Automobiles are a large part of our everyday life. They offer a way for people to travel to work and visit friends. People also use cars for vacation trips and shopping. Automobiles have influenced society in many ways including changing jobs, giving people more freedom and creating new industries like the assembly line and manufacturing automobile parts. It has also helped the middle class in America grow and allowed more women to be able to get jobs outside the home. It has also created better roads and made traveling easier.
The modern automobile has thousands of individual parts that are arranged into semi-independent systems with specific design functions. The engine, for example, consists of pistons in cylinders that move up and down, a crankshaft to turn the cylinders, and tubes to deliver fuel to the cylinders. The engine produces the power that moves the car and reduces noise and pollution. Other systems provide cooling, lubrication, and heating for the various components of the automobile.
A battery supplies electricity for starting the engine and to operate the electronic devices in an automobile. The electrical system also controls the operation of a vehicle’s lights, windshield wipers, and radio. Many vehicles are equipped with air conditioning, which uses refrigerants to cool the interior and remove odors. The suspension system uses springs and shock absorbers to reduce the vibrations caused by driving over bumps and rough roads.
Most automobiles have several transmission gears. Each gear provides a different ratio of the number of revolutions per minute of the crankshaft (power input) to the number of wheels rotating (the output). The higher the gear, the more power is delivered. The engine also has a gear to adjust its speed, called the clutch.
Many of the systems in an automobile are controlled by sensors that collect information and send signals to the engine, transmission, and other systems. The computer control system, for example, monitors the status of the engine and other parts to make sure the vehicle is functioning properly. The computer can also help a driver choose the best route for a trip.
While the automobile has greatly benefited society, it also causes problems. The freedom of mobility that it provides encourages sprawl— straggling, low-density development that degrades landscapes and creates traffic congestion. Automobiles also consume a lot of petroleum and produce pollutants.
There are several types of automobiles available for consumers, from small commuter cars to luxury limousines. Some are powered by electric motors, while others run on gasoline or other fuel. Some are hybrids that combine gasoline and electric power to save on fuel costs and emissions. Choosing the right type of automobile depends on a person’s lifestyle and budget. For example, leasing is a good option for people who want to drive a more luxurious automobile but can’t afford to pay for it outright. However, it is important to know the mileage restrictions and possible excess wear-and-tear charges before signing a lease agreement.