Common Vehicle Parts and their Functions

Vehicles are an integral aspect of modern human life, and they have revolutionised how we live our lives ever since they were first invented. The technology surrounding vehicles have been improving rapidly since the industrial revolution but many of the functional elements of a vehicle have remained roughly the same for the past few decades. It is in the process of evolving further, with developments such as electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and smart vehicles but for the majority of the cases, the internals of a combustion vehicle have remained constant. Since vehicle maintenance is a science that almost any vehicle owner should be familiar with, it is helpful to know the most common parts of a vehicle and what their function are, even if you do not attempt repair and maintenance yourself. This article describes several such components of a vehicle.


The braking system of a vehicle is one of the most important, as malfunctioning braking systems can cause severe injury or even death to either the driver or pedestrians. There are several types of braking systems, with the most common being disc brakes and drum brakes, both of which use friction to restrict the wheels from moving. Electromagnetic braking systems use magnetic flux to create a reverse force and can therefore decelerate the vehicle without friction. A common repair task associated with braking systems is brake pads replacement as the friction causes them to deteriorate.


A radiator of a vehicle is responsible for the cooling. Vehicles generate an immense amount of heat from the combustion of fuels in the engines. This heat is harmful to the metallic interior of the engine and can deform it if not cooled properly. The primary cooling method employed by most vehicles is to submerge the engine in an oil bath which transfers the heat from the engine to the oil. This oil is then cycled through pipes containing water, which cools the oil. The water is then cooled in the radiator by the passing air. This heat transfer mechanism allows the engine to remain cool over extended periods of operation.


Transmission allows the driver to change the ratio between the engine output and the differential output (which makes the wheels turn). This allows the vehicle to traverse under various driving conditions without straining the engine. Transmission can be automatic or manual – the former changes the gears automatically and the latter relies on input from the driver.


A vehicle battery is used to draw the initial current which ignites the combustion engine and starts the vehicle. In petrol engines, this takes the form of a spark which ignites the petrol and in diesel engines is battery powered cycle of the engine which begins ignites the fuel due to pressure. The battery also powers the lights and other electronics present in a vehicle. The battery then recharges with the energy generated from the engine by converting a portion of it back to electrical energy through the alternator.