Automotive Parts & Systems

Air conditioning
One of the most expensive options offered on cars is the air conditioner. Here's a brief explanation of how this high priced item keeps you cool on the road.
Air injection
The four major emission control systems are the catalytic converter, positive crankcase ventilation, exhaust gas recirculation and air injection. One of the most elaborate systems is air injection, or air pump system as it is sometimes referred.
The alternator is a type of electrical generator which is run off a drive belt connected to the crankshaft. When your engine is running, it spins the alternator creating electricity, which is stored in the battery.
Your car's battery does not produce energy, it simply stores it. Auto batteries contain six cells. Each cell is made up of a positive and a negative plate capable of storing two volts making auto batteries 12 volt.
The fuel system in your car includes parts as simple as the fuel tank to the carburetor which is probably the most complex instrument. In between, you'll find the fuel lines, fuel pump, fuel filter and air filter.
Catalytic converter
One of four major emission control systems, the catalytic converter is found in the exhaust system in front of the muffler. When the exhaust gases travel through the catalytic converter, the carbon monoxide and hydro carbons are converted into harmless carbon dioxide and water vapor.
Cooling system
You'll want to check your coolant every month or one thousand miles, to prevent your engine from overheating and causing serious damage. If you tow a trailer, check the coolant every day
Diesel engines
The diesel engine is a lot like the gasoline engine. Both use the four stroke system of intake, compression, ignition and exhaust.
Emission control
Public awareness regarding pollution really took off in the 70's. As a result, new methods were developed to curb the pollution problems.
Exhaust gas recirculation
Carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons are converted to harmless gases by catalytic converters and air injection emission control systems. However, there's a third pollutant in automobile exhaust that neither systems deal with.
Front- and rear-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive means that only the front wheels of your automobile receive power from the transmission. On the other hand, in rear-wheel drive automobiles, only the rear wheels receive power.
Fuel filter
The fuel filter is one of several filters found in today's engines. All are vital for optimum performance and a longer engine life.
Fuel filter/water separator
Because a diesel engine uses a sparkless ignition, it is highly sensitive to water in the fuel. Even a small amount of water entering the cylinder with the fuel mixture can make a diesel engine foul out.
Fuel injection
Instead of using a carburetor to regulate the air/fuel mixture, fuel injection systems use an engine driven pump or a mechanical fuel regulator. Like the name suggests, fuel injection involves spraying or injecting the air/fuel mixture directly into either the intake manifold on gasoline engines or into the cylinder on diesel engines.
Gas engines
The internal combustion engine, or gasoline-powered engine has come a long way since Henry Ford's original 'Tin Lizzy.' The gasoline engine now has emission controls, turbo charging, fuel injection, and computer chips, all designed to make your driving experience more efficient.
Ignition system
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to your ignition system. It's job is to see that each spark plug is fired at precisely the right moment and in the correct order.
Lubrication system
Your car's lubrication system helps reduce the intense heat and friction produced by the engine. The lubrication system consists of an oil pump, oil filter, dipstick, oil filler cap, oil pan and of course, oil.
Piston engines
The purpose of an engine is to convert a fuel mixture into motion. In a piston engine-- the kind you find in American cars and most foreign cars-- four successive actions have to take place: intake, compression, ignition and exhaust.
Positive crankcase ventilation
Four of the most important emission control systems used today are the catalytic converter, air injection system, EGR or Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Positive Crankcase Ventilation. The latter system, positive crankcase ventilation or PCV, is designed to collect any gases that leak past the piston rings and into the crankcase.
Rotary engines
The Wankel rotary engine, while still not in major use, does have it's advantages including fewer moving parts, less friction area and two spark plugs per rotor to ensure total combustion of the fuel mixture. The Wankel rotary engine propels a car using the four basic functions shared by the conventional piston engine-- intake, compression, ignition and exhaust.
Safety features
Today's modern vehicle is equipped with dozens of safety features. Seat belts, active head restraints, dual front air bags, side air bags, collapsible steering columns, shatterproof safety glass, anti-lock brakes, and traction control are now standard equipment on many new vehicles.
Shock absorbers
Simply put, shock absorbers serve as a cushion to resist the up-and-down motion of a vehicle as it rolls down an uneven and often bumpy roadway. A variety of shock absorbers exist for different load conditions.
The electric starter is sure a lot less strenuous and a lot more convenient than the starters of the old days. When cars were first built, the owner stood in front of the car and actually hand cranked the engine to life.
Steering system
There are two types of steering mechanisms on cars. On small cars where space is a concern, the type of steering is usually rack and pinion.
Suspension system
Your car's suspension system works to give you a smooth ride even on rough roads. Plus, a suspension system should keep the tires in proper contact with the road.

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