12 Basic Car Parts Every Car Owner Must Know About

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Your car has numerous small components that play a big role.

If any one of them falters, you’ll face car troubles.

Mechanics are like doctors. Nobody likes to see them until they have to. So, if you’re looking for auto repair in New Hope, we’re there. 

But we figured if you knew a little more about the underlying car parts & about the signs that your car has a troublesome future, it could save you a lot of money.

That’s exactly what we’re attempting today. Here’s

What you Need to Know to be Your ‘Car’s Psychic’

1. Battery

This small component has the responsibility to start your car. It converts chemical energy into electrical energy and provides the current for rest of the car parts to start working. 

It also regulates the flow of voltage in the vehicle. 

If it malfunctions, either your car will have trouble starting (you’ll be lucky if that happens) or there'll be intense pressure on other expensive car parts like the charging system or the starter motor, leading to their breakdown. 

How do you know you need the battery checked?

  • If the check engine light is on. At times, it lights up when battery power is low.
  • If your car takes slightly longer than usual to start or make a ‘rur rur’ sound.
  • If your battery looks bloated. 
  • If your battery smells like rotten eggs (it happens!). 

There’s a small transparent patch on the battery to help you check fluid levels. 

2. Brakes

With two types of braking systems in the car - service and emergency, you’ll drive safer if the brakes are working correctly. 

There are several components involved - pads, rotors, calipers, hoses, parking cables, wheel bearings, wheel cylinders, springs, adjusters and fluid exchange - all of these must be in their best shape to work correctly.

If you feel even slightly uneasy with the brakes of the car, you need to see a mechanic.

3. Clutch

Everyone learnt driving while being careful with the clutch. 

If you don’t press it properly, keep it pressed for too long or let it go too fast, then you’ll risk damaging the clutch plates.

This will cost you a lot of money in repair. 

4. Axles

Used in driving, braking, and steering, axles are often neglected. 

But they are expensive and important components of the car that you need to maintain properly. 

It’s the axle that bears all the weight of the vehicle - its components, luggage, and humans who sit in it. 

If it malfunctions, then you’re at the risk of losing the control of your vehicle. 

Don’t worry though. Since they play a major role, they are usually very robust but watch out for rust around it. 

5. Spark Plugs

This tiny component could be the reason why your car isn’t starting. Spark plugs are highly durable and can last for about 30,000 miles before needing to be replaced. 

It’s actually what your mechanic would check if your car isn’t starting after he inspects the battery. 

Getting it replaced would be the best option in case it’s bad.

That could improve fuel efficiency, reduce harmful emissions and make the vehicle start smoothly. 

6. Fuel Injector

Another small but crucial component, fuel injector supplies fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. A fuel injector may wear off, making your engine surge, vibrate or misfire. 

If your engine light is on, it can also indicate a fault in the fuel injector. 

A bad fuel injector emits fuel odor, makes the vehicle burn more fuel and can also cause leak; so if it’s covered with fuel, you need a replacement.

7. Pistons

They withstand explosions every time you drive your car. 

And yet, they help the vehicle go on smoothly and reduce fuel consumption. 

How do you know if your piston needs to be checked? 

Blue smoke indicates potential problems with a car’s pistons.

8. AC Compressor

Can you live without an AC in extreme summer conditions? We bet not. 

If the temperature inside your vehicle is higher than normal, cooling has reduced, and the compressor is making noises, you need to check with an auto repair serviceman for possible defects. 

9. Radiator

One of the most common causes of a car breakdown, the radiator is responsible for maintaining the temperature levels in the car’s engine. 

So how do you know if the radiator is faulty?

If the temperature gauge goes above 90 degrees Celsius or there’s steam coming out from the bonnet, you need to stop and check the possible cause of radiator trouble. 

Attention: Don’t open the radiator cap when the engine is still hot, it is very dangerous. 

The issues may be caused by a low coolant level, clogging inside the radiator, malfunction of the radiator cap, or a stuck thermostat valve. 

Sometimes, in older cars, the heat exchange materials may also cause problems. 

When this happens, let the car cool down a bit, ensure coolant level is restored if it’s a problem and try to restart. If it still doesn’t work, call a mechanic. 

10. Engine Fan

When we talk of radiator troubles, a very closely related component is engine fan that facilitates temperature regulation and boosts the performance of the radiator. 

11. Ignition Switch

Nobody can avoid that feeling of cluelessness when your car won’t start. You surely know some reasons by now, and another common reason behind car troubles is a problem with the ignition switch, especially in older cars. 

Check if you’re putting it to start, or if it’s overheated. Check the dashboard lights. 

When the switch is ‘on,’ yet they’re not working, then the switch could be the issue.

12. A Car Jack and a Spare Tire

These may not be directly involved with the functioning of the car at any given moment, but you’ll need them for sure. 

A car jack can lift the car so that you can put the spare tire on. Never leave your house without these two. 

Other important components you need to look out for are shock absorbers, air filter, catalytic converter, alternator, muffler, and a power steering fluid. 

You are now all set to be the car psychic, and you can pretty much judge what part is causing you an issue. You can take appropriate steps accordingly.

A&G Customs for Auto Repair In New Hope

Remember not to try repairing these yourself unless you have a very good idea of what you’re about to do. We, with our auto repair services, are a phone call away, check out our location here.