The Basics of Automobiles

Automobiles are a major means of transport and help us achieve the lifestyle that we desire. Automobile engineering is the branch of Engineering which deals with automobile manufacturing and technology. Having a car gives you the independence and freedom to travel to any place at any time without depending on others and also helps you reach your destination within time because of its faster speed. The other benefits of having a car are safety and comfort. Using public transport puts you in the hands of other people who may not be driving safely and it also takes up lot of time to travel if there are traffic delays.

Few inventions have had as much impact on modern life as the automobile. It is not possible to imagine living in a developed country today without access to a car. The science and technical building blocks of the automobile began to emerge several hundred years ago, with inventors such as Christiaan Huygens developing a type of internal combustion engine sparked by gunpowder.

By the end of the 19th century, automobiles powered by steam, electricity and gasoline competed for market share. Eventually, the internal-combustion engine powered by gasoline won out because of its superior speed, fuel efficiency and ease of maintenance and refueling. The U.S. industrialist Henry Ford accelerated the automobile’s adoption by pioneering production methods such as the assembly line and paying workers an unprecedented $5 a day, which helped make cars affordable for middle-class families.

There are thousands of individual parts that go into the construction of a modern automobile. The basic body of the vehicle, which includes the frame, doors and windows, is designed to meet various standards for strength and safety. Other major considerations are the choice of front-wheel or rear-wheel drive, suspension characteristics, and the size of the engine.

The lubrication of an automobile’s moving parts depends on the fluid used, which is normally either oil or water. The simplest systems use a pump and reservoir to circulate lubricant. More complex automobiles use a sealed system of tubes to deliver the lubricant. The engine, the “heart” of the automobile, has a complex series of internal combustion systems that burn fuel to create mechanical energy.

To convert the mechanical energy produced by the engine into a motion that propels the vehicle, a transmission is required. Transmissions vary by model and manufacturer, but all provide the ability to adjust the ratio of power engine speed (torque) to wheel speed (speed). Typically, an automobile has three or more forward gears plus a reverse gear, although some have up to five.