How to Learn About the Parts of a Car

by Charlie Gaston

Automotive enthusiasts and car owners can learn about the parts of a car through a number of resources. Both online and in print, manuals and tutorials are used in the maintenance and repair of automobiles. With these resources, owners and maintenance professionals can help to maintain the condition of a vehicle, and you can too. Here's how to educate yourself on the parts of a car.

Use an industry-based website like Car Talk or the Family Car. provides a Web-based learning center with course material on engine parts, cooling systems, charging systems and other automotive parts. Detailed descriptions with illustrations are provided.

Use an online tutorial like Auto Education. Review the collection of online auto-part and system tutorials and choose from automotive topics like brakes, cooling and engine. Part of the AutoParts 101 tutorial series, these and other topics are available with detailed descriptions and illustrations for your review.

Refer to your owner's manual for a detailed description of the parts of your vehicle. (Contact the car manufacturer if you no longer have the manual in your possession.) Review the manual for an index of each system; you'll find detailed descriptions of each part within that system. For example, the air conditioner would be part of the cooling system and within that system are a number of other parts, including the water pump, radiator and thermostat.

Learn about the parts of a car with automotive literature, available online and from manufacturers like Ford, Oldsmobile and GMC. In addition to parts books, consumers can also obtain owner's manuals and wiring diagrams. Contact your manufacturer for more details or use an online source like, or for a list of automotive literature. A basic search of "Auto Parts Books and Manuals" will yield several results from both sites.


  • check Search for illustrations online for an example of each automotive part.

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About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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