Whether you’re an auto enthusiast, or you simply want to keep your car running smoothly, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the five essential engine parts listed below. Keeping these components in good working order is key to both maintaining the safety of your vehicle and avoiding costly repairs.
1. The Battery
The battery helps to get the starter motor turning, which in turn gets the combustion process that makes your engine run going. Over time, due to exposure to vibration and heat, batteries wear out and need to be replaced. If you suspect your battery is close to death, have it tested and replaced if necessary.
2. The Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are essentially the “pushes” of the engine. They generate the spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the engine, causing the combustion that makes the engine work. Over time, spark plugs will wear out — making it harder for them to do their job. When that happens, replace them for a seamless ride.
3. The Oil Filter
The oil filter removes pollutants, such as dust, dirt and metal particles, from the motor oil before it has a chance to enter your engine. Without a filter, dirt and debris would quickly wear down the surfaces of your engine’s parts; leading to costly repairs. Change your oil filter every time you change your oil.
4. The Belts
In general, most engines have two belts. One is the timing belt, which synchronizes the timing of the camshaft and crankshaft, allowing the valves to open and close at the right points. The other is the serpentine belt, which powers the alternator, AC compressor, power steering pump and water pump. Over time, these belts can wear down and snap, causing major engine problems. Inspect your belts regularly.
5. The Pistons
The pistons are the most essential moving parts in your engine. They work in conjuction with the cylinders and rings to create the combustion that makes your car run. If your engine has too much blow-by — a term for oil seeping past the piston rings — your engine won’t perform at its peak. Check these parts regularly for cracks, corrosion and any other signs of wear and tear.
Keeping your engine performing at its peak utilizes the five essential parts described above. Familiarizing yourself with these parts and their functions is the first step in proper automotive maintenance. However, don’t wait until something’s broken to know how it works.
Regular maintenance and inspection of the aforementioned parts will help you keep your car running smooth and safe for many years to come.