Major Systems of Auto Repair (Part 2)
Automobiles become increasingly complicated with every generation, yet the primary systems auto technicians must understand for proper auto repair and diagnosis remain mostly the same. Some new implementations and upgrades come into play every few years- and many foreign vehicles offer their own unique riddles- but nonetheless, it’s still these same core systems that are necessary to make a complete, functioning and reliable vehicle. If you understand these systems, you can get your start in understand auto tech and repair.
Today let’s continue talking about the primary systems that not only drive your vehicle (and you) in part 2 of our 4 part series. If you missed part 1, you can read that by clicking here.
These are the also systems which you should learn to keep on eye on for proper care and vehicle maintenance.
Emissions and Exhaust System
While it may not be the most interesting aspect of the engine, the emissions system is a valuable component of every automobile. What’s the point of going anywhere if everywhere smells like shart? That’s what would happen without emissions systems. Do you want Chico to smell like LA or Beijing traffic? I didn’t think so. Besides that, if your emissions system fails emissions tests, you can’t legally drive that vehicle, and that extra sucks.
Alongside the emissions system is your exhaust system, which includes the muffler, catalytic converter, and tailpipe. This is what exhausts otherwise harmful gases from your engine into the surrounding environment, but only after making them relatively inert (less harmful) via a chemical process that happens within the catalytic converter. The chemicals used to induce that process are actually quite valuable. You may have heard of people stealing catalytic converters and that’s why. Gasoline is well-known for releasing vapor into the air, and the emissions systems helps control for that too. Gases that emissions systems prevent from escaping include carbon monoxide, unburned fuel, and oxides of nitrogen, none of which you want to breathe. These have severe harmful effects on not only the environment but personal health as well.
When the emissions systems fails or beings to fail, you may notice:
Loss of engine efficiency (need to press gas pedal more to go)
Fluid buildup and leaks
Decreased vehicle mileage.
Should you feel any drowsiness or random nausea while driving- or you smell something akin to rotten eggs- please be sure to have the emissions system inspected immediately. Could be dangerous fumes. Otherwise, have your vehicle inspected on a regular schedule either by an accredited Chico auto repair technician or an emissions specialist. This will prevent further trouble down the road.
Belts and Hoses
A variety of belts and hoses drive and vent the various systems in your engine so it’s important to understand the basic purpose behind these fairly basic components. They are critical to the proper operation of engine cooling, cabin air conditioning and heating, and engine operation in general. It may seem a simple task, nonetheless it’s absolutely essential to diagnose and replace worn belts immediately. On top of that, it’s not hard either.
Some critical engine belts include:
The timing belt, which synchronizes the crankshaft and camshaft to engine timing
Serpentine belt, V-belt, or fan belt, which all transmit power to various vehicle components like air conditioning and fans.
You can tell if a belt needs to be replaced if you see cuts or stretch marks in the belt rubber; if you hear squeaky noises; or if you smell burning rubber (that isn’t from you peeling out like the bad ass you are, B). Usually though, you’ll know for sure when things are really bad because the related system that the belt powers will stop working completely.
Hoses too are very important. Both the radiator and heater hoses transfer coolant around the engine in order to keep the engine cool or your cabin warm. This same system also prevents the engine from freezing in cold weather, to the best of its ability at least. Check hoses for holes, breaks at the joints or seals, or obvious leaks and have them serviced immediately.
The part of your truck this gives it the Go-Juice. A fuel tank seems fairly self-explanatory, but just in case, it’s what holds the fuel that is used to power the engine and in turn the rest of your vehicle. It is usually placed before the rear axle, which is one of the places least likely to crumple in an accident. Fuel lines carry the fuel to the engine, and at times may need to be serviced to fix fuel leaks that are both damaging, expensive, and potentially dangerous.
Problems with the fuel system usually make themselves fairly apparent, either by ruining mileage or completely disabling the vehicle in question. Also look out for leaks or odd smells, which tend to be easy to catch when it comes to leaking fuel.
2 More Parts Ahead
We’ve now covered the second set of major systems in a car, truck, or automobile that are most relevant to auto repair and auto maintenance. Two more to go.
Keep in mind, if you want to get ahead of the curve, you can research these topics in more depth using some of the links we’ve provided, or good ol’ Google.
Don’t worry though, we won’t leave you hanging and we’ve got a lot more in-depth articles coming down the line. First though, we want to cover the fundamentals, then we’ll get to the advanced stuff.
Thanks again for your time and if you have any ideas or suggestions for future articles, please comment below. We read and respond to comments, and we love to hear from you! Tune in next week for more articles about auto repair, cars, trucks, and everything in between. Until then