We seem to be amidst this nationwide epidemic in which most of us own a car, and very few of us know more about that car beyond the location of our insurance and registration in the glove box.
Cars are serious, complex machines. We certainly cannot be expected to understand perfectly how they operate, but as owners, we ought to at least know the basic car parts, their functions, and how they contribute to the vehicle’s livelihood.
If not for the principal of knowing what’s happening as you drive tens of thousands of dollars up the road, do it for your bank account. Odds and ends are bound to come up with your vehicle and being the smart owner you are, you’ll take your car in to be checked out and possibly repaired. Sometimes repairs require replacements, and sometimes replacements from your dealer cost you an arm and a leg. They do not always have to!
As the person working on your car tells you what is going on and how to fix the problem, you should be able to mentally calculate what your car needs. If their estimate sounds outlandish, it probably is. Check in with Discount Parts Monster to see and in the meantime, here are the basic car parts and functions to freshen up on.
16 Car Parts Every Car Owner Should Know:
A/C Compressor. The compressor controls the temperature inside your car. Even if you live in a climate that doesn’t demand heating or cooling your car often, be sure to run the AC every once in a while. This will keep the system lubricated and avoid breaking down.
Air Filter. There are two filters. One is for the engine and one filters the air you breathe through the vents. Both should be kept clean! When they collect too much junk, your fuel efficiency will suffer and you will be inhaling poor air.
Axle. The axle is the center bar below the car that turns the wheels- one bar between the front two wheels; one bar between the back two. Its predator? Rust.
Battery. Your car battery uses less than three percent of its capacity when it starts your car, ignites your engine or fuels your car lights. However, the battery is extremely finicky when it gets too low. In fact, it can’t operate when it’s drained- that’s why you always have to make sure the lights are out!
Brakes. You have service breaks (red light, please) and parking breaks (LITERALLY DO NOT MOVE). Changing brake fluid regularly keeps their working mechanisms in tip-top shape.
Car Jack. You’ll need a car jack if you get a flat and need to change your tire. The jack lifts a part of your car, which allows you the space needed to change the tire.
Clutch. The clutch is key if you are driving a manual transmission (a stick shift). The clutch delivers power to the wheels so that the car can shift gears.
Engine Fan. The engine fan keeps the radiator cool, which keeps the car cool. Since you never want your car to overheat, be mindful of keeping a radiator support system in check.
Fuel Injector. The injector moves gas from the fuel tank into the engine.
Muffler. The muffler keeps your car nice and quiet- unless you’ve gone specifically out of your way to make the car specifically loud. The muffler reduces the sound coming out of the exhaust and also directs the exhaust fumes away from the engine and out of the car.
Pistons. Pistons mix fuel and air together before they get ignited. This allows for the controlled energy of your vehicle. The smoothness of pistons pumping determine RPMs and fuel efficiency.
Radiator. The radiator keeps your car from overheating. If there is a leak in the radiator or the coolant is low or bad, there will be issues. Keep an eye on the radiator because it's repairable until small leaks turn into rust and lots of holes.
Shock Absorbers. These hydraulic devices absorb the jitters of the bouncing you would otherwise experience on a poorly maintained road. The shock absorbed is converted to energy for later use. Cha-ching!
Spare Tire. The spare tire is not just a fifth tire lying in the trunk. It should be called the temporary tire. The spare can usually not be driven over 50mph and should not exceed 70 miles of distance. It is meant to be used in case of emergency to get your car home or to the nearest shop.
Spark Plug. A spark plug uses an electric spark to ignite the fuel in the ignition chamber of the engine. The spark plug component itself is cheap, but the labor to replace it will cost you a pretty penny.
Transmission. The transmission is the magic box of the car that transmits the engine’s energy to the wheels. It can be automatic or manual.
Knowing which car parts do what, how long they usually last and how quality they need to be can help you make educated purchase decisions in times of damage and repair.
Now that you know exactly what you’re handling, let’s talk about obtaining parts in the event of an accident or malfunctioning. In most cases, discount car parts more than suffice for your vehicle’s needs. Only with rare and unique parts do you need to go directly to the car manufacturer.
Discount Parts Monster offers exceptional service and exceptional to parts to its customers, both brand new and long-time loyal. You can count on us for the most competitive pricing on the following: