybody used to have a toolbox in the back and was ready to repair their car at any given moment? Those days are over thanks to the maintenance systems put up by the different manufacturers to allow car owners to bring their vehicles at any given moment for routine maintenance, tune-ups, and repairs. We even have a device called the OBD2 scanner nowadays which plays the doctor’s role and can provide quick diagnosis of what the problem is and where is it located.
Old cars were so complicated that you’d have to change the entire engine if a part was broken. Fortunately, it’s not the case anymore, and you can buy any component separately these days either online or offline. The automotive parts industry have been growing since the 80s when companies like NAPA Auto Parts and AutoZone decided to challenge auto manufacturers that were the only suppliers of automobile parts.
Modern Age Vehicles: The Offspring of Beauty, Power, and Technology
Manufacturers have been introducing different technological advancements in cars over the years. Nowadays, vehicles are smart and sophisticated machines capable of deciding what’s best for the passenger. Electric cars have been a trend for several years now as they represent an environment-friendly solution that may take over the automobile industry within the next years. Hybrid and hydrogen cars are slowly entering the field as well.
Electronic systems are being used in every system in any given vehicle, including the steering wheel and the brake pedals. The modern age vehicle is an excellent example of the human genius. That won’t stop soon as countless developments and advancements are being researched and invented every day. A great example would be the autopilot system that allows drivers to sit back and relax while the car takes the lead and gets to their destination.
How Vital is Regular Servicing?
Most people tend to overlook small problems and ignore them, and that’s wrong on so many levels. Regular maintenance is a necessity for today’s vehicles if you want to keep your car safe and sound. Small problems may lead to bigger ones if ignored, and that can cause severe problems for your life – as a car fail is a frequent cause of road accidents – and for your pocket, since replacing an entire system can be expensive if you ignore fixing smaller – and cheaper – parts. Always remember to keep your car in good shape and take it for regular repairs and tune-ups. Do you have a question about car parts? Do not hesitate to ask in the comments and I’ll make sure to answer as much as I can.