Now if you are like me and the only thing you know about cars is that it needs petrol and oil to run, then this article is for you. We go through the top 10 common car parts and what they actually do in easy to understand explanations.


Car engine, the big metal box type thing under the bonnet in human biology terms is the heart of the car and like the heart the engine is made up of all different components which make the car move and function. Fuel and air is fed into the engines cylinders where combustion takes place, causing rapid expansion of the gases in the form of heat which then creates motion.


Ever wondered how all your car electrics work? This is the job of your car’s alternator – it turns the rotating movement of the drive belt into electricity. It does this by turning a magnet inside a coil of wire producing a voltage to charge the car’s battery.  This allows the battery to power for the cars electrical components like your headlights, brake lights and internal electrics.


Your car’s engine can get very hot from all the moving parts within it, the radiator is located at the front of the car allowing fresh air to run over and through the radiators fins to help absorb the coolants excess heat to ensure the car doesn’t over heat. Coolant is pumped through the radiator and through chambers in the engine block by the engines water pump.


The car’s suspension job is to  keep your tyres in contact with the road and works to reduce the impact felt in the cabin on varying road surfaces, so if your car is bouncing a lot it may be time to get your suspension looked at.


Your car’s ignition acts like a match that ignites the air/fuel mixtures which makes the car run.


The muffler is a metal container under the car which has a series of sub-chambers inside, which help to reduce the engine noise. Ever wonder why some cars are so loud when they drive past? It’s generally because the muffler has been altered.

Brake Pads:

Your car’s brakes are made up of different components and the brake pads job is to slow the rotation of the wheels by sandwiching the brake discs, causing friction and heat.


The chassis is where all the parts of the car are bolted on and protected.

Exhaust Pipe:

The exhaust pipe carries the engines exhausted combustion gases into a special gas converter (or in mechanic speak a catalytic converter) and from there to the muffler and eventually out the back of the car as emissions.


The car’s transmission job is to transmit the power and torque from the engine to the wheels in different gear ratios according to the car’s road speed.

car parts infographic

Click on the the Car Parts diagram for the larger version.