Important parts on a car engine diagram include the cylinder block, alternator, carburetor, radiator and thermostat. Also found are the brake master cylinder, clutch master cylinder (on a standard shift car), the spark plug layout and the water pump. The diagram also shows the number of cylinders in the engine. Passenger cars usually have four, six or eight cylinders. The cylinders are set up inline, in a "V" shape or flat, meaning they sit horizontally under the hood.
The cylinders contain the pistons, which move up and down to create combustion. The spark plugs provide the spark that ignites the combination of air and fuel to power that combustion. The firing order of the cylinders is regulated by the distributor cap, which has wires that run from the cap to each spark plug. If the firing order is out of sync, it causes the engine to miss or even stop running.
The alternator recharges the car battery when the engine is running and spins the fan belt to generate even more electricity. The radiator, which includes the fan and the cap, circulates water or coolant to keep the engine at the proper temperature. The thermostat controls the flow from the radiator. The water pump helps circulate the fluid when the engine is running. The brake master cylinder holds brake fluid and distributes it to the brakes system to help the vehicle stop.