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7. Vehicle Components

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134
The Power Train

The transmission is a gear-reduction machine that takes the output of the engine and changes it, through different gear ratios, into either "high-torque-low-speed" or "low-torque-high-speed" output to the wheels.

The transmission can be MANUAL shift, in which case the driver changes the gear ratio by using a "shifter" or "gear selector"; or it can be an AUTOMATIC shift, where hydraulic fluid and pressure valves are used to change the gear ratios.

In either case, the output power is transmitted to a DRIVE SHAFT, or in the case of front-wheel drive, to two HALF-SHAFTS, which then deliver the power to the wheels.

Between the transmission and the drive shaft is a DIFFERENTIAL, a series of gears that allows for the left and right wheels to turn at different speeds while still applying power.

A vehicle's power train consists of components that generate and transmit power to the wheels.

In a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the power train includes:

  • the engine which generates the force which is transmitted
  • the transmission in which gears adjust the engine's RPM so as to control the torque or force which is transmitted
  • a clutch (automatic or manual) which disengages the transmission from the engine to allow changing gears
  • the drive shaft which transmits forces from the transmission to the components at the rear of the vehicle which include
  • the differential which allows the back wheels to turn at different speeds so as to maintain traction
  • the axle which transmits the force from the differential to the rear wheels
  • In a front-wheel drive vehicle, the power is transmitted from the engine through a combination transmission-differential and then directly to the front wheels.

    In a four-wheel drive vehicle, the power is transmitted from the transmission to a transfer case which can transmit power to either the rear wheels only or to both the rear and front wheels.


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    Lesson Summary


      

    Lesson 7 Quiz


    You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

    You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

    1. The ALTERNATOR:


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    2. Disc brakes work by:


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    3. The minimum tread thickness for passenger car tires is:


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    4. This oil warning light means that:


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    5. The engine in your car is sometimes called:


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