What Are the Parts of a Car and Their Functions?

The most basic parts of any car are the engine, fuel system, ignition system, battery, charging system, starting system, cooling system, transmission, steering system and timing belt. Modern cars also usually have on-board diagnostics, an emissions system, electrical systems and dashboard gauges.

The car’s engine creates power by using gasoline for combustion. It’s fed by the fuel system, which includes the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel-injection system and carburetor, which blends air and fuel together. The ignition system provides the sparks that ignite this fuel-air mixture, and it is composed of the spark plugs, ignition wire, coil and distributor, which controls the timing and flow of electricity to the engine cylinders. The battery provides power to the car’s other systems and is charged by the engine. The charging system is made up of a regulator and an alternator. The battery is also a part of the starting system, which includes the ignition switch, starter and neutral safety switch.

Since the engine generates extreme heat while running, a cooling system is also necessary. This is composed of a radiator, a water pump, a thermostat and hoses for circulating liquid coolant. The transmission conveys power from the engine to the wheels. Electrical systems control other systems of the car, including dashboard gauges and warning lights that alert the driver to potential problems, as well as entertainment devices and air conditioning.