With over 32 million drivers being bailed out by the AAA in 2016, it seems that the wave of new technology on automobiles is leading to more breakdowns than ever before.

This means that it's essential to look know your vehicle inside out. This will allow you to assist your mechanic should the worst happen.

In this article, you'll find a comprehensive list of car parts to look out for. With this knowledge, you'll be able to drive confident that you could spot a problem with your car. If that interests you, read on to learn about the parts of a car which help your vehicle to run.


Braking System

Just as fundamental as accelerating, your brakes system allows the car to come to a safe stop. You can find them within the wheel rims of each of your four tires.

The brakes consist of a number of basic car parts. This includes the calipers, brake pads, and rotors. Inside the cabin itself is the brake pedal to allow the driver to modulate the brakes.

Your instrument panel will also have a brake light to warn you if there is an issue with your brakes.


Without a battery, your vehicle wouldn't actually be able to turn on. Most regular cars and trucks have their battery up front underneath the hood.

The battery is one of the most fundamental parts of a car — every vehicle on the roads today has one.

If you aren't careful you can run down the charge on your battery. This occurs when using features like the radio and air conditioning without the engine running.

This will require you to jump start the car with cables (and a good Samaritan in another car).


Your car's axle is a crucial part of the vehicle, although you'll have to get down low if you want to see it. The axle is essentially the spin of your vehicle, and it transfers the power that your engine produces to the wheels of the car.

Depending on whether it delivers power to the front, rear, or all four wheels of your car will radically affect the handling characteristics of your car. Many sports cars are rear wheel drive, for example.

Without your axle, your car wouldn't be able to accelerate, brake, or even turn its wheels.

If you notice loud clunking noises or your vehicle is suffering from severe vibrations when you brake, your axle is likely to be damaged.


Vehicle transmission is the system that controls the powers delivered by the engine. This is done with a system of gears. The lower the selected gear, the higher the acceleration of your car.

Whether your vehicle is a manual or automatic transmission, it will still be operated by gears. These have to be carefully looked after, as it can become a very expensive repair.


Simple but still very important, the tachometer is an instrument on your dashboard which tells you how fast you are going at any one time.

Clearly, this is vital as it allows you to respect the laws of the road. In this sense, and incorrect tachometer could be one of the most expensive problems you could have on your car, as it could lead to a speeding fine or even a criminal record.

The good news is that many drivers with newer cars will have an electronic tachometer which cannot be incorrect like the older ones on analog vehicles.


The radiator is responsible with cooling your engine. This ensures that your engine lasts longer, and actually should make sure that the fuel economy of the vehicle remains consistently good.

There is very little variation in the position of the radiator from vehicle to vehicle. It will always be positioned right by the engine, to ensure it does the best job of cooling the powertrain.

Shock Absorbers

Positioned at the four corners of your vehicle, the shock absorbers deal will cushioning the transmission and suspension systems and protecting them from damage.

As your car drives over bumps and potholes, the shock absorbers have a vital job of ensuring that the important parts of your vehicle stay out of harm's way.

This means that it is essential that they are replaced quickly. If your shock absorbers reach the end of their useful life, go in for service immediately. Otherwise, you risk even more expensive damage to your suspension.

Water Pump

To ensure that your cooling system is operating at full capacity, you must keep an eye on your water pump. Located under the bonnet, the water pump pushes coolant through the vehicle to prevent overheating.


Located at your vehicle's rear, the muffler keeps your car quiet by channeling out the noise from your engine. With noise restrictions now in place in many towns, your muffler is a very important part of your vehicle.

Despite looking like an inconspicuous component on the back of your vehicle, the muffler should be carefully looked after. When it is damaged, have your mechanic look at the issue as soon as possible.

This is because you don't want to risk a full failure of your catalytic converter. If this happens, you could be looking at a service bill that runs to hundreds of dollars.


Like the tachometer, the thermostat sits on your instrument panel and tells you about the temperature of your engine. It is one of the most basic car parts, and every single road vehicle will have one.

Keep a close eye on the temperature of your engine. The higher the temperature, the less efficient your engine will run. It will also burn off more fuel than usual, putting a strain on your wallet.

Most vehicles will have this located between the engine and the radiator. If the vehicle temperature is consistently high on your thermostat, it's time for a trip to the mechanic.

Make Sure You Know The Parts of a Car

The parts of a car listed above are the most common and important ones, as they are all connected to the most important systems in the vehicles. If you check up on them, you should be able to keep your vehicle running well in the long term.

It's important to remember that some parts will come under more strain in different seasons. That said, a good mechanic will be able to help at any point of the year.

There is all sorts of advice available on this blog, so please continue to follow us if you have found this article helpful.

Categories: Parts
Tags: brakes, battery, parts