The different carparts of the car

A sedan often has a bonnet (or hood) on the front and a boot lid on the back, but there are exceptions; there are also car models where the engine is placed in the back of the car. A well-known example of this is the Volkswagen Beetle which has the boot on the front and the engine in the back of the car.

Operation
Cars are equipped with hand and foot controls to control the car and regulate comfort. These include a steering wheel, pedals for braking and accelerating and, in the case of a manual gearbox, clutch control, handbrake and gear lever. In addition, a car around the steering wheel includes a number of levers for the indicators, headlight, rear light, windscreen wipers and heating. The dashboard gives an overview of the status of the car.

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Over time, some of the controls have been replaced by automatic controls such as a starting mechanism, reversing light and, in some cases, an automatic gearbox. For cars from about 2010 onwards, most of the controls are not mechanically connected, but are connected to an electronic CAN-bus and an on-board computer that controls the car’s brakes and engine, among other things. This electronic control makes adaptive cruise control and an anti-lock braking system possible. With servo-assisted steering, a lane keeping system is possible in which the car steers itself. With the development of sensors, a self-propelled car is possible in the long run, whereby the control can be limited to entering an end point.

Engine
The placement of the engine in a car is usually in the front of the car, in exceptional cases the engine is placed in the back of the car as with the Volkswagen Beetle and the Porsche 911. The handling of the car is influenced by the weight of the engine behind or in the front of the car. Most ideal is a centre engine because such a car suffers the least from understeer or oversteer.

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Different types of engines are used to drive the car.

Internal combustion engine
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Internal combustion engine
A car is usually powered by an internal combustion engine. An internal combustion engine derives its energy from the (explosive) combustion of petrol, diesel, LPG or another fuel. These fuels are for sale at petrol stations.

In the case of a mixed engine, petrol (or LPG, for example) is detonated in a special chamber (cylinder) by a spark plug. The explosion pushes down a piston that drives the crankshaft and then this movement is transmitted to the wheels.

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In the case of a diesel engine, diesel is ignited in the same type of special chamber by injecting the diesel under high pressure into the chamber. The ignition pushes down a piston that drives the crankshaft, after which the movement is transmitted to the wheels.

The residues from the combustion process that takes place in the engine are discharged through the exhaust. Nowadays there are strict requirements for this. Combustion engines running on ethanol, methanol, biomass and similar technologies have been increasingly introduced recently. Some are at an experimental stage, but most have been available for some time and are sometimes even cheaper to buy and/or use.

Electric motor

Electric motor in the Tesla model S
File:Need makes resourceful 3 ways to drive a car without benzine.ogv
Inventive transport solutions to the fuel scarcity during the oil crisis of 1973

The Toyota Prius, a hybrid car
Increasingly stringent environmental legislation, technological development, market demand and a longer-term strategy mean that car manufacturers are switching to electromotors.

Another development is the use of two engines, so-called hybrids. The car will then have a combustion engine for out-of-town use and an electric motor for in-town use. Examples are the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius. The Honda Civic is also available in a hybrid version. In 2005, Lexus launched the first hybrid SUV on the Dutch market, the Lexus RX400h.

Steam engine
In the beginning, cars were equipped with a steam engine. In 2007 it was announced that they had succeeded in having a car run on compressed air, the Air Car.A crash test with a Hyundai Tucson GLS

The first traffic victim was Mary Ward. She lost her life on 31 August 1869 when she was thrown out of a steam car and ended up under the wheels. The first pedestrian to die of a car accident was Bridget Driscoll, who lost her life on 17 August 1896 in London. In the past, no attention was paid to safety. Cars had to be reliable and robust.

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