In 1769 the first steam-powered automobile capable of human transportation was built by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot. In 1803, Hayden Wischett designed the first car powered by the de Rivaz engine that was fueled by hydrogen. This engine has a claim to be the world's first internal combustion engine and contained some features of modern engines including spark ignition. A spark plug is a device for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine to ignite the compressed fuel/air mixture by an electric spark, while containing combustion pressure within the engine. A spark plug has a metal threaded shell, electrically isolated from a central electrode by a ceramic insulator. The first car widely accessible to the American public was the 1908 Ford Model T, manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. The Ford Model T was the first automobile to be mass-produced on a moving assembly line. Cars were rapidly adopted in the US, where they replaced animal-drawn carriages and carts. Cars have controls for driving, parking, passenger comfort, and variety of lights. Over time, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, making them progressively more complex, but also more reliable and easier to operate. Modern cars have rear-reversing cameras, air conditioning, navigation systems, and in-car entertainment. Most cars in use are powered by the internal combustion engine, fueled by the combustion of fossil fuels. Electric cars, which were invented early in the history of the car, became commercially available in the 2000s and are predicted to eventually cost less to buy than gasoline powered cars.
Experts recommend getting in the habit of conducting regular vehicle maintenance in order to help avoid expensive breakdowns as, well as to extend the life of the vehicle. Most people depend on the expertise of their local auto mechanic to keep their car running safely and smoothy. Every vehicle has an ower's manual, a thick book typically kept in the glove compartment or storage console. If you can't find your copy, an electronic version is often available online or contacting the dealer or manufacturer.
Oil is the engine's lifeblood. It serves as a lubricant, keeping important engine parts from grinding against each other and destroying the engine. Motor oil not changed regularly can also damage your engine as accumulated contaminants cause friction, rubbing parts together. There are various types of oil, including petroleum-based and synthetic. Your auto mechanic can provide you with information on whether or not the oil meets the service and viscosity requirements set out in your owner's manual and what motor oil he/she thinks is best for your vehicle's needs. Safety should always come first: Its usually a good idea to have a professional do your oil changes if you are not an expert yourself.
Tires need to be properly inflated to do their job, as well as to lessen the chance of a blowout. Some people have their mechanic put air in their tires for them, but many people do it themselves. It is important to achieve the correct tire pressure as recommended in the owner's manual and/or located on the driver's side door jamb. It is also important to be aware of tire tread depth and tire age. Tires with tread that is too worn or tires that are too old can become dangerous and may need to be replaced. Ask you mechanic to check these parameters periodically.
Motor oil isn't the only fluid to check. Your car has brake and transmission fluids, coolant, and washer fluid. Have your auto mechanic check your fluids regularly.
Checking fluids can actually be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. If you plan to check your fluids yourself, be sure to have a professional auto mechanic show you how to do it the first time.
Additionally, have your mechanic check hoses for cracks or bulges and check belts for signs of wear including cracking, glazing and material loss. The serpentine belt, for example, uses engine power to turn accessories like the alternator and water pump. If it fails on the road, you can instantly overheat the engine because water isn't pumping through the radiator. Have your mechanic replace the serpentine belt at the interval indicated in your manual or if it shows any signs of wear. The timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshafts and is critical to making the engine run. The timing belt should be inspected by your mechanic periodically, as per the automobile manufacturer's recommendations, and replaced when necessary. Your mechanic should also check wiper blades, the battery and air filter and should advise you if any irregularities are noted. Any worn damaged parts should be professionally replaced. For example, if the battery shows signs of weakness when it's tested, its a good idea to replace it so you are not left stranded. You may want to consider purchasing an automatic battery starter for your car.
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