Basic Vehicle Components: Brief Descriptions of Their Functions

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Among the many fittings that each vehicle carries, some are a requirement while others are just accessories that make commutes more comfortable. We shall now study a few components that have an important role in the functioning of automobiles and also discuss their respective roles in brief.

  1. Air filter: All SI and CI engines need air for combustion. If dust particles enter the cylinder through the valve opening, there may be improper combustion or clogging of the openings. For this reason, the air sent into the cylinder is purified by passing it through an air filter en route to the cylinder.
  2. Brakes: Slow the vehicle down by absorbing the excess kinetic energy of the wheels and converting it into heat by friction. All this energy can also be stored in a flywheel and used as required later.
  3. Flywheel:Stores the kinetic energy dissipated at the time of braking for use later. This has become a requirement in recent days because it stores excess energy and minimizes the consumption of fuel.
  4. Battery: The battery supplies current required by the spark plug to initiate a spark towards the end of the compression stroke. This action leads to the burning of fuel-air mixture and production of energy.
  5. Clutch: Transmits rotation. It can be engaged and disengaged through a pedal operated by the driver. A clutch is usually disengaged while changing gears or slowing down the vehicle.
  6. Drive Shaft: Transmits the power from the engine to the point of application where it is converted into motion.
  7. Fuel pump: Pumps the fuel from the fuel tank to the carburetor or the fuel injectors.
  8. Carburetor: Mixes fuel and air in the right ratio before supplying it to the engine. A carburetor decides the fuel-air ratio according to the conditions in which the vehicle is being driven.
  9. Radiator: Has a series of pipes running close to the engine cylinder. A mixture of ethylene glycol and water is passed through these channels to remove heat and keep the engine cool.
  10. Spark plug: Produces a spark to ignite the compressed fuel-air mixture causing combustion and hence leads to the production of energy.
  11. Thermostat: Controls the engine temperature. It is closed when the engine is cool and opens as the engine heats up. The main function of the thermostat is to maintain the temperature of the engine within the desired limits.

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