The engine

The engine is the heart of your car. It is a complex machine built to convert heat from burning...

How a car clutch works

The first stage in the transmission of a car with a manual gearbox is the clutch. It transmits en...

How car heating and ventilation systems work

Modern cars are designed to have a constant through-flow of fresh air that keeps the interior at...

How automatic gearboxes work

Most modern automatic gearboxes have a set of gears called a planetary or epicyclic gear train. ...

The engine - how the valves open and close

The valve which allows mixture into the cylinder is the inlet valve; the one through which the s...

The engine - how power is created

The conversion of fuel energy into power in an engine starts when petrol is mixed with air in a d...

How a fuel pump works

A car engine burns a mixture of petrol and air. Petrol is pumped along a pipe from the tank...

How a diesel engine works

Traditionally, diesel engines have always been seen as noisy, smelly and underpowered engines of ...

How the fuel system works - fixed-jet carburettors

The fixed-jet carburettor resembles the simpler variable-jet type (See How variable-jet carburet...

How the ignition system works

The purpose of the ignition system is to generate a very high voltage from the car's 12 volt batt...

How engine timing works

For an engine to work at its best, the fuel/air mixture in each cylinder must fire just as the...

How variable-jet carburettors work

A carburettor mixes fuel and air in the proportions and quantity the engine needs at any time. I...

How the transmission works

Driving through a propeller shaft In a front-engined rear-wheel-drive car, power is transmitted ...

How car suspension works

There are various ways of attaching the wheels of the car so that they can move up and down...

How manual gearboxes work

Internal-combustion engines run at high speeds, so a reduction in gearing is necessary to transm...

How an engine cooling system works

A car engine produces a lot of heat when it is running, and must be cooled continuously to avoid ...

How the steering system works

The steering system converts the rotation of the steering wheel into a swivelling movement of th...

How the charging system works

A car uses quite a lot of electricity to work the ignition and other electrical equipment. If th...

The engine - how it drives its ancillary parts

The engine is, in many respects, self-sustaining: it supplies the power that drives a number of a...

How the starting system works

To make an engine start it must be turned at some speed, so that it sucks fuel and air...

How car electrical systems work

The electrical system of a car is a closed circuit with an independent power source the battery. ...

How car springs and dampers work

The suspension system affects both the driver's control of the car and the comfort of the occupan...

How a fuel injection system works

For the engine to run smoothly and efficiently it needs to be provided with the right quantity of...

How the braking system works

Modern cars have brakes on all four wheels, operated by a hydraulic system. The brakes may be di...