Major Systems of Auto Repair (Part 3)
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 3 of our 4 part series. To read part 2 first, please click here. These are the also systems which you should learn to keep on eye on for proper care and vehicle maintenance.
A transmission is critical to provide rotational motion to the vehicle’s wheels using the engine’s power. The most common part of a transmission is the gearbox, a box filled with gears and gear trains to change engine torque and “shift” the power of the vehicle. In essence, it’s a “speed changing device”, as Britannica puts it so succinctly. The clutch (in manual transmission vehicles) or torque converter (in automatic transmission vehicles) is used to do this. UV or CV joints (Universal Velocity or Constant Velocity) connect the transmission to the driveshaft, transferring power from the engine all the way to the driving wheels.
Your vehicle transmission is one of the most important and complex parts of any vehicle, and it’s commonly understood that a bad transmission can be one of the most troublesome issues your car can have. Be sure to take care of your transmission whenever possible. You can tell you’re having transmission issues by these signs:
- Gear slipping
- Gear shifting seems slow
- Vibrations or “bucking” when changing gears
- Grinding noise
- It becomes difficult to shift at all
Again, the transmission is not the thing to slack on. If you suspect you need transmission repairs or just transmission diagnostics, please get them as soon as possible.
The Drive Train
A “drive train” converts engine power into rotational energy to move the axle and the driving wheels (aka “tires” in some places). The drive train includes the transmission, driveshafts (propeller shaft), axles, transfer case, differential and other components of the drive train system. To bring your car to a stop without having to stop the motion of the engine too, a clutch is used to disconnect the engine from the drive train. In an automatic transmission vehicle, the torque converter that does this. The term “power train” includes the drive train and the engine too.
Different sets of wheels may drive the vehicle, each with different advantages:
- A “Rear-wheel drive” vehicle has its engine power transferred to the rear axle, and is commonly used when power and speed are the core concern
- A“Front-wheel drive” vehicle transfers to the front axle wheels, and has some advantages when it comes to traction on hazardous rodes
- and an “All-wheel drive” vehicle transfers powers to all wheels simultaneously for improved traction and control beyond what independent wheel drive systems are capable of.
Drive train repair is no easy task even with the right tools, experience, a team and the time. If you’re having drive train issues or need help with power train problems, give us a call at Tedious Repairs and we’ll be glad to help any way we can. Our expert auto repair techs are the best in Chico.
Steering and Suspension System
Steering requires a fairly clever system to convert your moving of the steering wheel into differential steering of the vehicle’s wheels. The steering wheel connects through the steering column into the front axle via a transaxle that converts rotation into another perpendicular direction. Axles are also what the wheels are attached to; the front axle is where the front wheel hubs are attached, and the rear axle is where the rear wheel hubs are.
When the steering system has issues, you won’t have much difficulty identifying the fact. Obvious signs of steering-related problems include:
- Vehicle pulls to either without your control
- Tires wear unevenly
- Noise when turning, or possibly vibration, clunking, or even erratic movement
- Full-on loss of control
If you start having these problems, you may just need to replace your steering fluid. Otherwise, it’s best to get vehicle alignment service or general vehicle diagnostics to troubleshoot the primary issue.
The suspension system too is integral your enjoyment of not only a smooth ride, but a safe one as well. Without proper suspension, your vehicle would shake and rattle violently on anything but the smoothest roads, making it difficult to steer and even impossible to control the vehicle under particularly coarse conditions, say after hitting a bad pot hole. If you want a ride to have enough suspension to buffer the harshness of bad road, that’s what suspension does.
The most common components of your suspension system include:
- Shock absorbers and struts, which keep the car from bouncing too much by absorbing and diffusing vertical motion
- Coil springs, which absorb and reduce vibrations too.
You can probably easily tell when they’re having issues because your ride will probably become noticeably less comfortable. Have them serviced as soon as possible to prevent any serious damage to the chassis, frame, or various knuckle joints.
Almost to the End!
We’ve now covered the third set of major systems in a car, truck, or automobile that are most relevant to auto repair and auto maintenance. One more to go!
Remember, 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.
No worries however! 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
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