Common car maintenance terms you should know

July 29th, 2020 by

Does car maintenance seem like a big mystery to you? We understand – there are so many moving (literally) parts on a vehicle that it can be hard to keep track of all of them and how they work in the big picture. However, knowing the basics can not only help you care for your car better but also feel more confident when you bring it in for routine car maintenance. That’s why our Orlando car care techs have come up with a list of some of the most common car maintenance terms and their explanation. Check it out below!

The most common car maintenance terms you should be familiar with

Air filter: Has your Orlando car maintenance tech ever told you it’s time to replace your air filter? This important car part is part of the air intake system (that pulls air into the engine) and prevents dirt and debris from getting pulled into the engine where it can negatively impact your performance and even damage your car’s engine. It needs to be replaced every so often to function properly.

Alternator: If your car won’t start but your battery isn’t the issue, it could mean you have issues with your alternator. This part is in charge of both charging your car’s battery and powering the ignition and electrical system when your car is turned on.

Catalytic converter: This car part is actually for the good of the planet – it’s an emissions control device that helps convert the toxic gases within the engine into less harmful gases before they’re released into the air.

Coolant: Coolant is the liquid that runs throughout the engine to help keep it cool while it’s up and running – without it, your car will overheat pretty quickly. It’s usually a mixture of water and ethylene glycol.

Dipstick: When you check the level and color of your car’s oil, you do it via the dipstick. This long, thin piece of metal with a handle on the end actually reaches into your engine and lets you pull out a small sample of the oil so you can make sure it’s clean and full.

Fuel pump: This essential car part sends fuel from the gas tank to the engine – without it, you’re going nowhere fast.

Head gasket: The head gasket in your car serves as a seal between the cylinder head and engine block. It helps to seal in the internal combustion AND keep coolant and oil from mixing in your engine.

OEM: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer – if you see this associated with a car part, it means the part was actually made by the manufacturer who made your car and it’s not an aftermarket part.

Oil filter: The oil filter helps prevent dirt and debris – basically anything abrasive – from the oil before it goes into the engine and does damage.

Radiator: Your car’s radiator is the most critical part of its cooling system. When it’s in action, it basically absorbs heat from the coolant (which has been circulating through the engine) to keep your engine at an optimal temperature.

Spark plug: Your car needs a spark to create the internal combustion that gets your engine up and running. Your spark plugs create that spark, which is why they’re so essential to your vehicle’s performance.

Timing belt: The timing belt basically ensures that critical moving parts under the engine are synchronized so that valves open and close at the right times.

Schedule car maintenance today at Toyota of Orlando

Now that you’re well-versed with the basics, get your car maintenance on the books! Call Toyota of Orlando at (407) 298-0001 or stop by our Toyota car maintenance center at 3575 Vineland Road, just off I-4 across from the Millenia Mall.

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