|Topics||Actuators, Brakes, Control Arms, Fluid Reservoir, Ignition Coil, Intake Stroke, Lighting, Powertrain Control Module, Radiator, Steering Linkage|
Actuators receive signals from the powertrain control module and carry out adjustments needed based on the data the PCM received from the sensors.
Brakes utlize friction to slow vehicle tires. Drum brakes employ a cast iron drum that roates with the vehicle axle. When hydraulic pressure is applied to the brake assemblies at the wheels, internal pistons expand and push brake shoes outward into contact with the brake drum slowing the rotation of the axle. More powerful disc brakes operate by pinching a rotating disc betweeen two brake pads and allow for a larger surface area to contact the disc, provide more force, and are more easily cooled.
Control arms (upper and lower) connect a vehicle's suspension to the frame. The connection to the wheels is through ball joints which allow the control arms to turn and move up and down simultaneously. The frame connection uses bushings.
The fluid reservoir stores the brake fluid that the master cylinder uses to maintain hydraulic pressure.
The ignition coil is a high-voltage transformer made up of two coils of wire. The primary coil winding is the low-voltage winding and has relatively few turns of heavy wire. The secondary coil winding is the high-voltage winding that surrounds the primary and is made up of thousands of turns of fine wire. Current flows from the battery through the primary coil winding which creates a changing magnetic field inside the secondary coil. This induces a very high-voltage current in the secondary coil which it feeds to the distributor.
The four-stroke piston cycle of internal combustion engines starts with the piston at top of the cylinder head (top dead center or TDC) during the intake stroke. The piston moves downward in the cylinder creating a vacuum that pulls an air-fuel mix into the combustion chamber through the now open intake valve.
The lighting system consists of interior lights, instrument panel lighting, headlights, and taillights. Like household electrical circuits, the vehicle's lighting system is protected from current spikes by fuses and circuit breakers.
The main computer or powertrain control module (PCM) uses pre-programmed software to analyze the input received from sensors and produce output signals to adjust vehicle performance and operation. (Engine control unit (ECU) is another name for the PCM.)
The radiator is responsible for tranferring heat from the coolant to the outside air. Radiator hoses transfer coolant to and from the engine to the radiator and a radiator cap maintains pressure in the cooling system to increase the boiling point of the coolant mixture and thus allow it to absorb more heat.
The steering linkage is a system of pivots and connecting parts between the steering gear and the control arms. The steering linkage transfers the motion of the steering gear output shaft to the steering arms that turn the wheels.