Car Parts to Know

Don’t think much about what’s under the hood? It’s handy to know some basic carts parts, especially when it’s time to buy a new or used car or if your vehicle needs repairs.

In this continuing series on car parts drivers need to know, we’re covering some essential parts, like the muffler, catalytic converter and alternator.
Car parts you should know

Without the muffler, your car would be insanely and annoyingly loud. Its primary purpose is to “muffle” the noise the exhaust pipe emits. But it also performs a second function: directing the fumes from the exhaust away from the engine. As it wears out, the muffler won’t be able to keep the car’s exhaust noises silent. Factors that erode the muffler include salt, knocks and bumps from potholes or speed bumps, or car upgrades that don’t align with manufacturer guidelines.

Catalytic converter
A key component to reducing your car’s gas emissions, the catalytic converter may fail if it’s damaged, becomes contaminated due to carbon buildup or develops a leak in the coolant system. The converter may also melt internally when the engine misfires, it can weaken and become damaged over time as it ages, and malfunction if it becomes wet due to snow or water. In general, however, the catalytic converter should last as long as the car does.

This piece of car technology is the component that facilitates the car battery’s charging of the engine while the vehicle runs. A separate element from the starter motor, the alternator ensures that the headlights, wipers, rear defrost and other components also run. Because this part is connected to so many others, if other components malfunction, the alternator is affected -- or it may be broken. You may experience problems with the alternator if the car’s lights dim or flicker when it’s running, the battery warning light cycles on or you have to repeatedly jump start the car. Take these warning signs seriously and get the vehicle checked out to avoid your car breaking down.

A little bit of car knowledge goes a long way. Park Acura is happy to talk with you about your car’s primary components or walk you through the parts that need repaired. Just give us a call today!

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