How Do Cars Work?
You rely on your car to take you wherever you need to go, but how much do you know about it? Whether you’re having a performance issue that you need to fix or you’re simply curious about what makes cars move, learn more about the most important parts of a car today. Use a VIN lookup tool online to search for specific parts for your make, model and year of vehicle for reliable repairs.
Internal Combustion Engine for Forward Movement The heart of a car is it’s engine. An internal combustion engine uses a variety of components to create movement. Basically, fuel injectors and sensors create an accurate mixture of air and fuel inside cylinders. The cylinder is closed by a tight-fitting piston.
Once the cylinder has a precise amount of air and fuel, a spark plug ignites the mixture. Diesel engines don’t use a spark plug, but instead compress the air in a cylinder until it is hot enough to ignite the fuel. This small explosion of fuel and air forces the piston down, which turns the crankshaft. This powerful process turns components which eventually lead to your wheels. The amount of air and fuel and the speed of the pistons control the speed of your vehicle.
Braking System for Safe Stopping Now that your car is moving forward, it needs a safe way to stop. One of the most important safety features in your vehicle is its braking system. Of all the car parts and their functions, brakes are an essential system to maintain. Here are the basic components of your brakes: • Brake pads • Rotors • Calipers • Brake fluid • Lines • Fluid reservoir • Brake pedal
When you push on your pedal, it activates the hydraulic system of the reservoir, brake lines and fluid. This pushes on the calipers near your wheels. Calipers hold brake pads, which are pieces of material that cause friction when pressed against rotors. Rotors are smooth disc- shaped components. When pads and rotors meet, it creates enough friction to slow or stop your vehicle.
Exhaust System for Efficient Emissions Another system that’s important for your comfort, safety and the environment is your exhaust system. An internal combustion engine emits harmful nitrogen, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide. These harmful gasses are channeled through pipes to a catalytic converter, which converts them into water vapor, carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas.
Another important feature of your exhaust system is a muffler. Mufflers cause sound waves to bounce around, which reduces the noise of your engine. Mufflers can come in a range of sizes and shapes. Some sports cars produce a louder, heartier growl, while compact cars muffle the sound more for a quieter sound.
Replacement Parts for Long-Lasting Performance Now that you understand the basics of your car, learn more about these and other systems at your local auto parts store. Shop for auto parts to upgrade, replace or maintain key components to keep your car operating safely and efficiently. Be confident that you choose replacement parts that fit your exact make, model and vehicle, and understand the importance of each component before purchase.