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The automobile has been around for over a hundred years. In that time, the basic makeup of it hasn’t changed. It’s still powered by the internal combustion engine; it still has four wheels, and simple mechanics make it move. While the auto utilizes a complex combination of machinery and electronics, there are some basic principles of engineering at work. Here we will explain one automotive system, the wheels, and how they work. Read what makes the wheels move on a car. We touch on the basics here.

The Engine

Electric and hybrid cars are on the rise, but for the sake of this blog, we will focus on the internal combustion engine. The car’s engine burns fuel to produce energy. It draws the fuel from the tank along a fuel line and into the cylinders—most cars have four to six. Each one in sequence draws in a small amount of fuel along with air before it ignites with a spark from the spark plugs. The resulting small explosion from the burning fuel forces a piston at the bottom of the cylinder downward. Each piston is attached to the drive shaft, and the downward motion from each of the pistons turns the drive shaft.

The Drive Shaft

A car’s drive shaft is a mechanical part that connects the engine to the wheels. The drive shaft connects to the transmission with a U-joint. When the transmission is engaged and a connection is made, and the drive shaft begins to rotate. The drive shaft runs the length of the vehicle into a transfer case. The rotation moves the gears within the transfer case, which is a part of the rear axle. The turning drive shaft sends power to the rear axle and wheels, activating them and making them move the car forward.

Wheels and Tires

The system of engine, crankshaft, transmission, drive shaft, transfer case, and axle all work together to turn the wheels. If any part of that system doesn’t work properly, the wheels will not move. The wheels and tires attach to the vehicle with lug nuts and bolts and stop with disc brakes. In the case of four-wheel-drive trucks, there will be two transfer cases at the front and rear axle. The transmission will engage each transfer case independently of each other. Trucks don’t always operate in four-wheel drive, so the driver must put the vehicle into that mode. When you are looking for new tires in Greenville, SC, come see the experts at RNR Tire Express. We have everything you need for your car or truck.

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