Do you ever think about how your car works? Do you know which car parts are most important? It’s essential for a responsible vehicle owner to have basic knowledge and understanding of the vehicle he or she drives.
Here are the most important car parts you should educate yourself about in case you run into some unexpected issues, or even worse, a car accident.
Car Parts Names
List of car parts names:
- The Chassis
- Steering System
- Shock Absorbers (Shocks and Struts)
- Catalytic Converter
- AC Compressor
- Serpentine belt
- Fuel Tank
- Windshield wipers.
- Taillights/Turn signal.
- Fuel gauge
- Temperature gauge
- Car trip meter
- Rev counter
- Seat and Seat belt
Car Parts Diagram with Names
Related Posts: What Are The Basic Parts Of A Car Engine?
Parts Of A Car
Let’s Discuss one by one each parts of a car:
The engine is a power generator/power plant or a motor, which provides power to drive the automobile.
The engine is the heart of your car. It is a complex machine built to convert heat from burning gas into the force that turns the road wheels. It consists of two basic parts: the lower, heavier section is the cylinder block, a casing for the engine’s main moving parts; the detachable upper cover is the cylinder head.
In most automobile engines, the explosive power of the mixture of air and gasoline drives the pistons. The pistons turn a crankshaft to which they are attached. The rotating force of the crankshaft makes the automobile’s wheels turn.
Some automobiles are powered by another kind of engine, known as the rotary valve, rotating combustion engine, or Wankel engine. The rotary valve engine also draws in a mixture of air and fuel, which is then compressed and burnt.
A motor revolving in an elliptical chamber is connected to a shaft, which finally drives the rear wheels. In most automobiles, the engine is mounted at the front end of the car, with the clutch and gearbox immediately behind it; the engine, clutch, and gearbox are assembled into a single unit.
Some systems are necessary to make an engine work. A lubrication system is needed to reduce friction and prevent engine wear. A cooling system is required to keep the engine’s temperature within safe limits. The engine must be provided with the correct amount of air and fuel by a fuel system.
The mixture of air and fuel must be ignited inside the cylinder at just the right time by an ignition system. Finally, an electrical system is required to operate the cranking motor that starts the engine and to provide electrical energy to power engine accessories.
2. The Chassis
In a conventional chassis frame, the frame forms the main skeleton of the vehicle. The frame provides a foundation for the engine and the body of the vehicle. The frame is constructed from square or box-shaped steel members strong enough to support the weight of the body and other components.
The automobile frame is usually made up of a number of members welded or riveted together to give the final shape. The engine is mounted on the frame with rubber pads which absorb vibrations and also provide damping of these vibrations. Absorption and damping of vibrations protect passengers from discomfort caused by shocks.
The frame is supported on wheel axles by means of springs. This whole assembly is called the chassis.
What to do if your car chassis has significant damage after an accident, insurance companies will officially determine the car is wrecked if the damage costs total up to 75% of the vehicle’s overall value, or above. One of the more common resolutions to a wrecked vehicle is when the owner decides to sell it. But the question is who buys wrecked cars?
The main function of the transmission is to provide the necessary variation to the torque applied by the engine to the wheels. This is achieved by changing the gearing ratio between the engine output shaft and the drive shaft.
These components are always mounted straight on the engine so that their attached belt and gear system can effectively convert the combustion power produced by the engine into physical momentum.
A transmission changes gears depending on car speed and accelerator input (i.e., how far down you push the pedal of your car) so that the engine’s RPM or “revolutions per minute” are kept appropriately low.
This provides two benefits: Fuel consumption is decreased, and The turning gears do not overload your engine.
- What is a Transmission In a Car?
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- What is Transmission rebuild and How much Does it Cost?
- How to Check Transmission Fluid?
Your car battery provides the zap of electricity needed to put electrical components to work. Talk about a pretty huge responsibility. Without battery power, your car, as you’ve probably noticed, won’t start.
Let’s take a look at how that powerful little box works:
- A chemical reaction puts your car in action: Your battery converts chemical energy into the electrical energy necessary to power your car, delivering voltage to the starter.
- Keep the electric current steady: Not only does your battery provide the energy required to start your car, but it’s also stabilizing the voltage (that’s the term for the energy supply) to keep your engine running. A lot’s riding on the battery. Call it the ‘little box that could.’
While the battery is essential for starting your car when it’s off, the alternator keeps your car alive when the engine is running.
The alternator powers most car’s electronic components while you’re driving around or idling, including your headlights, electric steering, power windows, windshield wipers, heated seats, dashboard instruments, and radio.
The alternator supplies all of them with direct current (DC) power. Your alternator is also responsible for charging your car battery while driving.
The alternator works by turning mechanical energy into electrical energy. When your engine is on, it powers a drive belt that rests on a pulley attached to the alternator. The pulley turns the alternator’s rotor shaft, which spins a set of magnets around a coil.
These spinning magnets generate alternating current (AC) around the coil, which is then channeled to the alternator’s rectifier. The rectifier converts that AC power into DC power, which activates your car’s electrical systems.
- What is an Alternator?
- How to Jump-start a Car?
- How to charge A Car Battey?
- 7 Things That Can Drain your Car Battey?
- What is a Radiator in a Car?
A radiator helps to eliminate excess heat from the engine. It is part of the engine’s cooling system, which also includes a liquid coolant, hoses to circulate the coolant, a fan, and a thermostat that monitors the coolant temperature.
The coolant travels through the hoses from the radiator, through the engine to absorb the excess engine heat, and back to the radiator.
Once it returns to the radiator, thin metal fins release the heat from the coolant to the outside air as the hot liquid passes through it.
Cool air flows into the radiator through the car’s grille to aid in this process, and when the vehicle isn’t moving, such as when you’re idling in traffic, the system’s fan will blow air to help reduce the heated coolant’s temperature and blow the hot air out of the car.
Axles are the shafts on which road wheels are mounted. The road wheels are provided with the required drive through these axles.
- Front Axle. It’s a part of the suspension system, Located in the front of the vehicle, this axle is responsible for assisting with steering and processing shocks from the uneven surface of the road. They have four main parts, which are the beam, the swivel pin, the track rod, and the stub axle.
- Rear Axle. The rear axle is located between the differential and the driving wheels and transmits power between the two. The rear axle is two halves – connected by the differential – with each part known as the half shaft.
This axle is responsible for delivering power to the driving wheels. It comes in two halves, which are connected by the differential. In most vehicles, the rear axles rotate with the vehicle’s wheels.
8. Suspension System
The function of the suspension system is to absorb vibrations due to the up-and-down motion of wheels, caused by the irregularities in the road surface. The springs, connecting linkages, and shock absorbers comprise the suspension system of a vehicle. The suspension system is of two types:
- Rigid system
- Independent system
In the rigid system, the road springs are attached to a rigid beam axle. It is mostly used in the front axle of commercial vehicles and the rear axle of all types of vehicles. The independent system does not have a rigid axle. Each wheel is free to move vertically without any reaction on its mating wheel. The independent system is mostly used in small cars.
9. Steering system
The steering system is used for changing the direction of the vehicle. The major requirements in any steering mechanism are that it should be precise and easy to handle and that the front wheels should have a tendency to return to the straight-ahead position after a turn.
A gear mechanism, which is known as the steering gear, is used in this system to increase the steering effort provided by the driver. This system makes car steering very easy as the driver does not have to put in much effort.
Car steering is not only required on a curved road but also while maneuvering on busy traffic roads. The steering system allows the vehicle to be guided, i.e., to be turned left or right.
Modern steering wheels also often have accessory functions built-in, such as cruise control, audio system selection, and volume. Some steering wheels are even electrically heated.
- What is a steering system?
- What is Rack and Pinion Steering System?
- What is Power Steering?
- What is Cruise Control?
- What is Adaptive Cruise Control?
10. Power Train
The power train carries the power that the engine produces to the car wheels. It consists of the clutch (on cars with manual transmission), transmission (a system of gears that increases the turning effort of the engine to move the automobile), driveshaft, differential, and rear axle.
A clutch is required with the manual transmission system to temporarily disconnect the engine from the wheels. Such disengagement of the power train from the engine is essential while changing the gear ratio or while stopping the vehicle.
12. Drive Shaft
The function of the differential is to split the power received from the propeller shaft to the rear axle shaft. It allows the rear wheels to be driven at different speeds when the vehicle takes a bend or falls into a ditch.
14. Shock Absorber
Along with smoothening out bumps and vibrations, the key role of the shock absorber is to ensure that the vehicle’s tires remain in contact with the road surface at all times, which ensures the safest control and braking response from your car.
15. Braking System
Brakes are required for slowing down or stopping a moving vehicle. The braking system is essential for the safety of passengers, and passers-by on roads. The braking system may be operated mechanically or hydraulically. 95 percent of the braking systems in use today are of the hydraulic type.
All brakes consist of two members, one rotating and the other stationery. There are various means by which the two members can be brought in contact, thus reducing the speed of the vehicle.
The major components of the braking system are the brake pedal, master cylinder, wheel cylinders, brake drum, brake pipe, brake shoes, brake packing plant, and linkages.
As the load on the vehicle and the vehicle speed has increased according to recent trends, in modern days, the importance of the brake system has also increased and power brakes are now being preferred. Power brakes utilize vacuum and air pressure to provide most of the brake-applying effort.
Shock absorbers do two things. Apart from controlling the movement of springs and suspension, shock absorbers also keep your tires in contact with the ground at all times.
At rest or in motion, the bottom surface of your tires is the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road. Any time that a tire’s contact with the ground is broken or reduced, your ability to drive, steer, and the brake is severely compromised.
Every car has four wheels. The black part of the wheel, which is made out of rubber with air inside, is called a tire.
They’re where your tires are actually attached. The inner part of your car tire is attached to the rim. You’ll often hear people use “rims,” and “wheels,” interchangeably, whereas decorative wheels are called rims. Some people may also say “tire,” when they actually mean wheel.
- 7 Different Types of Tires and Their Various Uses
- How to Fix a Flat Tire? and How to Run-Flat Tire?
- What is Tire Rotation And why it’s important?
- What is Tire Balancing And why Is it Necessary?
- What is Wheel Alignment and How Much Does it Cost?
17. Lubrication System
An engine has many moving parts which eventually develop wear, as they move against each other. The engine circulates oil between these moving parts to prevent the metal-to-metal contact that results in wear. Parts that are oiled can move more easily with less friction and hence power loss due to friction is minimized.
The secondary function of a lubricant is to act as a coolant and also as a sealing medium to prevent leakages. Finally, a film of lubricant on the cylinder walls helps the rings in sealing and thus improves the engine’s compressions.
18. Cooling System
Due to the combustion of fuel with air inside the cylinder, the temperature of the engine parts increases. This increase in temperature directly affects the engine’s performance and the life of the engine parts.
The cooling system keeps the engine operating at an efficient temperature. Whatever the driving conditions, the system is designed to prevent both overheating and overcooling.
19. Ignition System
The purpose of the ignition system is to provide assistance for the combustion of fuel either by a high-voltage spark or self-ignition in each of the engine’s cylinders at the right time so that the air-fuel mixture can burn completely.
The fuel supplied to the combustion chamber must be ignited to deliver power. In a spark-ignition engine, an electric spark is used for this purpose. The compression-ignition engine does not require a separate ignition system because the ignition is affected by the compression of the mixture to high pressure.
20. Electrical System
The engine’s electrical system provides energy to operate a starting motor and to power all the accessories. The main components of the electrical system are a battery, an alternator, a starting motor, an ignition coil, and a heater.
21. The Car Body
The main purpose of the bodywork is to provide accommodation for the driver and passengers, with suitable protection against wind and weather. The degree of comfort provided depends upon the type of car and its cost.
The body of the first automobiles was little more than a platform with seats attached. It gradually developed into a closed compartment complete with a roof and windows. The modern automobile body is constructed of sheet steel formed to the required shape in giant punch presses.
Most of the body components are welded together to form a light rattle-free unit. Automobiles may also be classed based on their body style.
A speedometer, an instrument that indicates the speed of a vehicle, is usually combined with a device known as an odometer that records the distance traveled.
A speedometer or a speed meter is a gauge that measures and displays the instantaneous speed of a vehicle. Now universally fitted to motor vehicles, they started to be available as options in the early 20th century, and as standard equipment from about 1910 onwards.
Speedometers for other vehicles have specific names and use other means of sensing speed. For a boat, this is a pit log. For an aircraft, this is an airspeed indicator.
23. Seat Belt
A seat belt (also known as a safety belt, or spelled seatbelt) is a vehicle safety device designed to secure the driver or a passenger of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result during a collision or a sudden stop.
A seat belt reduces the likelihood of death or serious injury in a traffic collision by reducing the force of secondary impacts with interior strike hazards, keeping occupants positioned correctly for maximum effectiveness of the airbag (if equipped), and preventing occupants from being ejected from the vehicle in a crash or if the vehicle rolls over.
When in motion, the driver and passengers are traveling at the same speed as the car. If the driver makes the car suddenly stop or crashes it, the driver and passengers continue at the same speed the car was going before it stopped.
A seatbelt applies an opposing force to the driver and passengers to prevent them from falling out or making contact with the interior of the car (especially preventing contact with, or going through the windshield).
Seatbelts are considered Primary Restraint Systems (PRS), because of their vital role in occupant safety.
24. Gear Shift
The gearshift is used to move a vehicle forward, in reverse, or remain neutral. On cars with a manual transmission, the gearshift is actually a stick shift.
A gear stick, gearshift, or shifter, more formally known as a transmission lever, is a metal lever attached to the transmission of an automobile.
Automatic transmission vehicles, including hydraulic (torque converter) automatic transmissions, automated manual, and older semi-automatic transmissions (specifically clutchless manuals), like VW Autos, tick, and those with continuously variable transmissions, do not require a physical clutch pedal.
- What is Gear Box in Car?
- What is Transmission in a Car?
- What is Automatic Transmission?
- What Is Manual Transmission?
- What is CVT Transmission?
The windshield or windscreen is the front window, which provides visibility while protecting occupants from the elements.
Modern windshields are generally made of laminated safety glass, a type of treated glass, which consists of, typically, two curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer laminated between them for safety, and bonded into the window frame.
Motorbike windshields are often made of high-impact polycarbonate or acrylic plastic.
Windshields protect the vehicle’s occupants from wind and flying debris such as dust, insects, and rocks, and provide an aerodynamically formed window towards the front. UV coating may be applied to screen out harmful ultraviolet radiation.
However, this is usually unnecessary since most auto windshields are made from laminated safety glass. The majority of UV-B is absorbed by the glass itself, and any remaining UV-B together with most of the UV-A is absorbed by the PVB bonding layer.
26. Windshield Wipers
A windscreen wiper or windshield wiper is a device used to remove rain, snow, ice, washer fluid, water, and/or debris from a vehicle’s front window so the vehicle’s operator can better see what’s ahead of them.
Almost all motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, train locomotives, and watercraft with a cabin, and some aircraft are equipped with one or more such wipers, which are usually a legal requirement.
A wiper generally consists of a metal arm; one end pivots and the other end has a long rubber blade attached to it. The arm is powered by a motor, often an electric motor, although pneumatic power is also used for some vehicles.
The blade is swung back and forth over the glass, pushing water, other precipitation, or any other impediments to visibility, from its surface. On vehicles made after 1969, the speed is normally adjustable, with several continuous speeds, and often one or more intermittent settings.
A headlamp is a lamp attached to the front of a vehicle to illuminate the road ahead. Headlamps are also often called headlights, but in the most precise usage, headlamp is the term for the device itself and headlight is the term for the beam of light produced and distributed by the device.
Headlamp performance has steadily improved throughout the automobile age, spurred by the great disparity between daytime and nighttime traffic fatalities: the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that nearly half of all traffic-related fatalities occur in the dark, despite only 25% of traffic traveling during darkness.
28. Tail Lights/Turn Signal
Tail Lights are mounted to the rear of the car above the bumper. They are red in color and have accompanying white lights beside them to indicate when the vehicle is in reverse.
When you’re on the road, tail lights make another car aware of your presence so that you can travel safely in the dark.
Direction-indicator lamps or turn signals, informally known as “directional signals”, “directional”, “blinkers”, or “indicators”, are blinking lamps mounted near the left and right front and rear corners of a vehicle, and sometimes on the sides or on the side mirrors of a vehicle, activated by the driver on one side.
- 7 Different Types of Car Headlights
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- Low Beam Vs. HighBeam: When Should I Use Them?
29. Car Hood
A car hood also referred to as a bonnet in some other countries is the hinged cover that rests over the engine of a front-engine vehicle. Its purpose is to provide access to the engine for repair and maintenance.
A concealed latch is typically used to hold down the hood. On vehicles with an aftermarket hood and on racecars, hood pins may be used to hold down the car hood.
Hoods sometimes also contain a hood scoop, wiper jets, power bulge, and/or hood ornament. Car hoods are typically constructed from steel and sometimes from aluminum.
More Resources: What is Car Hood?
Typically, a car trunk is the primary storage area for cargo or luggage in a sedan, coupe, or convertible. The word “trunk” is used primarily in North America, while the word “boot” is often used in other English-speaking countries.
Prior to the introduction of automobiles, the boot was a compartment that was built into a horse-drawn carriage. It was usually used as a seating area for the coachman. Later, it was used for storage purposes.
The car trunk is typically located in the rear of the car in most models. In some vehicles in which the engine is located in the middle of the rear of the vehicle, and the trunk is located at the front. In some models, there have been two trunk compartments.
31. Catalytic Converter
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that converts toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction.
Mufflers are part of your vehicle’s exhaust system and are located at the rear, or the bottom of your vehicle. They aid in dampening vehicle emissions and engine noise.
They are made of steel and are coated with aluminum to provide protection from the heat and chemicals released from the exhaust system. Mufflers are used mainly to dissipate the loud sounds created by the engine’s pistons and valves.
The Tail Pipe is part of your car’s exhaust system. Like a chimney on a house, it is designed to release exhaust away from the vehicle and into the air. Exhaust pipes connect to the muffler and are often attached to the rear end of the car with a bracket.
Exhaust pipes are susceptible to damage from rear-end collisions, failed brackets, broken seals, and corrosion from age.
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- What is Fuel Pump and How Does it Work?
34. Fuel Tank
The fuel tank on your car is typically located under the rear or middle of the vehicle. There can be a number of reasons why you would need to remove it; the most common reason is needing to replace the fuel pump.
This tank can be filled from the outside via a small hole that is sealed with a gas cap when not in use. The gas then goes through a few steps before it reaches the engine. The pump pushes gasoline into the fuel lines.
There are hard metal fuel lines in most vehicles that run the fuel from the tank toward the engine.
35. Fuel gauge
A fuel gauge is a device that measures the fuel level present in the vehicle. It consists of a sensing or a sending unit that helps to measure the amount of fuel.
A gauge or indicator which is placed outside the fuel tank uses the information from the sensing unit to give the measure of fuel.
The lines on the gas gauge are increments of 1/4 representing your gas tank’s fuel level. Anything between 2 lines would be an eight. If the needle were between 1/2 and 3/4, this would mean you have 5/8 of gasoline in your tank.
More Resources: What is a Fuel Gauge And How to Fix Bad Fuel Gauge?
36. Temperature gauge
The temperature gauge in your vehicle is designed to measure the temperature of your engine’s coolant. This gauge will tell you if your engine’s coolant is cold, normal, or overheating. It is an important dial that is located on the dashboard of your vehicle.
When the engine is functioning, and the coolant is doing its job, the temperature gauge needle should be somewhere in the middle between the hot and cold indicators.
“Normal” temperature readings can vary from vehicle to vehicle so don’t be alarmed where yours settles.
37. Car trip meter
A Trip meter is an instrument used for measuring the distance traveled by a vehicle, such as a bicycle or a car.
That is most likely the trip odometer showing the miles traveled for trip A. Push the button there near the speedometer and it should show the mileage traveled for trip B. Push it again and it should show the current ‘overall mileage’ on the vehicle.
To read an odometer, look for the small rectangle usually containing five or six numbers. It is typically located near the speedometer. If your vehicle is newer, it may be digital. If your vehicle is older or less luxurious, it will be a physical, mechanical set of numbers.
38. Rev counter
A tachometer (revolution counter, tach, rev counter, RPM gauge) is an instrument measuring the rotation speed of a shaft or disk, as in a motor or other machine. The device usually displays the revolutions per minute (RPM) on a calibrated analog dial, but digital displays are increasingly common.
A rev counter simply shows the number of revolutions an engine’s crankshaft (that’s the rotating bit which converts the reciprocating motion [in a car’s case, the up and down motion of the con-rods and pistons] to circular motion) is revolving per minute (RPM) – usually divided by 1000.
39. License Plate/Bumper Stickers
The license plate in the picture is a blue and white sign. Every car must have a license plate for identification. This car also has many bumper stickers. These are decorations you can put on your car.
The modern automobile uses a wide variety of accessories to make driving safer and more comfortable. Typical examples are self-starter driving and signaling lights such as headlights, tail lights, brake lights, parking lights, windshield wipers, horns, indicators, radio, heating, air conditioning systems, power steering, etc.
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Car Parts Video
The essential car components include the engine, gearbox, clutch, battery, brakes, radiator, steering, and suspension. Basic knowledge about these components can be helpful as a car owner.
It makes sense to start with the most important part under the hood of a vehicle, which is the engine. Most modern vehicles run on internal combustion engines, which generate energy by igniting a mixture of air and fuel that moves pistons, which in turn move the car.
(i) A steel frame, which is a major part. body and other accessories, which are not involved in the movement of the vehicle. (iii) Other major components include the engine, transmission system, front and rear axle, steering system, suspension system, wheels, tires, and brakes.
Typically, you can expect that there are about 30,000 parts in your car, from the tiniest nuts and bolts to the engine block. This is just a rough figure, so your car will likely have more or less.