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Knowing what's in the engine bay is important for car owners. Here's a guide to car parts under the hood - the engine, radiator, fluid reservoirs and more.
Category: Car Technical Advice
With car usage largely focused on short-distance commutes, and workshops right around the corners here, how many of us still find the need to personally figure things out under the bonnet? In fact, there are even drivers who have no idea how to open their car's bonnet - why would they need to?
Well, it is beneficial for drivers to be equipped with some level of technical know-how. Knowing what is in your car's engine bay will not only come in handy when things go wrong. You'll also be able to catch gremlins before they cause you severe trouble. So here are some basic car parts under the bonnet that you need to know about.
The engine is the main component that powers your car and it also takes up the most space in the engine bay - you wouldn't miss it. While the inner workings can be a complicated topic, it is one that we wouldn't be discussing about. Instead, let's talk about the important, basic components that all drivers should know.
Engine oil cap and dipstick
The engine oil cap is usually located at the top of the engine and easily accessible without the use of any tools, and it is where you top up the engine oil. The dipstick is used to determine the engine oil level. You should check it regularly to ensure there's sufficient oil in your car's engine.
The alternator is the charger and main source of electricity for your car.
If it fails, your car will run out of electricity and stop working.
Power steering pump
The power steering pump, as its name suggests, is a hydraulic pump that is part of the power steering system. Should it fail while you are driving, the steering can weighten up significantly, causing serious safety risks.
This is one of the most important things for Singaporeans.
Without a working air-conditioning compressor, you would most likely be cooked by the blazing heat in our all-year round summer weather.
The drive belts (also known as fan belts) drives the various components such as the three mentioned above. If the belt snaps, you will instantly lose the respective functions on your car.
Some engines also have a timing belt, which controls intricate components in the engine. If it snaps, you'll likely be facing a hefty repair bill.
While it isn't easy for the layman to inspect the conditions of the alternator, power steering pump and air-con compressor, you should be able to tell if your car’s belts require immediate attention (look out for cracks, frays or other signs of excessive wear).