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In this section, we will help you understand how your car works. We assume that you know nothing about how a car works and provide clear, understandable explanations of the various systems that make up the modern automobile.

Each section will start with a basic explanation of that system and how it works. We then break the system down into its component parts and explain each item and how it relates to the whole.

With this knowledge, you will able to spot symptoms before they become serious. It will help you know the type of repair you may need and help you to better communicate with your repair shop and understand the work your shop is recommending.

, Understanding Your Car

How does your car work? Click below to find out.

  • Engine: Including Block, Heads, Pistons & Valves
  • Cooling System: Including Radiator, Thermostat, Water Pump, Heater & Hoses
  • Charging System: Including Alternator, Regulator & Battery
  • Ignition System:Includes Spark Plugs, Distributor, Ignition Wires & Coil
  • Automatic Transmissions: Understand the concepts behind what goes on inside these technological marvels and what goes into repairing them when they fail.
  • Brakes: Including Disk & Drum Brakes, Master Cylinder, Power Booster & Anti-lock Brakes
  • Wheel Alignment: With explanations of Caster, Camber, Toe-in along with other angles that are important to know about.
  • Hybrid Power Systems: A detailed look at these new propulsion systems to determine how they are able to get exceptional fuel economy and equally impressive control over tailpipe emissions.
  • Dashboard Gauges: A look at the gauges on your instrument panel and how to read them.
  • Air Conditioner: Including Compressor, Condenser, Evaporator & Receiver Dryer
  • Electrical Systems: Excellent courses on Electrical Fundamentals, Circuits, Controls and Electronics
  • Fuel System: Includes Carburetor, Fuel Injection, Fuel Pump & Fuel Filter
  • Emissions System: Including Catalytic converter, Air Pump, Oxygen Sensor, Computer & PCV Valve
  • Battery: A look at how they work and what can go wrong with them.
  • Starting System: Including the Battery, Starter, Ignition Switch & Neutral Safety Switch.
  • On Board Diagnostics: How Today’s Cars Diagnose Themselves
  • The Timing Belt: What They Do, What Happens when they Fail
  • My car won’t start, what should I do?Common no-start problems and what to do about them
About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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headlights and components
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Regina Falk

HI I have a 2004 Chevrolet Trail Blazer 6 cylinder 4.2 engine the oil pump needs replaced what oil pump do I order

Regina Falk

needing oil pump for 2004 chevrolet blazer 4.2 engine which oil pump do I order

Mark Dibbens

Need a split-seat latch, lock for a 2012 CRV

Hi Mark,

Are you talking about the latch that releases the folding rear seats?


Driver side window switch for Toyota Rav 4, 2 door 1996 model

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