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.

Windshield Wiper System Operation

The windshield wiper motor module is part of the windshield wiper motor cover and controls wiper motor operation. The accessory voltage supply circuit to the windshield wiper motor assembly is used to operate the wiper motor in all modes. The windshield wiper motor is a 2 speed motor and is operated at low speed in all modes except HIGH.

Brakes- Hydraulic System- How Does It Work

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

Car and Truck Seat Belts Operation

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.

Basic Power Steering Operation- Hydraulic

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:

Power Steering- Electric- How Does It Work

The electric power steering (EPS) system reduces the amount of effort needed to steer the vehicle. The system uses the body control module (BCM), power steering control module (PSCM), torque sensor, discrete battery voltage supply circuit, EPS motor, serial data bus, and the instrument panel cluster (IPC) message center to perform the system functions.

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.

Brakes- Rear Drum- How Do They Work

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.

Traction Control Light- What Does It Mean

When wheel slip is noted while the brake is not applied, the ABS Computer-(EBCM) will enter traction control mode.

First, the EBCM requests the PCM to reduce the amount of torque to the drive wheels via the requested torque signal circuit. The PCM reduces torque to the drive wheels by retarding spark timing and turning off fuel injectors. The PCM reports the amount torque delivered to the drive wheels via the delivered torque signal circuit.

Vehicle Front Suspension Operation

The front suspension has 2 primary purposes:

Isolate the driver from irregularities in the road surface.
Define the ride and handling characteristics of the vehicle.

The front suspension absorbs the impact of the tires travelling over irregular road surfaces and dissipates this energy throughout the suspension system. This process isolates the vehicle occupants from the road surface.

Brakes- Front Disc- How Do They Work

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.

Anti Lock Brakes -What Does The ABS Light Mean

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.

Cruise Control Function and Operation

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: