What Are The 6 Major Car Parts? (Explained For Beginners)

Have you ever wondered what are the major parts that make the car? When you look at your car, have you ever wondered how the car works and what is inside?

The car is made of thousands of parts but we will try to break it down into 6 major parts or distinct sections to make it easy for you to understand, but at the same time cover each of the car parts in detail.

Read on to find out the anatomy of a car.

Here Are The 6 Major Parts Of A Car

The 6 major parts of the car include Body & Exterior, Engine & Propulsion, Drivetrain, Brakes & Wheels, Interior & Dashboard, and Electronics & Safety.

  1. Body & Exterior
  2. Engine & Propulsion
  3. Brakes & Wheels
  4. Interior & Entertainment
  5. Technology & Electronics
  6. Security & Safety
car tires front & back alignment
Car side view with tires’ front & back

The 6 major parts listed below are a very simplified view of the car, but let’s dive deep into it to find out exactly what each of them entails.

1. Car Body & Exterior

Mercedes convertible parked alongside the road.
Mercedes convertible parked alongside the road.

The car’s body and exterior are what protects the diver and passengers from crash or bumps and include a series of safety features.

Below are the major parts that make up the Car Body & Exterior:

Car Body & ExteriorCar Body & Exterior Description
Chassis & FrameThe car chassis is a strong metal skeleton or foundation of the car that takes the load and stress as the car propels, and holds the car frame together. The car frame is what gives the shape of the car. All components of the car are attached to the car frame.
Access & VisibilityPassengers need access to the car, and so doors provide access while windows provide visibility. The cars need to make themselves visible to other drivers and pedestrians too which is where the various lights help with that function.
BumperA car bumper is a protective part of the car exterior placed at the front and rear to absorb any impact from collisions.
Window GlassCar window glass allows the driver and passenger to view the surrounding. The front glass that protects the driver and passengers is called the windshield and the rear is called the back glass. There is also front and rear door window glass which you can roll up and down. The other type of window glass is vent glass or quarter glass.
Lamps or LightsExterior car lamps or lights play an important role in car safety because it is used to be visible or signal to other drivers. The different types of lamps or lights in a car exterior are headlights, tail lights, fog lights, daytime running lights, signal lights, hazard lights, and brake lights.
Fuel TankA car fuel tank is a storage container that holds fuel (gas, petrol, etc) and supplies to the engine as required.
Key SetA car key set is used to open the car doors and start the engine. Modern car keys are smart keys that have enhanced security features and are battery-operated.
Body PanelCar body panels are large steel sections that are installed around the car, used to cover car parts, and designed in such a way that they can provide additional safety from collisions. There are different types of panels available today such as a Roof panel, Hood lid panel, Bumper panel, Fender panel, Header panel, Trunk/Boot panel, Valance panel, Cowl panel, Low door skin, Wheel arch panel, Quarter panel, and Firewall.
Front and Rear End ModuleThe car front and rear end modules are mainly for safety reasons that play a vital role in absorbing the impact during the collision as they are likely to be first in contact.
Trunk or HoodThe trunk or boot is the main storage area in a car that protects and safely stows away your language.
HornA car horn is an alerting device to grab the attention of other road users by making a loud sound.
Window WasherA car window washer is used to spay window washer fluid on the windshield to remove the mud or debris and clear the driver’s vision.
SunroofA sunroof is an openable window on the roof of a car to allow sunlight and fresh air while driving.
Gas SpringCar gas springs are used to softy open and close the bonnet to the trunk of the car.
Body Reinforcement/protectorCar body reinforcements are additional high-strength metal to prevent the car frame from deformation during impact. These reinforcements or protectors are placed strategically that adds to the safety of the car passages.
DoorThe car door is used to enter to leave the car by the driver and passages. A car usually has front and back doors on both driver’s and passenger’s sides.
WiperA wiper is used to wipe away excess rainwater from the windshield to give the driver a clear front view of the road. Some cars also have headlamps and rear wipers.
Outside MirrorOutside or wing mirrors are key components of a car used to view the rear and side (left & right) of the car.
Weather StripA weather strip or weather seal is a rubber seal that prevents external elements (wind, rain, snow, insets, etc) from entering the cabin of the car.

2. Car Engine & Propulsion

Car exhaust manifold connected to the engine
The car exhaust manifold connected to the engine

Below are the major parts that make up the Car Engine & Propulsion:

Car Engine & PropulsionCar Engine & Propulsion Description
Car engineA car engine is what created the power to propel the car.
Drivetrain SystemA car’s drivetrain system consists of a clutch, gearbox, transmission, and differential.
Exhaust systemThe car exhaust system helps emit the burnt residual fuel & air (harmful hydrocarbons) in the engine to safely direct away from the driver and passengers while purifying the harmful emissions in the process. It also helps with the optimum performance of the car and keeps the noise levels down. A car exhaust system is made of a Manifold, Catalytic Converter, Resonator, Catback, Muffler, and Tailpipe. In addition, it includes various sensors in the system such as an O2 sensor to keep a check on polluted fumes.
Cooling systemA cooling system is used in a car to keep the engine cool from overheating. It includes a radiator, fan, thermostat value & water pump.
ClutchA clutch sits between the engine and the transmission. It helps disengage the engine when changing gears.
GearboxA gearbox is a system that is used to change the speed of the car.
TransmissionA car transmission is a system that converts the engine’s horsepower to the wheels.
DifferentialA differential is used to turn the wheels at different speeds during turning i.e inside wheel turns slower than the outside wheel.
DriveshaftA driveshaft converts the torque from the transmission and transfers the differential gearbox.
AxelsAn axle is a horizontal rod that connects the two wheels.
CV JointsA CV joint is a mechanism that allows constant rotational speed to transfer at a variable angle.
PedalA pedal is used by the driver to press and release the clutch or brakes.

3. Car Brakes & Wheels

Car-Disc-Breaks

The car’s brakes and wheels are responsible for moving the car from breaking and moving the car on the road.

Below are the major parts that make up the Car’s Brakes & Wheels:

Car Brakes & WheelsCar Brakes & Wheels Description
Braking systemsA car’s braking system is used to control and reduce the speed of a moving car by locking the wheels when the driver pushes the brake pedal.
Suspension System
Tires & WheelsTires & Wheels are what make the car go forward by rotating itself
Air Brake
Brake
Vehicle Dynamic Control System
Sub Brake
Chassis Module
Electric Suspension
Air Suspension
Suspension
Shock Absorber
Steering
Suspension Control

4. Car Interior & Entertainment

car-engine-frame-chassis

A car’s interior and Entertainment system is used to transfer power from the engine to the wheels and consists of parts such as transmission, driveshaft, axles, differential, and clutch.

Below are the major parts that make up the Car’s Drivetrain:

Car Interior & EntertainmentCar Interior & Entertainment Description
Seats and TrimA gearbox is a system that is used to change the speed of the car.
TransmissionA car transmission is a system that converts the engine’s horsepower to the wheels.
DifferentialA differential is used to turn the wheels at different speeds during turning i.e inside wheel turns slower than the outside wheel.
DriveshaftA driveshaft converts the torque from the transmission and transfers the differential gearbox.
AxelsAn axle is a horizontal rod that connects the two wheels.
CV JointsA CV joint is a mechanism that allows constant rotational speed to transfer at a variable angle.
WheelsWheels are what make the car go forward by rotating itself.
Entertainment & Audio
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) System
Dashboard & Instrument Panel Assembly

5. Car Technology & Electronics

Car interior & dashboard, sunroof open, and driving.
Car’s Technology & Electronics.

The car Technology & Electronics includes a series of controls and dashboards for the driver to safely drive the car along with making the driver and passengers’ journey pleasant.

Below are the major parts that make up the Car’s Technology & Electronics:

Car Technology & ElectronicsCar Technology & Electronics Description
Driving Support / Convenience Systems
Auxiliary Heater
Other Climate Control Parts
Heater
Air Conditioner
Steering Wheel
Instrument Switch
Airbag System
Interior Trim
Seat
Seat Belts
Cockpit Module

6. Car Security & Safety

Car-stereo-warranty
2021 Hyundai Tucson Security & Safety with dashboard

Over the years cars have started using more computing power bringing in smart car Security & Safety as standard.

Below are the major parts that make up the Car’s Security & Safety System:

Car Security & SafetyCar Security & Safety Description
Security System
Safety Systems