The 10 mechanical and technical terms for dummies

My mechanic tells me about a cylinder head problem

The cylinder head is the upper part of the engine which closes the top of the cylinders where the pistons are actuated, at the heart of the engine. It is an aluminum or cast iron part. It is fixed to the engine block by studs (sort of large screws).

What is the cylinder head gasket?

Between the cylinder head and the cylinder block is the cylinder head gasket which is a thick metal and pastic gasket.

It seals between the cylinder head and the block. It prevents water from the cooling system from passing through the cylinders and into the oil and vice versa. A leak under your engine? An engine oil temperature light that appears on the dashboard? Worse, white smoke comes from the hood? Immobilize the vehicle and do not wait to consult a mechanic, it is better to prevent than to cure: an engine failure can quickly happen.

What is a brake caliper?

The caliper is a mechanical part composed of a body and a movable piston. It is fixed on the hub (center) of the wheel. If there is only one piston, the caliper is said to be floating. It has a fluid inlet and a small bleed screw. It is this system that holds the brake pads and activates them so that they press against the brake disc. It is a central organ of the braking system.

The stringers

Car accident ? The expert then tells you that the side members are bent and that it will cost you dearly. The stringers, quésako? These are large iron bars that connect the entire underside of the car, the chassis, and provide rigidity.

A faulty bearing on my car

Bearings are wearing parts that you should consider changing if you hear noise when the car is moving. The bearings are located at the axis of the wheel to ensure its rotation with minimum friction. Bearings in good condition limit the consumption of your car.

What is a gimbal?

Not a dial but a gimbal! These two small rooms are both opposite each other: one on the left and one on the right. The universal joints transmit the movement of the motor to the wheels. A cardan joint problem or cardan bellows can be dangerous, so here too, you should not wait before making an appointment in the workshop if you hear noise or feel small vibrations when riding.

When should I change the candles?

There are two types of candles:

For diesel engines, they are called glow plugs
For petrol engines, these are the spark plugs.

Having trouble starting the engine? They may be at fault.

Brake shoes

The brake shoes are the linings inside the drum. These are metal parts that slow down (by friction) and stop a vehicle by rubbing on the drum, secured to the wheel. Often on the rear axle of the car, the worn linings are like worn brake pads, so you have to quickly change them, so is your safety.

What is a valve?

These are 8 small valves which let the mixture to be burned into an engine (air + fuel) and let the exhaust gas out to the exhaust. Hence the name of “thermal” or “combustion” engine. The valves open and close, actuated by the camshaft.

What is a camshaft?

The tree (AAC) is an axis driven by the distribution, it turns on itself. A cam is a circle around the tree whose diameter is different each time. With these cams, friction is created on the tappets which thus control the opening or closing of the valves, so that they can sometimes allow the admission of air and fuel into the engine, sometimes allow the escape of gases . So there is one cam per valve on the shaft.