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Discussion Starter #1

Preface tip:
- Your vehicle runs on more than one system (each system has a purpose) and each system consists of gears that require lubrication from mostly fluids and sometimes grease. These fluids are also filtered through each system's filter. The fluids and filters must be changed regularly to ensure your car wont have problems due to wear and tear.

Chapter 1: Starting

Section 1: The Battery

- The battery is the first component of starting a car.
- When you turn the key, a current flows, from the battery to a solenoid or relay.
- The solenoid is then activated, which closes another circuit that allows the full voltage of the battery to reach the starter motor.
- The starter motor then rotates the flywheel mounted on the rear of the crankshaft.
- As the crankshaft turns, the pistons move through their strokes.
- At the correct time for reach cylinder, the ignition system provides the spark to ignite the air/fuel mixture.
- If good combustion takes place then the engine will run on it's own.
- The altenator keeps the battery charged.

Section 2: Pistons & Rods

- When the car starts, an intake valve opens the inside of the engine cylinders.
- A piston moves down, sucking a mixture of fuel and air into the combustion chamber.
- Next the intake valve closes and the piston moves up, compressing the fuel/air mixture.
- When the piston nears it's highest point, the spark plug fires igniting the mixture and sending the piston back down.
- Finally, the exhaust valve opens and the piston moves up again, ridding the chamber of exhaust.
-With each combustion stroke, a connecting rod turns the crankshaft, sending power through the transmission and differntial to the car's wheels.

Section 3: Engine Belts

- In most new cars, one belt does it all.
- When the engine starts the combustion process moves internal parts, which then power a belt at the front of the engine block.
- The main belt is called a serpentine belt
- The serpentine belt runs everything from the water pump to air conditioner to power steering.

Chapter 2: Power

Section 1: Air filtration

- The air filter keeps the air clean for the fuel/air mixture for the combustion
- The air enters the filter then into the intake manifold and finally to the cylinders.
- The Breather Element and the PCV valve (positive crankcase ventilation) work together to filter and route the toxic fumes back into the combustion chambers.
- There the fumes are reburned to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.

Section 2: Fuel System

- The gas pedal controls the amount of air and fuel the car takes in.
- the pedal tells the throttle valve how much air to let in
- the computer tells the fuel system how much fuel to deliver
- This careful mixture of fuel and air are ignited by the spark plug, producing a controlled burn that powers the vehicle.
- When the throttle valve doesn't cannot open properly, the correct amount of air cannot enter the fuel system. (due to fumes, contaminents, oil mist, acids)

Section 3: Transmission

- The transmission transfer engery from the engine to the wheels.
- Lower gears help the engine turn faster to produce more power.
- Higher gears allow the engine to run more slowly on long stretches of road.
- Transmission fluid lubricates, cools and cleans the internal components of the transmission.
- Fluid also helps maintain hydraulic pressure necessary for the tranmission to work.
- Automatic transmission filter removes dirt and contaniments from the fluid.

Section 4: Differential

- The differential works with the transmission to deliver power from the engine to the axle that turns the wheels.
- the differential also makes turning the car possible
- When the car turns, a series of gears in the differential allows the outside wheels to rotate faster than the inside wheels.

Section 5: Radiator

- The radiator sends cool air and liquid through the engine to keep it cool due ot the enourmous heat the engine produces.
- The liquid is coolant/antifreeze and absorbs the heat as it constantly flows through the engine then back to the radiator where it is cooled by air.

Chapter 3: Driving

Section 1: Air conditioning

- The A/C's purpose to keep the car cool inside the vehicle.
- The A/C is powered by a compressor that is powered by a belt
- The compressor compresses the refrigerent to pressurize it and pump it through the system.
- Refridgerant is pushed through a valve where pressure and temperature are reduced.

Section 2: Chassis (Frame)

- The chassis is a semi-flexible group of mounts, struts, joints and stablizling bars.
- the parts located under the car provide structural support.

Section 3: Brakes

- When you press the brake pedal, the master cylinder compresses the brake fluid, which sends pressure through the brake lines to brake pads at each wheel.
- The friction of the brake pads against the rotors stops the wheels.

How Cars Work - Starting - Powering - Driving

297 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Does anybody have anything to add? I dont know much about cars.

Farticcus of Plenticcus
17,030 Posts
Does anybody have anything to add? I dont know much about cars.
That is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are volumes of information you can read and still not know everything.
You might be going about it the right way...what I would suggest is that you investigate what you want to do (oil change, tire rotation, etc) and ask about them as they arise.
Once you conquer those tasks, then you can work your way up.
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