photo of an engine blog

A modern car is a very complex machine made up of hundreds of constituent parts all working together in perfect harmony. When speaking about the primary functions of a vehicle, there are 9 general automotive systems that allow a car to perform all-around. Though each system interacts closely with one or more other systems, the duties that are carried out individually by each are very specialized and crucial to the performance, safety, and overall health of a car. Let’s talk briefly about these 9 general systems, starting with the “heart” of the vehicle. 

1. The Engine

As the source of the power that ultimately turns the wheels and propels the vehicle forward, the engine is, in many ways, the star of the show. The majority of cars on the roads today have internal combustion engines which draw fuel into cylinders, ignite the fuel, and convert the resulting heat energy into a force that creates motion. The engine system also includes lubrication and cooling components as well.

2. The Fuel System

The fuel system is made up of the components tasked with delivering fuel from the tank to the engine. Such components include the fuel pump, fuel lines, a fuel pressure regulator, fuel filter, and fuel injectors. 

3. The Ignition System

The sole duty of the ignition system is to generate a very high voltage from the battery, sending it straight to the sparkplug in order to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the engine. The main components of this system include the ignition switch, the battery, the coil, the camshaft, and the rotor arm. 

4. The Electrical System

The electrical system consists primarily of the battery, starter, and alternator. The battery acts as a power storage unit while the alternator sends power back into the battery from the running engine keeping it charged. 

5. The Exhaust System

When the engine is running, it produces a lot of waste also known as exhaust. Some substances within the exhaust are harmful to both people and the environment. The exhaust system, composted of the exhaust manifold, oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, resonators, exhaust pipes, muffler, and tailpipe, works to filter, channel, and push exhaust gasses away from the car.  

6. The Drive Train

Composed of the transmission, the driveshaft, the axles, and the wheels, the drive train system works in conjunction with the engine to move the wheels. Along with the engine, this is a vital system for basic automotive operation. 

7. The Suspension and Steering Systems

Though technically two separate systems, both the suspension and steering systems work to keep your vehicle under control. The suspension system is made up of your shocks and struts, supporting the weight of your vehicle for a smooth ride. The steering system, well, enables you to steer your vehicle. 

8. The Brake System

The brake system is more complex than it sounds and consists of the brake pedal, brake booster, brake master cylinder, brake lines and hoses, brake calipers and pistons, disc brake pads, disk brake rotors, brake fluid, the ABS, and much more. For obvious reasons, you always want to make sure this system is in good working order. 

9. The Frame and Body

The frame and body of the vehicle provide infrastructure much like the foundation of a home. Without a sturdy but lightweight frame, the vehicle would have considerable trouble making its way from point A to point B. 

If There’s a Problem, We’ll Find It

As your leading West Valley auto care experts, we know the ins and outs of each of these car systems. A deep understanding of vehicle componentry as well as how systems interact with one another enables our trusted West Valley mechanics to quickly diagnose, address and repair any issue that may arise. If you think there may be an issue with your vehicle, come pay us a visit. We are always happy to help. 

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