14 Parts of a Car and Their Functions

Parts of a Car

Civilization has blessed us with gadgets that leave us amazed at how they are developed.


One classic innovation is the automobile, and many of us can’t shake off the need to know the parts of a car.

It never hurts to have at least a basic knowledge about automobiles.

Whether you self-repair your car or bring it to the repair center, it pays to know the vehicle’s basic parts.

Knowing parts of a car ensures you are capable of making knowledgeable decisions on vehicular maintenance.

The basic parts of a car you should acquaint yourself with includes:

1. Radiator

Radiator car part

The radiator is one of the components of the car engine. Its function is to exchange heat, which means it takes heat away from the coolant in your car’s cooling system. This ensures your car’s engine does not overheat.

The hot coolant is navigated via the radiator, where the coolant can trade heat with the passing air. It is one of the most important parts of a car. For basic maintenance on this car part, monitor your coolant levels about two times annually.

Substituting your radiator can take a significant part of your day, but it can be done yourself. If you want to change your radiator, you can go through a guide to execute the job right.

While browsing for a guide on how to change your radiator, endeavor to reference your auto’s repair manual, as each car is slightly different.

2. AC compressor

AC compressor car part

The AC compressor is that part of the car whose function is to produce air pressure to pump coolant across your auto’s system. Without the AC compressor, the air conditioning system will not function.

Tropical heat shows that your air conditioning system is an essential part of a car. It is a car part you have to ensure is always working if you can’t tolerate hot air.

3. Battery

battery Parts of a Car

Batteries are undoubtedly one of the most vital parts of a car. Its function is to store energy in chemical form to be converted to electrical energy, which activates your car’s electrical parts.

Other mechanical jargon you may encounter when discussing a car battery may include:

  • Battery Terminal: A channel or pathway for connecting the battery to the cars electrical system. The battery terminals are of three types, namely: post or top, side, and L
  • Battery Capacity: This is the output of a battery’s energy measured in amp/hours
  • Cold Cranking Amps: This is shortened CCA, meaning the amount of current that the battery can provide to the car
  • Group Size: The simply refers to the size of the battery. The common group sizes include 24, 24F, 25, 34, 35, 51, 51R, 52, 58, 58R, 59 and 65
  • AGM: This abbreviation’s full meaning is Absorbent Glass Mat. This is a design where sulfuric acid is assimilated by a fibreglass mat, ensuring the car battery is spill-proof and better at sustaining a charge.

4. Alternator

Alternator parts of a car
The car alternator in the light blue scene. Close up of the of an engine part.

The alternator is a device that’s responsible for the generation of electrical energy. Its function is to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy via alternating current.

It is used to provide energy to the electrical system of your car alongside the battery.

The alternator is designed for recharging the battery by making use of mechanical energy generated via the motion of the car’s parts. It isn’t unusual if you observe that your car battery is not functioning or looks swollen.

This may mean that the alternator possibly has a faulty voltage and has charged the battery beyond its capacity.

5. Axle


The axles at the rear and front of the car are cross members supporting the vehicle at the wheel hubs attachable points.

Axles are also part of the components that make up your suspension system. They function by transferring power from the engine to the wheels via the transmission and differential.

They connect the wheels to the car and uphold the weight of each. CV axles have interior and exterior joints with a boot on each end. CV axle failures are typically triggered by a broken or leaking boot.

6. Brakes


Another vital part of a car is the brake. A car’s brake is responsible for stopping or slowing down a car. It also keeps it stationary when stopped or parked. The two most popular brake systems are disc brakes and drum brake systems.

Some of the most popular disc brake components include:

  • Calliper: Refers to the non-rotational components of disc brakes that sit astride the disc. This includes hydraulic components forcing the brake pads against the rotor to slow down or cease the car’s motion. It can be located in the front or rear of a car
  • Brake Pad: The pad contains friction material rubbed against the disc by the calliper to slow down or stop the car’s momentum. It is also a term frequently used for brake lining
  • Brake Rotor: This is a component shaped like a disc that rotates with the hub and wheel. The lining pads are rubbed against the rotor to give the brake system a friction surface to slow down or stop a vehicle.

Drum brake systems primarily consist of a brake drum and shoes. The shoes are overlaid with friction material rubbed against the drum’s interior to produce friction and slow down the car.

7. Shock absorbers

Shock absorbers

Shock absorbers can be termed a hydraulic device used at every wheel in the suspension system to regulate the vehicle’s body’s upward, downward, and rolling motion. It does this by slightly moistening the back and forth motions or jouncing the springs when the car moves over bumps.

Its function plays a crucial role in the contribution to vehicular safety and passengers’ comfort. The shock absorber is also called a shock or strut, based on which the vehicle is equipped.

A typical shock absorber has three responsibilities:

  • Mitigates the impact of spring oscillation to ensure it sustains the ride stabilization of a car
  • Regulates body sway
  • Lessens the likelihood of a tire tread to lift off the road’s surface, which is an issue frequently triggered by static unbalance.

8. Transmission


The transmission is a device responsible for the gearing of a car. It creates variable ratios between the output of the engine and the input of a differential.

Automobile transmissions are more sophisticated than bicycle transmissions, but they provide identical essential functions.

They enable the driver or engine computer to choose smaller or bigger gears to enhance driving conditions without overworking the engine. There are two kinds of transmission:

  • Automatic transmission: It is a transmission in which the gear ratios are alternated automatically via automatic transmission fluid (ATF). The engine computer regulates shifts. Several automatic transmissions are continuously variable (CVT), or shiftless transmissions, which can vary smoothly through a continuous range of operative gear ratios
  • Manual transmission: This isa manually shifted gearing device in the power train that enables differentiation on the relationship between engine velocity and road velocity.

9. Catalytic converter

Catalytic converter

The catalytic converter is an automotive component of the exhaust system. It is manufactured with stainless steel. It also contains a catalyst to lessening nitrogen oxide (NOX), and/or hydrocarbon (HC), and carbon monoxide (CO), emitted via tailpipe(s).

It is utilized to remove pollutants and reduce the harmful effect of these exhaust gases on the environment.

10. Muffler

Muffler parts of a car

The muffler is that part just before the extreme of the exhaust pipe. It is responsible for lessening the noise coming from the exhaust system. It limits exhaust gas flow, which results in a quieter ride. Some mufflers limit gas to flow more or less, leading to either a quieter or louder exhaust noise.

11. Tailpipe

Car exhaust pipe

The tailpipe is the pipe that conveys the exhaust fumes from the muffler or catalytic converter to the car’s rear.

12. Fuel tank

Fuel tank

It is usually located at the side of the car, close to the rear. It is the storage for premium motor spirit or gasoline.

13. Tires

black multi spoke auto wheel
Photo by Jan Kopiva on Pexels.com

These are round and hollow rubber objects into which the wheels of the car fits. They roll to provide motion for the vehicle.

14. Bonnet


This is the front cover that covers the engine of the car.

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