It takes us from home to work, from the gym to the all-you-can-eat restaurant: we’re talking about the car. Few things are so associated with American culture as cars are. Europe might have rustic public transportation systems.
However, here in the US, nothing offers more freedom than the automobile. Undoubtedly, the image of a car speeding through the roads is part of the American dream.
Even though it’s in our culture, the question of how a car works is often left up in the air. In this article, we intend to put an end to it. Throughout the paragraphs, we’ll dive deep into each part a car has. Therefore, keep reading to know everything you want to know about your car.
How a Car Works
It’s been a long time since the car first began to shorten the distances from the first affordable car in our market, Ford’s Model T, to the climate-conscious Tesla. Nevertheless, the current parts of a car remain very similar to their ancestors. So, let’s take a look at the most critical parts a car has.
No wheel would ever turn without the engine. This engineering piece has the incredible ability to turn gas into a force capable of taking you from the east to the west coast—the engine sets in motion a chain of reactions that start with a tiny spark to achieve this.
The spark ignites a mixture of compressed air and oil vapor in a temporarily sealed cylinder. This causes the mixture to burn almost instantly and is why it’s called an internal combustion engine. As the explosion pushes the cylinder outwards, it provides power to the car.
Considering this process will happen millions of times, the engine must be made of a rigid material. Its structure can be divided into two parts: the cylinder block and the head. The first one is the heavier and lower section that cases the moving parts.
On the other hand, the cylinder head is a detachable cover with passages controlled by the valves. It allows combustion gases to air out.
To get the rotary motion, we need to spin the wheels. The crankshaft, contained by the cylinder block, converts the reciprocating motion of the pistons. The camshaft, which is in charge of closing and opening the valves, is usually housed in the block. It can, however, be inside the cylinder head.
The Braking System
Nowadays, most cars have disc or drum-type brakes in the four wheels managed by a hydraulic system. The brakes in the front play a more significant role in stopping the car than the rear brakes. This happens because the weight is sent forward by the car’s moving direction.
As a result, many manufacturers have the more expensive and effective drum-type brakes at the front of the automobile.
For the brakes to work, there is a hydraulic circuit with a master cylinder filled with fluid. When you hit the brakes, the pedal pushes the master piston, which in turn pushes the fluid down some pipes.
Consequently, slave cylinders in every wheel push the brake against them, causing the car to slow down.
Modern cars have some unique features and accessories that require electricity. For this, we turn to the electrical system of the vehicle, which generates and stores electricity. While the central part of this system is the battery, there are some others. Among them, we can find the fuse panel, the generator, alternator, voltage regulator, and the starter motor.
Every machine that’s used continuously is prone to overheating. To prevent this, cars have a system that keeps the engine cool by circulating a coolant. Sometimes, it can also have an engine-driven fan that blows air to cool the engine.
The cooling system is composed of the cooling fan, the hoses, the fluid coupling, the water pump and jacket, the thermostat, and, finally, the radiator.
The engine works extremely fast. Consequently, we need to reduce the gearing, so the power sent to the wheels makes them spin more slowly. Manual gearboxes have a wide range of gears.
Each of them is appropriate for a different situation. For example, driving on the highway uses a different gear than when parking.
The fuel system is in charge of storing and supplying the engine with fuel to power the car. The system is made of a fuel tank, a fuel pump, a fuel filter, fuel injectors, and fuel lines. Firstly, it pumps fuel through the filter and then to the injectors. Consequently, they deliver the filtered fuel to the engine.
The clutch, which is only present in cars with manual gearboxes, is the first step in a car’s transmission. Its mission is to transmit the engine power to the gearbox and interrupt this transmission to change gears. There are two types of clutches a car can have: fluid- or cable-operated.
Despite sharing some similarities, diesel and gas engines work differently. The main variation is in the ignition method. While traditional gas engines require a spark to ignite the fuel, diesel engines don’t.
This is possible thanks to the significant compression they force into the fuel. As fuel and compressed air are compressed up to 20 times their volume, it heats up, causing it to ignite.
The ignition causes a robust and sudden expansion that pushes the piston downwards. As a result, it turns the crankshaft. After this, an exhaust valve opens to release the fumes and allow more air to enter the chamber. Lastly, a repeat of the process occurs then.
Bumpers, potholes, or objects in the road could severely affect your car and its maneuverability. However, fret not, friendly reader, for the suspension is there to help you.
Your car suspension will absorb most of the impacts to guarantee smooth driving. It works with a series of springs and dampers that move the car up and down and prevent jumping.
The steering system allows the driver to command the vehicle’s wheels with a simple steer of a good wheel. That is to say, and it transmits the input of the steering wheel to the steering gear to control the car.
As having an issue may mean having a terrible accident, we recommend checking it regularly. Finally, remember potholes, driving habits, and lack of periodic wheel alignments can cause it to fail.
There are two types of transmissions: automatic and manual. What a manufacturer uses in the car usually depends on how expensive it is. Nevertheless, they both have the purpose of turning the wheels for you to drive the car. They work by converting the engine’s speed to torque.
Whether it’s a Mini or a Monster Truck, your vehicle will have four rubber-covered wheels that support everyone inside it. They are the only part to withstand the friction with the pavement its primary goal is to have colossal friction to move the car.
However, as time goes by, the tire’s grip wears down, which is why you must replace them periodically
Related Topic: The Best Ways to Modify Your Car: Step By Step Guide
Car accessories are so standard that drivers tend to think of them as essential parts of their vehicles. Moreover, it is hard thinking of driving without them. There are three types: the standard, comfort us and enhance the car’s appearance.
Among the standard accessories, we can find the horn that alerts others of our presence. In addition, the speedometer has become quintessential to avoid getting expensive tickets.
If we talk about accessories that aim to comfort us, we can’t forget the AC. No summer trip would be the same without a powerful air conditioner to cool you and your drink down. What’s more, no ride would be complete without Personal Jesus playing loud on the radio, another accessory taken for granted.
We have car fragrances on the side of the superficial accessories that’ll keep your automobile smelling like pine. In addition, seat covers are also great at attracting some looks. Finally, many car owners like having tinted windows to conceal what’s happening inside.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the car has increasingly become more of a necessity than a luxury in the US. Above all, automobiles provide freedom to drivers. However, we aren’t simply talking about traveling.
The car can give you access to better job positions where you can’t get to by bus or subways. Moreover, it connects people with their families and loved ones, uniting our vast and expansive country.
Because of all of this, we thought it was essential to look at how it works. Indeed, we hope our article has shed some on how these miraculous machines function and can take us everywhere. Most importantly, we wish you a safe driving and a future filled with smooth roads and loud songs.