There are many parts that make up your car, and each one plays a vital role in its operation. It’s thanks to the performance of these components that you’re able to get from place to place.
It’s essential for a responsible vehicle owner to have basic knowledge and understanding of the car you drive. You may have heard of some of these car parts names, but it’s important to understand what are the main parts of a car and their functions.
We have compiled a list of the main parts of a car and their functions that make up your car. Refer to the diagram to locate where they are in your car.
Car Parts Diagram
As we can see in the car parts diagram, it is a complex assembly that assembles by the so many parts that are listed below.
Car Parts Names
List of car parts names:
- 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
The Parts of a Car
There are different parts of a car that consist of: The Chassis, Engine, Transmission, Battery, Alternator, Radiator, Axle, Suspension, Steering, Shock Absorbers (Shocks and Struts), Brakes, Catalytic Converter, Muffler, Steering wheel, AC Compressor, Headlights, Seat belt, Wheel/Tire, Fuel gauge, Fuel Tank, Windscreen, Windshield wipers, Taillights.
1. The Chassis
The chassis or frame forms the basis for the rest of the car. Everything else is built on the chassis. You may see other components included in the term such as suspension, brakes, and others.
Modern vehicles typically have one of two different chassis types: unibody or body-on-frame. Unless you drive a pickup truck or large SUV, there’s a good chance your vehicle has a unibody chassis.
This means that the body – what gives the car its external shape – and the chassis or frame are all part of the same assembly. Unibody designs help save weight and provide a smoother ride. They can also prove beneficial in crash safety and reduce production costs if they can be adapted for other vehicles in a manufacturer’s lineup.
An engine is a machine designed to convert one or more forms of energy into mechanical energy. While there are several parts of a car engine such as the engine block, timing chain, camshaft, crankshaft, spark plugs, cylinder heads, valves, and pistons.
Most modern vehicles use internal combustion engines that ignite the fuel and use the reaction to move mechanical parts. Engines burn gasoline or diesel fuel to drive pistons up and down, turn the crankshaft, and ultimately move the vehicle’s wheels.
A transmission is another name for a car’s gearbox, the component that converts the engine’s power into something the car can use. Without them, you’d just be sitting in your car with the engine running and going nowhere.
The transmission varies torque, speed, and direction by changing gear ratios and provides the car to start with high torque. There are a variety of car transmissions. Some are automatic, while manual transmissions in stick-shift cars require additional steps from the driver for the vehicle to function effectively.
Your car’s battery is one of the most important parts of your car. Not only does it give power to your car’s electrical circuit, but it also helps start your car’s engine when you turn the key in the ignition. The battery provides the power needed to run your vehicle’s electrical components. Your car won’t run without a battery.
The alternator is a critical component of a car’s charging system, it charges the battery and powers the electrical system while your car is running.
An alternator, as an integral part of every combustion engine vehicle, its main responsibility is to convert chemical energy to electrical energy so that you can charge and replenish the battery in your engine and other electrical components in a car.
- What Is an Alternator in Car and How Does It Work?
- How to Change an Alternator?
- 7 Warning Signs of a Bad Alternator
- How To Test an Alternator with A Multimeter?
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.
Basically, the radiator is responsible for helping the engine keep cool by removing heat from coolant before it is pumped back through the engine.
An axle is a rod or shaft that connects a pair of wheels to propel them and retain the position of the wheels to one another. In a car, the engine applies force to the axle which rotates the wheels and moves the vehicle forward.
In most cases, cars have two axles to rotate the wheels. Larger vehicles that carry more passengers and have more wheels may have more axles. It’s easy to identify the number of axles that your car or any other vehicle has. Just look at your car from the side, then count the pairs of tires.
The job of a car suspension is to maximize the friction between the tires and the road surface, to provide steering stability with good handling, and to ensure the comfort of the passengers. The suspension helps absorb energy from the tires to allow the body and frame of the car to remain stable.
Your car’s suspension system also likely has an anti-sway bar. The anti-sway bar can help to shift the movement of your wheels relative to your steering wheel. It effectively stabilizes your car’s direction as it moves along the road.
9. Steering system
Steering is a system of components, linkages, and other parts that allows a driver to control the direction of the vehicle. In most cars, small trucks, and SUVs on the road today, there is a rack and pinion steering system.
It’s likely that if you drive today, you’re used to power steering. Contemporary cars, and especially trucks and utility vehicles have a power steering system function – also called power-assisted steering. This gives that extra energy (either hydraulic or electric) to help turn the wheels and means parking and maneuvering requires less effort than with simple manual force.
10. Shock Absorbers (Shocks and Struts)
Shock absorbers are pump-like devices that are an integral part of a car suspension. A shock absorber is designed to absorb or dampen the compression and rebound of the springs and suspension. They control the unwanted and excess spring motion. Shock absorbers keep your tires in contact with the road at all times.
Found on all four wheels, your brakes are one of the most important safety systems on your vehicle. When you press down on the brake pedal, a lever pushes a piston into a hydraulic fluid-filled cylinder.
When the brake pad presses against the brake disc, the friction slows the outer wheels to stop the vehicle. In some models, the cylinder pushes the cylinder against the brake drum to reduce your vehicle’s speed.
12. Catalytic Converter
Your catalytic converter is located on the underside of your car, in the exhaust system between the exhaust manifold and muffler. It transforms harmful gases and pollutants into less harmful emissions before they leave the car’s exhaust system.
Catalytic converters are usually used with internal combustion engines fueled by gasoline or diesel, including lean-burn engines, and sometimes on kerosene heaters and stoves.
Mufflers are part of your vehicle’s exhaust system and are located at the rear, and 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.
14. AC Compressor
The compressor is the power unit of the air-conditioning system that puts the refrigerant under high pressure before it pumps it into the condenser, where it changes from a gas to a liquid. A fully functioning compressor is necessary for the air-conditioning system to provide peak performance.
On most cars, A/C compressors are driven by an engine-accessory belt. If the belt is worn and slips, the compressor won’t operate at full strength. Compressors can also leak refrigerant, resulting in less cold air going into the interior.
15. Serpentine belt
A serpentine belt is one long rubber belt along your car’s engine that provides power to many vital components in your car like the alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning, and sometimes the water pump.
The serpentine belt uses pulleys and a belt tensioner to transfer power from the engine crankshaft to all the other components. There is only one serpentine belt on most modern cars, and it is constantly moving whenever your car is running.
Related Posts: What is Serpentine Belt in Car?
The Tail Pipe is part of a car 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.
17. Fuel Tank
The gas tank of the vehicle holds the fuel, which makes the car run, it’s part of the fuel system The fuel is propelled by the fuel pump. The gas tank can be made out of plastic high-density polyethylene, which can be made into complex shapes, save space, and can improve crash safety.
The windscreen of a car or other vehicle is the glass window at the front through which the driver looks. Most modern windshields are made of laminated safety glass and bonded in place by a urethane sealant.
Windscreens were initially designed to protect vehicle occupants from the wind created by traveling, but over time the role of the windshield has expanded. Today, windscreens also are a safety component in most passenger vehicles, as they help contain front airbags when deployed.
19. Windshield wipers
Windshield wipers are a small part of your car, but they have a big impact on your driving and overall safety. They keep rain, snow, moisture, and debris off of your windshield so you can see properly as you drive. They are a required safety feature on all cars, and if they’re broken, your vehicle won’t pass a safety inspection.
A speedometer or a speed meter is a gauge that measures and displays the instantaneous speed of a vehicle, it is usually combined with a device known as an odometer that records the distance traveled.
Headlights are designed to give you maximum visibility while driving your vehicle. They light the road in front of you when it is dark out, and can even be used to improve visibility during adverse weather conditions.
Just as importantly, headlights make your vehicle visible to oncoming traffic, which is vital for your safety on the road. The two types of headlights are low beams and high beams, which allow drivers to see the road in the dark and make themselves visible to other vehicles.
22. Taillights/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 other car’s aware of your presence so that you can travel safely in the dark.
Turn signals provide an effective means of communication to let other drivers know where you are going so that they can act accordingly. By communicating with vehicles that are both behind you and in front of you, you’re doing your part to keep everyone safe on the road.
A car hood also referred to as a “bonnet” in some countries, is the hinged cover that rests over the engine bay of a front-engine vehicle. The car hood protects the engine and connected parts from the elements while providing easy access for repairs and maintenance.
A car trunk is an enclosed lockable storage area in a sedan, coupe, or convertible separate from the passenger cabin. The trunk typically sits in the rear of the car in most models. In cars where the engine is in the middle or rear of the body, the trunk may be at the front.
25. Fuel gauge
A fuel gauge is a device inside a car or other vehicle that measures the amount of fuel still in the vehicle. This type of system can be used to measure the amount of gasoline or some other type of liquid.
It will typically consist of a sensing or sending unit that measures the amount of fuel actually left, and a gauge or indicator that relays this information outside the fuel container. A fuel gauge can be designed in a number of different ways, and many gauges have several flaws that can make the readings less than accurate.
26. 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.
Most experts agree that your engine should run between 195 degrees and 220 degrees. In ideal situations, your needle will maintain a posture right in the middle of your gauge.
27. Car Trip Meter
Most modern cars include a trip meter (trip odometer). Unlike the odometer, a trip meter is reset at any point in a journey, making it possible to record the distance traveled in any particular journey or part of a journey.
28. Rev counter
A rev counter is an instrument in a car, which shows the speed of the engine. A rev counter simply shows the number of revolutions an engine’s crankshaft is revolving per minute (RPM) – usually divided by 1000; i.e., 2 on a rev counter is telling you that your engine’s crankshaft is revolving 2,000 times per minute.
The ideal RPM for any vehicle is 1500 RPM to 3000 RPM. In this range, you can save up on a lot of fuel by driving efficiently. The ideal RPM for any vehicle is 1500 RPM to 3000 RPM.
Wheels are metal rims that are connected to the suspension and steering mechanism of the vehicle. They help the car ride smoothly and they are vital for the vehicle’s handling.
Tires are rubber ovals that are designed to protect the wheels and to ensure that the vehicle has enough traction. If the vehicle has enough traction, then the driver will be able to control it easily.
30. Seat and Seat belt
A car seat is a seat used in automobiles. Most car seats are made from inexpensive but durable materials in order to withstand prolonged use. The most common material is polyester.
Seat belts are designed to spread crash forces across the stronger bony parts of the body, including the shoulder, rib cage, and pelvis. Seat belts also prevent occupants from being ejected from the vehicle, an event associated with a high risk of injury and death.