Basic Car Parts You Should Know

6 Basic Car Parts You Should Know About Before Hitting the Road

Whether you’re planning to buy your first car or you already have one and are planning on hitting the road soon, there are some basic car parts you should know the function and look of before you go.

We don’t think you need to turn into a car geek, but it is a good idea to learn something about the mechanisms keeping you safe on the streets and highways.


These basic car parts range from small ones to parts that you can hardly miss. While it’s true that there are practically hundreds of individual car components, these car parts stand out in terms of their functions and importance in making those four-wheel machines run smoothly.


Here are 6 of the most basic car parts you should know about before you hit the road:


Basic Car Parts You Should Know #1: Brakes

Who cares if your car goes from 0-100mph in less than 10 seconds when you can’t put it to a stop? 


A car’s braking system is generally composed of the pads, rotors, calipers, and the brake pedal. Brake fluid is likewise another critical component of any vehicle braking system as it ensures that the hydraulic function of the system runs like a well-oiled machine, so to speak.


The pads are made from either metallic or ceramic friction materials that get in contact with the rotors to put the car to a stop.

The rotors, meanwhile, are circular metal components attached to the wheels and work hand in hand with the brake pads in stopping the vehicle. The calipers hold the pads and squeeze them towards the rotors to slow down and eventually stop the vehicle. 


Finally, the brake pedal is located on the floor in front of the driver and below the steering wheel and is the main piece that helps activate the entire braking system.


You have to know when each of these braking system parts needs to be replaced or maintained so you won’t find yourself in a situation where your life and that of your passengers gets compromised by a malfunctioning braking system component.


Basic Car Parts You Should Know #2: Radiator

How many times have you seen a movie (or a real-life situation) that features a vehicle stalled on the roadside, hood popped open, and a radiator that emits smoke much like a steam engine in a train or ship? 


Well, that’s simply because radiator overheating is easily among the most common mechanical problems faced by numerous drivers, which is also why it’s among the car parts you should know.


A radiator acts as a cooling component (heat exchanger) that takes the heat away from the engine coolant to prevent the engine from overheating and stalling the vehicle in the process. 


You can avoid such a perfectly preventable disaster just by having your radiator checked by a certified mechanic at least twice a year or before you embark on a long journey.


Basic Car Parts You Should Know #3: A/C Compressor

Who doesn’t hate it when the car’s A/C breaks down in the middle of a hot summer day? A car’s A/C compressor may or may not be the culprit of such a disaster but it’s definitely among the most commonly malfunctioning parts of a vehicle’s cooling system. 


The compressor pumps the coolant into the A/C system and kickstarts the cooling process inside the vehicle cabin. The compressor is, therefore, among the car parts that you have to observe to see if it needs to be repaired or serviced soon.


Basic Car Parts You Should Know #4: Battery

Car batteries don’t last forever. In fact, they won’t even last a few years if they are not used or maintained properly. 


Your car needs the battery to help it start and to power the radio, lights, and other components that require a power source. The alternator helps the battery in supplying the car’s need for power, since the battery alone can’t do the job. Your battery should not go below 12 volts, ideally, since a lower reading could be a cause of the trouble.


To avoid any battery-related problem, you can do simple checks every six months to see if the battery’s terminals are all good or if they must be cleaned. 


Meanwhile, if you must install power-hungry accessories like a car audio system, be sure to have only a licensed and skilled car electrician do the job. This will ensure that the battery won’t get drained or busted due to overloading or short circuit.


Basic Car Parts You Should Know #5: Transmission

A car won’t speed up or slow down without the vehicle’s transmission system. Be it a manual transmission (MT) or automatic transmission (AT), the vehicle’s driver relies on this specific car component to change the speed with a few simple movements of the gear shift (in the case of MT vehicles) or a change in the pressure applied to the gas pedal (for AT vehicles). 


The transmission system is composed of different gears that produce different speeds. AT vehicles have continuously variable transmission (CVT) that changes the gear ratios, while MT vehicles have a gearing device located in the powertrain that does the job. 


Your car’s transmission is yet another basic, yet critical component that you must maintain properly to ensure flawless functioning on any given trip.


Basic Car Parts You Should Know #6: Shock Absorbers

If you’ve driven over a particularly rough and bumpy road and didn’t hate the experience at all, then you have a lot to thank your vehicle’s shock absorbers for. These often-abused car components prevent vehicle occupants from feeling discomfort when the vehicle is in motion. 


Shock absorbers help greatly in dampening the shock that the vehicle gets during a trip, which is why they have to be periodically maintained and replaced if absolutely necessary. This way, you can always look forward to an enjoyable and totally not bumpy ride.


Murrieta’s Trusted Car Repair Company


American Auto Care/ASR of Murrieta is the home of expert car mechanics who offer affordable, results-oriented car repair services in Southern California. Based in Murrieta, we service car owners who demand only the best-possible car repair and maintenance services but without the hefty price tag.


We only employ professional car mechanics who have the industry-required certifications and training to ensure that we’re sending only the best crew to every repair or maintenance job. Moreover, we offer contactless drop-off and pick up and an air-conditoned lobby so you can be comfortable in having your vehicles cared for by our professionals.


If you wish to know more about our services or if you want to inquire about our rates, please feel free to call us at (951) 461-2507. Our friendly staff will be ready to take your call and provide the answers that you need. We look forward to serving you soon.


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Car Repair in Murrieta, Ca

Open Mon-Fri 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sat 8:30AM-1PM

Office: 951-461-2507

Mike: 415-516-6198

Jose: 310-883-5481

26440 Jefferson Ave, Suite D

Murrieta, Ca 92562

Formerly American Auto Care

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