Auto Parts and Systems

Auto parts and systems are the building blocks that come together to make automobiles function. Understanding how auto parts work together to form automotive systems allows drivers to confidently discuss automotive problems with their mechanics.

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If your brake pedal feels a little soft or squishy, then there's a good chance that you have air in your brake lines. But how could air possibly get into a sealed hydraulic brake system?

By Josh Briggs

When the Eagles sang "Take It to the Limit," they weren't referring to your car's towing capacity. There's a rating that defines how much weight your car can handle. Heed this magic number, and you'll be taking it easy on the highway.

By Cristen Conger

Have you ever had to add brake fluid to your vehicle's master cylinder? Did you ever stop to think, why am I adding to a system that supposedly doesn't consume the fluid I pour in?

By Josh Briggs

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You must make sure that your cargo is light enough to tow it safely. You risk transmission damage and traffic accidents when you exceed your vehicle's towing capacity.

By Josh Clark

Towing a car may look easy, but there are a number of safety considerations you should take into account before you get started. It all depends on how you're towing.

By John Fuller

Changing the brake pads on your car or truck sounds like a difficult task -- but when you find out how simple it is, you'll wonder why you haven't been doing it yourself all along.

By Patrick E. George

Getting stuck behind a car with malfunctioning brake lights can be extremely frustrating. But before sounding your horn, consider that the driver might not even realize that his brakes lights are out.

By Ed Grabianowski

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The function of a brake caliper is relatively clear -- the caliper forces the brake pads against the rotor to slow or stop the vehicle. But what specific type of caliper does your vehicle need?

By Christopher Lampton

Heavy-duty items that get towed along roads in your community are limited to huge trucks, right? If you're not aware of your vehicle's towing capacity or of how heavy your innocuous load is, you might heaving a load better left to a semi.

By Cristen Conger

The next time you slam on your brakes to avoid hitting a cat in the road, you should thank your car's backing plates. These automotive apparatuses keep the entire braking system functioning.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

It's probably a safe bet that every driver on the road knows that their vehicle needs brakes to slow down or stop. But how many know that they have a choice of brake pad material?

By Jamie Page Deaton

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Most drivers know the brakes on their vehicle have to be properly maintained to remain functional. But how many know that they can select new brake rotors based on the type of driving they do?

By Jamie Page Deaton

After a night of partying, you drive home and sneak the car in the garage. The only thing that could give you away: noisy brakes. You'll need brake shims to avoid being grounded.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

We seek the best that life has to offer: buying first-class plane tickets, staying in the presidential suite, even getting plastic surgery. So why should we treat our brakes any differently?

By Akweli Parker

There's nothing like hitting the wide open road and exploring the country, particularly when your ride sports a cushy crash pad when you're making a 3,000-mile pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon. But what are the drawbacks?

By Josh Clark

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We've talked about trailer towing, but you also need to maintain it. It's actually pretty easy: Just make sure that you keep it clean and lubricated, and take special care of your tires.

By Josh Clark

Towing another vehicle isn't easy, but there are some things you can do to make it easier. You might be surprised how simple they are.

By John Fuller

You're finally heading out on that long-awaited vacation. You've got your RV and your car packed up. All you need is your rigid A-frame tow bar to connect the two, and you're ready to go.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

You have a lot to options to consider when you're towing your car. Do you need an aftermarket braking system or breakaway brakes? What kind of towing suits me best? Do I need practice?

By Josh Clark

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It's easy to see horse towing as simply hauling another type of heavy cargo. You'll see just as easily that you must take many factors into consideration when hauling horses to avoid injury.

By Josh Briggs

Trailer bearing protectors keep trailer hubs clean while keeping grease and other contaminants out, prolonging the life of the trailer bearings and saving you the expense of replacing them every year.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Flatbed trailers are specially designed to haul extremely large cargo, particularly vehicles. But you could find yourself in trouble if you drive recklessly with badly secured cargo.

By Josh Briggs

It's taken some time, but you've finally learned the ins and outs of towing. Now that you're towing a motorcycle, forget all of them. Motorcycle and ATV towing come with a unique set of regulations and risks.

By Josh Clark

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You can't wait to head out on that fishing trip in your RV, but you need to figure out some things first. Do you have enough insurance? Do you know the towing laws in each state you'll be driving through?

By Josh Clark

Safety systems for fifth wheel trailer setups are simple to install and easy to use.

By Jamie Page Deaton