Car owners are responsible for a lot of things. As a first time car owner, it can be intimidating trying to sort through everything you need to know. And one of those things, undoubtedly, is knowing your car parts.
This is especially important if you’re looking to buy a used car. Knowing your car parts and understanding why they’re important is your responsibility as a car owner. So, here’s an easy list of the ten car parts that every owner should be familiar with.
Your car would not function without a battery. The battery is what lets you turn on your engine. It ignites the switch, which then runs the motor and powers your engine. Your battery also powers a lot of the electrical components in the car. So if you leave things like your lights or aircon on while the engine is off, your battery can get drained, and die on you. Luckily, as long as the engine is on, the battery is able to recharge itself.
Batteries also wear and tear and require replacing or servicing once every three years, as long as it hasn’t experienced any other damages.
Some signs of a faulty battery to look out for:
- Dim headlights. If your car battery is failing, it’s not going to be able to fully power your vehicle’s electrical components – including your headlights
- Slow crank
- Needing to press on the gas pedal to start
2. Brake system
Your brake system is essential for safe driving. If there’s anything wrong with it, you could end up in an accident. So your brake system is one you’ll definitely want to ensure is working if you’re buying a used car
If your brake system is faulty and you wait too long, you risk not only damaging the brake system even more, but also the safety of those around you.
So here are a couple of symptoms of a faulty brake system:
- Brake Light On.
- Squealing, Squeaking or Grinding Noises.
- Wobbling, Vibration or Scraping When Braking.
- Leaking Fluid.
- Spongy or Soft Brake Pedal.
- Car Pulling to One Side When Braking.
- Burning Smell While Driving.
- Bouncing Up and Down When You Stop Short.
Should you experience any of these signs, take your car in for a brake service immediately.
Axles are used when driving, braking and steering. They’re a rod or shaft that rotates the wheels and supports the weight of your vehicle. Axles are an expensive and important component of the car that you need to maintain properly
If it malfunctions, you’re at risk of losing the control of your vehicle, so here are some symptoms of faulty axles to be on the lookout for:
- Clicking” Noises When Turning.
- A Knocking Sound.
- Grease on the Inside or Edge of the Tires.
- Vibration While Driving.
4. Fuel injector
The fuel injector receives gasoline and transfers it from the fuel tank to the engine, and it’s controlled by the car engine’s computer.
The fuel injector can typically last the lifetime of a vehicle, but they can retain damage from contaminants like dirt, low quality fuel, or carbon buildup. Because the rubber seals in the fuel injector may age, you may also experience leaks. Its electrical components may also begin to fail from heat, moisture damage and age.
One of the easiest ways to tell if any part of the fuel injector needs inspection is to see if the “check engine” light on your dashboard is on. If it isn’t, there’s likely no issue.
If you have to replace it, it’s likely a couple hundred dollar fix, but if you ignore it, there’s risk of fire, so make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of a faulty fuel injector:
- The Engine Misfires. Dirty fuel injectors may cause your vehicle’s engine to misfire.
- Idling Gets Rough.
- Your Gas Mileage Tanks.
- The RPM Needle Starts to Dance.
- Your Car Won’t Start.
5. Spark plugs
It’s a small component of the car, but still important. With a working spark plug, your vehicle starts smoothly, and can actually help improve fuel efficiency while reducing harmful emissions.
If you’re having problems starting your car, the spark plugs could very well be the issue. Although they’re highly durable, they usually only last for about 45,000 km before needing to be replaced.
Here are some symptoms of a faulty spark plug:
- Engine has a rough idle. If your Spark Plugs are failing your engine will sound rough and jittery when running at idle.
- Trouble starting.
- Engine misfiring.
- Engine surging.
- High fuel consumption.
- Lack of acceleration.
6. Shock absorbers
Shock absorbers are part of the suspension symptom and make your ride smooth by minimising movement over the bumps and uneven areas of the road. If your car is not handling bumps or uneven parts of the road well, there’s likely something wrong with the shock absorbers.
Your shock absorbers can typically last up to ten years if you live in a place with smooth roads, otherwise the typical lifespan is 4-5 years.
Some symptoms of damaged shock absorbers are:
- Vibrations while driving.
- Swerving or nose diving while braking.
- Brakes take more time to stop the car.
- Uneven tire wear.
- Leaking fluid.
- Cracked bushing at attachment points.
This is one of the main parts of your cars. It connects your engine to your wheels, allowing power from the engine to make the wheels move. Without it, you would not be able to drive.
If you experience any slippage or vibrations while driving, it’s likely a transmission issue. It can start with something small like a bad fluid pump and end up escalating into total gear breakdown.
Here are some more symptoms of a damaged transmission:
- Burning order
- Unusual whines
- Difficulty/issues with shifting gears
- Grinding while shifting
- Leaking transmission fluid
You’ll definitely want to get your car checked immediately if you’re experiencing any of these issues.
This is the part of the car that emits exhaust gas. And it also helps minimise the sounds your car makes and allows it to run quietly. It muffles the sound, essentially.
Loud noises are the most obvious signs that there’s something wrong with your muffler, but if there are any funky smells in your car, that also may be indicative of a muffler issue
Some other signs of a faulty muffler are:
- Excessive engine/exhaust noise
- Reduced fuel efficiency
- Slow acceleration
- Stench of strong gases
- Banging or knocking sound beneath vehicle
- Rust caused by condensation
- Engine is misfiring
- Burning smell coming from the engine bay
- Low hanging exhaust pipe
- Leaking exhaust manifold
9. HVAC compressor
You do not want this to be faulty especially in Singapore. This compressor is what lets your aircon run. If it’s damaged, you may find the air isn’t as cool or as strong as it used to be. Although you may still be able to drive, you’ll be sweating buckets while doing so.
Be on the lookout for these signs of a faulty HVAC compressor (although the heat of your car may be symptom enough):
- Lack of hot air being released outside
- Loud or strange noises from the aircon unit
- Failure of the compressor to turn on
Circuit breaker tripping
- Leaks around the aircon unit
- Warm air instead of cool air being delivered to the cabin
- Reduced airflow
10. Car jack and spare tire
It’s not technically a part of your car, but nonetheless, a car jack and a spare tire are a necessity. These things should come hand in hand with your vehicle. They may end up saving you a lot of time and money.
A car jack can lift the car so that you can put the spare tire on, so if you ever experience a flat, you’re prepared. There’s lots of videos and articles you can read so you have a good idea on how to use these tools.
There’s lots of guides that are here to help you become a more informed car owner. So, if you’re in the market for a car, buy with Carro!
All our cars go through a rigorous 150-point inspection check, assuring you of its quality. Plus, all our cars have a 6-month engine and gearbox warranty to ensure your protection. So, what are you waiting for?
Browse our list of cars here and buy with Carro today!