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:
- Front Axle
- Front Steering and Suspension
- Catalytic Converter
- Fuel Tank
- Rear Axle
- Rear Suspension
- Steering System
- Serpentine Belt
- Cooling System
- Lubrication System
- Ignition System
- Power train
- Propeller shaft
- Gear Shift
- Timing Belt
- Suspension System
- Shock Absorber
- Exhaust System
- O2 Sensor
- Electronic Control Unit
- Air Filter
- Seat Belt
- Indicator Lights
- Windshield Wipers
- Proximity sensors
- Car Hood
- Fuel Pump
- Fuel Gauge
- Temperature Gauge
- RPM Gauge
- Cruise control
Read More: 30 Basic Parts of a Car Engine with Diagram
Car Parts Diagram
Parts of a Car
Here are the basic parts of a car:
It makes sense to start with the most important part of a car, which is the engine. It’s like the heart and soul of your car, making things happen. You’ve got two types to choose from: the old-school internal combustion engine and the new electric motor.
The internal combustion engine is a beast that mixes air and fuel, then ignites it to create power. That power moves the pistons, which make your wheels turn and get you to move on the road.
On the other hand, electric motors work with rechargeable batteries, which is trending now day as EVs. They store energy and deliver it to make your car move. The cool thing is electric engines give you speedy acceleration compared to those fuel-powered ones.
No matter which type of engine you’ve got, your car won’t be going anywhere without it!
The transmission is a gearbox filled with gears and gear trains that makes effective use of the engine’s torque to change the gears and power the vehicle. It’s a kind of transmission in a bicycle, but way more complicated. Basically, it does the important job of giving you different gear options to make driving easier and keep your engine from getting too tired.
There are two types of transmissions out there:
- Automatic Transmission: This one’s super cool because it changes gears all by itself! It uses this special fluid called automatic transmission fluid (ATF), and the shifts are controlled by the brain of the car, the engine computer. Some automatic transmissions are even more futuristic—they’re called continuously variable transmissions (CVT). They don’t have set gears but instead smoothly change between different gear ratios. It’s like magic!
- Manual Transmission: In this type of transmission, you shift yourself, like in those sports cars you see in the movies. You’re in control, with a manual transmission, you get to decide the relationship between engine revs and speed.
Your car’s battery is pretty important, you know. It does a lot of cool stuff, like giving your vehicle the power it needs to start when you turn the key in the ignition. Also, it ensures that all electrical components in your car are working properly.
Basically, the battery stores energy in this chemical form. So, if you need the power to run all those fancy car gadgets, it can release it. Your car simply won’t run without a battery.
There are a few other terms you might come across when talking about car batteries, let me break them down for you:
- Battery Terminal: This is just a way of connecting the battery to your car’s electrical system. You got three types: there’s the post or top terminal, the side terminal, and the L-shaped one.
- Battery Capacity: This is all about how much energy your battery can dish out, they measure it in something called amp/hours. The higher the number, the more power it can provide.
- Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): They call it CCA for short, it’s basically how much juice your battery can deliver to your vehicle. So, the higher the CCA, the better.
- Group Size: This one’s easy, it’s just the size of your battery, plain and simple. They have all these fancy numbers to identify different group sizes, like 24, 24F, 25, 34, and so on.
- AGM: Short for “absorbent glass mat” it’s a fancy design where the battery soaks up sulfuric acid with a fiberglass mat. That makes it spill-proof and helps it hold a charge better.
Trust me, you don’t want to be left with a dead battery, it’s a real disappointment. If you hear that clicking sound when you turn the key or notice your headlights dimming, it’s a good idea to have someone check the battery, better safe than sorry, right?
An alternator in a car is like a power generator, it’s a super important part of a car. Its job is to keep sending a constant flow of electricity to run all the electrical components in the car. You know, all those cool gadgets we can’t live without while driving.
When the engine is running, the alternator charges up the battery and gives extra power to all the electrical systems in the car. The alternator is connected to the engine with this snaky serpentine belt and run by the engine crankshaft.
You’ll usually find the alternator mount at the front of the engine with a belt wrapped around it. The cool thing is that this little guy is pretty low-maintenance. It can last you a good 10-15 years without any repairs.
If an alternator fails, your car might keep going for a little while on battery power, but as soon as that battery runs out of juice, you can say goodbye to the engine.
When a car’s engine is running, it gets super hot because of all the fuel burning and parts moving around. That’s where the radiator steps in to save the day. The radiator is like the engine’s personal cooling system. It’s got this liquid coolant, hoses, a fan, and a thermostat, all working together.
Here’s how it goes: The coolant flows from the radiator through these hoses, into the engine, soaking up all the extra heat. Then it goes back to the radiator. Now, the radiator has these thin metal fins that release the heat from the coolant to the outside air while the liquid passes through them.
But wait, there’s more! Cool air sneaks into the radiator through the front grille of the car, playing its part in the process. When the car’s just chilling, like when you’re sitting at a red light, the system’s fan kicks in to blow air and cool down the heated coolant. It also helps blow the hot air out of the car.
After the coolant finishes its radiator adventure, it heads back to the engine for another round. This keeps going on and on, making sure the engine stays at the perfect temperature and doesn’t overheat like a volcano. Cool, right?”
6. Front Axle
A front axle is a component of a vehicle that is located at the front and is responsible for supporting the weight of the front part of the vehicle, facilitating steering, and absorbing shocks due to road surface variations.
The front axle has four main parts, which are the beam, the swivel pin, the track rod, and the stub axle.
The functions of the front axle include turning the front wheel easily, providing a cushioning effect through a spring, taking the weight of the front vehicle, and processing the shock generated by the bumpy surface of the road. Front axles may either be alive or dead, with live front axles being able to perform the job of rotating the wheels.
7. Front Steering and Suspension
Front steering and suspension are essential components of a vehicle that ensure driving safety and stability.
The primary function of the suspension and steering systems is to allow the wheels to move independently of the car while keeping it “suspended” and absorbing road shock from being transmitted to the driver’s hands.
The steering system provides vehicle turning per the driver’s will, directional stability and converts the rotary movement of the steering wheel into an angular turn of the front wheels. The two most common types of steering systems are rack-and-pinion, used on most cars, and recirculating ball, used on trucks and utility vehicles.
In simple terms, a car’s brake system is what helps you stop or slow down your vehicle. There are two common types: disc brakes and drum brakes. These brakes are crucial for your safety.
Disc brakes can be found on both the front and back wheels and have a few key parts.
- The caliper is a component that doesn’t rotate and is responsible for squeezing the brake pads against the rotor. This creates friction and helps slow down or stop the car.
- Brake pads are the friction material that gets pressed against the disc by the caliper. They play a vital role in stopping the vehicle.
- The brake rotor is a disc-shaped component that spins with the wheel. When the brake pads press against it, it provides the necessary friction to slow down or stop the car.
Drum brakes are typically found on the back wheels of some vehicles. A drum brake setup consists of a brake drum and shoes. The shoes are covered in friction material and are pressed against the inside of the drum to create friction, which in turn slows down the vehicle.
9. Catalytic Converter
Did you know about catalytic converters? They’re these cool devices that help control the nasty gases and pollutants that come out of car engines. Basically, they use a fancy chemical reaction to transform that harmful stuff into less harmful ones.”
“You’ll find catalytic converters mostly on cars with gasoline or diesel engines, even those lean-burn engines. And guess what? They’re not just limited to cars. Sometimes, they’re also used in kerosene heaters and stoves!”
The whole point of the muffler is to keep your ride nice and quiet. How does it do that? Well, it uses these cool things called baffles or other materials to reduce or muffle the sound.
Basically, the muffler is that thing right before the end of your exhaust pipe. It’s in charge of toning down the noise coming from your exhaust system. How does it work? It kinda slows down the flow of the exhaust gases, making your ride way quieter.
Some mufflers slow down the flow more or less, so you’ll end up with either a hushed purr or a roaring growl, depending on what you’re into.
A tailpipe is basically the pipe in your car that carries all that smelly exhaust fumes from the muffler or catalytic converter to the back of the vehicle. You’ve probably seen it sticking out at the back. There all exhaust gases have their big outlet.
12. Fuel Tank
A fuel tank, also called a petrol tank or gas tank, is like a safe container for flammable liquids, usually gasoline or diesel fuel. It’s not just any fuel storage tank; It is usually a specific part of an engine system.
This is where the fuel is stored and then either pushed into the engine (using a fuel pump) or released into the engine with pressure like pressurized gas.
13. Rear Axle
Rear Axle is responsible for sending power to the wheels that make your car go vroom. It’s made up of two parts called half shafts, and they’re joined together by something called the differential. Usually, rear axles spin along with your wheels, keeping everything in motion.
14. Rear Suspension
The rear suspension of a car is like a superhero that keeps the car’s body and frame standing tall and connects it to the road. It’s got a bunch of stuff going on, like the frame (or body connections if it’s a fancy self-supporting vehicle), joints, bearings and bushings, rods, shock absorbers, springs, wheels, and tires. It’s a whole team working together!
The rear suspension job is to team up with the front suspension and make sure your ride is smooth and under control. Basically, it keeps your car from hitting the ground and makes sure your tires stay in touch with the road.
15. Steering System
The steering system is all about turning that steering wheel and making the wheels on the road move just right. It’s like magic! When you turn that 15-inch steering wheel, it takes four whole spins from left to right, and guess what?
The car only moves about 12 inches. Crazy, right? It’s designed that way so you can steer even a heavy ride with just a light touch. If you had to turn the wheels directly, you’d need to push way harder, like 16 times as hard. No thanks, steering system to the rescue!
16. Serpentine Belt
The serpentine belt is like this long rubber band chillin’ in your car’s engine. It’s got a super important job of powering up a bunch of crucial stuff in your ride, like the alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning, and sometimes even the water pump.
It’s like the MVP of belts, keepin’ things running smoothly and making sure everything stays cool and powered up.
17. Cooling System
The cooling system has three important jobs. First, it’s all about kickin’ out that extra heat from the engine. Nobody wants an overheated engine, right? Second, it makes sure the engine stays at the perfect temperature to work its magic.
Efficiency is the name of the game, and finally, it gets the engine up to that sweet spot of operating temperature real quickly. We don’t wanna keep our ride waiting, do we?
18. Lubrication System
The engine lubrication system is all about keeping things running smoothly. It’s like the oil superhero that swoops in and reduces friction between the moving parts. And guess what? This is a must for the long life of your car’s engine.
Think like as without proper lubrication, surfaces would be rubbing each other the wrong way. So, this system ensures everything stays cool and groovy. But if this system fails, things can get really bad, real fast. Your engine will overheat, start throwin’ a fit, and eventually give up. So, it’s our duty to keep that lubrication system in tip-top shape all the time!
19. Ignition System
The ignition system in a gas engine is all about sparking things up. It’s what gets that fuel-air mixture fired up so your engine can do its thing. You got a storage battery, an induction coil, a fancy device that sends out high-voltage sparks, a distributor, and a set of spark plugs.
The battery gives a little zap of low voltage (usually 12 volts), and the system transforms it into a big jolt of high voltage (like 40,000 volts!). Then, the distributor sends those powerful bursts of electricity to each spark plug in the right order to make your engine go!
20. Power train
A powertrain is a system within a vehicle, boat, or other type of machine. The system is designed to propel the vehicle forward. In a car, a powertrain consists of the engine and its internal components such as the energy storage system, transmission, and driveshaft.
In a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), the powertrain converts the stored gasoline or diesel energy in the engine into kinetic energy and transmits it through the transmission, driveshaft, and differential as torque to the vehicle’s wheels, propelling it forward.
If you’ve ever driven a manual transmission car, you’re probably familiar with the clutch. It’s the third pedal you have to press to change gears.
The clutch is the part of the car that connects two or more rotating shafts. In a manual transmission car, the clutch controls the connection between the shaft coming from the engine and the shafts that turn the wheels. It is an important part of the car’s working machinery as the engine is constantly generating electricity and has parts that are constantly turning but the wheels are not.
In order for the car to both change speed and come to a complete stop without turning off the engine, the connection between the wheels and the engine must be temporarily broken.
22. Propeller shaft
A drive shaft (also called a propeller shaft or prop shaft) is a component of a drive train in a vehicle whose purpose is to transmit torque from the transmission to the differential, which transmits this torque to the wheels to move the vehicle. ,
Drive shafts are primarily used to transfer torque between components separated by distance because different components must be in different locations in the vehicle. Front-engine rear-wheel drive cars must have a long drive shaft connecting the rear axle to the transmission because these parts are on opposite sides of the car.
The differential is a system that takes energy on its input side and then divides that energy on two output sides. It is particularly useful in automotive applications because it converts the engine’s rotational force into torque that drives the wheels.
The differential also allows each drive wheel to spin at different speeds, which is important for smooth cornering.
The car differential has three functions:
- Targeting engine power to the wheels
- To act as the final gear reduction in a vehicle, slowing the rotational speed of the transmission for the final time before hitting the wheels
- Transmit power to the wheels allowing them to rotate at different speeds.
24. Gear Shift
A gear stick, gear lever, gearshift, or shifter, more formally known as a transmission lever, is a metal lever connected to an automobile’s transmission. The term gear stick mostly refers to the shift lever of a manual transmission, while in an automatic transmission, a similar lever is known as a gear selector.
The gear stick would typically be used to change gears, while the clutch pedal would be pressed with the left foot to disengage the engine from the drivetrain and wheels.
Automatic transmission vehicles, including hydraulic (torque converter) automatic transmissions, automated manuals, and older semi-automatic transmissions (especially clutchless manuals), such as the VW AutoStick, and vehicles with continuously variable transmissions that do not require a physical clutch pedal.
25. Timing Belt
In an engine, either a timing belt (also called a cambelt) or timing chain or set of timing gears is used to synchronize the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft. This synchronization ensures that the engine’s valves are open and close at the correct times in relation to the position of the pistons.
The timing belt also plays an important role in preventing the piston from striking the valves, in an interference engine. A timing belt is usually a toothed belt with teeth on one or either side of the surface.
When a timing or cam belt isn’t working properly, then your vehicle’s valves won’t be synced up correctly, meaning the pistons can be damaged. This can cost you up to more than $2,000 if multiple parts are damaged as a result of a faulty timing belt.
26. Suspension System
Your car’s suspension system is a protective lattice of shock-absorbing components such as springs and dampers. Your car’s suspension helps ensure that your drive is safe and smooth by absorbing the energy from various road bumps and other kinetic impacts. Furthermore, it helps your tires stay in contact with the road by increasing tire friction.
Think of the suspension of your car as a kind of carriage on which the car’s main cabin sits. Your cabin is made more comfortable because it sits on the suspension, which is connected to the car’s wheels. The vehicle and its cabin are insulated against impacts that are common when driving, even on well-paved roads.
27. Shock Absorber
A shock absorber is a mechanical device which is used to eliminate or damp sudden shock waves in a system. It does this by converting the kinetic energy of the shock into another form of energy, which is then dissipated. Most shock absorbers are a form of dashpot (a damper which resists motion via viscous friction).
Essentially, shock absorbers do two things. Apart from controlling the movement of springs and suspension, shock absorbers also always keep your tires in contact with the ground.
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 brake is severely compromised.
28. Exhaust System
An exhaust system is used to guide the reaction of exhaust gases away from a controlled combustion inside an engine or stove. The entire system conveys burnt gases from the engine and includes one or more exhaust pipes. Depending on the overall system design, the exhaust gas may flow through one or more of:
- Cylinder head and exhaust manifold
- A turbocharger to increase engine power.
- A catalytic converter to reduce air pollution.
- A muffler/silencer, to reduce noise.
29. O2 Sensor
The O2 sensor is responsible for measuring how much-unburned oxygen is in the exhaust. It communicates with your vehicle’s electronic control unit (ECU) to help figure out what the right air-to-fuel ratio should be for the best engine performance.
Through monitoring these oxygen levels, the O2 sensor performs the important role of measuring this mixture so that the fuel injection system can adjust accordingly. O2 sensors can tell the ECU whether a fuel mixture is too lean (meaning there is too much oxygen) or too rich (not enough oxygen).
Your vehicle’s engine makes a lot of noise as it churns away, powering your daily commute. Resonators exist to modulate that sound and change it in such a way that it is more able to be muted slightly by the muffler.
It acts as an echo chamber, where acoustic engineers have worked to design a space that helps change the engine’s exhaust sounds to allow the power train to generate as much power as possible without making small children cry as the vehicle passes.
Resonators change your vehicle’s engine sounds, while mufflers reduce the volume. When combined, your vehicle’s resonator works with your vehicle’s muffler to create a more pleasant sound that isn’t too loud or otherwise unpleasant to experience.
31. Electronic Control Unit
ECU is a device that controls all the electronic features in a car. This may range from fuel injection to maintaining perfect cabin temperature to controlling braking and suspension. Some vehicles have multiple ECU controlling different features while some have one controlling everything.
An electronic control unit receives input from one or several parts of the vehicle and uses that information to act if needed. For example, an airbag ECU receives information from crash sensors and seat sensors. When there is a crash, the ECU decides which airbags to deploy depending on where passengers are sitting. Then it tells the actuators to deploy them. Then the actuators convert the electrical signal into the physical value needed, using valves, injectors, or relays.
Vehicles may contain over 100 ECUs that in addition to essential functions, like engine performance and power steering, control comfort and security features, such as parking assistance, memory seats and airbag deployment.
32. Air Filter
An engine air filter prevents your engine from being damaged with dirt, dust, sand, and other contaminants, but if it becomes clogged, your engine air filter can start to negatively impact your vehicle’s performance. A cabin air filter is used to decontaminate the air that your vehicle brings into its cabin.
It’s a good idea to change your engine air filter every 30,000-45,000 miles. However, if you frequently drive on dusty roads or in exceptionally hot climates, you’ll want to check and replace your filter more often.
An airbag is a vehicle occupant-restraint system using a bag designed to inflate extremely quickly, then quickly deflate during a collision. It consists of the airbag cushion, a flexible fabric bag, an inflation module, and an impact sensor.
The purpose of the airbag is to provide a vehicle occupant with soft cushioning and restraint during a collision. It can reduce injuries between the flailing occupant and the interior of the vehicle.
The airbag provides an energy-absorbing surface between the vehicle’s occupants and a steering wheel, instrument panel, body pillar, headliner, and windshield.
34. Seat Belt
A seat belt 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, by keeping occupants positioned correctly for maximum effectiveness of the airbag (if equipped), and by preventing occupants 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 vehicle. If the vehicle suddenly stops or crashes, the occupants continue at the same speed the vehicle was going before it stopped. A seatbelt applies an opposing force to the driver and passengers to prevent them from falling out or contacting the interior of the car.
Headlights are one of the most essential parts of the car when driving down a dark and dingy road. It helps to light the road ahead, warns the oncoming traffic about your presence, and does much more.
Headlight technology has come a long way from Carbide lamps used in the early days of cars to laser lights of the modern era. There are numerous types of headlights that are being used by manufacturers.
Taillights are the red lights located at the rear of your vehicle—they activate whenever you turn on your headlights.
Taillights are typically inactive during the day, and that’s because we tend to drive without our headlights on unless conditions dictate otherwise.
They aren’t as bright as your vehicle’s brake lights, but they illuminate when driving in certain conditions, like heavy rain. Taillights play a crucial role in alerting other drivers of your presence on the road when visibility is compromised.
37. Indicator Lights
Indicator lights are amber in color and can be located at the front, the rear, and sometimes at the side of the car on both the left and right-hand sides. You use your indicators to show an intended change of direction, whether turning left or right or moving out into traffic.
You only need to use your indicators if other road users (vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians) are visible.
Use them in good time, giving other road users plenty of time to react and adapt to your signal.
Once you have completed the maneuver, make sure the indicator has been canceled, or you may confuse other road users.
The windshield of a car, also known as the front car glass or windscreen, serves multiple functions in your car.
One of the most basic functions of a windshield of a car is to provide a clear, unobstructed view of the roads ahead to the driver. A clear view is of much importance if you want to drive your car safely without getting into potentially dangerous situations.
A windshield for a car, as its name suggests, is a ‘shield’ that protects the vehicle’s occupants and the interiors of the car from dust, stones, debris, bugs, rain, wind, and other such outside elements that you encounter on the roads.
39. Windshield Wipers
A windscreen wiper or windshield wiper is a device used to remove rain, snow, ice, washer fluid, water, or debris from a vehicle’s front window. 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.
40. Proximity sensors
A device that senses the presence of adjacent things, typically people or animals, is called a car proximity sensor.
Car proximity sensors can find an object without touching it since they use an electrical signal to do so. Security systems frequently employ proximity sensors to identify automobile theft or tampering attempts.
They can park a car by sensing available space or automatically open doors when the owner is nearby. To avoid harm to the autonomous vehicle, the person, or the animal, we occasionally use them at a distance that is roughly approximate.
41. Car Hood
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.
Car hoods are typically constructed from steel and sometimes from aluminum. Aftermarket car hoods may be constructed from various other materials, including carbon fiber, fiberglass, or dry carbon.
A concealed latch is typically used to lock the hood in place while driving.
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. Some models, particularly newer electric vehicles, have two trunk compartments.
While owners commonly use a car trunk for transporting cargo, it can also store other add-ons. Necessities might include emergency supplies, a spare tire, an onboard tool kit, a lug wrench and jack, fuse boxes, and electronics for video and sound systems.
Convertible cars usually have a smaller amount of usable rear trunk space as the retractable roofs, especially hardtops, are often stored there while in the down position.
Wheel and tire are often used as words with the same or nearly the same meaning, but technically speaking it is not so.
The wheel of a car refers to the entire assembly that includes the rim, tire, and other components necessary for the wheel to function properly. In the context of a car, the wheel is crucial for steering, supporting the vehicle’s weight, and transmitting power from the engine to the road.
A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped component that surrounds a wheel’s rim to transfer a vehicle’s load from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to provide traction on the surface over which the wheel travels.
44. Fuel Pump
A fuel pump is a fluid-handling device that moves gasoline from the fuel tank to the engine. It’s often found in internal combustion engines.
The fuel pump in spark-ignition engines transports gasoline from the tank to the fuel bowl, where the carburetor mixes the fuel with air and transports it to the engine’s combustion chamber.
In combustion ignition engines, the fuel pump delivers high-pressure fuel straight to the combustion chamber. In combustion ignition engines, the combustion enclosure is already filled with highly compressed air at the moment of combustion.
As a result, the fuel pump must deliver fuel to the combustion chamber at a pressure greater than that of the combustion chamber, and ignition occurs.
45. Fuel Gauge
A fuel gauge is a measuring instrument that determines and reports the amount of fuel that is left in a vehicle’s tank. Each gauge consists of two separate components: an indicator and a sensing or sending unit.
The indicator is the part of the gauge that is located on the dash, typically in the instrument cluster, while the sensing unit is located in the fuel tank.
There are a few different types of gas gauges, each of which works a little differently, but in general terms, the sensing unit measures the fuel level, and the indicator reports that level.
A speedometer or speed meter is a gauge that measures and displays the instantaneous speed of a vehicle.
47. Temperature Gauge
The temperature gauge, most often located on the dashboard of your vehicle, is intended to show the temperature of your engine’s coolant. This indicator will let you know if your engine’s coolant is cold, normal, or overheating.
- If the temperature gauge reads high, it could mean your engine is overheating. Another reason your reading might be high is you could be losing coolant.
- On most vehicles, the temperature gauge reads cold until the engine has run for a few minutes. If the temperature gauge still reads cold after the engine has warmed up, the gauge may simply be broken.
An odometer is a device for measuring the distance traveled by a vehicle. The odometer usually lives in the vehicle’s dashboard. “Odometer” derives from two Greek words meaning “path” and “measure.”
An odometer may be digital or mechanical. Each cog on a mechanical odometer represents a digit. The cogs turn in response to the rotation of the wheels via a drive mechanism and cable.
A vehicle may also have a trip meter or trip odometer. Unlike the regular odometer, you can reset the trip odometer at any point. A vehicle may have several trip odometers. Trip meters can be highly beneficial for recording the distance traveled over a specific time, making it easy to determine how many miles per gallon your vehicle gets for each fuel tank.
49. RPM Gauge/Tachometer
The RPM gauge or tachometer has become a standard feature in most cars. This gauge tells the driver how fast the car’s crankshaft is spinning in terms of its RPM. It is an extremely important metric for understanding the car engine’s performance.
An RPM gauge contains numbers (1,2, 3, …) with each denoting 1,000 rpm. So, if a vehicle’s RPM meter points to 3, then the car must be rotating at 3,000 rpm.
The normal RPM range for cars on highways is generally between 1500 rpm and 2000 rpm. The idle rotation ranges between 600 rpm and 1000 rpm.
A diesel engine usually stays idle at around 750 rpm, while it runs at a speed of 110 km/h on 6th gear at 2000 rpm. However, petrol engines rotate at 6000 rpm at high speeds.
50. Cruise control
While driving on an open road for a long time, it would be tiring to keep pressing the accelerator pedal. Cruise control is a feature that helps reduce the fatigue drivers would feel while driving a long distance.
The system imitates the way human drivers drive. But instead of pressing the accelerator pedal, it uses an actuator to control the throttle and helps your car continue cruising at the same speed.
It dramatically reduces drivers’ fatigue since drivers do not have to press and release the accelerator pedal repeatedly. Drivers will find the system particularly useful on highways or roads with traffic jams during rush hour.