- Car engines date back to the 17th century
- Providing the power to move a car by transforming heat energy into mechanical energy, the engine uses a fuel such as gasoline or diesel to create heat energy.
Besides using gasoline and diesel, different engine designs have also used steam, electricity, and solar energy for power.
- Internal Combustion Engine
The internal combustion engine quickly gained in popularity after mass production began in the late 19th century. American designs concentrated on increasing engine power.
- V8 Engine
The size of engines increased with power, but problems with vibration required a change in engine design from straight-line cylinder layouts to placing the cylinders in V and opposed cylinder arrangements.
- European Designs
Unlike American engine designs, European designs concentrated on smaller, more economic engines and combustion efficiency.
- Fuel Efficiency
The predominant worldwide trend of today emphasizes fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Smaller engines have grown in popularity among Americans with the jump in fuel costs and the economy downturn.
- A car’s automatic transmission is at the back of the engine and takes power from the engine and delivers it to the car’s drive wheels. Automatic transmissions are complicated pieces of machinery that combine several systems into one.
- A typical automatic transmission contains computer controls, hydraulic systems, electrical systems and mechanical systems, combining each component into one piece of machinery that provides a car with necessary power. Within each automatic transmission are sets of gears, seals, gaskets, bands and clutches which have specific functions in the operation.
- Car engines perform best when kept in a certain rotations per minute (RPM) range. An automatic transmission is designed to not only provide power to the car’s drive wheels, but to keep the engine operating within its optimal RPM range. This is accomplished through several gears, each designed for different engine speeds.
- In most automatic transmissions, there are four forward-moving gears, a neutral gear and a reverse gear. In first gear, the drive wheels turn at a slower rate than the engine while in each successively higher gear, the drive wheels turn more quickly while the engine turns slower. In neutral gear, the drive wheels are disconnected from the engine and in reverse gear, the transmission causes the drive wheels to move in the opposite direction.
- Automobile tires have drastically changed since they were invented by Philip Strauss in 1911. The first tires included a rubber tube inside the outer shell to stay inflated. Modern tires can contain many different components such as radial belts, fiberglass, inner liners, treads and sidewalls.
- Tire’s Manufacture Date: Look at the serial number: The last three numbers tell the week and year, respectively, when the tire was manufactured.
- Accurate Pressure Reading: Check your tires when they are cold to obtain an accurate pressure reading.
- Consider This: Half a barrel of crude oil is used to make one tire.
- Tire Maintenance: Properly inflated; new tires improve a vehicle’s performance and handling.
- Safety: The main cause of tire failure is an overloaded vehicle and under-inflation of the tire.
- Tire Rotation: To reduce wear, rotate tires from front to back and side to side on a regular basis.
- Visual Inspection: Check tire pressure with a gauge because visual inspection can be misleading.