Detailed explanation of Car Parts names & their functions


Posted by: Juliet Onyeachonam

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A single car is made up of about 30,000 unique parts. This article details the some of the most important car parts and their functions. Check it below!

Although almost everyone drives or is driven in a car on daily basis, most people do not know the basic car parts names and their functions. For an average person, a car is just a piece of metal on four wheels for getting around. In actuality, a car is more than just metal and wheels.

A car is made up of several component parts that work together to deliver power and eventual mobility to the car. In this article, will discuss the basic car parts and their individual functions. But before that, lets's have an overview of the parts of a car below.


Illustration of car parts on Audi (Photo credit: Audi AG)

Number Car parts
0 rear window/ backlight
1 number plate/ license plate
2 boot/ trunk
3 bumper
4 stop light/ brake light
5 reversing/ back-up light
6 front wheel/ front tyre/ front tire
7 side mirror/ side-view mirror/ outside rear-view mirror
8 door
9 door handle
10 side window
11 exhaust (pipe)
12 fog-light
13 headlight
14 windscreen
15 rear-view mirror
16 bonnet
17 turn signal

A single car is made up of about 30,000 parts that function together to help the car move. However, this post will focus only on the basic and very essential car parts names and their functions.

1. Engine

Basically, the engine is the heart of the car. It is by far the most important part of any automobile, for without it, a car cannot move. An engine is made up of blocks, head, pistons and valves. Fuel enters the engine where it is combusted in the presence of air to produce an air-fuel mixture that helps to move the car.


The engine is, of course, the most important part of a car

2. Battery

The battery provides the electricity needed to power all the electrical components of a car. Even with the engine in good condition, without the battery, the car won’t run.

>>> For your reference: How to charge a car battery: step-by-step guide & tips


A car battery is often compared with the heart of human beings

3. Alternator

The alternator is a functional part of a car that generates power for the electrical components of a car. What it does in actuality is to charge the battery of a car which then provides the electricity needed to power the car accessories such as radio, headlights, brake lights and other electrical parts of a car such as door locks and power windows.


This is where a car alternator locates under the hood

4. Radiator

Given that a car engine is basically made up of metal grinding against metal, the engine is usually hot. The radiator functions to cool down the amount of heat generated by the car engine during the course of its operation. The radiator is usually located in the front of the engine compartment. Other component parts that work together with the radiator to keep the car engine cool include the thermostat, water pump and hoses.


The car radiator is to cool down the car engine

5. Ignition system

A car ignition system is made up of spark plugs, distributor, ignition wires and coils. The ignition system brings about the fuel combustion which occurs in the presence of air.

>>> A common problem many drivers have encountered: Key won't enter ignition? - Causes and Solutions


Without the ignition, your car won't start

6. Suspension

A car suspension functions to foster friction between the car tyres and the road. It helps to give the steering more stability.


You can see a suspension system here when separated from the car body

7. Transmission

The transmission is a gear system comprising of gears and gear trains which work together with the engine’s torque to change the gear and power of the car.

>>> Do you notice? P-R-I-N-D-L on automatic gear shift, what does it mean?


An automatic transmission gearshift

8. Chassis

 The chasis is the frame work of the car upon which the other car parts are screwed unto.


The chassis forms the basic shape of your car

9. Muffler

The muffler is a series of chambers enclosed in a metal container which functions to silence the noise produced by the car engine. The muffler contributes to a quiet riding experience in a car.


Car muffler belongs to car exhaust system

10. Brakes

The function of the brakes is to slow down and to bring the car to a total halt as the need might be. A brake is made up of different components such as disk and drum brakes, master cylinder, power booster, and anti-lock brakes. Brakes are found on all four wheels of a car and are the primary safety feature of every car.

Car brake-pedal

Any problem with car brake system should be fixed immediately

11. Catalytic converter

It is the catalytic converter that controls gas emissions from the car. It functions by converting harmful gases into less harmful ones before they are emitted into the environment.


Car catalytic converter serves as an environment protector

12. Fuel tank

The fuel tank is the storage part of the car. It stores the petrol that powers the car. It is usually located in safe area where it cannot be mangled during a crash.

>>> You should be aware of this: What is the cause of car fire explosions?


The car fuel tank must be kept safe in case of a crash

13. Exhaust pipe

The exhaust pipe is the part of the car exhaust system that carries exhaust fumes from the muffler to the outside.


You can easily locate a car exhaust pipe

You’ve come to the end of this article highlighting basic Car parts names and their functions.

>>> More informative posts on car facts and latest updates on automobiles are always available at!

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Juliet Onyeachonam

Juliet Onyeachonam

Car maintenance

Juliet Onyeachonam is an enthusiastic car nut which is why she has turned that passion into a fantastic job by becoming a car blogger on Juliet's blogs are a wealthy resource for information on car maintenance, driving tips and also how things pertaining to cars work.

Additionally, because of her passion for the entertainment industry, Juliet does not write only hardcore but also entertaining articles about cars.


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