The Basics of Automobiles


Automobiles are vehicles that use an internal combustion engine to drive their wheels. The engine uses gasoline, diesel fuel or kerosene to turn the crankshaft that powers the car’s wheels and drives its other systems. The electrical system, which includes the radio, air conditioning and other amenities, also requires a power source. Most modern automobiles have four to eight cylinder engines, though there are also two-cylinder and 12-cylinder cars.

Most automobiles are driven by either front-wheel or rear-wheel drive, with independent suspension and other systems that vary according to the design of the car. Some automobiles have regenerative brakes that convert some of the energy of the car’s motion back into electricity to recharge the battery while the automobile is parked.

The automobile changed the way that people live and work. It gave them new freedom of movement and allowed them to reach jobs, homes and stores in ways that had never been possible before. It caused whole cities to grow around the availability of car services like police, fire and utility trucks and drove whole industries such as motels, restaurants, and shopping centers into existence. It contributed to the development of leisure activities and caused the growth of services such as highways, drivers’ licenses and insurance coverage. It also introduced new risks such as traffic jams, accidents and pollution.

There are many benefits of owning a car, but each individual must decide for himself how important an automobile is in his or her life. It is a luxury for some and a necessity for others. The layout of most metropolitan areas makes a car necessary for people who do not live within walking distance of shops or their workplaces. It is also essential for people who want to visit family or friends in other towns or cities. It is no wonder that more than 90 percent of American households own an automobile.

Many technical innovations have been made in the construction of automobiles over the years. In the early 1920s, Henry Ford revolutionized automobile production with his factory-based mass-production techniques. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler were the dominant American automobile manufacturers until the end of World War II when the industry became more global.

Today, automobile technology continues to evolve. There is a lot of competition between automobile manufacturers, and they are continually striving to improve their cars’ safety, comfort, fuel economy, and handling. New computer technology has enabled advanced safety features such as crash avoidance and control systems.

Consumers should always compare multiple models when deciding which automobile is right for them. They should check the ratings of each model and brand by evaluating its road-test score, reliability and owner satisfaction surveys, and safety results. They should also consider the price of each vehicle and whether it is affordable in terms of monthly payments. When comparing different vehicles, they should keep in mind the cost of buying and owning a car as well as the amount of money that can be saved by purchasing used cars instead of brand-new ones.