How Things Work

Ever wonder how the different automotive systems function on you car or truck ?

Read through some of the articles below. This list is being added to all the time, so check back soon.

The Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) system supplements the protection offered by the driver and front passenger seat belts. The SIR system deploys an air bag from the center of the steering wheel and from the right side of the instrument panel. The knee bolsters and the steering column absorb crash energy. The driver and passenger knee bolsters are below the instrument panel.

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The hydraulic power steering pump is a constant displacement vane-type pump that provides hydraulic pressure and flow for the power steering gear. The hydraulic power steering pumps are either belt-driven or direct-drive, cam-driven.

The power steering fluid reservoir holds the power steering fluid and may be integral with the power steering pump or remotely located. The following locations are typical locations for the remote reservoir:

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The fuel tank stores the fuel supply. The electric fuel pump, supplies fuel through an in-line fuel filter to the fuel injection system. The fuel pump provides fuel at a higher rate of flow than is needed by the fuel injection system. The fuel pressure regulator maintains the correct fuel pressure to the fuel injection system. A separate pipe returns unused fuel to the fuel tank.

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The A/C system provides the following features:

Cooled or dehumidified air for the comfort of the occupants
Power ventilation
Windshield defrosting
Side window defrosting

During most operating conditions, outside air enters the vehicle in the following manners:

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The disc brake system consists of the following components:

Disc Brake Pads: Applies mechanical output force from the hydraulic brake calipers to friction surfaces of brake rotors.

Disc Brake Rotors: Uses mechanical output force applied to friction surfaces from the disc brake pads to slow speed of tire and wheel assembly rotation.

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The front seat belt system includes the following components:

  1. The driver and the passenger seat belt retractor on all sedans is located and attached to the center pillar.
  2. The driver and the passenger seat buckle with pretensionor are attached to lower inner side of each front seat. Read more...

When wheel slip is detected during a brake application, the ABS enters antilock mode. During antilock braking, hydraulic pressure in each wheel hydraulic circuit is controlled to prevent a wheel from slipping. A separate hydraulic line and specific solenoid valves are used for each wheel. The ABS can decrease, hold, or increase hydraulic brake pressure to each wheel.

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The hydraulic brake system consists of the following:

Hydraulic Brake Master Cylinder Fluid Reservoir: Contains supply of brake fluid for the hydraulic brake system.

Hydraulic Brake Master Cylinder: Converts mechanical input force into hydraulic output pressure. Hydraulic output pressure is distributed from the master cylinder

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On today's newer cars and trucks, the generator (ALternator) provides DC voltage to operate the vehicle's electrical system and to charge the battery. A magnetic field is created when current flows through the rotor windings. The rotor is belt driven by the engine creating an AC voltage as this field rotates within the stator windings.

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The cranking circuit consists of the battery, starter motor, ignition switch, and related wiring.

These starter motors are not serviceable and are replaced as assemblies only.

Most of today's starter motors are non-repairable starter motors. They have pole pieces that are arranged around the armature within the starter housing. When the solenoid windings are energized, the pull-in winding circuit is completed to ground through the starter motor.

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The drum brake system consists of the following:

Drum Brake Shoes: Applies mechanical output force, from hydraulic brake wheel cylinders, to friction surface of brake drums.

Brake Drums: Uses mechanical output force applied to friction surface from drum brake shoes to slow speed of tire and wheel assembly rotation.

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Cruise control is a speed control system that maintains a desired vehicle speed under normal driving conditions at speeds above 40 km/h (25 mph). However, steep grades may cause variations in the selected speeds.

The main components of the cruise control system are:

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How Things Work

Vehicle Rear Suspension

The rear suspension utilizes coil springs over struts and light weight aluminum knuckles. Each wheel is mounted to a tri-link independent suspension system. The three links are identified as the inverted U channel trailing arm and the tubular front and rear rods.

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Common Engine Codes

Code P0101 or P0102 Mass Air flow Sensor

The mass air flow (MAF) sensor is an air flow meter that measures the amount of air entering the engine. The powertrain control module (PCM) uses the MAF sensor signal in order to provide the correct fuel delivery for a wide range of engine speeds and loads. A small quantity of air entering the engine indicates deceleration or idle.

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