Whether it be scheduled maintenance or a surprise fix, maintenance is a regular part of owning a vehicle. Oil, brakes and tires each have their own scheduled times to change, but the changes themselves are integral in maintaining the integrity of your vehicle.
If you don’t know much about cars, you may feel overwhelmed with all of the new terms the mechanic is throwing at you. By knowing even a few of the key parts under the hood you can save yourself a lot of worry. An understanding of these parts can also save you money if you are able to easily identify the problem right away, as opposed to asking the mechanic to just check everything out.
Knowing the parts of your car and what they do is just as important at knowing how to drive in itself. Having knowledge of the most common parts of the car can help diagnose the problem. At the very least, you may be able to narrow the problem area down to a single part of the car. As a result, you could save a bundle of money if the mechanic is paid by the hour. Here a few parts of the engine you should know.
- Cylinder – The part you can most easily see, the cylinder houses the piston within an engine block.
- Piston – This is the part that compresses fuel and air to create a small explosion that generates the power to move your car. It’s relatively small, about the size of a mug, and moves up and down within the cylinder.
- Oil Pump – Located inside the engine, the oil pump moves the oil from the oil pan to the parts of the engine. If your engine suddenly stops working, odds are the oil pump died and, as a result, so did your engine. Consistently changing your oil when needed helps to extend the life of the oil pump.
- Oil Filter – One of the most commonly replaced parts of a car, the oil filter is usually replaced at every oil change. As the name implies, it filters the dirt and grime and separates it from the oil.
- Oil Pan – Located at the bottom of the crankcase, the oil pan stores the oil. If you hear a dripping or sizzling sound after you’ve turned off your car, odds are it’s the oil dripping back into the oil pan.
- Timing Belt – Made of rubber or fabric, the timing belt links the camshaft to the crankshaft. It’s job to ensure the valves open and close at the right time. If it breaks, the engine will stop completely and the pistons and valves could collide, causing severe damage.